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How Can Baby Chickens Survive in the Mail?

How Can Baby Chickens Survive in the Mail?

The hatching of a chick out of an egg — whether laid by a chicken, duck, goose, or other bird — is a remarkable process. Each chick enters the world with a built-in food supply that can sustain it for up to three days after the bird hatches. How does this happen? Starting on the […]

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Embryonic Exposure to Light Could Affect Chicken Temperament

Embryonic Exposure to Light Could Affect Chicken Temperament

We know that eggs must be properly incubated in a warm environment for them to form healthy, well-developed chicks. But what if the amount of light that eggs are exposed to during incubation could have an effect on the temperament of chickens as well? According to a paper recently published in Applied Animal Behavior Science, […]

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Academic Study Sheds Light on Chicken Intelligence

Academic Study Sheds Light on Chicken Intelligence

People who haven’t spent much time around chickens might not think they’re particularly bright, but those of us who raise our own flocks have probably noticed that these birds can actually be pretty shrewd when it comes to finding food and securing their position in the pecking order. In fact, an academic paper recently published […]

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What Is a Gizzard and How Does It Work?

What Is a Gizzard and How Does It Work?

Ever wonder what a “gizzard” is, and why birds have them but people don’t? You’re not alone. Chances are you’ve heard about gizzards before, but you may not know why your chickens need these specialized organs!   In fact, a gizzard is an essential part of the chicken’s digestion system. Chickens peck at their food […]

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The Complex Relationship Between Chicken and Mosquito

The Complex Relationship Between Chicken and Mosquito

Scientists from Sweden and Ethiopia have discovered that malaria-causing mosquitoes don’t like the smell of chickens. Malarial mosquitoes avoid live chickens, as well as steering clear of compounds extracted from chicken feathers. Researchers are now investigating whether chicken-odor extract might be used as a malarial mosquito repellent, according to a recent BBC report.   Since […]

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What Do You Call the Place Where You Keep Your Chickens?

What Do You Call the Place Where You Keep Your Chickens?

Chickens need to be confined to protect them from the elements and from predators, but what do you call the structure in which they live? Chicken coop is a common term for a stationary structure. The word coop derives from the Old English word cype, meaning a small structure for confining birds.   Hen house […]

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In Celebration of Heritage Poultry Breeds

In Celebration of Heritage Poultry Breeds

International Heritage Breeds Week is celebrated each year during the third week in May. So what exactly are heritage poultry breeds? According to The Livestock Conservancy, heritage chicken and turkey breeds share the following characteristics:     They can reproduce through natural mating. They have the genetic ability to live long and vigorous lives. They […]

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What Is a Standard Chicken Breed?

What Is a Standard Chicken Breed?

The term “standard breed” is often misused in referring to large chickens, as distinct from bantam breeds. So what, exactly, is a standard breed?   A standard poultry breed is any breed that conforms to its ideal description, as formalized (or standardized) by a central organization and compiled into a periodically updated book. The book […]

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