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 […]

Living In A Plastic World

I’m ashamed to admit it… …but I’ve listened to some sugary pop song awhile back that said something like, “Living in a Barbie world, life in plastic, it’s fantastic” or some senseless dribble like that. It occurred to me that we are living in a plastic world where people are unaware of the reality behind their creature comforts. For example: I am the proud owner a 1989 Chevy cargo van. Awhile back I decided that since it’s as big as a billboard I might as well use it as such. I dug some cans of forgotten house paint from the […]

What are the differences between Jumbo Guinea Fowl and French Guinea Fowl?

What are the differences between Jumbo Guinea Fowl and French Guinea Fowl? Good question! The short answer is: none. The long answer: Guinea fowl are popular in France as a source of meat. So the French have done to the guinea what the Americans have done with the chicken: Refine and produce bloodlines of large guinea fowl specifically for meat production. Jumbo guineas and French guineas are, for all purposes, the same thing. The bloodlines may be different but weights and characteristics are nearly identical. In fact, the terms “French” and “Jumbo” are used interchangeably. There is an understandable tendency […]

Why Don’t We Give Ducks Vaccinations?

This is a common question people ask. How come we offer Mareks Vaccinations for many of our chickens but none for our ducks? Good question! Here’s the deal: Ducks generally have hardier immune systems than chickens. They have a high body temperature of 107 degrees which makes it nearly impossible for common chicken diseases to survive in the duck’s body. It’s like when you get sick, your body heats up to fever pitch to try and kill diseases. Ducks simply don’t struggle with the same diseases that chickens do. Plus, ducks spend a large majority of their time in the […]

Where Can I Buy Older Chickens?

We have quite a few calls with people wondering if we sell older chickens like started pullets. Due to the nature of how mail order poultry works (click here for an introduction on how mail order poultry works), we do not ship older chickens – only day old poultry. But there are some options for finding older chickens. First, check BackyardChickens.com. It’s probably the biggest forum devoted to poultry on the internet so it has a huge base of users. It’s not a great format for shopping chickens and I get frustrated often trying to sort through all the listings. […]

Fact Check: Can Guinea Fowl Digest Ticks?

  I’ve had several customers ask me if guinea fowl actually digest ticks. They claim that they heard from their neighbors nephews cousin’s mother (which is where all reliable information comes from) that guinea fowl eat ticks but that the ticks pass right through the digestive system of the guineas since the tick’s hard shell prevents it from being digested. This is untrue. Here’s why: Many customers report buying French Guineas and soon thereafter noticing a huge decrease in tick sightings. If the ticks pass right through the digestive system without being harmed, why would there be a decrease in […]

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 […]

Book Review: Duck Eggs Daily by Lisa Steele

  Here’s the summary: If you are going to raise ducks, you should buy this book. It’s a thorough but not exhausting educational resource for the average duck enthusiast. It’s full of tips and tidbits that could possibly save your duck’s life and certainly save you some mistakes on your duck growing journey. Ducks are fun and full of character. They are mischievous, clumsy, and comical additions to any farmyard. My ducks would always get so happy when I got the hose out that they would run in circles quacking like they just won the lottery. It made my wife […]

What Do These Colored Bands on My Duck’s Legs Mean? Male and Female Duck Identification

We identify male and female ducks for you by taping colored pieces of tape to their legs. The tape will fall off by itself in 1-2 weeks. It won’t harm your ducks if they happen to eat it. Our color code is below (color shades may vary): Pekins (Standard Size), Rouens, Khaki Campbells, Mallards, Cayugas, Welsh Harlequins, White Crested, & Buffs Males: Purple Females: Green Chocolate, Blue, Black, and Fawn & White, & Assorted Runners Males: Black Females: White Jumbo Pekins Males: Red Females: Yellow Save

What's the diff between hybrid and heritage breeds

What is the Difference Between Hybrids & Heritage Breeds?

