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How to Sex Poultry — Chickens, Turkeys, Guineas, Ducks, Geese

white goose standing outside

For some types of poultry, determining a bird’s gender is easy. Other times not so. Here’s a quick rundown on how to sex poultry, including chickens, turkeys, guinea fowl, ducks, and geese. Chickens Some baby chicks may be sexed at the time of hatch by differences in down color. Otherwise, the easiest way to sex […]

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What is a Purebred and What Is a Hybrid Chicken?

two young girls each holding a chicken

Defining the differences between a purebred and a hybrid chicken can be complicated. Some breeds are not purebred. But even a pure breed may have started out as a hybrid. What is a purebred chicken? Purebreds, also called straightbreds, will breed true. That means all the breeder roosters and hens have uniform bloodlines, and their […]

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How to Sex a Chicken

Phoenix Bantams outside in run

A chicken’s gender may be determined by a number of different methods. Which method works best depends on the bird’s age, breed and variety, and skill of the observer. Here are the four common ways to sex a chicken. Vent Sexing Vent sexing can be done soon after a chick hatches. Also called cloacal sexing, […]

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What Is a Dual Purpose Chicken?

white wyandotte chicken standing outside

To some chicken keepers, a dual purpose breed is one that’s suitable for both meat and eggs. To other chicken keepers, dual purpose refers to a breed that’s suitable for neither meat nor eggs. So exactly what is a dual purpose chicken? Meat or Eggs Before the poultry industry developed into the behemoth it is […]

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What Causes Diarrhea in Chickens?

Cecal Droppings

Chicken diarrhea is often called enteritis, but the two words are not synonymous. Enteritis is inflammation of the intestines. One sign of enteritis is diarrhea. On the other hand, diarrhea has other causes besides enteritis. For practical purposes, though, the two words are often interchangeable. Whether the result of enteritis or something else, trying to […]

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How to Control Cannibalism in Chickens

chicken perched on a swing

In past blogs we’ve looked at different forms of cannibalism and the causes of cannibalism. But, despite your best efforts, your chickens persist in pecking one another. So let’s take a look at how to control cannibalism in chickens once it gets started. Identify the Perp At the first sign of picking, remove the injured […]

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Feed Options — What Do Chickens Eat?

young boy feeding chicks

Chickens of differing ages have differing nutritional needs. Prepackaged poultry feed options therefore include rations for baby chicks, growing chicks, layers, and breeders. Which one is right for your chickens depends on their age and your purpose in raising them. Starter Ration Baby chicks should be fed a starter ration, which contains the high amount […]

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Causes of Cannibalism in Chickens

Chicken Missing Head Feathers

Cannibalism appears in several forms. But they all start in the same basic way. One bird is attracted to peck another. That, in turn, attracts others to join in. Many different conditions can cause cannibalism in chickens. Cannibalism Triggers The following conditions, alone or in combination, may trigger cannibalism: Chicks raised in a brooder, rather […]

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Chicken Coop Draft or Good Ventilation?

two chickens with text stating "good ventilation reduces heat stress"

Good ventilation in a chicken coop brings in fresh air without causing drafty conditions. Ventilation is important for many reasons. So, too, is avoiding drafts. Today we’ll explore the importance of coop ventilation, as well as how to determine whether your coop is too drafty or well ventilated. Reasons for Good Ventilation A chicken coop […]

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6 Forms of Cannibalism in Chickens

young chick

Cannibalism is the disagreeable habit chickens have of pecking one another until they draw blood. And then pecking some more. Chickens may engage in any one of six forms of cannibalism, varying by age and gender. Toe Picking — Chicks Toe picking is a common problem among chicks. It can occur in a brooder where […]

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