UCP Guest Blog 005: How to Hatch Chickens – by Freeman Apou

Pixabay chicks-1444525_1920

Freeman Apou is a passionate animal welfare advocate and chicken expert from a lifetime of experience raising poultry on his family’s farm.  In his guest article below, Freeman shares his knowledge on egg hatching basics, walking you step-by-step through the process to a successful hatch of chicks.   

How to Hatch Chickens

If you’re looking to hatch your own chickens, you need the correct tools, knowledge, and confidence to do so. Hatching is loads of fun and you can get the entire family involved. Children absolutely love hatching chicks. If you’re a school teacher, start a class project. Incubating eggs is a fantastic way to keep children engaged in the process and teaches them responsibility.

Hatching eggs is wonderfully easy, especially if you’re using an electric, automated incubator. The total process of hatching chicken eggs takes only 21 days, so you won’t have to wait long to see the results. During the incubation process, you can candle your eggs, a technique to check growth of the chick embryo, although I recommend not doing this more than twice for the safety of the growing chick. Continue reading

UCP Blog 038: Courir de Mardi Gras (A Cajun Chicken Chase)

Faquetigue Mardi Gras Courir - photo by Patrick Lorenz

Faquetigue Mardi Gras Courir – photo by Patrick Lorenz

Mardi Gras, the hedonistic festival before the advent of the Lenten season, typically brings to mind glass beads, parade floats, drunken revelers and an endless party flowing out onto the streets of New Orleans.  Cajun style Mardi Gras, celebrated in the small, rural towns of Louisiana is a much different affair.  At the center of country Mardi Gras is an event called the Courir de Mardi Gras (the Fat Tuesday Run). The Courir involves a lot running and of course, chickens.

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UCP Blog 037: “Chicken People” – Chicken Documentary Review

Chicken People - Show Chicken Documentary

     Chicken People is an interesting behind the scenes glimpse into the world of competitive show chickens. This 2016 released documentary follows the lives and chicken-breeding efforts of three individuals hoping to show the winning bird at the Ohio National Poultry Show.  Continue reading

UCP Blog 036: Breezeway Between Coop & Run Done – Oh Yeah!

Coop to Run Breezeway

     Last fall (er – that is autumn of 2015) I built my flock a deluxe chicken run adjacent to their coop.  The new chicken run is free standing and completely separate from the coop. (See pictures of the run in this previous post.) I did not build it attached directly to the coop because I could not figure out how to do so and make it both functional and attractive. The solution was simple – a breezeway connecting the two! Continue reading

UCP Blog 035: Mouse in the Hen House = Chicken Treat

Wood Mouse - Photo by Jans Canon

Last night I saw something surprising that both horrified and thrilled me in equal parts. I was out collecting the eggs from my coop and run when I noticed my Welsummer hen, Beatrix behaving strangely. In the corner of the run she was shaking her head wildly back and forth.  I then noticed that there was something held in her beak, something small, limp and not quite distinguishable in the fading light.
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UCP Guest Blog 004: How to Select the Right Incubator for You – by Emily Baker

Hatching - photo by Alisha Vargas

Hatching – photo by Alisha Vargas

Emily Baker is a flock owner of Ancona Ducks and the manger of Incubators.org.  In this article, she shares her expertise knowledge of how to pick the right incubator for your hatching needs.  

While there is still snow on the ground, it may be hard to believe that spring is just around the corner. Yet, if the groundhog is to be trusted, spring is only about a month away. For many of us, this marks the beginning of the most exciting time of year- hatching season!

Whether you are hatching chicks for profit or pleasure, you need the right tools to get the job done. While some breeders prefer to let Mother Nature do her thing, many enjoy the experience and control of hatching using an incubator. However, with so many options available on the market, it can be a bit intimidating to choose the ideal incubator for your hatching needs.

So how do you know which incubator is the right one for you?
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UCP Blog 034: Serama Egg … Makes For a Tiny Breakfast

Ayam Serama - photo by Phalinn Ooi

Ayam Serama – photo by Phalinn Ooi

At the most recent of my niece Lydia’s 4H meeting, the children were instructed to bring an egg from their flock for a lesson.  One teenage member, Aimee, brought a tiny egg laid by her Serama hen, a bird which she had just acquired a couple of months ago.  The tiny egg produced by her diminutive bird was about the same size as a candy egg for Easter. When the egg was cracked open as part of this 4H project, things got even more interesting. Continue reading

UCP Blog 033: Chicken Run Completed…Almost

Deluxe Chicken Run - photo by Jen Pitino

Deluxe Chicken Run – photo by Jen Pitino

Happy 2016 Urban Chicken Podcast Family!

This new year is off to an auspicious start and I am looking forward to spending more time with you in 2016.  I know that it has been a while since I last caught you up on what was new at Casa de Urban Chicken Podcast (i.e. my house) and with the naughty hens.

When I last posted I was racing the snow to finish the new chicken run.  I succeeded at getting it completed, mostly.  Let me catch you up where the project stopped.  Continue reading

UCP Blog 032: Building a Deluxe Chicken Run; Racing the Weather

Chicken Run Building - Photo by Jen Pitino

Chicken Run Building – Photo by Jen Pitino

Though it is technically still fall, much of the United States (especially at my home city Boise’s latitude) is already getting snow.  Last night was our first freeze of the year and I am consequently feeling even more desperate to finish constructing a deluxe chicken run for my backyard flock.  I am racing the weather.

My hens need a new extension on their home.  For the past several years I have allowed them to have free range of my backyard.  Despite all my efforts to train, fence, and even water hose spray them out of my flower beds, the roving flock destroyed many a beloved perennial and left the yard looking war torn.  I am a “chicken expert” (sort of) and I simply could not figure out a way to have both a beautiful garden and free-range chickens.  Continue reading

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