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The Five Most Common Backyard Chicken Flock Diseases

The growing popularity of keeping a backyard flock of poultry for their nutritious eggs, or even their meat, means that people who have no experience with chicken diseases are now faced with learning to diagnose and prevent the spread of pathogens among their flock. Although the backyard is generally a much more healthy living environment than a large commercial farm, owners of a backyard flock need to be familiar with common chicken diseases that might affect their flock.
 
Fowl Pox
 
Although this disease is also called chicken pox, it is not the same as the human disease. Transmitted directly from chicken to chicken or by mosquitoes, fowl pox is a viral disease that can be prevented by mosquito control and vaccination. The dry form of the disease is characterized by warty bumps on the face or legs. In the wet form, lesions form inside the mouth and air passages. Chickens can get both types at the same time. As this is one of the chicken diseases caused by a virus, there is no treatment.
 
Respiratory Diseases
 
There is a wide range of conditions that can cause coughing, sneezing and runny eyes in chickens. Consulting a vet knowledgeable about chicken diseases is the best way to discover what is causing the problems in your flock. Avian flu has respiratory symptoms as well as other viral chicken diseases.
 
Infectious Bronchitis
 
Infectious bronchitis is highly contagious and also affects the respiratory tract, but other symptoms may be present as well. Great difficulty breathing is noticed primarily at night. The chickens will eat and drink less, and egg production drops significantly. If eggs are laid, the shells are rough and the whites watery. This is also a viral disease and there is no treatment. Try to keep the chickens warm and comfortable, avoiding drafts.
 
External Parasites
 
External parasites include fleas that can also infect your household pets. Search for fleas around the head area, looking closely near the comb and eyes. Treat all external parasites with medication developed for chickens. Mites are tiny and may not be noticed, but can spread disease in your flock. Tics also affect birds and can transmit diseases. Lice are another common parasite on chickens.
 
Internal Parasites
 
Internal parasites are less common than external parasites, but young birds with immature immune systems may be particularly susceptible if they are exposed to older birds that carry parasites. Worms are quite common but rarely cause serious problems in the birds. If you notice weight loss or diarrhea, take the bird's feces to a vet for examination. Coccidiosis can be fatal to young birds, so keep the coop clean and dry to help prevent this disease.
 
As with human diseases, the best method of caring for your backyard flock is to practice prevention methods. Thoroughly cleaning the chicken coop, protecting your chickens from exposure to disease, buying vaccinated chicks, and maintaining an overall healthy environment for your backyard flock will go a long way in preventing chicken diseases. Keep any newly acquired chickens isolated from the flock long enough to be sure they are disease free. Most chicken hatcheries vaccinate chicks at one day old, preventing many of the most common virally caused chicken diseases.

ChickenHousesPlus.com carries some medication for your flock.

 


 
 

Day One: Raising Chickens

Have you decided to raise your own chickens? If so, you may be at a complete loss of where to start. Let’s take it from day one, assuming that you’ve already decided to raise your own flock.

Day One: Where to start?

“We can see a thousand miracles around us every day. What is more supernatural than an egg yolk turning into a chicken?” – S. Parkes Cadman

Start first by ensuring you have the proper facility to raise your flock. Sticking a chicken into a cage is NOT proper facility. A crate or cage can be used for temporary purposes but should never be used as a permanent home. Clean the facility, and ensure there is a safe “home”/chicken coop for your grown chickens to retire to.

If you have decided to raise chickens from eggs, make sure you find a reliable source. Investing in an incubator is an idea if you plan on raising chickens in the long run. Otherwise, some places allow you to rent on.

“The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not by smashing it.” – unknown

Lastly, take your time. Rushing things or skimping on details will result in stale eggs, or chickens that won’t last long.

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Raising Chickens from home.

All chickens need the following to be successful, happy, and healthy.

  1. Be sure that whatever area you do provide for your flock, you also provide plenty of safety. A fence is ideal for safety, allows for your flock to roam free but also still keeps them safe from predators. For ideas, tips, and tricks to keeping your flock safe, visit our website today.
  2. It comes as no surprise that a proper diet is needed. In order to keep your flock happy and successful, they must first be healthy. Check with local vets or feed stores to figure out what is the best food for your flock
  3. If you have decided to raise your flock for their eggs, be sure to provide them adequate space to nest in. Also be sure to provide plenty of materials for your chickens to use to create their own nest. A flock should have a home to retire to, such as a well built chicken coop.
 
 

Raising Chickens for Dummies - First Time Chicken Owner Tips

Tips on Raising Backyard Chickens

So suddenly you have found yourself interested in raising chickens. Or maybe this is something that you have been dreaming about for a long time now. In either case, it is extremely important to make sure that you are reading everything you can and learning everything there is to possibly know about raising chickens before you even attempt to begin. There are investment costs to consider along with a lot of hard work and sweat.

Once you do get past the start up costs and all of the learning that you have to undergo, you will be happy to know that full grown chicken are low maintenance. Not only are they easy to take care of but they also offer many benefits to the person raising them. Whether you are in the city or in the country you can have your own little set up of backyard chickens. Chickens are no longer just for the farms.

While the first and only thing that normally comes to mind for people is that their chickens are going to be able to provide the owners with eggs, there are more benefits to having chickens around. Besides making fantastic pets, chickens are excellent with bug control around the yard. Before stepping that big leap and ordering your chickens, there are things to consider and items to purchase.

