It is time again for another session of Urban Chicken Podcast Listeners’ questions and answers. This Q and A session we consider and discuss ISA Brown chickens, a rooster who is acting like a hen, issues with spilt feed in the coop, identify a mystery breed hen, and hear about another crowing hen! Continue reading
Continuing on our springtime chicks’ ailment series, this week we discuss the common issue of “Pasty Butt.” The condition “Pasty Butt” occurs when feces get stuck and harden around the chick’s down surrounding the bird’s vent. The hardened feces can literally “paste” over the chick’s vent and block the excretion of feces. If not removed, this condition will kill the affected chick and rather quickly. Continue reading
Springtime brings spring chicks to many of our homes. Spring chicks occasionally can become injured and ill and require extra attention and care on the part of the owner. One common baby chick ailment is called “Splay Leg.”
Splay Leg (also commonly called “Spraddle Leg”) is a condition that causes young chicks to have one or both of their legs slip to the side of their bodies twisted out from the hip, making it impossible for the bird to walk or even stand. Splay Leg is often caused by the use of slick surfaced materials (e.g. newspaper) for brooder bedding. The condition may also be caused by vitamin deficiency or incubator temperatures being too high or fluctuating. Continue reading
I recently was contacted by a Chris W., an Urban Chicken Podcast listener who sadly had just had one of her chickens killed and left some ways away from the scene of the crime. Chris wanted help detecting who had destroyed her lovely hen and I did my best to try to deduce the culprit from the evidence provided.
I have shared my conversation with Chris and my attempt to get to the bottom of this backyard chicken murder case. See if you agree with my detective skills and whether I am the next Sherlock Holmes of chicken mysteries. Continue reading
Today’s Post is provided by UCP guest blogger, Fiona Campbell, an avid backyard chicken keeper living in rural Kapiti, New Zealand on fiveacres. Fiona is the author and illustrator of the book, “Ruby’s Diary,” which is a chicken memoir penned from the point of view of her top hen, Ruby. The book cleverly considers what is important in life (which is remarkably the similar whether that be a human or chicken life). You can join Fiona at her blog Ruby’s Diary, where Fiona’s pet hen Ruby waxes lyrically about life and happenings in her flock. Fiona’s book, “Ruby’s Diary” is also available on her blog website, Ruby’s Diary Hen (LINK).
My pet chicken Mindy was a complete unit. In and of herself she was perfect. Her urban backyard and our family house were her domain. She lived solely focused on the here and now and wanted for nothing. I on the other hand, being eight years old, wanted baby chicks!
I grew up watching David Attenborough’s BBC Nature documentaries and consequently knew what was required when it came to getting chicks. As Mindy was mateless, I knew she needed help to achieve ‘her’ dream of becoming a mother. Taking on a rooster seemed much too challenging, so Mum and Dad suggested fertilized eggs instead. Continue reading
The Urban Chicken Podcast was recently contacted by graphic designer Janel Crisp Goodwin, who teamed up with chicken expert, Terry Golson (of Hencam.com and Golson was the guest in the UCP in Episode 052 LISTEN HERE) to create a very cool chicken infograph called “The Art of Happy Hens.” For those of you new to the ‘infograph’ world, it is the use of graphic art to convey information in very palatable and aesthetically pleasing manner. “The Art of Happy Hens” infograph is a delightful melding of art and chicken information. Goodwin invited me to share this chicken infograph with the Urban Chicken Podcast audience, which I have done at the end of this post. Continue reading
Backyard chickens molt every year to replace broken, frayed and old feathers. Though conventionally, chickens molt in late summer/early fall, a bird can molt anytime of year that suits. Molting is both a physically and emotionally stressful time for the bird.
Meredith Chilson, a veteran chicken keeper with over forty years of experience and knowledge joins me on the Urban Chicken Podcast this week to discuss feather molting in chickens. Meredith also shares some practical tips on how to make the molting process a little easier for you flock. Continue reading
Wintertime this year has been especially brutal for some areas of the U.S. In particular, the New England states are reporting 20 year record-breaking snowfalls and cold temperatures.
Deb Bino, an Urban Chicken Podcast listener living in Pennsylvania, has come up with a clever way for her backyard chickens to get some relief from the winter weather — a chicken spa! Deb’s winter chicken spa is easily constructed and greatly appreciated by the birds who are as tired as their human owner of the endless snow this year.
Here is how Deb constructed her chicken spa to fight the winter blues. First she buried an electric, heated foot-mat in the bottom of a sand box under a mixture of sand, diatomaceous earth, wood ashes and peat moss. The sand mixtures is about five inches deep, which gives the birds plenty of material to dig and lay in. Being mindful of fire safety, Deb wrote that she carefully wrapped the cord to the heating pad in duct tape to keep the spa more secure.
Deb then constructed a simple box frame (roughly 4’x6′ in size) covered with clear plastic sheeting. This sheathed box frame is leaned against a building and over the chicken spa so that the birds can enjoy the warm sand mixture out of the elements. According to Deb, her wintertime chicken spa can comfortably accommodate four hens at a time. The flock has been greatly enjoying their heated oasis from the winter weather!
The ability for birds to develop teeth was lost approximately 70-80 Million years ago. Yet all birds are born with what is called an “egg tooth.” Though called a tooth the egg tooth is actually a horny protrusion of harden skin found at the tip of the chick’s beak. The egg tooth is shaped in a point and is an essential part of the gestation process. Continue reading
My newest flock members (a set of five pullets – three Blue Bresses and two Sulmtalers) are not all laying quite yet. The Sulmtaler pair, (which I’ve named Frick and Frack) is definitely laying semi-regularly. The Blue Bresse hens though are much smaller than the Sulmtalers and not laying at all. Well, not laying at all until recently. Continue reading