General chicken keeping, egg laying and flock management
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I’d kept chickens for two years and had never heard the term. Then one warm September day in the Pacific Northwest, I was in the coop and noticed my normally spicy Silkie roo, Mugsy, was kind of dragging a wing and it looked especially dirty. I carefully lifted the wing up and saw maggots - lots of them. And it wasn’t dirt under his wing, it was rotting flesh juice. Holy smokes!
Wild animals, especially, can have a hard time in the winter. Due to a shortage of food and bitterly cold temperatures, finding food is difficult & dangerous. Bears are the only predators that truly hibernate during the winter. Foxes, raccoons & possums will stay in their dens till severe weather passes. Till their hunger drives them out to hunt in your backyards for treats. In this article, we examine a few winter common chicken predators and tips on how to keep your flock safe from them.
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There is no doubt that chickens like and consume a lot of food. As a matter of fact, their eating behavior is unique and beams with energy. The most common form of food consumed by chickens is solid food, but chicken owners may also wonder, “Can chickens eat yogurt?” Humans obviously love yogurt, but what about yogurt for chickens?
As spring approaches, some chicken keepers get the itch to go to the local feed store and check out the new little chicks. There is something irresistible about the peeping of a baby chick. Nevertheless, the thought of integrating the younger members into the established flock with the big kids in the coop gives some a little anxiety. No one can predict how the older kids will react to the new kids on the block.
Chickens are omnivorous and when given the chance, will happily devour a surprising assortment of bugs and small animals. I've seen mine eat frogs, small snakes, mice… Most of us prefer to be a bit less adventurous when meeting our flocks' craving for meat and stick to providing things like mealworms, crickets, roaches, etc. This week I would like to hear your thoughts and practices on feeding "live" treats. What do you offer your flocks, what can you feed them safely, etc
The most common reason to keep your own chickens is of course for the fresh eggs. When it comes to egg laying, however, not all breeds are created equal. So which breeds are best if you want a flock that produces tons of tasty eggs? This list will help you find out.
Summertime is a wonderful time, but with the sunshine and long days comes a potential hazard for our flocks: extreme heat. Chickens naturally wear a warm coat of feathers and can overheat easily, therefore it's essential that we provide means for them to cool down, if needed, and regulate their body temperatures. What do you all do to help your flocks beat the heat?
When it comes to giving a steady supply of water for chickens, a lot of newbies feel it's as simple as putting water in an old dish. Water is a vital need for all living beings after all –man, animals, plants. So, choosing a chicken waterer is a serious matter. But buying a commercial waterer may not get you the best bang for your buck. Besides, not all waterers are made equal and since you know your chickens better, you can make an easy and effective chicken waterer that won't break the bank.
Let’s be honest: In the summer, when it’s hot and humid, it can sometimes discourage us from spending as much time with our flock as we normally would. However, the summer makes for a great opportunity to spend time with the birds. Spending time with our chickens is healthy for both them and us. Here we will be discussing the top ten reasons to spend at least ten extra minutes with your flock each and every day, no matter what the season.
Laying performance can be influenced by human interaction & is referred to as socialization, which can be good for the flock. Ideal times to visit are before laying begins in am and after laying is finished for the day. Interruptions at peak laying times may result in floor laying. By visiting the hen house, the chickens are exposed to low levels of stress, which the chickens can get acclimated to thereby improving socialization skills. Here we will unravel the mysteries of egg-laying behavior.
One of the most common questions in the BYC forum is when to expect pullets to be laying eggs. It can be quite hard to be patient as we await the eggs' arrival, especially when we are lost as to when the pullets will even start. So, we're asking for your answers on this topic. - When did your pullets begin laying? What breed are they? - How long would it take for your new hens to start laying again? - What are the signs that they are ready to lay eggs?
Baby chicks have nervous systems and react to stimuli, and just like us humans, some are more sensitive than others and react with aggressive behavior when they experience these stimuli. In this article we discuss Aggressive Baby Chicks and How to Stop the Behavior.
Sometimes the simple and best ideas are right under our noses and these DIY chicken feeders are one of those awesome revelations - well, in our opinion it is anyway. If you're getting chickens and wondering what type of feeder is best to buy than before shelling out a lot of money, perhaps try making a chicken feeder yourself. These are some ingenious ways our members have made their own DIY chicken feeders.
Chickens love to take their forty winks at night, and it's important that they get plenty of rest to ensure optimal health. Still, most chicken keepers have had the experience of having to coax their birds into the coop at sunset to get them to go to roost. So why do chickens, despite their natural desire to roost, sometimes break the rules by not roosting on their perches, and how can these rebellious flock members be taught to roost on their perches? We are here to help!
After a few weeks, our little fluffy butts are feathered out enough to allow them to regulate their body temperatures and they can be weaned off the heat and moved outside to the coop, or an outdoor brooder. There are many ways to do this transition successfully, so this week I would like to hear your thoughts. Specifically: - Do you brood your chicks indoors or outside and if the latter, how do you go about it? - Any tips for making the transition easier for the little ones?
Sand in your chicken coop is a question many chicken keepers ponder. Most people use conventional bedding materials in the coop and run. They spread straw, hay or something similar on the floor and in the nest boxes. However, some use sand as a bedding material. This prompted us to take a look at the pros and cons of using it as a bedding material in the coop and run. Here we will give you reasons for and against the use of sand and let you decide if it is an option for you and your flock.
Whether you want to keep chickens to lay eggs, produce meat, or for some other reason, this question is not always clear-cut. If you have never raised chickens before, you may not know where to start. In this article, we will go over how many chickens are appropriate to start with, what factors you need to consider when deciding on the size of your flock, and what breeds can be kept together.
With Spring upon us many chicken owners are thinking about hatching or buying chicks to raise during the warmer months. I would like to hear your thoughts and tips on buying and raising chicks. Specifically: - What preparations do you make before hatching/buying chicks? - Tell me about your brooder(s); Also, do you brood indoors or outdoors? - How to raise healthy, strong chicks. (Supplements/Feed/Heat management, etc) Anything you'd like to add?
From aerial to ground predators, chickens often fall prey to many of these. There are many different things that happen from the most obvious to the least. No matter what, it seems like they're always getting into trouble. But we can limit predator attacks if we know how to prevent them.
Need a comprehensive guide to the best chicken feed for all life stages? We know that laying hens need more calcium in their feed than hens that are not laying, but how much more? Chickens need different feeds at different times in their lives and also depending on their sex, but what do you do if you have a mixed flock? How important is it that your chickens get the right ratio of nutrients in their feed?