Chicken Help

Help Me! OR: Search by Category


We found 359 results for category 'All '

Q: How can so few chicks arrive at their location safely?
A: Most hatcheries require 15 or 25 baby chicks per order because the chicks need one another's body heat to survive their 2-day journey. This is a big... read more

Q: Can you ship chicks to my location?
A: We can ship chicks anywhere within the continental U.S. and to some locations in Hawaii and Alaska. Please check "Can you safely ship chicks to... read more

Q: My chicks are all available on different dates. Will they ship at different times, or all at once?
A: All at once! All your birds must ship together for their safety. Alternatively, you can choose to place two or more separate orders, but each one... read more

Q: I live in Hawaii and I'm ordering chicks. What do I need to know?
A: First and foremost: we cannot safely ship to every zip code in your beautiful state. Only some zip codes are safe to ship to. Please read "Can... read more

Q: How will I know that my chicks have arrived at the post office?
A:

Good question! First of all, don't forget that our chicks can arrive any day from Tuesday through Thursday of the week they are shipped--it just... read more

Q: Can I have two phone numbers printed on my box?

A: Yes! During the checkout process you will have the opportunity to give us two different phone numbers. If you give us two, we'll make sure both... read more

Q: When will my chicks be hatched?
A: Our chicks are hatched in the wee hours on Monday* of each week during the hatching season, and they're sorted, sexed, vaccinated, packaged, and... read more

Q: How come you can only ship chicks when they're one day old?
A: Right before chicks hatch, they have just absorbed the last of the yolk. This sustains them during their journey, for up to three days, so that's why... read more

Q: Can I schedule delivery of my baby chicks on a specific day of the week?
A: Unfortunately, no! You do have some control, though. Chicks are hatched Mondays and Wednesdays. Smaller orders automatically ship Express, while you... read more

Q: Can I choose Rushed or Next Day shipping to get my baby chicks faster?
A: Neither Fed Ex nor UPS will ship live baby chicks, so all orders of fewer than 15 chicks are automatically shipped via the speediest service that the... read more

Q: How old will my chicks be when I get them?
A: They'll be less than 72 hours old. They ship Mondays and Tuesdays as soon as they're hatched and the birds you've reserved have been packed into your... read more

Q: How come you can't ship just one chick?
A: Unlike other hatcheries that may add "males for warmth" to fill out a small order, we will never do that because we understand how important it is... read more

Q: Can I mix and match or do I have to buy all the same breed?
A: There is no minimum number of chicks per breed or size, although your total order must meet the minimum number for your area, so you can mix and... read more

Q: I already placed my order for baby chicks. Can I change it?
A: Yes, in most cases you can call us at 888-460-1529 to request an order change, but before you do read on because it can be tricky and there are three... read more

Q: Can I cancel my order for baby chicks?
A: Yes, we're happy to cancel an order provided you let us know by the Thursday before your scheduled ship week. As you remember from checkout,... read more

Q: What happens if a bird I purchase from My Pet Chicken is incorrectly sexed?
A: It's always disappointing when a bird isn't sexed correctly, especially if your "girl" ended up being a "boy" and was the family's favorite chick!... read more

Q: I want to sell the eggs from my chicks as "organic". Are your chicks organic?
A: "Certified organic" regulations vary from state to state and region to region, and (thus far) do not have to do with the way chicks are hatched.... read more

Q: Why don't you offer a vaccine against Coccidiosis?
A: Coccidiosis is an infection caused by a protozoan, and it is found in most environments. However, the coccidiosis vaccine administered in the U.S. is... read more

Q: Is Salmonella a concern with backyard chickens?
A: Not usually, but let us explain why. Humans do not catch salmonella from chicks or chickens the way you would catch a cold from your neighbor.... read more

Q: Are your birds "show-quality"?
A: Especially with our fertile hatching eggs, we have some great lines that produce amazing show prospects. Ours is an NPIP hatchery and our birds are... read more

Q: What if my chick package is late?
A: Please notify us Thursday if your package has not arrived by then--but do not notify us before Thursday. The US postal service is very good about... read more

Q: How do you tell if a baby chick is female or male?
A: If you have a "sex link" chick, it's easy! Males and females hatch out different colors. read more

Q: Can hens REALLY crow?
A: Yes! It's not even that rare, either! In all-female flocks, or flocks in which the ratio of females to males is greater than 10:1, in many cases one... read more

Q: What time of year should I order baby chicks?
A: Depending on the breeds you want, you may find that there's a wait of six months or more, so we recommend you place your order just as soon as you're... read more

Q: Is it okay to heat my coop in the winter? I don't want my flock to suffer!
A: We don't recommend you heat your coop unless your temps regularly drop below freezing... Seriously! Chickens adapt to the cold weather over time.... read more

Q: Do you sell older chickens?
A: Yes! We usually have two or three batches of juvenile 6 week old chickens available each year at various times. They do sell out very quickly, so... read more

Q: Why do hens eat their own eggs? How can I stop them?
A: Diets low in protein can encourage egg eating simply because the hens are trying to get the nutrition they need. Make sure your are feeding your... read more

Q: Should I get my birds vaccinated?
A: Marek's disease is a deadly, highly contagious "lymphoproliferative" disease affecting chickens. It is the #1 disease-related killer of chickens. It... read more

Q: I bought hens somewhere else and I want to know how old they are. How can I tell?
A: It is very difficult to discern the age of an adult chicken; the best you can do is make an educated guess. There are a few clues you might look... read more

Q: Do I need to give my hens oyster shell or supplemental calcium?
A: If your hens have a good, "complete" layer feed, they may not ever need read more

Q: I've heard other hatcheries sometimes include males for warmth in their baby chick packages. Do you?
A: No! When necessary, we include one or more heating packs to keep your chicks warm, and to prevent jostling we add extra nesting material. You can be... read more

Q: Do you have a catalog?
A: Not yet! The best way to peruse our offerings for right now is to browse the category listings on the left hand side of any page on our website.... read more

Q: At what age do hens start laying eggs?
A: On average, pullets, or juvenile hens, start laying eggs at about 6 months of age, depending on the breed. Larger, heavier birds like Wyandottes,... read more

Q: At what age does a rooster grow spurs?
A: This varies widely from breed to breed, and in fact the hens of many breeds even grow small spurs! Some can appear as soon as three months, while... read more

Q: Is there any nutritional difference between white, brown, green and blue eggs?
A: We like them all, Sam-I-Am! No, there is no difference in terms of edibility, health, or nutrition in different-colored egg shells.

read more

Q: How do brown eggs become brown (instead of white)?
A: The brown color in an egg is laid on in the chicken's reproductive tract by the shell gland pouch. Some breeds lay a tinted egg with a very light... read more

Q: How do blue eggs become blue (instead of white or brown)?
A: Whereas the brown color of an egg is laid on the outside of the shell, the blue color actually goes all the way through the shell, even to the inside... read more

