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10 Ways to Reduce Peck Order Stress in Chickens

Chicken Peck Order

The pecking order governs the social organization of a flock of chickens, thereby reducing tension and stress in an established flock. Starting in the brooder, chicks spar almost from the day they hatch. By the time they are about six weeks old, each has established its place in the pecking order. In general, roosters are […]

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8 Reasons to Store Poultry Equipment Clean

Storing Poultry Equipment

Most chicken keepers have some amount of equipment in storage. They might be things used only seasonally, like chick feeders, drinkers, incubators, and brooders. Or they might be feed cups, waterers, and pet carriers used only during the show season. Other things might simply be spares that can be swapped out so the dirty ones […]

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Chicken Embryology Video Series Offered on YouTube

Photo Credit: The Livestock Conservancy

Because of school closures during the pandemic, elementary school embryology programs are not presented in classrooms. To fill the gap, The Livestock Conservancy, of which Cackle Hatchery® is a member, has teamed up with North Carolina 4-H Extension to develop a virtual learning experience. The series is called “From Embryo to Chick” and is offered […]

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Mini Glossary of Chicken Terminology

One of the great benefits of keeping chickens is that it gives you an opportunity to expand your vocabulary. The world of chicken keeping is full of odd or potentially confusing words and phrases, like those in this mini glossary of chicken terminology. Bloom: The moist, protective coating on a freshly laid egg that dries […]

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Why Are Some Egg Yolks More Yellow Than Others?

How Egg Yolk Gets its Coloring

Egg yolks get their golden yellow color from the same plant pigments that result in the skin color of yellow-skin breeds. These pigments are also responsible for beak and bill color in chickens and ducks, and for their brightly colored feathers. The pigments are of two main types— carotene and xanthophyll. Carotene is orange to […]

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Sexing Ducklings and Goslings

sexing waterfowl

Male and female waterfowl of the same breed and variety are difficult to tell apart until they are several weeks old. Except for a few autosex breeds of geese, the only way to determine the gender of waterfowl hatchlings is by vent sexing. Happily that is not nearly as difficult as it is for chickens […]

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How to Prevent Angel Wing in Ducks and Geese

How to Prevent Angel Wing in Ducks and Geese

Angel wing is a condition in which the flight feathers of one or both wings of a duck or goose twist away from the body. It occurs when either the primary feathers overlap in reverse order — over each other, rather than under, from outer to inner feather — or, more commonly, the entire last […]

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4 Ways to Tell Male and Female Chicks Apart

Four traditional methods are used to tell male and female chicks apart. Which method is most appropriate for any specific batch of chicks depends on their breed and variety, their age, and the skill of the observer. Vent Sexing Vent sexing, also called cloacal sexing, is a method of determining a hatchling’s gender by examining […]

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