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Hens Can Grow Spurs, Too

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 […]

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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 […]

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Coccidiosis — the Scourge of Chicks and Poults

Coccidiosis is the most common disease of brooded poultry. It affects primarily chicks and poults (baby turkeys). But it may also (though rarely) affect keets (baby guinea fowl), ducklings, and goslings. It is the most common cause of death in young poultry. What Is Coccidiosis? Coccidiosis is an intestinal disease caused by protozoa. It most […]

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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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