Q: How do I find a new home for a rooster I don't want?
A: Unfortunately, as you've learned, sexing is more of an art than an exact science, so when you buy day old chicks, there's always a risk of receiving... read more

Q: How can I tell if my juvenile bird is a rooster?
A: Comb size and redness can be one indicator, but is not usually reliable. In fact, it's one of the worst indicators you can use, as comb size varies... read more

Q: Are fertilized eggs okay to eat?
A: Fertilized eggs are fine to eat, in fact some people claim they healthier than unfertilized eggs, although we've never seen any data supporting that.... read more

Q: There's a black spot or thin string attached to my brand new chick's rear. Is this a "pasty butt"?
A: No! It's your chick's umbilical cord, and if you notice, that black, scabby spot or string will be below your check's vent or "pooper." read more

Q: Can you tell the sex of chicks when they're still in the egg?
A: There is no way to tell the difference between an egg that will hatch a female chick and an egg that will hatch a male chick (excluding, perhaps,... read more

Q: There is a black spot on my chicken's face! Should I be worried?
A: When a chicken gets a peck or a scrape on a comb or face, this will manifest as a black spot or scab, and isn't usually a cause for concern. If ALL... read more

Q: There are hawks or owls in our area. Will our chickens be safe?
A: Hawks can most certainly be a danger to chickens (heck, even CROWS can be a danger to juveniles or bantams). However, only a few types usually bother... read more

Q: It's time to move my 5 week-old chicks to their outdoor coop, but it's cold outside! Will they be okay?
A: Sudden temperature changes are a real danger to your birds. You will need to make sure their transition outside doesn't shock them. Although chickens... read more

Q: My chickens are 7 months old and I still haven't seen an egg. Why?
A: First, you should make sure they are on a good chicken feed. Once they have begun laying, switch to layer pellet or crumble; until then, feed them... read more

Q: My chickens run away whenever they see me. Can I tame them?
A: In general, chickens can be tamable and friendly by the same sorts of general methods you would use with a dog or a cat. Presuming they are healthy... read more

Q: Can I mix different breeds of chicken in my flock--will they all get along?
A: Yes, in most cases you can mix breeds of chicken in your flock. They generally get on very well. You can even include both bantam and large fowl... read more

Q: How much feed should I give my chickens each day?
A: We recommend feeding "free choice"; that is, letting them eat as much layer feed as they want and leaving their feeder out at all times (although you... read more

Q: I'm trying to figure the expenses of keeping chickens, so can you tell me how much I will spend per month on feed?
A: A basic estimate is that chickens will eat 1/4 pound per day per chicken. However, that estimate is based on the conditions commercial layers face in... read more

Q: What is the best way to wash and store my eggs?
A: It's counter-intuitive but true: Your eggs will stay fresher if you don't wash them at all. When your hens lay eggs, there is a natural coating that... read more

Q: How do I care for a wounded chicken?
A: It is stressful to have a hurt chicken because an avian veterinarian can be hard to find, but don't panic. If you can't locate a vet, simple first... read more

Q: How large should my nest boxes be, and how high should they be off the ground?
A: Some people put their nests directly on the ground, although this is not ideal since other hens may stick their heads in the nest to see what the... read more

Q: Can I hatch the eggs of my chickens if the rooster and hen are different breeds?
A: There are no problems associated with hatching mixed breed chickens. If you have a rooster in your flock, he will try to breed ALL your hens,... read more

Q: Can I use chicken manure in my garden?
A: Chicken manure makes great compost for fertilizing your garden. However, we recommend you compost it first: don't add it directly in quantity.... read more

Q: What type of bedding or litter should I use for my chickens?
A: Bedding is an important part of keeping your chickens happy and healthy. On the coop floor the bedding will provide a soft surface for your chickens... read more

Q: What should I do about a rooster that has suddenly started attacking me and become aggressive?
A: Roosters can sometimes be a bit aggressive! One important thing to remember is that they see themselves as the protectors of "their" hens, so they... read more

Q: What do I need to know about ordering fertile hatching eggs from My Pet Chicken?
A: My Pet Chicken absolutely guarantees that the read more

Q: Do I need to give my shipped chicks vitamins and electrolytes when they arrive?
A:

We don't generally think it is a good idea to offer anything but plain, clean water unless your chicks are exceedingly stressed.

read more

Q: What is my best minimum order?
A: We want to be sure your chicks arrive safely, so we have a special packaging method so your new pets are snug and secure while they travel. In fact,... read more

Q: Is there a way to tell if my chicken is happy or sad?
A: Chickens that are happy will be active and scratching around in the grass, laying in the sun--yes, they do that, too!--or taking a bath in the dirt.... read more

Q: Can you ship my chicks via UPS or Fed Ex?
A: No, sorry! UPS and Fed Ex will not ship chicks - only the United States Postal Service will -- and they've been doing it since the 1800s! (We ship... read more

Q: What is medicated feed all about--do I need it?
A: Medicated feed is formulated for chicks to help them combat coccidiosis, a disease that is found just about everywhere in the environment. Most... read more

Q: Why don't you offer vaccinations for bantams?
A: The reason we don't offer vaccinations for bantams is that the vaccine is often ineffective for them because the birds are so tiny that it is too... read more

Q: How long do hens lay eggs ?
A: Chickens usually don't simply "stop" laying eggs when they get to a certain age, but they will lay fewer as they get older. That said, most laying... read more

Q: Should I free range my chickens?
A: If you allow your chickens to range freely, you WILL lose some to predators-- make no mistake. It can be devastating, especially to those of us with... read more

Q: Are you a member of the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP)?
A: Yes! Our hatching facility and all other breeders with whom we contract are NPIP-certified. If you would like NPIP papers to be included with your... read more

Q: What are the signs of mites or lice and how do I treat my birds if they have an infestation?
A: Mites and lice are a common problem for chickens and can be carried in by wild birds, so keep that in mind. That means that if you have an... read more

Q: How can I help my young children understand the wait to have our baby chicks are delivered?
A: There are a few things you can do together to help ease the frustration of waiting!

