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All about Barred Rocks Chickens.

The Barred rocks breed of chicken is casually referred to as "rocks" in breeder circles. They're a cold hardy breed that is ideal for small individual farms. They're also a favorite of small backyard flock owners since they double up as great pets too. Their name comes from the odd greyish rock pattern of their feathers. It's eerily similar to rocks with a barred white pattern. This chicken breed is sometimes also referred to as Plymouth Rock. However, it's better to not confuse these two as the name "Plymouth rock" refers to its extended family and not the barred rock variety by itself. Now let's get to know a little more about this unique breed of chicken.

Barred rocks are very hardy birds and can usually adapt to any situation. They also tend to survive cold weather much better. This makes them the bird of choice for small individual farm owners. This quality is important because poultry in flocks keep warm by sticking together but a few chickens in a coop can't survive without being resistant to cold weather. This breed of chicken has an interesting history too. It was first introduced as a breed in England in 1869 following a long process of cross breeding that involved Dominiques, Cochin, Black Javas and probably a couple of other exotic chicken breeds like the Malay and Dorkings.

The Plymouth Rock breed came from the original Barred rocks breed. All varieties of Plymouth rock were produced by crossing the Barred rock breed with other chicken breeds. The Barred Rock is the first and oldest member of the Plymouth Rock family. This chicken breed carries a combination of some of the best farm chicken qualities like docility, hardiness and broodiness. The barred rock chicken is also excellent at producing meat and eggs and is renowned for being a very docile bird that doesn't create much of a ruckus like other chicken breeds do.

By nature, Barred Rocks live quite long. Though they are prized for their egg laying abilities, they also make excellent meat. The hens usually weigh about 3kg while the cock weighs about 3.4kg to 4.3kg. This is a dual purpose bird and is usually either a good layer or a great source of meat. The trademark feature of the barred rock is its bright red face and red earlobes. A single comb of average size marks their crown and their beaks are tipped bright yellow. This breed is usually known for its excellent temparament and docility. They are friendly birds that get along really well with people.

ChickenHousesplus.com carry a wide range of fertile chicken eggs, fertile duck eggs and chicken coops. 

Since Barred rocks are prized for both their meat and eggs, the latter is given more importance. A hen will usually be allowed to live out much of its egg laying days before it is taken for its meat. However, barred rock hens that don't lay many eggs are often consumed as meat very early. The eggs laid by this breed are brownish pink in color and the number of eggs a barred rock hen lays is directly dependent on the strain it comes from. ChickenHousesPlus.com has a large variety of fertile chicken eggs of different breeds, duck eggs, guinea eggs, bantam eggs and chicken egg incubators. We are a one stop shop for all of your backyard chicken needs

What is the Ameraucana Chicken About?

The Ameraucana chicken, which is also spelled out as the Americana
chicken in some cases, is one of the more interesting chickens to grow. It has one of the more attractive designs of any chicken to take a look at.

The Ameraucana chicken was originated out of Chile. It is not clear as to how early the chickens were found but they are believed to be from the early part of the twentieth century. They were first explained to the civilized world in that period of time. The Mapuche Indians of Chile had been raising them for a while. The Ameraucana chicken was eventually harvested and brought into many other parts of the world, particularly the United Kingdom.

The American Poultry Association officially recognizes this breed of chicken in the Miscellaneous class. This is primarily due to its color considerations.

The comb on the chicken is a pea comb. This features a series of ridges that go from the beak to the top of the chicken's head. The middle ridge is higher up than the rest.

The tail will be positioned at a unique angle. It is about forty-five degrees over a horizontal pattern.

The wattles are not very visible. The chickens do have wattles in most cases but they will not be easy to notice.

The earlobes on the Ameraucana chicken are red. They have a pale appearance on the females in this breed.

The color of the chicken can vary. It can be brown, black or blue in most cases. The males tend to have more of an orange tint to them. A silver appearance may be found on a few of these chickens as well. The designs will vary by each chicken.

The feet are white on the bottom. The shanks are also blue and gray in color. The eyes have a red-brown tone to them.

The size of the Ameraucana chicken is relatively small when compared to other chickens. A rooster can be six to seven pounds in weight. A hen will be around five to six pounds.

This breed is a dual purpose breed that is used for eggs and meat alike. It is best suited for egg production though. It can handle about 250 eggs in the course of a single year.

The eggs are especially unique. The chicken will produce eggs that are often blue or green in color.

The meat that is produced off of the chicken will be very scrumptious. It is often compared in quail meat in terms of its flavor.

Finally, the chicken can be calm and quiet and works well in confined spaces. There are some cases where a chicken might become hostile to people who try to handle it. It may also become tough on other chickens. Some males may even try to rape other hens. It is often best to keep this chicken in confinement. It will at least be calm in this environment.

You can find fertile Ameraucana eggs at ChickenHousesPlus.com. We offer chicken eggs, bantam eggs, duck and guinea eggs and even incubators for all kinds of eggs. We offer everything you need in one stop.v

All about the Black Australorp Chickens

One of the best egg laying chicken is the black australop developed in Australia. Here keepers required a breed with the ability to lay consistently regardless of season or weather pattern. It is considered a large breed chicken with hens that weigh an average of 7 pounds and roosters weigh about 8 to 9 pounds.

They have their origin from Australia where they were bred from black orpingtons from England hence the name Austal for Austarlai and Orp for Orpington. It was bred as a dual purpose or utility purpose bird to provide both meat and eggs.

They have black pretty feathers that sometimes take a green shimmers when there is sunlight. Although smaller in size, they gave the ability to produce over two hundred and fifty brown eggs per hen each year. Upon maturation they will weigh about five pounds and have a white pinkish skin.

