Why are my hens eating their eggs

Why Are My Chickens Eating Their Eggs!? Causes & Cures of Egg Eating Hens

Sometimes chickens eat their own eggs. Who can blame them? Eggs taste delicious. Still, it’s a little counterproductive to your morning breakfast. So why do my hens eat their eggs? And what can I do to convince the bird brains to stop? Why do chickens eat their own eggs? Your chickens may be just be stupid. You can’t fix stupid. Still, it’s worth reading on just in case. They may be calcium deficient. Chickens crave calcium if they don’t have enough in their diet. They may be thirsty. If your chickens do not have enough water they may look to the […]

Molting in Chickens: Why, When, and What to Do!

Naked chickens are quite ugly and so naturally one is a bit disconcerted when your chickens start to lose their feathers. Don’t panic and start pulling your own hair out. Instead, sit down and make note of several things. Molting, which is the process of shedding old feathers and getting new ones, is a natural process that chickens go through on a regular basis. First, let’s make sure it’s not some other sickness or condition. Chickens start molting, or losing their feathers, at their head and neck. Then the molt moves down the back, breast, and tail. If your flock […]

Worming Your Chickens – With What? When? How Often?

Worms can be a big issue for your chickens. Worms are typically “endoparasites” which means they are inside your chicken as opposed to “ectoparasites” which are parasites on the outside of your chickens – such as lice or mites. There are multiple types of worms. Some worms, such as hair worms are very skinny and hard to see with the naked eye. Other worms like the Gapeworm are found in the lungs and windpipe of the chickens. As you can guess, this causes some major health issues. Not to mention it’s just gross. So let’s tackle this problem! How do […]

Are my chickens cold hardy? Should I heat my coop?

Chickens are useless when they are frozen solid… …and it’s not like you can just set them in front of the wood stove and thaw them out like you can with your fingers. This is why a lot of people ask questions like, “Should I heat my coop?” Good question. Simply put, you should not heat your coop. Here’s why: I’ll start with an example. Say the weather starts turning cold. You go outside one day in your T-shirt and shiver because you are cold. You buy a sweater and put it on. A month later you go outside and […]

Ducklings Unable to Walk? Time to Learn About Niacin Deficiency in Ducks & Ducklings

What is Niacin? Niacin is an essential vitamin required for proper duck health and development (such as bone growth). Waterfowl need more of it than chickens since ducks do not convert feed into niacin as easily. Therefore they need more of it in their diets. If there is a deficiency of niacin in your ducklings diet, some complications may occur. How do I know if my ducks have a niacin deficiency? As of yet, your smartphone can’t quite do everything and, as unfortunate as it is, sometimes you still need to use your little noggin of yours in diagnosing your […]

Mareks Disease in Chickens: Symptoms & Prevention

What is Mareks disease? Mareks disease is a virus that is very common and highly contagious to other chickens. On rare occasions quail and domestic turkeys in close proximity to affected chickens can contract the disease. Wherever there are chickens, you are likely to encounter it in some form. It can survive in exposed environments – such as the soil of a chicken run – for up to 5 months, possibly even years. It’s important to clean and disinfect your coop before housing new chickens (see Why You Should Clean Out Your Coop Before Your Baby Chicks Arrive). Mareks Disease […]

Troubleshooting – When Your Chicks Are Dying and You Don’t Know What To Do!

You got your chicks and you think you have everything all figured out.. yet you keep losing a couple every day. What’s going on?! Keep calm and let’s double check several things that may be wrong. There are 3 main things that chicks need: Heat, water, & feed. Let’s explore each basic need in detail: Heat. The heat in the brooder should be precisely between 90-95 degrees. Not hotter and not colder. It doesn’t work to just put your hand in the brooder and say, “Yea, it’s hot.” Put a thermometer in the bottom of the brooder and keep tabs […]

How do I tell if my ducks or chickens are laying? Here are signs of a productive laying hen

It’s the old adage, if you don’t work – you don’t eat. It’s usually true for animals on a finely tuned, efficiently run farm. Feed bills can get quite large quickly – unlike your budget which seems to shrink slowly – and you can’t afford to feed chickens that aren’t laying. This means they are eating and not producing. What you do with layers that aren’t producing is up to you. You can include them in your family’s favorite recipe or gift your old, friendly hen to the neighbor kids (without their parents noticing) – it’s up to you. However, […]

How Do I Get Orange Egg Yolks?

