Author Archives: Gail Damerow

Can Backyard Chickens Alleviate Poverty?

Can Backyard Chickens Alleviate Poverty?

Giving chickens to underprivileged women will lift them out of poverty. So says Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is getting a lot of flak from his country’s political elite. But consider this: Chickens were once the savior of poverty-stricken rural Americans, according to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Henry A. Wallace (1933-1940).   In the 1900s,… Read More »

What to Do with Unwanted Roosters

What to Do with Unwanted Roosters

It’s a problem every chicken keeper eventually faces: What to do with unwanted roosters. If you purchase chicks, or hatch your own, you’ll have this problem sooner rather than later. Even sexed chicks that are sold as pullets (young hens) almost invariably include one or more cockerels (young roosters). If you end up with more… Read More »

Your Christmas Goose

Your Christmas Goose

Geese were traditionally harvested when they were the fattest, toward the end of the year and in time for the holidays. Fat is essential for good meat flavor, and rendered goose fat makes a delicious shortening. Any goose breed  is suitable to raise for meat, although the different breeds vary in size. You may want… Read More »

Can You Stop a Rooster From Crowing?

Can You Stop a Rooster From Crowing?

Here’s a common scenario: You cannot legally keep a rooster in your area, so you got sexed chicks that were supposed to be all female. By the time one of them started crowing, and you realized he was a rooster, he had become a beloved member of your family flock. What to do? It’s hard… Read More »

Which Chicken Started Laying Eggs?

Which Chicken Started Laying Eggs?

When you raise hens from baby chicks, finding their first eggs can be exciting. Chickens don’t all start laying at the same time, so you’ll likely find an occasional small egg, then maybe one each day. Before long you’ll be finding multiple eggs daily. But since most chickens don’t lay an egg every day, how… Read More »

The Best Time to Order Chicks

The Best Time to Order Chicks

As spring weather begins to warm in March and April, a lot of people start thinking about ordering chicks. Unfortunately, everyone else has the same idea, and hatcheries rapidly sell out of many breeds during those months. If you place your order in March or April, you may end up waiting a month or more… Read More »

What Are Chick Days?

What Are Chick Days?

Chick Days occur during a brief period in spring when local feed, farm and home stores offer baby chicks — and sometimes ducklings, turkey poults and guinea keets — for sale. Nearly all stores have chicks around Easter time. With the ever-increasing popularity of chicken keeping, some stores start Chick Days in early February and… Read More »

Blue Egg Chicken: Ameraucana or Americana?

Blue Egg Chicken: Ameraucana or Americana?

How do you spell the chicken breed that lays eggs with blue shells: Ameraucana or Americana? If you said Ameraucana, you are correct. So how did this breed get such an oddly spelled name? To answer that question requires reviewing the breed’s origin.   Araucana In 1925 a breed of chicken discovered in Chile was… Read More »