Author Archives: Gail Damerow

Black Laced Red Wyandotte or Black Laced Golden Wyandotte?

Black Laced Red Wyandotte or Black Laced Golden Wyandotte?

Black laced red is a relatively new variety of Wyandotte. In appearance the chickens are somewhat similar to black laced golden Wyandottes, which have been standardized as “golden laced Wyandottes” since 1888. To understand the nomenclature, as well as the differences between black laced red and black laced golden Wyandottes, let’s take a brief look… Read More »

The Mother of All Chickens

The Mother of All Chickens

A team of British avian paleontologists believe they have discovered the mother of all chickens — and ducks. They have identified the remains of the world’s oldest modern bird, dating to about 66.7 million years ago.   The Wonderchicken Researchers call the bird the Wonderchicken. Its formal name is Asteriornis maastrichtensis.   Asteriornis is combined… Read More »

The COVID-19 Pandemic Triggers a Run on Chickens

The COVID-19 Pandemic Triggers a Run on Chickens

The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered a run on chickens, causing people to ponder the age-old question: Which came first, the chicken or the egg?   The Columbia Missourian votes for eggs: “Panic-buying the eggs came before panic-buying the chickens this year, though people have been doing both.”   But Newsweek opts for chickens, saying, “Many… Read More »

Mallard Ducks Choose a Mate by Drake’s Bill Color

Mallard Ducks Choose a Mate by Drake’s Bill Color

The color of a Mallard’s bill indicates its state of physical and reproductive health. Therefore, Mallard ducks can choose a healthy mate by assessing the drake’s bill color. Strange, but true. Here’s how it works:   Carotenoids and Free Radicals Carotenoids influence the red, yellow, and orange hues of a duck’s feathers, skin, legs, and… Read More »

12 Reasons for Low Fertility in Chickens and Other Poultry

12 Reasons for Low Fertility in Chickens and Other Poultry

  Like all reproductive qualities of poultry, fertility has low heritability. However, many factors other than inheritance come into play. Most of them are related to either mechanical issues or faulty management. Let’s look at the 12 most common reasons for low fertility in chickens and other poultry.   Mechanical Issues 1. Comb Style Single… Read More »

Successfully Transition Poultry From the Brooder to Outdoors

Successfully Transition Poultry From the Brooder to Outdoors

Successfully transitioning young poultry from their brooder to permanent outdoor facilities requires following a few common-sense guidelines. First determine that the birds are ready to move from their brooder, taking into consideration such factors as how well feathered the birds are, and outdoor temperatures during both daytime and nighttime. Degree of Feathering Fully-feathered poultry are… Read More »

Difference Between Production Chickens and Show Chickens

Difference Between Production Chickens and Show Chickens

Production chickens are efficient producers of eggs or meat. “Efficient” means outputs are maximized, while inputs are minimized. In other words, production chickens are bred to produce more eggs or meat while eating less feed. The main difference between production chickens and show chickens is that efficient production is not a consideration in breeds developed… Read More »

Gathering Goose Eggs — If You Can Find Them

Gathering Goose Eggs — If You Can Find Them

Geese are not particularly prolific layers, as poultry go. The top producers might lay about four dozen eggs per year, which gives goose eggs their high value.   The large white eggs are most often hatched to raise goslings for holiday roast goose. The eggs are also prized for creating craft items such as decorative… Read More »