Most chicken enthusiast understands the value of having these birds in their farm. Although not very common people have every reason to look for them since they have the ability to provide consistent income when well bred. Their white pinkish color and small body size is what makes them different from the black jersey giants.

This breed has a sweet, calm, dignified and docile temperament and they do not mind being confined apart from being somewhat shy. As dual purpose birds they are renowned for their sweet and excellent meat. For individuals thinking of rearing chicken for subsistent reason, then this is the breed to go for.

As if that is not all, these birds are excellent brooders and have the ability to sit on eggs and care diligently for them until they hatch. Since they are meat birds, people can slaughter the old ones for a great delicacy. It is considered as a fairly rare bird and breed despite being an all round chicken. However, there are many reasons why many people are now opting to have the bird in their farm or home.

This is without doubt an all rounded bird and has the ability to endure extremely harsh weather conditions and especially winter season excellent for laying and brooding chicken. Additionally, they are not prone to flying too high above the sky making them best to be reared in a fenced location. With these birds in the compound, there is no need to worry about them escaping due to this inability to fly too high.

Ensure that you are able to take them home as soon as they arrive and be sure to follow whatever directions send by the hatchery. These are very wonderful chickens for people with desire to keep an all rounded bird that is easy to keep and maintain within a home.

To get some black australorp, there are numerous hatcheries online that can send people one day old chick upon order and request. The hatcheries will ship them through email as perishable items since they will not need food or water during the initial couple of days. They get their nutrition from the eggs making it possible to ship them over a given distance.v

Respiratory Disease In Chickens

Respiratory disease in chickens is a common worldwide occurrence with the most common season for these diseases being in the winter months. This is better noted in the temperate poultry-producing areas. There are quite a number of viruses and bacteria responsible for these diseases, as well as some other factors which may aggravate or set the right conditions for these diseases to occur. Some of these predisposing conditions include poor ventilation, ammonia and dust.

The bacteria responsible for such diseases include Ornithobacterium rhinotracheale and E. coli, while the viruses include Lentogenic Newcastle disease virus and the Avian pneumovirus. The mortality rate from these respiratory diseases in chicken may be 5-10 percent, sometimes even high if the condemned birds are included. Below are some common respiratory disease in chickens and their symptoms.

1. Mycoplasma Gallisepticum Infection

Mycoplasma Gallisepticum (MG) is a bacterium responsible for the onset of the chronic respiratory disease in chickens, and also infectious sinusitis in other poultry and birds. It is transmitted through carrier eggs, with most commercial flocks being free from this bacterium. However, it can be introduced to a flock if it is mixed with carrier flock.

Symptoms of Mycoplasma Gallisepticum

There are a number of obvious signs and symptoms of MG. Others are not so obvious and especially in young flock. Sometimes, the chicken may also show no outward signs at all. Some of these signs and symptoms include:

- Coughing
- Presence of a sticky nasal discharge
- breathing difficulties
- sneezing
- face swelling
- airsacculitis
- Presence of a foamy secretion in the eyes
- lowered appetite
- lowered body weight
- A decrease in egg production

In young poultry, you may notice rattling, sneezing, and sniffling. There is also some stunted growth of the chicken when they get infected with MG. As the infection gets worse, you may notice wattles and a blue comb, meaning that there is very limited oxygen supply to the tissues. This is a strong indicator of a severe infection that compromises the chicken's life.

MG bouts are commonly triggered by weather changes, a change in the home of the chicken, poor diet, lack of water, and any other factor that increases stress in the chickens. Avoiding stress for your poultry may reduce the chances of this infection.

2. Avian RhinoTracheitis (ART)

This is a viral disease, also referred to as the swollen head syndrome, SHS, thick head, or facial cellulitis. It is caused by a Paramyxoviridae family pneumovirus. The mortality rate from this disease is anywhere between 1-10 percent.

Signs and symptoms

- Swollen sinuses
- decreased appetite
- Swollen tracheitis

In broilers and their breeders you may notice red swollen eyes, sneezing, face scratching using the legs, head swelling that is progressive, and lowered egg production in the breeders.

3. Infectious Bronchitis (IB)

This is one of the most common chicken infections caused by a Coronavirus which varies antigenically. The depth of this infection varies depending on a number of factors including the birds' age, virulence of the virus, vaccination done prior to infection, maternal immunity, and presence of other complicating infections. The mortality rate from this disease is anywhere between 0-25 percent.

Signs and symptoms

- Loss of appetite
- Depression
- coughing
- Gasping
- Dyspnoea
- Huddling
- Diarrhea
- Wet litter
- Diuresis

4. Infectious LaryngoTracheitis (ILT)

This is a viral infection in chicken caused by a herpesvirus that varies in pathogenicity. It has a mortality rate of 10-20 percent but this may sometimes be as high as 70 percent. The causative virus can be spread through air and is highly resistant when outside a host. However, it is quite susceptible to disinfectants. Mixing and moving a flock is one of the major predisposing factors.

Signs and symptoms

- Gasping
- Coughing
- Dyspnoea
- Reduced egg production
- Discharge from the eyes
- Nasal discharge
- Sinusitis

Treatment for respiratory infections and diseases in chicken

Most of the infections caused by bacteria can be treated using antibiotics. However, for the viral infections and diseases, there may be no cure. All you may need to do is to control the secondary bacterial infections. Some common treatment options include use of Agrimycin®-343 Soluble Powder , Tylan Soluble Powder, and Lincomycin-Spectinomycin. Sodium salicylate may be used in acute infection of IB, but only when permitted.

The bottom line is that you should keep your poultry houses clean and well ventilated to reduce possibilities of infection. Make sure to also vaccinate your poultry on time, where applicable, and also use broad spectrum antibiotics and sulfonamides to treat bacterial infections. This will help you easily get rid of respiratory disease in chickens.v
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