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Planning Your Spring Chick Order

Spring Chick Order

When planning your next order of chicks from the hatchery, give careful consideration to how many roosters you want (if any), and the real possibility that some of the chicks might not survive. Below are some important points to keep in mind when making your ordering decisions. Sexed Chicks For many breeds you have the […]

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How Much Water Does a Chicken Drink?

Chicken Drinking Water

How much water a chicken drinks each day depends on numerous factors including the bird’s size, water palatability, feed intake, feed composition, the environmental temperature, the bird’s condition of health, and whether the bird is laying.   Under normal conditions, the average chicken drinks between one and two cups of water each day. A laying […]

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How Much Feed Does a Chicken Eat?

Chicken Eating

How much feed a chicken eats each week varies with the chicken’s age, breed, and strain, degree of activity, and condition of health. Other factors include the ration’s palatability and texture, and its energy and protein content.   In cold weather, a chicken stays warm by eating more than it does during the heat of […]

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Buying a Ready-Made Chicken Coop — 10 Things to Consider

Prefab Coop

Buying a ready-made chicken coop, instead of building one yourself, has several advantages. It doesn’t require any carpentry tools or skills. It doesn’t take up several weekends of your free time to put together. And you don’t need a PhD in all the features a chicken coop needs. But you should know enough about how […]

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How to Control Ammonia in the Chicken Coop

Cochin Chickens in Coop

Ammonia is a pungent-smelling gas constantly released by bacteria that decompose chicken droppings. Not only does ammonia smell bad, it’s also a health hazard for you and your chickens. High levels of ammonia in the coop’s air can discourage chickens from eating—affecting the growth rate of young birds and the production of laying hens—and can […]

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What is Grit and Why Do Chickens Need It?

Chicken Grit

Natural grit consists of a collection of coarse sand, pebbles, and similar small, hard objects chickens eat while pecking on the ground. The grit lodges in the bird’s gizzard, where muscular action grinds the grit together with feedstuffs to break them down for digestion. Over time each piece of grit gets ground up, along with […]

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How to Train Chickens to Go into Their Coop at Night

Chicken Pop Hole Door

Chickens that spend nights within an enclosed coop will be protected from predators that prowl after dark. Chickens naturally want to “come home to roost,” although they may need to be taught where home is. Here’s how to train your chickens to go into their coop at night.   Furnish a cozy coop that provides […]

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Chicken Feed — Whole Grains, Mash, Pellets, or Crumbles?

Scratch Grains

Commercially formulated rations are developed to maximize nutritional benefit based on a flock’s age, beginning with chick starter, then moving up to grower, developer, and lay ration as chickens mature. Meat birds have their own formulas for starter/grower rations and finisher ration intended to induce rapid growth. Aside from different formulas for different age groups, […]

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8 Things to Know Before Building a Chicken Coop

Chicken Coop

Before a box full of peepers arrives, it is imperative to have a plan for a chicken coop. Chicks that have recently graduated from the brooder should have a coop to call home, and not be left homeless. Ideally, the coop will be prepared and ready for move-in long before the babies arrive.   Chickens, […]

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How to Trim a Rooster’s Spurs — and How Not To

Rooster Spur

A chicken’s spur is an outgrowth of the leg bone, consisting of soft tissue covered with a protective sheath made of the same tough keratinous material that makes up the chicken’s claws and beak. The spur starts out as a little bony bump. As the chicken matures, the spur grows longer, curves, hardens and develops […]

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