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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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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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How to Clip a Chicken’s Wing Feathers

Clipping Chicken Wing Feathers

A chicken — or any other poultry — that persists in flying out of its enclosure can be an annoyance. It may destroy vegetable gardens and flower beds (yours or your neighbor’s). It may get into the wrong pen and mess up your breeding plan. Worse, it could get run over on the road or […]

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Do Vultures Kill Chickens?

Chicken Predators

Vultures are often blamed for killing chickens that were already dead when they got there. Vultures are primarily scavengers. They subsist mainly on animals that have been dead for two to three days. A vulture is a large, black raptor with an exceptionally wide wingspan. It flies in large, languid circles while seeking something to […]

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