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Do Chickens Really Need a Dust Bath?

chickens taking a dust bath

Yes, chickens really do need a dust bath. Providing a suitable area for dust bathing has several benefits. It helps chickens condition their feathers. It minimize mites and lice. And it gives chickens something pleasurable to do, which helps keep them from pecking each other out of boredom. Plus wallowing in dust can help chickens […]

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Why Do Chickens Molt?

a molting hen

Finding lots of feathers in your chicken yard is a sign that your birds are molting and will soon develop healthy coats of fresh new plumage. This annual loss and renewal of feathers is perfectly normal and is not an indication of disease. So let’s examine the question of why do chickens molt? What is […]

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How to Help Your Chickens Through a Molt

a group of hens molting

Molting is energy intensive. Chickens therefore don’t normally molt during times when they need dietary energy elsewhere. For example, in the spring roosters use energy for fertility and hens use energy for laying eggs and hatching chicks. In cold weather chickens need energy to keep warm. During a molt, nutrients that otherwise go toward such […]

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What Kind of Care Do Chickens Need in Winter?

chicken standing in snow

Cold winter weather brings a different set of issues for a flock of chickens, compared to warmer summer weather. So what kind of care do chickens need in winter? Control Humidity The most important thing you can do during cold weather is to make sure the coop isn’t high in humidity. Relative humidity is generally […]

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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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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 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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