You just bought some layer baby chicks online and you’re excited because this means you’ll have your own supply of fresh eggs right in your backyard! This means you control every step of the egg manufacturing process. You are in charge of the feed, the factories (or chickens), and the exports (eggs). You got a monopoly on the whole system. Now, you just have to manage it properly. One of the benefits of your own backyard eggs is a healthier egg with darker yolks. Ever see those orange yolks? Yea! It’s neat isn’t it? Here’s how you get orange egg […]

Why You Should Clean Out Your Coop Before Your Baby Chicks Arrive

You are excited because you just ordered some adorable baby chicks or ducklings and you can’t wait to get them into your coop. Ugh! Why can’t you get the chicks right now, overnight, in a split second?! This waiting is a pain in the neck. We’re not arguing with you but there are some things to do while you wait. Clean out your coop and brooder! It’s important! Here’s why: Chicks do not have developed immune systems. Chicks develop immunity as they are exposed to small amounts of viruses and bacteria. It’s like getting a vaccination. The problem is that […]

How Many Roosters Should I Buy?

When you go to buy baby chicks you may be tempted to buy little chicken families with one happy chicken mom and one happy chicken dad. You are imagining them starting a nice family in your backyard, establishing a coop, and eventually building on and having happy little chick families. However, it’s important to remember that chicken relationships don’t operate the same as humans and that too many roosters can be devastating to your coop. How many are too many? It depends. If all you want is your own little egg factory in your backyard, you don’t really need roosters. […]

What to Feed Guinea Fowl

See Also… Preparing for, raising, and releasing French guineas Guinea fowl can be an extremely helpful addition to your homestead since they forage relentlessly for ticks and other pests. They also prefer seeds and typically leave established plants in your garden alone! (see our day old french guinea keets for sale). Since guineas are such great foragers, free ranging guineas will be almost self sufficient and practically disease free. But they still have specific dietary needs. Here’s what to feed French Guineas (which mature faster than your typical guinea fowl): What to Feed French Guinea Fowl: Day Old Keets – […]

What to Feed Chickens – Layers & Broilers – Chicks to Adults

It’s the most common question posed to me as I answer the phone so I figured that an article in the FAQ’s section might be in order. Chickens are omnivores, meaning they will eat meat and vegetables. Chicken diets are a little more complicated than just throwing heads of lettuce and ground beef at your flock, however. Here’s the scoop… Things to Know First things first! There are three different forms of feed. Pellets are largest, crumbles are smaller, and mash is the smallest form of chicken feed. The form of feed you use is typically up to you. Feeder […]

Hen Pecking… It doesn’t just happen to husbands

A lot of customers are asking how to treat hen pecking or how to prevent it in the first place. It’s a little more complicated than just treating wounded chickens (although that is needed). You should find the root problem of your chickens nasty behavior. Sometimes chickens just have bad personalities and they need to be culled. Most often, however, your flock is stressed because of living conditions like too little space in the pen or feeders, high coop temperatures, or improper diets. Here’s a list of common causes sourced from the Virginia Cooperative Extension article I listed below. For […]

Pasty Butt, Pasted Vent, Pasting Up: Symptoms, Cures, and Prevention

First of all, what is Pasty Butt? Pasty butt is exactly what is sounds like. It’s when the vent of the chick is blocked with dried poop which makes the chick unable to properly perform #2’s (and #1’s since chickens do both at the same time.) This can cause death if left untreated for long enough so pasty butt is nothing to mess (excuse the pun) around with. First things first, chicks have a “belly button” where they have absorbed the yolk. It is not unusual for them to have dried residue on and around their belly button. Don’t get […]

How do I get my ducks to lay eggs where I want them to?

Female ducks look for secure places that are out of the sun, wind, rain, snow, and other elements to lay their eggs. You can convince them to lay eggs at a particular place by providing them with a place that meets those requirements. The ideal egg laying box is at least 15″ x 15″ in size that has three walls, a roof, and a low front that keeps the bedding in the box. Use straw, rice hulls, or wood shavings (don’t use cedar) as bedding. To give the hen a little motivation you can lay a fake egg or golf […]

Curled Toes? Splayed Legs? Time to Learn About Vitamin B12 (Riboflavin) Deficiency in Chicken & Ducks

Important Note: Sometimes spraddled or splayed legs are caused by slippery surfaces the chick is housed on. Do not keep young chicks on smooth newspaper, cardboard, metal, or bare plastic since their muscles are not developed enough to keep from doing splits. If you are reasonably confident that’s not the issue, read on… What is Vitamin B12 deficiency? Vitamin B12 deficiency is more common than 50 years ago since modern day hybrids are bred to grow faster than the heritage breeds. It’s a condition where the bird is not eating enough vitamins causing a deficiency which can lead to other health problems. […]

Coccidiosis in Chickens: Symptoms, Cures, & Prevention

Your mom always said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Well, I can’t speak for your mom and her proverbs but I know that my mom always said that. And, as usual, she is right. But before we jump to the end of my blog post about coccidiosis, let’s start at the beginning. Patience is a virtue you know. Oh? You’re mom always said that too? Anyway…  First of all, what is Coccidiosis? Coccidosis (Cock-si-dee-oh-sis), commonly called Cocci, is microscopic parasite that attaches itself to the lining of your chickens intestines or cecal (small tubes attached […]