The first thing you want to do is to make sure that you have enough space for your chicken coop. If you don't, this may be the time to re-arrange your yard to give you the space needed. A coop must have at least two square feet for every chicken you will have in it. It is important to make sure that the coop you purchase will keep the chickens dry, safe from their natural predators, and free from drafts. While you could always make chicken houses yourself, it is much easier and safer to go with one made by experience people or companies.

Although it was mentioned that chickens need little care, there is some time that is involved. You have to make sure that you are always available to look the chickens back into their chicken houses at night and to let them out again in the morning hours. Fresh clean water is also needed on a daily basis along with proper feedings. Speaking of feedings it is important to make sure that the chickens are getting a well balanced diet of whole grains. This includes living grains, kernelled corn, whole grains, pure corn, or a mixture of everything. On top of what you give the chickens they will eat a wide variety of bugs and worms to complete their diet.

If it is time to purchase your first incubator you are going to want to make sure that you are putting extra caution into this. Someone inexperienced could very well end up with something that is not going to do the job right. This is not an area where you want to go too cheap just to save a few bucks. Putting the money here to make sure that the incubators are of high quality is well worth it.

Pay attention to the various incubators out there. The two types are that of the forced-air and the still-air. The still-air incubators do not have a fan and require much more of your attention. They will also hatch a much smaller amount of eggs. If you want a larger number of eggs to hatch then the force-air incubators are the right choice for you. Of course, there is nothing better then a setting hen to do the job. But since setting all the time can take its toll on a hen you may experience problems with that route.

Fertile eggs will require a lot of your attention so make sure that you are doing everything you can to make sure that they have the best shot possible. You have to make sure that you are also turning those eggs daily. The best way to keep track is to mark one end of the egg with an X and the other end with an O

Many people love the idea of simply having free range chickens instead of keeping their chickens locked up in chicken houses. While this is probably the best way for the chickens to live and they certainly enjoy it, you must know that your land situation may not be the best for it. If you live close to a road that is full of traffic then free range chickens are not the way to go. Also, there are many township or city laws that prohibit free range chickens because of the problems it may cause for the neighbors. Before going any further make sure that you are checking your town laws to make sure that you are staying on the right side of the law.

When it comes down to it there is a lot to consider and get prepared for before you bring chickens into your backyard. Once they are there and everything is in place you should have no problems maintaining everything. It will all be worth it in the end when you see all of the eggs you end up with. There will be plenty for your family and for the neighbors as well. And maybe after a while you may decide to start using some of your chickens that you raise as food, in terms of the meat that they provide for humans.

ChickenHousesPlus.com has various breeds of fertile, quail, duck, goose and chicken eggs, Organic Chicken Feed, chicken coops and lots more.  Visit us today!

 
 

What You Need to Hatch Chickens

Raising backyard chickens has become a popular hobby and many people are interested in trying their hand at hatching chickens. Here is some information on what you need to know about the process. One of the first things to do is get in touch with your county extension agent. The county extension is an excellent source of information on hatching chickens. They can offer guidance on equipment, fertilized chicken eggs, and methods, and answer the many questions that are likely to come up.

You will need to get a reliable chicken egg incubator. The incubator is an enclosure with a water pan that maintains the right conditions of temperature, ventilation and humidity. Proper placement and operation of the incubator is one of the keys to success with hatching.

Obtaining quality eggs is another important part of the process. You won’t be able to hatch supermarket eggs because they are not fertile. In order to hatch you need to get fertile eggs from a hatchery or a local poultry farm. There are poultry equipment suppliers who will send fertile eggs free with the purchase of an incubator.

Hatching eggs should be incubated as soon as possible. The ideal time frame would be within a week. Talk to your supplier to see if you can arrange to have the eggs delivered so that you can incubate right away, that is, within a day or two. If you do have to store them, keep them in cases with the large end up in a climate controlled environment, ideally between 50 60 degrees F. and 75 percent humidity.

Modern incubators have electronically controlled temperature settings, but it’s still a good idea to place the incubator where it won’t be subject to temperature fluctuations due to direct sunlight or window drafts. The power cord should be placed so that it won’t be accidentally pulled from the wall.

Make sure your incubator is in good working order. Read the manual thoroughly so that you understand all the controls, displays and features.

The temperature range should be between 99 and 102 degrees. Though you don’t want the temperature to drop too low, overheating the eggs is more harmful than under heating. Expect to see a drop in temperature when you first put the eggs in. Hatchability will be greatly reduced if the temperature remains outside the range of 97 to 103 degrees for an extended time such as several days. If your incubator has a factory pre-set to a recommended temperature, you will not need to worry about making adjustments.

Maintaining the correct moisture level in the incubator is also important. Humidity should be 50 to 55 percent. For the last three days of incubation, it should be raised to 65 percent. Eggs should be turned several times a day. Many incubators have an automatic feature to take care of this for you.

The guideline for how long the incubation period for chicken eggs is 21 days. The last three days are a critical time. The humidity level needs to be increased. Turning should stop. Most of the chicks will probably hatch within a one-day period. Have a plan for what you will do with the chicks at first, whether you are going to leave them in the incubator or remove them to another enclosure.

 

 
 
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