Posted on Leave a comment

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 […]

Continue Reading
Posted on Leave a comment

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, […]

Continue Reading
Posted on Leave a comment

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 […]

Continue Reading
Posted on Leave a comment

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 […]

Continue Reading
Posted on Leave a comment

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 […]

Continue Reading
Posted on Leave a comment

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 […]

Continue Reading
Posted on Leave a comment

Chicken Coop Draft or Good Ventilation?

two chickens with text stating "good ventilation reduces heat stress"

Good ventilation in a chicken coop brings in fresh air without causing drafty conditions. Ventilation is important for many reasons. So, too, is avoiding drafts. Today we’ll explore the importance of coop ventilation, as well as how to determine whether your coop is too drafty or well ventilated. Reasons for Good Ventilation A chicken coop […]

Continue Reading
Posted on Leave a comment

Why a Chicken Goes Blind

hen's eye

Blindness is not a common condition among chickens. But when it does occur, it can be disconcerting for both the chicken and the human handler. Aside from injury resulting from a poke in the eye, here are three main reasons why a chicken goes blind. Marek’s Disease Marek’s disease is a cancer in chickens caused […]

Continue Reading
Posted on Leave a comment

Hens Can Grow Spurs, Too

Chicken Spur

All chickens have spur buds. Roosters are well known for their spur buds developing into full-blown spurs. But hen’s can grow spurs, too. While some roosters — notably certain strains of Cubalaya — maintain only rudimentary spurs, some hens develop long rooster-like spurs. As with roosters, the longer the spur, the older the hen. Which […]

Continue Reading
Posted on Leave a comment

Why Chickens and Wild Birds Shouldn’t Mix

black bird in tree

Chickens and other poultry are birds, right? So logically you’d think it wouldn’t be a problem for your flock to mingle with wild birds. But here are three reasons why chickens and wild birds shouldn’t mix. Fowl Mites The northern fowl mite (Ornithonyssus sylviarum) is the most serious external parasite of chickens. It is the […]

Continue Reading