One thing you can do with a child when waiting something...
read more

Q: What are the rough patches and hard pimples on my egg shells?
A: This is usually an occasional thing, although younger or older hens are more prone to it. If your chicken is young, sometimes rough shells can occur... read more

Q: Why does my hen sometimes lay eggs with ridges halfway down the shell?
A: You may be describing what is called a "body checked egg." Body checks are ridges or grooves that occur around an egg, usually at the pointed end.... read more

Q: What is the blood spot in my hen's egg?
A: These spots aren't related to having a rooster--or not!--in your flock. Presuming they are fertile, eggs with blood or meat spots are actually less... read more

Q: What does the word "broody" mean?
A: When a hen is broody, that means she wants to hatch her eggs and raise chicks.

read more

Q: Why did my chicken lay a shell-less egg?
A: A shell-less egg is a strange sight! You might think a shell-less egg would look like a cracked egg: a mess of white and yolk soaking into nesting... read more

Q: Why are the whites of my chickens' eggs watery?
A: Usually the whites of very fresh eggs such as you may gather from your own flock will be very thick in comparison to what you may be used to seeing... read more

Q: The whites of my chickens' eggs are a funny color--what does that mean?
A: Cloudy whites in a farm egg are usually indicative of its freshness. The cloudiness is caused by dissolved carbon dioxide in the white, which... read more

Q: My chicken has a lump or tumor on her chest--what should I do?
A: You are probably seeing your chicken's crop. A chicken's crop is a part of her digestive system, and is located on her breast. You see it in the... read more

Q: My flock is pecking one another! What should I do?
A: Pecking, also called picking, is almost always the result of high stress levels. When that happens, the birds will sometimes pluck each others'... read more

Q: What should I do if my chickens get too hot? Will they die?
A: Well, yes, they could... if your chickens are unable to cool themselves, they could seize and die. How can you tell if your flock is in distress? Hot... read more

Q: At what age does a rooster begin crowing?
A: The age a rooster will first crow varies, but generally speaking, he will begin crowing at about four or five months of age, at about the time he... read more

Q: If I order straight run birds, how many of each sex am I guaranteed to get?
A: Straight run birds are an "as hatched" mix of males and females. Therefore, if you were to order eight straight run birds, for example, you will get... read more

Q: Are there signs that a hen may be laying?
A: If you are looking for visual signs that your young pullet is getting ready to come into lay, those might include the fact that her comb will get... read more

Q: Do chickens have a language?
A: In many ways they do. Chickens can make a very wide range of sounds, and they communicate amongst each other well.

Roosters can sing loudly...
read more

Q: When I buy a hatchery choice assortment, will you be able to tell me which birds I received?
A: Assortments are often more available than specific breeds are, and sometimes even bargain priced. However, no record is kept of which birds are used... read more

Q: Do my chickens need to be wormed, and if so, what schedule should I use?
A: If your chickens have worms, you will want to treat them. Some signs you can look for at home are pale combs, a drop in laying and watery poo.... read more

Q: How many roosters do I need in order that my hens will lay eggs?
A: None. Hens will lay eggs whether there are roosters around or not, just as female humans will ovulate regardless of the sexes of their companions.... read more

Q: How do I get my flock to go into their coop at night so I can shut the door and make sure they're safe?
A: Once they have imprinted on their coop as "home," they will retire on their own at dusk. (Thus the saying: "Chickens always return home to... read more

Q: How can I incubate eggs that will hatch female chicks only?
A: A study in Australia (Australian Journal of Agricultural Research 11(4) 664 - 672) has shown that eggs stored at 40 degrees Fahrenheit (rather than... read more

Q: How is sex determined in chickens and what does it mean?
A: If you want to know how to tell the difference between males and females in chickens, please see our related questions, below. This question... read more

Q: Can I hold my rooster upside down by the feet to calm him down?
A: No. That's a terrible idea.

Birds' respiratory systems are completely different ours, so holding your rooster upside down can cause him real...
read more

Q: My hen has sticky, tar-looking poop--is there anything wrong?
A: Probably not. Chickens actually produce two types of poo: fecal poo and cecal poo. Cecal poo is thicker, stinkier and stickier. It usually looks sort... read more

Q: What does your hatchery do with extra males and other chicks that are not adopted?
A: We do understand that other hatcheries may do things differently than we do--did you know that chickens are not protected by the Humane Slaughter Act... read more

Q: What is debeaking or "beak trimming" and do your chickens come that way?
A: No. Our chickens and chicks are not debeaked or "beak trimmed." Our birds have their full, natural beaks.

read more

Q: How will I know which chick is which breed when I receive my baby chicks?
A: The chicks do not come marked or tagged in any way. However, you can compare your chicks to the photos on our site to try to identify which is which.... read more

Q: How long do chickens live?
A: Naturally, this will depend on the conditions under which they're kept. Pet chickens that are properly cared for can live a relatively long... read more

Q: What is molting?
A: Molting occurs once a year in mature birds, normally in late summer or autumn. The birds will lose their feathers and regrow new ones. It's a way of... read more

Q: What if one of my chicks dies on the way to me?
A: Losses are rare (we see them happen about 1% of the time), but they do occur. For that reason, we recommend that if you have children, make sure they... read more

Q: Do I need to clip my chickens' wings?
A: Wing clipping--trimming the primary feathers on your chickens' wings--is not necessary unless your flock is flying into places they shouldn't be.... read more

Q: Do I need to trim my chickens' nails? If so, how do I do it?
A: Long nails occasionally happen, and it is a good idea to trim them if they get too overgrown so your birds can walk without difficulty. In most cases... read more

Q: Why do I need to store my eggs large end up?
A: Storing your eggs large end up will keep them freshest. This is because the air cell in an egg is located at the large end, so less moisture will... read more

Q: How do I cook with bantam eggs?
A: The eggs of bantam chickens are smaller than the eggs we're used to seeing in the grocery store. Just how small? Of course, it really depends on the... read more

Q: Which bantam breeds should I choose if I want them for eggs?
A: Bantam eggs in general are quite small by comparison to what you see in the grocery store. That makes sense! Smaller birds lay smaller eggs. Below... read more

Q: How do I get my chickens to sleep on their roosts instead of in their nest boxes at night?
A: Having your chickens sleeping in their nests at night sounds like a natural thing, doesn't it? However, unless your hens are broody and read more

Q: Can chickens fly? Will my chickens be able to fly over my fence?
A: Most heavy, docile backyard breeds don't fly very well and aren't particularly inclined to leave a secure, fenced area. A regular picket fence (if... read more

Q: My hen laid a teeny tiny egg, and when I cracked it open, there was no yolk! Should I be concerned?
A: Awww, isn't that cute! Tiny, yolkless eggs are sometimes known as witch eggs or fairy eggs.

read more

Q: How much does shipping cost?
A: You can check the exact shipping cost to your location by placing the virtual purchases in your online basket and clicking the "calculate" link... read more

Q: At what age can my chickens begin eating treats?
A: We don't really recommend feeding your new baby chicks treats right away, because they should first learn what their feed is so they will be able to... read more

Q: What methods of payment do you accept?
A: We only accept credit card payment at this time. We do not accept checks, cashier's checks, money orders, purchase orders, PayPal, cash or any other... read more

Q: Can I use a fan to cool the brooder down? My chicks are arriving in the heat of summer, and my brooder is in a hot room.
A: Baby chicks need it very warm to be comfortable--most people would call it hot. For the first week of their lives, they need temperatures of about 95... read more

Q: How do I get started breeding my chickens?
A: When a female animal is "in heat," she is ovulating and/or ready to be mated. In some animals mating induces ovulation, but this isn't the case with... read more

