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The Lethal Creeper Gene in Japanese Bantams

japanese bantams

Japanese bantams bred for exhibition must have short legs, according to the Standard of Perfection. Unfortunately this trait comes with a dominant lethal gene called creeper (Cp). The creeper gene causes embryos to die during incubation, resulting in a reduced hatch rate for Japanese bantam eggs. Here’s how the lethal creeper gene works: Creeper Genetics […]

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Repellent Herbs for Chickens

nasturtium

Few scientific studies have verified the use of herbs as insecticides or insect repellents. However, using herbs in the chicken coop won’t harm your chickens. And using repellent herbs for chickens just might discourage some of the external parasites that plague them. Repellent Herbs You might, for example, sprinkle herbs, fresh or dried, on bedding […]

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What Causes Wry Neck in Chickens?

Visual Examples of Wry Neck in Chickens

Wry neck is a neurological condition in which a chicken’s head turns to one side or to some other abnormal position. Also called crookneck, the technical word is torticollis, from the Latin words torquere, meaning “to twist,” and collum, meaning “neck.” Wry neck in chickens takes on different forms, including these (illustrated) five: Head tilted […]

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5 Chicken Breeds that Have 5 Toes

Salmon Faverolle Chicken

Most chickens have four toes on each foot. Of the chicken breeds found in the United States, five breeds typically have five toes on each foot. The condition is technically known as polydactylism — from the Greek words poly meaning many, and daktylos meaning a finger or toe. The trait of having five toes represents […]

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Chicken Breeds that Are Exceptional Foragers

Foraging Chicken Breeds

Some chicken breeds thrive better on forage compared to others. Breeds that have been kept in confinement for many generations generally forage less aggressively than breeds that have continued to exercise their foraging instinct. If you want a low-maintenance flock, and you have space for them to roam, consider these chicken breeds that are exceptional […]

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Breed Spotlight: Lovely Longtail Chickens

Longtail Chicken Breeds

A longtail chicken is one of several breeds selectively bred for growing particularly long tail feathers. The roosters have two specialized genes that allow their tails to grow longer than those of other breeds. One is a nonmolting gene that causes some of their tail feathers to not molt. The other gene produces rapid tail-feather […]

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Chicken Embryology Video Series Offered on YouTube

Photo Credit: The Livestock Conservancy

Because of school closures during the pandemic, elementary school embryology programs are not presented in classrooms. To fill the gap, The Livestock Conservancy, of which Cackle Hatchery® is a member, has teamed up with North Carolina 4-H Extension to develop a virtual learning experience. The series is called “From Embryo to Chick” and is offered […]

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Mini Glossary of Chicken Terminology

One of the great benefits of keeping chickens is that it gives you an opportunity to expand your vocabulary. The world of chicken keeping is full of odd or potentially confusing words and phrases, like those in this mini glossary of chicken terminology. Bloom: The moist, protective coating on a freshly laid egg that dries […]

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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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