Category Archives: Chicken Care

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 »

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 »

How to Trim a Chicken’s Toenails

How to Trim a Chicken’s Toenails

A chicken’s toenails constantly grow, just like a human’s. Unlike a human, though, a chicken can often keep its own toenails trimmed back by scratching the ground while looking for things to eat.   Scattering a small amount of scratch grain or some mealworms on the ground encourages chickens to scratch and keep their nails… Read More »

Which Chicken Breeds Make the Best Broody Hens?

Which Chicken Breeds Make the Best Broody Hens?

Some chicken breeds make great broody hens. Others are iffy. Still others are completely unreliable. And some never go broody at all.   What does broody mean and why does it matter? Broodiness, in a nutshell, is maternal instinct. After a hen has accumulated a nestful of eggs, maternal instinct tells her to keep the… Read More »