Q: Are there any concerns I should have when keeping or caring for chickens while pregnant?
A: You will want to take the same kinds of precautions you would take with any pets: wash your hands after handling them and so forth. Avian and human... read more

Q: One of my new baby chicks is particularly fresh to the others, pecking their faces. Is this normal and should I do something about it?
A: In most cases you needn't worry. When you first receive them, your little chicks are hungry, and their instincts can tell them to peck at anything to... read more

Q: How can I help my chickens stay cool in the summer?
A: Chickens don't sweat like humans do to cool down. Much like dogs, they pant to help stay cool.

read more

Q: Do you have any tips to help me keep my coop sweet smelling in the heat of summer?
A: Obviously, keeping your coop cleaned and your bedding fresh is the best tip we can offer. Make sure to use pine shavings, and not straw: straw is not... read more

Q: How do I introduce new chickens into my old flock?
A: We get questions about this all the time! Let there be no doubt: adding new birds to your pre-existing crew can be stressful, both to you and the... read more

Q: How do we make sure that our older laying hens don't eat our younger chickens' starter feed, and vice versa, since the two age groups are meant to have different feeds?
A: Good question! Typically, you don't want your chicks to eat layer feed since it has too much calcium for them, and you don't want your hens to eat... read more

Q: What breed do you cross Ameraucanas with to get Easter Eggers?
A: We don't breed our Easter Eggers with anything else, only Easter Eggers. Since you know Easter Eggers are not purebred birds, it's sort of a... read more

Q: Do you send extra chicks with every order?
A: No, we do not normally add extra chicks, especially with small orders, although it may happen occasionally (usually only if someone miscounts). For... read more

Q: Can unvaccinated chickens get Marek's Disease from vaccinated chickens?
A: The Marek's Disease vaccination is attenuated, which means, in most cases, it's not even developed using the Marek's virus. Instead, it's developed... read more

Q: Do I need to be worried about bird flu if I keep chickens?
A: Probably not worried--but it's a good idea to be informed about it.

Bird flu, or Avian Influenza (AI), is a viral disease that can infect...
read more

Q: What biosecurity should I practice to protect my flock from AI and other illnesses?
A: Good question! Most illnesses or even infestations (such as mites or worms) are contracted when your birds are exposed to other birds, either... read more

Q: Are there symptoms I should watch for that mean my birds are seriously ill? If they do get seriously ill, whom should I call?
A: Yes, as a pet owner, you are responsible for keeping your pet chickens safe and healthy, so it's important that you watch to make sure they don't get... read more

Q: What is the Biosecurity for Birds campaign and how can I find more information about it?
A: Biosecurity for Birds is a public awareness campaign started by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service in... read more

Q: Should I be concerned about lead in the environment when I keep chickens?
A: It's not a common problem, but it is an area of concern. Common sense will tell you not to keep your chickens around peeling or flaking paint, lead... read more

Q: How can I tell if my flock is infected with Salmonella? What are the symptoms?
A: While you won't be able to make a firm diagnosis of Salmonella on your own, it will be easy for you to see that your hens are sick. Chickens sick... read more

Q: How is Salmonella infection transmitted to chickens in the first place?
A: You probably don't have to worry about well cared for backyard hens getting ill with salmonella if you provide a clean environment for them. Hens in... read more

Q: What can I do to reduce the risk of my birds getting sick with Salmonella or another illness?
A: The easiest thing to do is simply to provide your birds with safe, roomy, clean conditions. read more

Q: Can I choose what breeds I get when I purchase an assortment?
A: No, we're sorry. If you want specific breeds or colors, you'll need to purchase each breed you want and construct your order that way.

read more

Q: How large are chickens?
A: Chickens can vary in size greatly by breed and variety!

read more

Q: I got a terrible hatch. Does that mean most of my eggs were infertile?
A: No, a terrible hatch doesn't mean that most or even any of your eggs were infertile! They may all have been fertile. Remember, just because an egg... read more

Q: When I am ordering baby chicks or juveniles, when am I charged for the order?
A: You pay for your order as soon as it is placed; that is what holds your reservation. We don't keep your payment information on file---this helps... read more

Q: Why are the yolks of my chickens' eggs settling to one side?
A: Of course, we can't know for sure what may be going on, but we can offer some information that may assist you in figuring it out!

First of...
read more

Q: How do I know which chickens feeds have hormones and which are hormone-free?
A: There are no hormones in any brand of commercial chicken feed in the United States, according to the US Cooperative Extension Service. We think that... read more

Q: Are there special preparations I should make if I want to have a broody hen adopt and raise my shipped chicks?
A: There is little more beautiful than a mother hen sheltering chicks beneath her wings.

read more

Q: The website says the breed I want is available for a date I want, so why isn't that a choice when I'm checking out?
A: In most cases, that will be because you are ordering more chicks than are available for your preferred date. When you place virtual chicks in your... read more

Q: Should I be concerned that my hen laid an egg with blood on the shell?
A: When a hen has just begin laying, there can occasionally be a little blood on the egg shell, but it is usually no cause for concern. Eventually her... read more

Q: What can my chicken's comb tell me about his or her health?
A: A chicken's comb can be indicative of her circulation and condition. For instance pale pink, shrunken combs may indicate anemia, a mite infestation... read more

Q: Why are my hens molting so late, when it's cold, and how can I help them stay warm?
A: Chickens molt annually, and some chickens do molt later than others. Often this varies by breed as well as the conditions they have.

Some...
read more

Q: Today I noticed that the tip of one hen's beak has broken off--how can this happen and what should I do?
A: This can occasionally happen, although it is rare. A chicken's beak will continue to grow throughout her lifetime, so as long as it is just the tip,... read more

Q: I want to get a chick for Easter for my son's basket, and then find a farmer to adopt it when it has grown. How do I do that?
A: No, no, no... you don't want to do that. It's is a bad idea for many reasons.

First, one chicken raised alone will often die of...
read more

Q: How many roosters can I have?
A: We normally recommend one rooster for every ten hens or so. In a large flock, there is often more than one rooster, with no problems. In smaller... read more

Q: Do I need to bathe my chicken?
A: Generally speaking, no. Chickens don't need baths. However, if they do get something stuck in their feathers that they are not preening out, you can... read more

Q: How can I make my coop well-ventilated, but not drafty?
A: This issue can be confusing, can't it? Try thinking of it this way: Generally, you might think of drafts as air that will blow directly onto your... read more

Q: Why do my baby chicks poo so much?
A: Your baby chicks poo so much because they have to eat a lot to grow as fast as they do!

read more

Q: Should I choose "no substitutions" and "no hatch day substitutions" when I place my order for chicks?
A: Well, the truth is that it simply depends on how you want us to handle any problems with your order. Some customers will wait many months for just... read more

Q: How much light do I need to add in my coop during the winter?
A: You needn't use light at all. And if you do want to use it, you needn't use a very bright light.

