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Prepare Your Chicken Coop for Winter

hens in the snow

“It’s time to prepare your chicken coop for winter,” reminds Jeff Smith of Cackle Hachery®. “Since there is a current shortage of some items, make a list of materials you need and buy them now. Any repairs need to be done before weather comes in.” The two biggest winterizing issues to keep in mind are […]

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Broody Chicken Hens as Foster Moms

Brahma Chicken Hen Fostering Baby Chicks

A setting hen doesn’t know (or doesn’t care) whether or not the eggs she hatches are her own. Under natural conditions her nest may consist of a collection of eggs from various hens in the flock. So, you might deliberately use your broody chicken hens as foster moms to hatch eggs laid by other hens, […]

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Raising Guinea Fowl

Guinea Fowl

If you raise guinea fowl that you plan to free range, start with keets rather than full-grown birds. Keets become acquainted with their home ground as they broaden their foraging range. Adult guineas, on the other hand, are notorious for flying the coop the first chance they get. By raising guinea fowl from keets you […]

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Crop Impaction in Chickens

Crop Impaction in Chickens

The first stop in a chicken’s digestive process is the crop, a pouch at the base of the neck that temporarily stores whatever the chicken has eaten. From there, food moves into the proventriculus (the chicken’s stomach), where acid and enzymes break it down for digestion. Crop impaction occurs when the crop gets jam-packed full […]

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How Long Does It Take for an Egg to Hatch?

Three different eggs from various species

Precisely how long an egg takes to hatch depends on a lot of factors including species, breed, strain, conditions under which the egg was stored prior to incubation, and conditions during incubation. But whether you plan to hatch eggs in an incubator or under a hen you need a more definitive answer the question: How […]

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What Causes Wry Neck in Chickens?

Visual Examples of Wry Neck in Chickens

Wry neck is a neurological condition in which a chicken’s head turns to one side or to some other abnormal position. Also called crookneck, the technical word is torticollis, from the Latin words torquere, meaning “to twist,” and collum, meaning “neck.” Wry neck in chickens takes on different forms, including these (illustrated) five: Head tilted […]

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7 Ways to Help Your Chickens Stay Cool in Summer

Chicken Drinking Water to Stay Cool

Preventing heat stress in your backyard chicken flock involves a combination of commonsense management measures. The following seven simple strategies will help your chickens stay cool in summer. Heat Tolerant Breeds If you live in a climate that’s warm year-around, you might consider keeping a heat tolerant breed. Some chicken breeds naturally tolerate warm weather […]

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16 Chicken Breeds that Tolerate Warm Weather

Warm Weather Tolerant Chicken Breed

Chickens have no sweat glands, so chicken breeds that originated in hot climates have developed other features to help them stay cool. One is to grow a large comb and wattles, through which blood circulation increases in hot weather to help dissipate body heat. Another warm-climate adaptation is to avoid trapped heat by developing sparse […]

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How Chickens Keep Themselves Cool in Summer

Chicken Panting to Keep Itself Cool in Summer

The air temperature range at which chickens maintain the best health and productivity is between 70°F and 75°F. As the temperature rises above this range, physical adaptations — such as a large comb and wattles — help some breeds release body heat. All breeds also engage in behavior modifications that allow chickens to keep themselves […]

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