How to Control Ammonia in the Chicken Coop

How to Control Ammonia in the Chicken Coop

Ammonia is a pungent-smelling gas constantly released by bacteria that decompose chicken droppings. Not only does ammonia smell bad, it’s also a health hazard for you and your chickens. High levels of ammonia in the coop’s air can discourage chickens from eating—affecting the growth rate of young birds and the production of laying hens—and can… Read More »

What is Grit and Why Do Chickens Need It?

What is Grit and Why Do Chickens Need It?

Natural grit consists of a collection of coarse sand, pebbles, and similar small, hard objects chickens eat while pecking on the ground. The grit lodges in the bird’s gizzard, where muscular action grinds the grit together with feedstuffs to break them down for digestion. Over time each piece of grit gets ground up, along with… Read More »

How to Pluck a Goose

How to Pluck a Goose

A century ago the goose was considered among the most desirable species of the farm yard, and while many of its traits are still apparent to those who keep them, their popularity decreased as breeding practices for marketability of poultry advanced. Why raise a goose that will be in its prime for cooking in about… Read More »

Chicken Feed — Whole Grains, Mash, Pellets, or Crumbles?

Chicken Feed — Whole Grains, Mash, Pellets, or Crumbles?

Commercially formulated rations are developed to maximize nutritional benefit based on a flock’s age, beginning with chick starter, then moving up to grower, developer, and lay ration as chickens mature. Meat birds have their own formulas for starter/grower rations and finisher ration intended to induce rapid growth. Aside from different formulas for different age groups,… Read More »

Chicken Keeping: A Time-Honored Tradition

Chicken Keeping: A Time-Honored Tradition

Chicken keeping has a long and successful history, dating back to antiquity. Some 19th century writers would have their readers believe that prior to the Victorian era poultry breeding was not a specialized occupation. It was certainly elevated in status once poultry shows began awarding prizes for quality and for new breeds, but the number… Read More »