UCP Blog 031: Avian Influenza & Mandatory Poultry Registrations in N.C.

Bird Flu - photo by Adam Burt

Bird Flu – photo by Adam Burt


The United States has been ablaze with avian influenza this year.  The disease swept like a wildfire across state borders engulfing evermore territory and victims in its path.  Nearly 50 million chickens (and other poultry) have burned as a result of avian flu – first with fever and later in incinerators after being part of mass cullings aimed to slow the disease’s spread.

How to stop this disease is a matter of significant debate.  One state has taken an aggressive stance to avian flu and is ruffling the feathers of some backyard poultry keepers.   Continue reading

UCP Episode 061: Should you get Fall/Winter Chicks? A Discussion with Tyler Danke of Purely Poultry

Chicks In A Box

Springtime is the season most usually associated with getting started with baby chicks. However, autumn (and even winter) can be viable seasons for you to get a jump start on next year’s flock.  There are a few marked advantages to getting fall chicks instead of waiting for springtime.

Tyler Danke, owner and operator of Purely Poultry joins me on the Urban Chicken Podcast this week to share his insight on fall/winter chicks.

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UCP Guest Blog 003: Why Some Eggs Fail to Hatch by Jordan Walker


Hatching Chick

Jordan Walker has always been passionate for animals. He loves to share his knowledge and expertise about the animal kingdom through pet-related blogs. He leads the content team of Coops and Cages. In this article, he shares the reasons why some eggs fail to hatch.  

Eggs that fail to hatch can be a really great disappointment. Aside from being a waste of time, sometimes, it can be a very costly experience. In order to avoid future losses, it will help to identify the problem from the very beginning. Here, we will discuss all the possible causes of hatch failures.

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UCP Blog 030: Celery – It’s the Enemy of Chickens

Celery Stalks - photo by TheDeliciousLife

Celery Stalks – photo by TheDeliciousLife

Celery.  It seems like such an innocuous and unassuming vegetable.  Don’t be fooled though by its innocent demeanor.  This fibrous crudite is actually a sinister killer of backyard chickens everywhere.

Just two days ago – celery almost spirited away a hen owned by an acquaintance here in Boise.  This is how I helped this chicken keeper triumph over a celery attack on her flock.

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UCP Episode 060: Listener Q & A Session #6

Portrait of a Broody Hen

Portrait of a Broody Hen

On this episode of the Urban Chicken Podcast, I answer a new set of listener questions on a variety of topics.  How long after your husband treats your lawn with a chemical weed and feed can you safely put a flock of birds on it?  What do you do when you have multiple hens go broody at the same time? How do you protect your flock from predators?

There is tons to learn in this episode – including a brief look at a news story involving chickens which sounds more like an Austin Power’s movie plot.   Continue reading

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UCP Blog 029: Paving the Road to Hell…

The Road to Hell - photo by Paul Stevenson

The Road to Hell – photo by Paul Stevenson

It has been a rough week and a half here at the Urban Chicken Podcast headquarters. My Grandma Margaret always liked to remind people (and by “people” I mean anyone whenever the opportunity arose) that “the road to hell is paved with good intentions.”  The saying always seemed to me to most aptly apply to those individuals who talk big, but take no actions towards their intentions. My predicament these past few days is better described as the best of intentions (with actions to back them) completely derailed. Continue reading

UCP Blog 028: 4H Chicken Costume Contest & My Niece

Lydia & her Cockerel Nimbus

Lydia & Cockerel Nimbus

Contrary to a common misunderstanding, you don’t have to be “100% country” or live on a farm for your children to be active in 4H.  Truly, 4H clubs are located everywhere – including very large cities across the country.

My niece Lydia, is a perfect example.  She lives in a very urban area and yet she has been participating as a “Cloverbud” (youngest rank for a 4H member) for the past three years and loving it.  Lydia is pictured above with one of her bantam Wyandotte cockerels, named Nimbus (yes, after a Harry Potter broomstick) in the 4H poultry costume contest at the Western Idaho Fair this past week.  Nimbus is “driving” a little John Deere Tractor as his costume and he (and Lydia) won 3rd place.

Participating in 4H, even as urban or suburban backyard chicken keepers is beneficial to both your kids and the community.   Continue reading

UCP Blog 027: “Weed n’ Feed” & Your Flock – When Can the Birds be Back on the Lawn Safely?

Warning Pesticides - by Chris Christian

Warning Pesticides – by Chris Christian

I recently contacted the Scott’s Company to find out how long would it be after the last use of its “Weed n’ Feed” hericidal lawn product, before it would be safe to allow chickens onto such grass?  This was a question, Urban Chicken Podcast Listener, Susan, posed to me and I couldn’t seem to find the answer in my own independent research.  So I went straight to the source and asked Scott’s customer service representative Susan’s question using the information she provided me.  Continue reading

UCP Episode 059: The Livestock Conservancy – Saving Heritage Our Breeds (Discussion with Jeannette Beranger)

The Livestock Conservancy

How many grizzly bears are in the United States? 1,800. How many grey wolves in America?  5,443 in the lower 48 states (there is an estimated additional 7,700 -11,000 in Alaska.)  How many Redcap breed chickens in the States? Fewer than 500 (and fewer than 2,000 in the world.)

There are currently twelve different chicken breeds listed as “critically endangered” and an additional twelve breeds on the “threatened” list (fewer than 1,000 in the U.S. and 5,000 worldwide) according to the Livestock Conservancy. While the WWF is fighting to protect pandas and rhinos, the Livestock Conservancy is tirelessly working to protect threatened heritage horse, cattle, donkey, goats, sheep, pigs, chickens, ducks, geese, turkeys and rabbit populations.

Jeannette Beranger  - photo courtesy of The Livestock Conservancy

Jeannette Beranger – photo courtesy of The Livestock Conservancy

Jeannette Beranger, the Research and Technical Programs Manager for the Livestock Conservancy joins me on the Urban Chicken Podcast to discuss the mission of this organization, some of the projects the Conservancy is currently involved in and how backyard hobbyist chicken keepers (like you and me) can help save some rare and special breeds from becoming extinct from our own backyards.

Jeannette has over 25 years of experience working with animals first as a veterinary technician and then later for several years with the Roger Williams zoo, where she eventually became the head zookeeper.  For the past few years, Jeannette has worked with the Livestock Conservancy researching, educating, networking and implementing various programs and efforts to save endangered heritage livestock breeds with the Conservancy.  She has a depth of knowledge on animals and particularly heritage breed livestock to share on today’s show.

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