How To Hatch Eggs With A Broody Hen

How To Hatch Eggs With A Broody Hen Blog Cover

As springtime rolls around again, we will all doubtless see articles on how to break a broody hen, but why should you need to? A hen is the ultimate top choice in incubation and rearing of chicks, so why do many people choose to not have broody hens around? The motherhood instinct is triggered by the increasing daylight. A hormone shift causes the hen to ‘set a nest’, she will then lay an egg daily – she may even steal from a nearby nest until she believes she has enough to sit on. Then, she will sit on those eggs for twenty one days until the chicks emerge. This article is about my experience with them and some do’s and don’ts of the broody hen. Introduction to Broody Chickens Certain breeds have a tendency towards broodiness – Cochins, Orpingtons, Silkies and Australorps come to mind, but there are several others…. [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]

How To Care For Older and Disabled Chickens: Part 2

How To Care For Older and Disabled Chickens Part 2 Blog Cover

Caring for old and disabled chickens is a much neglected, yet important topic. I’m proud to say that last summer we covered the story or three incredible disabled chickens: Sparkle, Zinnia and Myrtle. Since publishing the article I regularly receive comments and emails from people who want to hear about Zinnia’s progress and how she’s doing. So I decided to reach out to Megan and invite her onto my blog so she can tell Zinnia’s story. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did. So without further ado, over to Megan. In everyone’s life you’ll have a few chickens that will change the way you see the world. I’ve been lucky enough to have two. There isn’t a success story about Zinnia without the love and loss of my first house chicken Ginny- which is where it all started. Ginny was a sassy Buff Orpington Easter Egger… [Read More]