Studies have shown that winter laying...
read more

Q: Why are my chickens sleeping in their nest boxes rather than their roosts?
A: It's difficult for us to say exactly what might be inspiring them to do that without being able to inspect your coop, but we can give you some... read more

Q: Will my lawn be safe for my pet chickens at the same time it's safe for dogs or cats, after the exterminator has sprayed it?
A: Well, having your lawn sprayed with pesticides while you are keeping chickens isn't a good idea---it isn't something most of us would ever want to... read more

Q: How long can eggs be left outside once they've been laid before being refrigerated?
A: You will want to gather eggs every day, and refrigerate them as soon as they've been gathered. This keeps them freshest. However, in the "good old... read more

Q: Can I keep ducks, turkeys or other types of fowl with my chickens?
A: There are challenges associated with mixing fowl varieties, such as making sure each one eats the right food for their needs. Often different fowl... read more

Q: In your website description, it says the breed I want comes in a mix of bearded and unbearded chicks, but I only want bearded. Can I order them that way?
A: You're right that some breeds like Polish and silkies can come bearded or nonbearded, but there is no way to choose which because they are not sorted... read more

Q: Will our dog get sick from eating chicken poo?
A: Yes, dogs can be pretty gross sometimes, can't they? They are not the most discriminating of eaters. For instance, my friend's dog likes to raid the... read more

Q: If I have both bantam and large size hens, what size rooster should I get?
A: The answer to that question will depend on exactly how large the hens and roosters in question may be as well as what your personal preference is. No... read more

Q: Why does my hen hop off of the nest, then toss hay, grass, and leaves over her shoulder and back?
A: We LOVE it when they do that... it's so darn cute! This is a nesting behavior. Hens that are broody will often do this when settling into the nest,... read more

Q: Which chicken breed has the quietest, tamest roosters?
A: Unfortunately, there is no pat answer on this one. First, ALL roosters crow. We happen to love the sound (to us it's far preferable to yapping dogs... read more

Q: What do I need to know about opossums if I keep chickens?
A: Name:
Opossum
Didelphis virginiana

Description:
*Medium sized, omnivorous marsupial with an...
read more

Q: What do I need to know about foxes if I keep chickens?
A: Name:
Fox
Vulpes spp.

Description:
*Many different species of reddish or greyish, dog-like mammals with...
read more

Q: What do I need to know about weasel family predators if I keep chickens?
A: Name:
Weasel, ermine, ferret, mink, badger, fisher, ermine, wolverine, skunk, etc.
Mustelidae and Mephitidae spp...
read more

Q: What do I need to know about snakes if I keep chickens?
A: Name:
Snakes
Serpentes spp (nearly 3000 species)

Description:
*Legless reptiles of many colors
...
read more

Q: What do I need to know about raccoons if I keep chickens?
A: Name:
Raccoon
Procyon lotor

Description:
*Small, omnivorous mammal with grey fur and black "bandit" mask...
read more

Q: Will my dog attack chickens?
A: Domestic dogs--including those belonging to you as well as those belonging to other people--are the most common predators of chickens in both... read more

Q: What do I need to know about wolves and coyotes if I keep chickens?
A: Name:
Wolf, Coyote
Canis lupus, Canis latrans

Description:
Wolves and coyotes are both members of the dog...
read more

Q: What do I need to know about rats if I keep chickens?
A: Name:
Rat
Rattus spp

Description:
*Small rodents with long, sparsely furred tails

read more

Q: What do I need to know about human nature if I keep chickens?
A: Unfortunately, scoundrels are found everywhere. Most humans are not predators of chickens, of course, but the fact is that some people are dishonest... read more

Q: What do I need to know about crows if I keep chickens?
A: Name:
Crows and other corvids
Corvus spp

Description:
*Corvids are large perching birds, usually with...
read more

Q: What do I need to know about large felines if I keep chickens?
A: Name:
Lynx (including bobcats), Cougar
Lynx spp and Puma Concolor

Description:
*Lynx up to 66...
read more

Q: What do I need to know about house cats if I keep chickens?
A: Name:
House cat
Felis catus

Description:
House cats are small, carnivorous mammals with retractable claws...
read more

Q: What do I need to know about birds of prey if I keep chickens?
A: Name:
Birds of prey, including
Raptors (who hunt in daylight), and Owls (who hunt at night)

Description:
...
read more

Q: What do I need to know about snapping turtles if I keep chickens?
A: Name:
Snapping turtles
Chelydra serpentina or Macrochelys temminckii

Description:
Snapping turtles...
read more

Q: Do you ship eggs or chicks internationally?
A: No. If you want to purchase live birds or read more

Q: Why is my chick's beak getting crooked, and what should I do?
A: Usually, chickens with crossed beaks or scissor beaks lead long, normal lives.

In most cases, this defect is caused by the chick...
read more

Q: How do I dispose of a dead chick or chicken?
A: This is a difficult question to answer definitively, since what to do with a dead pet or animal can vary depending on your your state, city and even... read more

Q: I got Marek's vaccinations for my chicks from another hatchery, but they got sick and some died within two weeks. When I asked them if it was Marek's disease, they just denied it and asked about whether their brooder was set up right. Is this Marek's... am I right to be upset?
A: You're not wrong to be upset at the loss of your pets, of course, but if you're upset at your hatchery for suggesting that deaths weren't related to... read more

Q: How can I get my brooder to 95 degrees?
A: First remember that it only needs to be 95° directly under the heat lamp, and only in their first week of life. (You'll be reducing the... read more

Q: What breed of chicken lays double yolked eggs?
A: There is no one special breed that lays double yolkers. Occasionally a hen may lay a double yolker when her ovaries release two yolks at once, rather... read more

Q: At what age do baby chicks began to roost?
A: It really depends on the individual personality of the bird as well as how quickly they develop. Birds that feather out quickly may begin to roost... read more

Q: Can you put me in touch with a supplier or breeder for a chicken breed you don't carry?
A: No, I'm sorry. We're not a breeder registry. We don't keep lists of independent breeders for any location. To find a list of breeders, you'll... read more

Q: Will I be notified if my shipment has to be delayed for some reason? I don't want to ask for the wrong week off work!
A: Well, that's a more complex question than you may think. If there should be a problem on hatch day, of course we will contact you just as soon as we... read more

Q: Are sold out breeds ever included in a hatchery choice assortment?
A: Breeds that are not available individually may still be used to fulfill assortments, since the assortments consist of breeds that have hatched better... read more

Q: Are oversized eggs that are difficult for my hens to pass caused by overfeeding?
A: It is not likely that the problem is overfeeding. We recommend feeding free choice and not limiting their feed: underfeeding usually causes more... read more

Q: The eggs from the grocery store are so flat compared to eggs from my hens. Is it because my hens are pasture raised? What could cause that?
A: Eggs from your own hens normally have very "tall" yolks because they can be so very fresh!

