All About Combs & Wattles

Chickens have what we call ‘combs’ and ‘wattles’ adorning their faces. The wattles hang from the bottom of the beak and the  comb adorns the top of the bird’s head. Not all chickens have both combs and wattles… In fact, many bearded varieties like some Easter EggersSilkiesPolishes and Crevecoeurs have no wattles. Also, some chickens have some pretty unique comb variations. However, though they may appear a little strange at first, combs and wattles are really neat and can also tell us a lot about chicken health. In this article, I will be explaining more about chicken combs and wattles…

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Natural DIY Honey Wound Salve

Almost every poultry keeper has encountered flock injuries… from mere scratches from rubbing up against the chicken wire to gouges caused by wild animals (such as hawks or raccoons) or dogs. In this article, I include a free recipe for DIY poultry wound care salve, effective for treating external injuries in poultry (people too!)…

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Cheap, Easy Ways to Bust Birdie Boredom!

Above: My flock in the coop on a cold, snowy day

Boredom is a common problem for chickens… Not only are chickens are susceptible to it, but bored birds cause mischief… Which can be anything from egg-eating and plucking one another’s feathers out to digging potholes in the run and removing bedding from the nest boxes. 😧 Bored chickens cause extra trouble and work. 🙁 However, more critically, long term birdie boredom leads to excessive stress (which often leads to health problems), canibalism and reduced egg production. In this article, I include some tips on how to help bust birdie boredom! Continue reading “Cheap, Easy Ways to Bust Birdie Boredom!”

Preventing & Treating External Parasites

Although chickens pick up occasional external parasites from time to time, keeping the population in check is key to a happy, healthy flock. Not only can parasitic overpopulations cause major discomfort, they can weaken chickens’ natural defenses and lead health problems… and even death. In this article, I will be sharing how I prevent and treat external parasites in my backyard flock… Continue reading “Preventing & Treating External Parasites”

USDA Egg Grades: How the Egg gets a Grade

Have you ever wondered what the little shield symbols on store-bought egg cartons mean? And maybe… more importantly, how those shields qualify those eggs to sold to the general public? In this article, I explain how eggs are graded as well as how the shields are used to qualify eggs for human consumption according to the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture)…

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Lice & Mite Treatments for Chickens

Keeping lice and mites in check is a must for every backyard chicken keeper. However, with so many products on the market, how do you know which ones are right for your flock? Are they safe to use? Are there natural/non-toxic alternatives available that are effective? In this article, I will be  listing some of the various products available (for treatment and prevention). I will also list some of the health and safety hazards of common poultry pesticides and suggest safer alternatives that can help your flock stay free of lice and mites for good!
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Crossed Beak Chickens

Above: Elly, my crossed beak chicken

A Crossed beak (also called a scissor beak, crooked beak or lateral beak deviation) is the term used for when the top part of a bird’s beak does not align properly with the lower portion, resulting in crossed appearance. The severity of the deformity can range greatly from case to case. In this article, I will be giving some further information on the causes of crossed beak deformities. I will also offer tips and advice on care based on my experiences with crossed beak chickens…

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Easy Ways to Help Your Chickens Beat the Heat!

Overheating is a serious issue for any animal and can be dangerous if gone unchecked. Since chickens don’t sweat, it can be difficult for them to cool down in high temperatures… Okay, you may not be a modern-day super hero who controls the weather patterns or anything like that but… Here are some fun things that you acctually can do to help them beat the heat! Continue reading “Easy Ways to Help Your Chickens Beat the Heat!”

Vent Pasting in Chicks: Causes & Treatment

 

Vent pasting is a common issue with young chicks. Vent pasting is completely curable. However, it is often the result of stress or other health issues. Such problems may cause re-occurent vent-pasting if gone un-checked. In this article, I will be providing the causes of vent pasting as well as how to treat it…  Continue reading “Vent Pasting in Chicks: Causes & Treatment”

Why Chickens Dust Bathe

Above: Tweetie, A silver Laced Wyandotte taking a ‘dust’ bath in some shavings. I do not think that shavings are very effective… At least she liked to dust bathe in real dust on a frequent basis.

Chickens love to dust bathe and will do it pretty much whenever they find a good patch of dust. Dust baths are also absolutely essential for a chicken’s proper hygiene maintenance… But why? You’d think that rolling around in the dust would make you… well… dirtier. However, for chickens, taking a dust bath actually cleans them! Here’s how it works… Continue reading “Why Chickens Dust Bathe”

How Cold is Too Cold For Chickens?

Above: Marion, a golden-laced Polish hen in the snow

Chickens are very adaptable birds (thus the reason they are common livestock in so many countries). However, chickens can get to cold. So… when should you be concerned for your chickens in cold temperatures?

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How Hot is Too Hot For Chickens?

Above: Tweetie, one of my Silver-Laced Wyandotte hens drinking out of a flower pot… Seriously, I did just clean their water. I guess the flower water tastes better

Although the ideal temperature for most chickens is between 40 and 80F, most chickens are pretty heat hardy up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit for at least a short period of time…

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Blood Stained Egg Shells

Blood-stained egg

Finding an egg in the nest box with blood on the shell can give any chicken keeper quite the scare… At least it did for me, my first time, a few years ago! Young hens and pullets coming into lay are most prone to laying blood-stained egg shells than older hens. However, it can happen at almost any age. So… how does it happen… and maybe more importantly, is it dangerous? Continue reading “Blood Stained Egg Shells”

Smashed-In Eggs & White Banded Eggs

Even healthy hens, primarily on there younger years, will occasionally lay a misshapen egg here there. However, defective eggs should not occur on frequent basis. In this post, I will explain the causes of two common egg shell quality problems: Smashed-in eggs (which are also called slab-Sided eggs) and White-banded eggs… Continue reading “Smashed-In Eggs & White Banded Eggs”