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18 Weeds that Are Toxic to Chickens

Corn Cockle Weed

Chickens that free range may occasionally encounter weeds that are toxic. Even so, most toxic plants don’t taste good, so chickens are rarely tempted to eat them. Besides, birds peck a little here and a little there to get variety in their diet. A bite or two of a toxic leaf or seed will rarely […]

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The Importance of Keeping a Flock History

Flock History

If your poultry flock experiences a health issue, suddenly all those little details you thought you’d never forget, but now you can’t quite remember, become immensely important. In such an event, you’ll be happy you previously understood the importance of keeping a flock history and took a few moments to write down incidents as they […]

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Chickens Disclosed How Our Immune System Works

Baby Chick

Until the 1960s, no one was able to determine the function of a chicken’s cloacal bursa. That year, in an attempt to find out, Ohio State University graduate student Bruce Glick performed bursectomies on some chickens. But it didn’t seem to make any perceivable difference. Unintended Consequences Then a fellow graduate student, Timothy Chang, borrowed […]

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Using Two Incubators to Optimize Egg Hatching

Baby Chicks Hatching

Whether or not using more than one incubator makes sense depends on how much hatching you plan to do and how many different chicken breeds or poultry species you wish to hatch. Most incubators for home use are designed for batch hatching. Sometimes, though, you might not want to wait until the eggs hatch before […]

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Can Eggs Hatch Without a Rooster?

Pullet Egg

Most chicken keepers know that a hen will lay eggs whether or not a rooster is present. But a rooster is needed in order to get fertile eggs that will hatch. Less well known is that eggs can hatch without a rooster. Virgin Birth Virgin birth, or parthenogenesis, is the process whereby an unfertilized egg […]

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Raising Ringneck Pheasants

Ringneck Pheasant

Ringneck pheasants are traditionally raised to be released as game birds. But people have plenty of other reasons for raising ringneck pheasants. They are also raised for their excellent meat, tasty eggs, gorgeous feathers, or simply for their awesome beauty. Game Bird The ringneck pheasant is a native game bird in China. Since the late […]

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Managing Forage for Free-Range Chickens

Foraging Hens

Unlike cows and sheep, chickens are not primarily grazers and cannot digest large amounts of tough fiber. Short pasture perennials are therefore more suitable than taller plants as forage for free range chickens. But, like any pasture, forage for chickens must be suitable for the climate and properly managed. Warm Season Forage Among warm-season greens, […]

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Birch Tree Betulin, New Antibiotic for Poultry?

White Birch Trees

The white birch is Russia’s national tree. Its curative properties have been recognized in that country since ancient times. Russians have long used birch bark to treat wounds. They used birch tree essential oil as a dewormer. They used birch sap, birch tar, and other birch tree extracts to treat hundreds of diseases, from bronchitis […]

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Keeping Ducks and Geese Together

Ducks and Geese

Ducks and geese get along well and may be kept together in the same area. Since most domestic duck breeds don’t fly well or at all, and some are too heavy to even walk fast, and since geese tend to be aggressive toward trespassers, keeping ducks and geese together offers the ducks some measure of […]

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