read more

Q: Will the chicks I buy from you be related to each other? I want to breed my rooster with my hens, so I don't want them to be related.
A: Our breeding flocks are very large. We can't know which chicks hatch from which eggs. Even if we could, we don't keep track of which hen laid which... read more

Q: I got the Marek's vaccination for my chickens, but one chicken seems sick! Is the vaccination not working?
A: If your chicken received the Marek's vaccination, she will most likely be protected from the symptoms of Marek's disease, but a small percentage of... read more

Q: Why does my chicken have a bare spot on her chest? She's not molting!
A: If she's not molting, isn't getting picked on and isn't suffering from external parasites like mites or lice, it's possible that the bare spot on her... read more

Q: Sometimes my hens' waterer gets algae in it--is there a better waterer?
A: Not that we know of. Algae grows in conditions of water with excess phosphorus or fertilizers in it, and growth is encouraged when the water is also... read more

Q: Will ticks attack our chickens? We find ticks on our dogs.
A: Probably not. Chickens actually eat deer ticks, wood ticks, and dog ticks (as well as other types), and these are the most common ticks that bother... read more

Q: Are your flocks pasture raised?
A:

Our breeding flocks are raised in the beautiful Amish countryside in Ohio, but they are indoor birds for reasons of biosecurity. Large hatcheries... read more

Q: My hens had some feather loss. I have taken care of the cause, but their feathers haven't grown back. Is there something I'm missing?

A: Not necessarily. Sometimes hens will regrow feathers immediately, and sometimes they won't regrow missing feathers until the molt (usually in the ... read more

Q: One of our chickens is not laying in the nest box. Is this common, and what should I do?
A: Don't worry. "Floor eggs" are relatively common, and nothing to be too concerned about.

read more

Q: Why should I choose My Pet Chicken over another reputable hatchery?
A: There's nothing wrong with buying from other major hatcheries! Before My Pet Chicken was around, we bought from a number of reputable hatcheries, and... read more

Q: My birds are so active; they just won't hold still to be photographed! How do you get such beautiful photos of your chickens--will you share any trade secrets?
A: Yes, chickens can be difficult to photograph, can't they? Much like little kids, they're not really interested in cooperating with you to get you a... read more

Q: Do you sell chicken eggs that have been in a incubator for a while and will only take a couple days to hatch?
A: I'm afraid it's not possible to stop incubation, ship the eggs, and then restart incubation afterwards. The chicks would die. It would be akin to a... read more

Q: Do chickens like music in the coop?
A: Some evidence in Australia and New Zealand has indicated that music may help to keep chickens calm and happy, thus helping them to grow larger,... read more

Q: I don't know how to order anything online. Can't I just email my order to you?
A: I'm afraid we can't accept email orders for various reasons, the most important being that email is not a safe way for you to share your payment... read more

Q: Why am I having trouble keeping the temperature steady inside my styrofoam incubator?
A: Of course we can't know for sure what may be causing the problem in your case, but we can try to mention a few things that might typically cause... read more

Q: What breed lays easy-to-peel eggs?
A: If you're losing a lot of egg white when you try to peel hard-boiled eggs, the problem is not related to the breed you have, so choose your favorite!... read more

Q: How do I figure out whether or not I'm allowed to keep chickens in my area?
A: We know you're dying to start keeping chickens--but you don't want to get a flock of beauties only to have to give them up! That said, determining if... read more

Q: What size egg is best for hatching?
A: There is no special size that is best across all breeds. Think about it: some breeds lay very large eggs because the chicks are comparatively large;... read more

Q: Is wry neck a genetic weakness that I should be worried about seeing in my chickens' offspring?
A: If you have a hen with wry neck, it is probably not a genetic problem... but read on, because the problem with answering that question definitively... read more

Q: Should I order extra chickens so enough survive into adulthood?
A: Normally you want to order the number of chickens you want to end up with---don't order extras with the expectation that some will die. But there are... read more

Q: Two bantam chicks is all I have room for, but the minimum order for bantams is five in my area. Can I pay for five, but have you only send two?
A: I'm afraid not. The minimums are based on how many chicks are safe to ship, not how many we would like to sell. You can't give us extra money to send... read more

Q: Should the chickens' feeders and waterers go inside the coop, or should they go outside in the run?
A: That's a good question! Chickens need to have access to their food and water at all times when they're awake. However, once they return to roost at... read more

Q: Why aren't my three month old chickens interested in their nests, yet?
A: Your chickens will probably not be interested in the nesting boxes until it is time to lay---and even then, it may take them a while before they... read more

Q: Is bumblefoot comtagious?
A: First, we're sorry that your flock is having problems with bumblefoot! The more technical name for this problem is ulcerative pododermatitis, but... read more

Q: Which chicken breed has the quietest, tamest hens??
A: Hens of most breeds are rather quiet except for right before and right after they have laid an egg. Then they may make a loud "announcement" about it... read more

Q: How can I maintain a clean, enclosed run if I can't free range my birds?
A: Due to the number of predators in some rural areas, some pet chicken owners don't allow free ranging. Other times, an enclosed run in a small... read more

Q: Why does my chicken have trouble keeping his balance?
A: That's a tough one. A problem like this could be caused by many things.

It may end up being nothing of concern...
One of...
read more

Q: I want all my eggs to hatch, so is there any type of chicken breed that has a higher hatching rate for their eggs?
A: This is one of those questions where it's hard to tell what exactly you're asking, a question that tells us you're probably a beginner at incubation.... read more

Q: How can you send chicks through the mail when they sometimes die? And if there is a risk that some chicks die on the way, then how can you justify staying in business?
A: Of course we hate it when chicks die along the way; every bird is an individual, and every loss is a tragedy. However, when it comes to shipping baby... read more

Q: Why do the fresh eggs from one of our hens always have a strange, unpleasant fishy smell?
A:

If this is the only symptom you're seeing, she's probably not sick. (If she does show other signs of illness you will want to take her to a... read more

Q: Are there any plants that are poisonous to chickens that I should eliminate from my yard?

A:

Naturally, some plants are poisonous to chickens, just as there are plants that are poisonous to other pets like cats and dogs. It's problematic... read more

Q: Can I order chickens from an out-of-state hatchery like yours?

A:

Don't worry! My Pet Chicken's hatchery handles all the state-level permits required to get the chicks safe and sound to you. So when you order... read more

Q: How do I "calibrate" my incubator thermometer?

