Author Archives: Gail Damerow

No Guarantees When Ordering Hatching Eggs by Mail

No Guarantees When Ordering Hatching Eggs by Mail

Eggs that are sold specifically for hatching are called, fittingly enough, hatching eggs. They cost more than eating eggs but come with no guarantee they will hatch. Too many variables are not under the seller’s control. Even eggs laid by your own hens, or otherwise sourced locally, are not guaranteed to hatch. But when hatching… Continue Reading

How to Treat Crossed Beak in Chickens

How to Treat Crossed Beak in Chickens

A chicken’s beak is handy for gathering food, drinking water, and exploring and manipulating objects in the environment. It’s also used for preening, nest building, and engaging in social interactions. Occasionally a chick hatches with a deformed beak or develops a deformity as it grows.   Crossed Beak One common deformity occurs when the upper… Continue Reading

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… Continue Reading

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… Continue Reading

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… Continue Reading

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… Continue Reading