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Broody Chicken Hens as Foster Moms

Brahma Chicken Hen Fostering Baby Chicks

A setting hen doesn’t know (or doesn’t care) whether or not the eggs she hatches are her own. Under natural conditions her nest may consist of a collection of eggs from various hens in the flock. So, you might deliberately use your broody chicken hens as foster moms to hatch eggs laid by other hens, […]

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18 Weeds that Are Toxic to Chickens

Corn Cockle Weed

Chickens that free range may occasionally encounter weeds that are toxic. Even so, most toxic plants don’t taste good, so chickens are rarely tempted to eat them. Besides, birds peck a little here and a little there to get variety in their diet. A bite or two of a toxic leaf or seed will rarely […]

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The Importance of Keeping a Flock History

Flock History

If your poultry flock experiences a health issue, suddenly all those little details you thought you’d never forget, but now you can’t quite remember, become immensely important. In such an event, you’ll be happy you previously understood the importance of keeping a flock history and took a few moments to write down incidents as they […]

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Managing Forage for Free-Range Chickens

Foraging Hens

Unlike cows and sheep, chickens are not primarily grazers and cannot digest large amounts of tough fiber. Short pasture perennials are therefore more suitable than taller plants as forage for free range chickens. But, like any pasture, forage for chickens must be suitable for the climate and properly managed. Warm Season Forage Among warm-season greens, […]

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Hen Feather Loss Caused by Rooster Treading

Hen Mating Saddle

A rooster intent on mating a hen grabs the feathers on her head with his beak while he attempts to stand on her back. To get a good grip, he braces his claws against her shoulders. More often than not, his feet slide on her smooth feathers and — to get better balanced — he […]

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Do Vultures Kill Chickens?

Chicken Predators

Vultures are often blamed for killing chickens that were already dead when they got there. Vultures are primarily scavengers. They subsist mainly on animals that have been dead for two to three days. A vulture is a large, black raptor with an exceptionally wide wingspan. It flies in large, languid circles while seeking something to […]

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10 Ways to Reduce Peck Order Stress in Chickens

Chicken Peck Order

The pecking order governs the social organization of a flock of chickens, thereby reducing tension and stress in an established flock. Starting in the brooder, chicks spar almost from the day they hatch. By the time they are about six weeks old, each has established its place in the pecking order. In general, roosters are […]

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8 Reasons to Store Poultry Equipment Clean

Storing Poultry Equipment

Most chicken keepers have some amount of equipment in storage. They might be things used only seasonally, like chick feeders, drinkers, incubators, and brooders. Or they might be feed cups, waterers, and pet carriers used only during the show season. Other things might simply be spares that can be swapped out so the dirty ones […]

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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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