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4 Ways to Tell Male and Female Chicks Apart

Four traditional methods are used to tell male and female chicks apart. Which method is most appropriate for any specific batch of chicks depends on their breed and variety, their age, and the skill of the observer. Vent Sexing Vent sexing, also called cloacal sexing, is a method of determining a hatchling’s gender by examining […]

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What Kind of Music Do Chickens Like?

What Kind of Music Do Chickens Like?

British farmer Glenn Haggart is the latest to discover that playing music for laying hens reduces anxiety and stress, creating a safer environment for the chickens. After four years of playing music for his layers, he’s become a strong advocate. But what kind of music do chickens like? Music and Chicks Let’s start with embryos […]

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Breed Spotlight: Frizzle, Frazzle, and Sizzle Chickens

Frizzle chickens are fun and funny, but are they a breed? The answer is yes and no. In Australia, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, and United Kingdom Frizzles are classified as a pure breed. In the United States they are considered to be a plumage variety in any breed. Frizzle Chickens Frizzling is a genetic condition […]

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Why Does a Rooster Have Wattles?

A rooster’s wattles come in flexible pairs that dangle beneath the beak, while its comb is a single structure prominently affixed to the top of the head. Researchers have determined that hens base their choice of mates, in part, on characteristics of the comb. But when it comes to wattles, they scratch their scholarly heads […]

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The Origin of Modern Chickens

Since the 1800s humans have believed chickens were domesticated from red jungle fowl of Southeast Asia. The main reasons for this assumption are that red jungle fowl (pictured above) look similar and can interbreed with modern chickens. However, we had no real proof of the origin of modern chickens until the advent of gene sequencing. […]

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Difference Between Production Chickens and Show Chickens

Prize Show Chicken

Production chickens are efficient producers of eggs or meat. “Efficient” means outputs are maximized, while inputs are minimized. In other words, production chickens are bred to produce more eggs or meat while eating less feed. The main difference between production chickens and show chickens is that efficient production is not a consideration in breeds developed […]

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What Is a Strain of Chickens?

Chickens from the same bloodline

A strain, also called a bloodline or simply a line, is a family of related chickens. They are distinctive in having been selectively bred by a single person or organization long enough for all the chickens to be uniquely uniform in some way. Each strain of purebred chickens has all the traits that define its […]

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Blue Laced Red Wyandotte or Splash Laced Red Wyandotte?

Blue and Splash Laced Red Wyandotte

Based on discussions and photos circulating online, there seems to be a bit of confusion about the difference between a blue laced red Wyandotte and a splash laced red Wyandotte. Since the two varieties are related and look somewhat similar, the confusion is justified.   Another issue of confusion is the origin of blue laced […]

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Chicken Keeping: A Time-Honored Tradition

Medieval Chickens

Chicken keeping has a long and successful history, dating back to antiquity. Some 19th century writers would have their readers believe that prior to the Victorian era poultry breeding was not a specialized occupation. It was certainly elevated in status once poultry shows began awarding prizes for quality and for new breeds, but the number […]

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What’s the Difference Between a Barred Rock and a Dominique?

Barred Rock

A lot of chicken keepers who are unfamiliar with both barred Rocks and Dominiques have trouble telling the difference between them. Once you’ve seen both, though, you’ll have no trouble readily identifying which is which.   First let’s get one thing straight: “Barred Rock” is not a breed. The breed is Plymouth Rock. The original […]

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