This is something that a lot of people ask about. I am definitely not an expert in genetics but I can go over the basics and how they affect you. Heritage Breeds: A heritage breed is a breed that can breed “true.” This means that the offspring will be the same as the parents. So if you have a male and a female Black Australorp, you will end up with Black Australorp chicks. Let’s use a familiar example. If you breed a Labrador Retriever with a Labrador Retriever you will get Lab puppies. The same goes with chickens. If you […]

Our Sexed Chick Guarantee

Here’s the deal, some breeds are easy to sex since their colors giveaway their gender. Some hybrids are sort of challenging but an experienced eye can wing sex them with a good amount of confidence. Some heritage breeds are vent sexed and are dang hard to tell apart unless you know what you are doing (and even then mistakes happen). Since this is the case, we thought it was necessary to spell out our sexed chick guarantee. Here it is (this applies to all sexed poultry we sell. It obviously does not apply to breeds available only in straight run): […]

Which Layer Chicken Fits My Needs?

Which layer chicken fits my needs? This cute little graphic gives a general idea which one of our breeds to look for. Here’s a quick link list to our day old baby chicks for sale… Eggs: White Leghorns, ISA Browns, Amberlinks, Noble Browns Pets: Silkies, Light Brahmas Both: Buff Orpingtons, Black Australorps, Black Jersey Giants, Araucana Ameraucanas, Barred Rocks.

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 […]

The Egg Float Test – Why Do Bad Eggs Float? – How to Tell if Your Eggs are Fresh

So here’s the deal… You can totally tell if an egg is good, going bad, or rotten simply by placing it in a bowl of fresh water. Egg shells are actually porous (even though they seem hard) and the egg can lose moisture and absorb oxygen as it ages, making the air sac in the egg expand and become more buoyant. A rotting egg will also produce gasses which make the egg float. A floating egg is a stale or rotting egg and should be discarded or thrown at someone you strongly dislike. Here’s a diagram of this simple test:

Our List of Trouble ZIP Codes

We have a running list of ZIP codes which produce frequent casualties due to delayed shipments and limited hours. However, delivery performance can depend on time of season and other factors. This means the following zip codes may work just fine but definitely can cause trouble. The following zip codes have caused issues in the past with chick deliveries: 59865 (Saint Ignatius, MT) 84078 (Vernal, UT) 78114 (Floresville, TX)

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, […]

Can I feed my chicks medicated feed if I got them vaccinated?

Can I feed my chicks medicated starter feed if I got them vaccinated? Good question! In our helpful pamphlet that we usually send people before they receive their baby chicks, we state that if you got your chicks vaccinated you shouldn’t give them medicated chick starter since this will counteract the vaccines. This is true only if you give them vaccinations for coccidiosis since the medicated feed has Amprollium in it which is a treatment for coccidiosis. If you vaccinate them for cocci and then feed them medications for cocci, the two treatments will counteract each other and render each […]

Angel Wing in Ducks – Symptoms, Causes, & Cures

Hi there! This blog post is to address a funky condition in ducks known as “Angel Wing.” Typically angel wings are not a bad condition to have unless you’re a duck. In that case you already have wings and so angel wings are a bit redundant and will cause issues. First, a picture showing the condition (Credit where credit is due – Source: Cengland0: own work. Find it here on commons.wikipedia) Symptoms of Angel Wing in Ducks In case the photo isn’t clear enough, I will describe Angel Wing using words: Angel wing is a condition where the last joint […]

Why You Should Strongly Consider Buying A Box of Quackers (Ducks)

I would be remiss to neglect mentioning a favorite book of mine, Duck Eggs Daily, by Lisa Steele (author of the well known “Fresh Eggs Daily” and a blogger at FreshEggsDaily.com). It’s an incredibly helpful book that is written in a way which informs newcomers without overwhelming them. Why should you buy baby ducks? Because ducks are downright awesome. (By the way, we have baby ducks for sale by mail order. Buy as few as 2!) But don’t just take it from me, here’s why: Ducks are healthier than chickens. Interesting fact: Ducks maintain a high body temperature of 107 […]

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 […]

8 Things to Remember While Building Your Chicken Coop This Spring

Winter gives you time to stand at the window, to stare out at the snow, sip coffee, and plan your next chicken coop in your head. Then your wife comes along and tells you to stop thinking. “It’s dangerous when you get that look in your eye.” “What look?” I try to act innocent, feigning ignorance. I’m a natural at it. “You’re thinking about something. Stop it! Last time you thought about something you started building a camper in the barn. It’s still not done.” “I’m taking my time and doing it right. And of course I’m not thinking about […]