A: It's definitely best to calibrate any new thermometer you are using for your incubator. You need to make sure your read more

Q: Why do so few hatcheries sell Red Star hatching eggs?
A: "Red Stars" are hybrid birds; the rooster is one breed while the hen is another. Because of the genetics of the two breeds, the Red Star chicks are... read more

Q: What's the best way to order a breed that always seems to be sold out?
A: We're sorry the breed you want is currently sold out, but yes---there is hope if you're diligent!

read more

Q: For my laying flock, should I buy fertile eggs to hatch, or should I start with baby chicks?
A: In almost every case, starting a laying flock with baby chicks will be easier and less expensive than starting one by read more

Q: Are the color of a hen's eggs determined by the color of her earlobes?
A: Not exactly, although ear lobe color seems to be related to egg color most of the time. Breeds with white earlobes usually lay white eggs... except... read more

Q: How do I start my own small hatchery business from my home?
A: That's a complex question. If you would like to turn your home or farm into a hatchery and begin selling baby chicks to other people, we'd first... read more

Q: Can a hen can turn into a rooster?
A: No, but we can give you some background information and share the crazy way that rumor may have gotten started!

It IS true that, if your... read more

Q: My friend used to keep a chicken breed that she described as "resistant to predators," but she can't remember what it was called. What breed would that have been?

A: What are we talking about here--force fields? Body armor? :-) No breed of chicken is "predator resistant" in the way you seem to mean. The only way... read more

Q: Is your breeder stock vaccinated for Marek's Disease?
A: Yes, we do vaccinate our parent stock.

read more

Q: Our rooster is pecking the backs and heads of our hens. How can we stop this behavior?
A: Unless your rooster is causing the hens injury, that sort of pecking is no cause for concern. It is courting behavior. He pecks them on their backs... read more

Q: How can I keep my brooder warm during a power outage so my baby chicks don't die?
A: Making sure your baby chicks stay warm in a power outage is one of the worries of chicken keeping! You do't want anything to happen to your... read more

Q: When will my chickens begin laying again in the spring?
A: Some chicken breeds lay year round (save when they go broody). One of our employees who's at a mid-latitude in the US reports that any girls who stop... read more

Q: If I order straight run bantams, will I get a 50-50 mix, or do you use your extra cockerels as straight run?
A: We do not use sexed birds as straight run. (No hatchery we know of does that--how dishonest would THAT be?!.) It does not pay us to sex all our baby... read more

Q: Why do chickens lay different colored eggs?
A: Well, we can tell you HOW the different colors are made, but as to WHY the different colors are produced, there are just theories.

read more

Q: My chicks were delivered a day late by the post office. Will they refund my shipping since they didn't meet the overnight Express Mail guarantees?
A: Unfortunately, no. USPS does NOT guarantee overnight Express delivery for live animals, as much as we would like them to. We agree: it seems a little... read more

Q: How do I help a chick that isn't eating or drinking?
A:

Well, first remember that if you hatched these babies at home, chicks don't actually need to eat or drink for the first two or three... read more

Q: Is it true that modern, purebred chickens can't hatch their own eggs?

A: No, that's not true.

First, broodiness is not tied to whether a chicken is purebred or not. Broodiness depends more on a chicken's breed,... read more

Q: Is it ever okay to help a chick out of the shell?

A: Generally speaking you will NOT want to intervene in the hatching process when incubating read more

Q: Why do my hens stop or almost stop laying in the late fall and winter months?
A: A chicken's reproductive cycle begins in her eye. Or according to the read more

Q: My hen was vaccinated for Marek's disease as a chick, but I still lost her to this illness. How could this have happened?
A: Marek’s disease is very common and will eventually end up in most backyard flocks, whether or not the flocks have been vaccinated. It's strange but... read more

Q: My chicken cannot walk. Does she have Marek’s disease?
A: Lameness is a very common symptom of Mareks’ disease, but there are many other conditions that can also cause paralysis or lameness in your chicken. ... read more

Q: I plan on vaccinating my chickens – is there anything else I can do to prevent my flock from getting Marek’s disease?
A: In order to prevent the symptoms of Marek’s disease from affecting your flock, we highly recommend getting your baby chicks vaccinated at hatch.... read more

Q: Coccidiosis Overview
A: Coccidiosis Also called
Cocci

Prevalence-
Very common

Signs
General signs...
read more

Q: Spraddle leg overview
A: Spraddle leg Also called
Splay leg

Prevalence-
Common

Signs
General signs...
read more

Q: Crossed beak overview
A: Crossed beak
Also called
Cross beak, scissor beak, scissors beak, crooked beak, lateral beak...
read more

Q: Coryza Overview
A: Coryza Also called
Cold, Infectious Coryza, IC, Roup

Prevalence-
Common

Signs
...
read more

Q: Mycoplasma gallisepticum Overview
A: Mycoplasma gallisepticum Also called
MG, Chronic Respiratory Disease, Infectious sinusitis (in turkeys)

Prevalence-...
read more

Q: Avian Encephalomyelitis Overview
A: Avian encephalomyelitis Also called
AE, epidemic tremor, New England Disease, Star-gazing Syndrome

Prevalence-...
read more

Q: Heart Attack Overview
A: Heart attack Also called
Sudden Death Syndrome, SDS, acute death syndrome, flip-over disease, acute heart...
read more

Q: Omphalitis overview
A: Omphalitis Also called
Navel infection, mushy chick, yolk sac infection

Prevalence-...
read more

Q: Pullorum Overview
A: Pullorum Disease Also called
PD, Bacillary White Diarrhea, BWD, White Diarrhea

Prevalence-...
read more

Q: Pasted Vent Overview
A: Pasted Vent Also called
Pasting, vent gleet, pasty butt

Prevalence-
Very common in chicks. Not common in adult...
read more

Q: Egg Binding Overview
A: Egg binding Also called
Eggbound hen, stuck egg, bound egg, obstructed vent

Prevalence-
Common in some breeds...
read more

Q: Vent prolapse overview
A: Vent Prolapse Also called
Blowout

Prevalence-
Common in some breeds and crosses, especially those prone to...
read more

Q: Egg Yolk Peritonitis Overview
A: Egg Yolk Peritonitis Also called
Yolk peritonitis, yolk stroke, abdominal sepsis, abdominal septicemia

Prevalence-...
read more

Q: What is the nutritional difference between the eggs I can get at a grocery store and eggs my hens lay at home?
A: Wouldn’t it be nice if you could get such good eggs in the grocery store? Until things change, though, most people really can’t.

read more

Q: Aspergillosis Overview
A: Aspergillosis Also called
Pneumonia, coop or brooder pneumonia, mycotic pneumonia, pneumomycosis

Prevalence-...
read more

Q: Botulism Overview
A: Botulism Also called
Food poisoning

Prevalence-
Infrequent

Signs
General signs...
read more

Q: VVD Overview
A: VVD Also called
Varus/Valgus Deformity, Twisted leg, Crooked leg

Prevalence-
Rare in home flocks; common in...
read more

Q: Myiasis Overview
A: Myiasis Also called
Flystrike, fly blown

Prevalence-
Infrequent. It is more common in other animals such as...
read more

Q: Lymphoid Leucosis Overview
A: Lymphoid Leucosis Also called
Liver cancer, Liver disease, LL

Prevalence-
Common

Signs
...
read more

Q: Will chickens help eat ticks and mosquitoes and ticks in my yard?
A: Chickens love to eat mosquitoes and ticks--that's great news! But if you keep chickens, will that mean you can dump your other bug protection... read more

Q: Salmonella - Overview
A: Salmonella (general)
Various types of Salmonella infection include Pullorum, Typhoid, Paratyphoid, Arizonosis, Paracolon, various other...
read more

Q: Are there any special secrets to help my chickens stay warm in the winter?
A:

Secrets? No. Tricks? A few, maybe.

