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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
Posted by Suzie OConnor
@ 12:14 PM EDT
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
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
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
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
Posted by Suzie OConnor
@ 11:54 AM EDT
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
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
Posted by Suzie OConnor
@ 11:47 AM EDT
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
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
- Presence of a sticky nasal discharge
- breathing difficulties
- face swelling
- 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
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
- Wet litter
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
- Reduced egg production
- Discharge from the eyes
- Nasal discharge
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
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
Posted by Suzie OConnor
@ 11:45 AM EDT