Category Archives: Chicken Healthcare


When is it time to move chicks from the Brooder?

When is it time to move chicks from the Brooder?

Every year I have to make the decision of when it is the right time to move my baby chicks from their little pen with a  heat source to the big chick pen.  There are many factors that I consider when making this decision.  How big the chicks are, how warm it is outside, and how many feathers they have.

I use what I call the step-down method.  I start with a small pen using a light for  heat  until they have several feathers, usually a month .  They then go into a larger pen for about 4 more weeks giving them plenty of time to feather out.  Depending on the temperature outside, I may keep a light on them during this time.


Should you keep eggs in the refrigerator?

I ran across this article today.  Should you keep eggs in the refrigerator?  I know people who keep them in the refrigerator and I know people that keep them on the counter.  If I were to purchase eggs from the store and they were in the refrigerator at the store, I would put them in the refrigerator when I got home.  There are stores around the world where the eggs are not stored in the refrigerator and I have seen eggs at farmers markets that  were not in the refrigerator.

But I have chickens so the question becomes, how long can you keep them on the counter before putting them in the refrigerator or should you even bother doing that?

Here is what this article has to say about the subject.

So should you keep eggs in the fridge? Scientists crack the age-old argument over whether chilled or room temperature is best

While bakers insist room temperature eggs best bind ingredients together, fridge freaks fear they will go off if not chilled

There are two types of people in the world: those who keep their eggs in the  fridge and those who think room temperature is best.

Each camp is convinced of its own common sense — and regards the other lot as cracked.

The controversy has raged for years and has recently been whisked up once again by a survey that found Britons are the least likely people in Europe to store eggs in the fridge.

Now the Daily Mail has commissioned a scientific study to provide the definitive answer to this vexed question.

The answer may surprise you. But first let’s remind ourselves of the arguments on both sides of the debate.
You can finish reading the article here at The Daily Mail.


Causes of Common Problems of Hens

Causes of Common Problems of Hens

Causes of Common Problems of Hens

Some of the problems that backyard chicken flock keepers most frequently see in their hens are respiratory illness, feather loss, and strange eggs. The following contains some common causes for some chicken ailments. Other things could be responsible for the signs you’re seeing, but they’re less likely to be the culprits than the causes listed in the table. A veterinary diagnostic laboratory or a veterinarian who’s willing to see chickens can help you sort it out.

Problem Signs Common Cause Possible Actions
Respiratory illness Sneezing, coughing, gasping, swollen face Mycoplasmosis (MG), infectious coryza, infectious bronchitis Isolate sick birds from the rest of the flock
Feather loss All over Normal molt or louse infestation Examine feather shafts for lice
Head, neck, and shoulders Feather pecking from flock mates, poking head through wire fence Observe flock for signs of feather pecking behavior
Hen’s back Attention from the rooster Provide hens with protective cloth saddles
Vent area Feather pecking from flock mates Provide toys and veggie scraps to keep the flock busy
Strange eggs Thin shells Old hen, hot weather, or lack of calcium in diet Keep hens cool, provide oyster shell for the hens to eat
Soft or no shells A scare or a stressful event, or an infection of the oviduct Handle hens quietly and gently. Make their living quarters safe from predators.
Blood-stained shells Young hen, underweight hen, or vent pecking by flock mates Feed good quality layer diet. Place nest boxes no more than 18 inches off the ground.
Weird-shaped shells: ridges, chalky coating, lumps, and so on Stress, rough handling, too few nest boxes, or oviduct infection Provide more nest boxes. Handle hens quietly and gently.

Information source: Chicken Health for Dummies


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