Do I Need a Rooster for Hens to Lay Eggs?

Do I Need a Rooster for Hens to Lay Eggs Blog Cover

I am always surprised when I’m asked this question. I suppose it’s a logical question for those not too familiar with poultry. Do I need a Rooster for hens to lay eggs? A rooster does serve a couple of useful purposes to the flock which can be a good thing for the hens and keeper alike. However, egg laying is not one of them! He can be a magnificent site with his full plumage glistening in the sun! Of course, he knows how stunning he is and just has to convince the ladies that he is the ‘best in the coop’! So let’s take a look at what uses a rooster does in fact supply! Eggs Laying and Fertility First in answer to the original question – no, you don’t need a rooster for your hens to lay eggs. Your hens’ will lay an egg roughly every twenty five hours… [Read More]

How To Tell Which Hens Are Laying Eggs

How To Tell Which Hens Are Laying Eggs Blog Cover

You have chickens, but minimal eggs – why is that? What’s happening? It could be the environmental, nutritional, seasonal or just a particular breed of bird. Sometimes you aren’t even sure which hens are laying – or not. Today we are going to look at how you can check to see which of your hens are laying and not laying eggs. I mean you could just sit all day and watch your hens but we’ve got some quicker ways to check instead. The two main ways to check which hens are laying is: physical examination and nest trapping. Let’s start with physical examinations… How to Tell If Pullets Are Laying Pullets younger than sixteen weeks are not yet ready to lay. The point of lay (POL) can vary greatly from breed to breed. A sex link pullet is likely to start laying around sixteen weeks while Orpingtons, Marans and several… [Read More]

Best Time of Year to Raise Chicks: Spring or Winter?

Best Time of Year to Raise Chicks Spring or Winter Blog Cover

Beginner chicken keepers often ask this question, probably because spring is the most active and usual time for rearing and raising chicks. However, there really is no good reason why you can’t raise chicks year round – after all, many hatcheries have chicks available year round. As long as you have everything you need for raising them, you can buy them when you want to. However, chicks bought and raised in the winter months will generally require a bit more input from you than spring chicks. There are several considerations to take into account for the optimum chick raising experience, so we are going to take a look at each season and any specific needs your fluffy little friends have. In our recent article, How to Prepare for Chicks, we published a checklist of all the things you need for your chicks. Make sure you read this first. First Things First… [Read More]

4 Diseases Humans Get from Backyard Chickens: Zoonotic Diseases

4 Diseases Humans Get from Backyard Chickens Zoonotic Diseases Blog Cover

In our busy lives we have come to depend a lot on the food industry to supply us with tasty, quick meals. The down side of this is the occasional outbreak of food related illnesses. Sadly, we have become almost ‘used’ to hearing about outbreaks of salmonella, listeria, E.coli etc. They have until recently been linked with the large industrial type factories or processing plants. Last year in the US, there were several smaller outbreaks of salmonella among some backyard chicken keepers. Whether the salmonella was from contaminated meat or eggs we don’t know, but I thought this would be a good time to remind everyone that you can get sick from your chickens if you aren’t careful. The word zoonotic means that the bug/disease can be passed from one species to another. The ones we are going to touch on here are the more common diseases associated with chickens:… [Read More]

How To Prepare For Chicks

How To Prepare For Chicks Blog Cover

If it’s your first time or umpteenth time with baby chicks, it’s always an exciting time! While you are waiting for them to hatch or come by mail, the anticipation builds up to the day of arrival. However, there are several things you need to prepare before your chicks arrive. We are going to spend a little time here helping you prepare with our tips and tricks for those new hatchlings! First, here’s your checklist of items you will need: Brooder, Heat Source, Drinker, Feeder, Feed, Bedding and Vitamins. So now, we will go through each item in detail and get you up to scratch. For more advice see, Bringing Chickens Home For The First Time. Brooder The first thing you need to prepare is a brooder. What is a brooder? The simplest form of a brooder would be a cardboard box. It needs to keep chicks in and predators out. Ideally… [Read More]