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Medicinal Herbs for Chickens

picture of basil

Medicinal herbs for chickens have a variety of desirable properties. Benefits include healthful nutrients that are lacking in pharmacological drugs. Herbs also have the ability to interact with drugs to reduce required dosages. And, unlike antibiotics, the active components of herbal compounds readily absorb, along with other digestive contents. They are rapidly excreted, too, with […]

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Sour Crop in Chickens and Turkeys

Sour crop in chickens and turkeys is caused by yeast of the Candida species. The condition, also known as thrush, is technically called candida infection or candidiasis. Left untreated, sour crop can have dire consequences. Signs of Sour Crop Sour crop typically affects either young and growing or aging and elderly birds, but may occur […]

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Garlic for Chickens

The Benefits of Using Garlic for Chickens

Garlic (Allium sativum) has so many beneficial properties that researchers haven’t yet discovered them all. What is well known is that garlic has broad-spectrum antimicrobial properties, making it effective against many bacteria, fungi, viruses, and internal parasites, including protozoa. That’s why so many people are enthusiastic about using garlic for chickens. Allicin and Ajoene Garlic’s […]

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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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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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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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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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Feather Loss in Baby Chicks

Chicken Feather Loss

A chick’s baby feathers are delicate and vulnerable while the bird grows a complete set of adult plumage. Until then, unsightly feather loss in baby chicks may be caused by rubbing or picking. Sequential Molting When a chick reaches the age of three and four weeks, its body feathers grow and fill out. By the […]

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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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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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