First of all, take a few moments to review read more

Q: How can I tell if my hens' eggs are fertile?

A: Crack a fresh, unincubated egg into a bowl in good light. If you have sharp eyes, you will see that a fertile egg has a faint bullseye, the... read more

Q: What treats taste best to chickens?
A: Chickens LOVE treats, and they have their own individual tastes and preferences, of course. But we hate to break it to you: they have almost no taste... read more

Q: Should I give my hens vegetarian feed?
A: You have probably seen labels on grocery store eggs claiming they have been laid by "vegetarian-fed hens," so is this something you should be looking... read more

Q: Can I give my chickens moldy bread, moldy leftovers or moldy feed?
A: No, your chickens should not eat anything with mold on it. Just as moldy or rotten food can make you sick, it can make them sick. Sharing some... read more

Q: What is the deep litter method of coop bedding management, and how does it work?
A: The traditional way to manage bedding in the coop is to put a light layer of bedding down--for bedding recommendations, see the related questions... read more

Q: Why is it necessary that my chickens have grit?
A: "Scarce as hens' teeth." Have you ever heard that expression before? Of course, chickens don't have teeth... and that's a problem, since their diet... read more

Q: Will a broody hen starve herself to death on the nest?
A: It's unlikely she'll starve, but even so, it's not unheard of for a hen to die on the nest. Remember, even when they're broody, they do get off the... read more

Q: How do I keep my run from becoming muddy?
A: Depending on where you are in the country and how your coop is sited, you may occasionally have problems with mud in the run. There are worse things... read more

Q: What is an apron fence, and why is it helpful?
A: An apron fence is a fence that helps to keep out digging predators. But it isn't normally a special type of fence that you buy; it's more of a... read more

Q: How do I calibrate my hygrometer?
A: Hatching read more

Q: Will all of my blue chicks actually be blue?
A: It's possible... but in general, no. The color blue just doesn't hatch true in chickens. The genes for "blue" are actually more like diluting genes.... read more

Q: Why do chicken combs look so different from one another, and what is a comb?
A: A comb is the fleshy (usually) red erectile tissue on top of a chicken's head. Different breeds have different combs. There are a few main comb... read more

Q: Can I give my chickens wild birdseed mix?
A: Bird seed mixes are usually too high in fat, too low in vitamins (especially when the mixes are high in millet and cracked corn) to meet the long... read more

Q: Should I treat my chickens with black oil sunflower seeds, or striped sunflower seeds?
A: Sunflower seeds are a good treat for your chickens. They're widely available, chickens typically love them, and for a treat, they're quite read more

Q: Ascites Overview
A: Ascites Also called
Pulmonary hypertension syndrome, waterbelly, fluid retained in abdomen

Prevalence-...
read more

Q: If I'm interested in getting started in keeping backyard chickens, where do I begin?
A: If you're longing to keep pet chickens, sometimes it's hard to even know where to begin your exciting chicken adventure. We're happy to help you get... read more

Q: How much space should my chickens have inside their coop?
A: A chicken coop is any structure in which your chickens shelter. In most areas of the country, a chicken coop is an enclosed space, but in warmer... read more

Q: Can you safely ship chicks to Alaska or Hawaii?
A: We can safely ship chicks to Alaska and Hawaii. However, we can only safely ship to certain zip codes within those states. The post... read more

Q: My chick's toes are all curled up--what's wrong with her?
A: Sometimes a chick will develop or hatch with a condition called curled toes or curly toes in one or both feet.

read more

Q: Can I keep an indoor pet chicken, or do I need a coop and run outside?
A: Sometimes people get the idea to keep an indoor pet chicken, or a "house chicken." It's not a good idea to keep them permanently indoors, though.... read more

Q: How do I handle a flighty chicken?
A: If the hen you need to handle runs from you every time you get near, what do you do--chase her around the yard and see who gets tired first? Well,... read more

Q: How do I introduce my new chicks to other young chicks in the brooder?
A:

Introducing new hens to an established flock can be tricky (see how to do that in the related questions below)---but luckily it's much easier to... read more

Q: There are so many different terms for chickens--juvenile, cockerel, pullet, chick, hen, rooster, peep, biddy, started pullet, point-of-lay pullet, broody, brood, flock---what do they all mean?

A:

There ARE a lot of different terms for chicken, aren't there? It can be a little confusing, especially when you're just starting out. So let's... read more

Q: How much water do chickens drink per day?

A:

Are you going to need to refill your chicken waterer once a day... or once a week? You might be wanting to plan ahead for what size waterer you'll... read more

Q: What do I need to know about bears if I keep chickens?

A: Name:
Bear
Ursidae

Description:
*Large mammals, most species are omnivorous. (Polar bears are mostly...
read more

Q: Can't I just mix my own chicken feed at home?
A:

Yes, you CAN mix your feed at home. But that said, it's not very easy or inexpensive, as people who ask this question often seem to assume. For... read more

Q: How long do I have to keep my chicken quarantined after treating for an illness or infection?

A: There is not a single answer to that question--it will depend on what your bird has been treated for. For instance, once you've treated for mites and... read more

Q: What are frizzles and sizzles?
A:

Frizzles and sizzles are not breeds of chickens so much as they are words describing a very showy feather type that chickens can have.... read more

Q: What's the difference between Breeds, Designer Breeds, and Varieties of Chicken?

A:

Let's talk about Designer Breeds, Breeds, and Varieties, so you'll understand the differences in... read more

Q: What is wry tail?

A: A chicken whose tail always twists to one side has "wry tail." This is a condition that is exactly what it sounds like: your chicken's tail is held... read more

Q: Can I add fall leaves to the run?
A: Yes, but you probably won't want to add too much, too often.

There may be some entertainment value in adding a few fallen leaves sparingly...
read more

Q: Can I feed my chickens garden clippings?
A: It really depends on what you grow. The leaves of nightshade-family veggies such as potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and the like are not good... read more

Q: Can I spread grass clippings in the chicken run?
A: No, grass clippings would be bad for your flock.

Most people will find this advice counter-intuitive, because chickens love to eat grasses,...
read more

Q: What is a chicken's crop? What is a gizzard?
A: A chicken's crop is a part of her digestive system, and is located on her breast. You see it in the illustration below, closest to the front. When it... read more

Q: What are a chicken's hackles?
A: A chicken's hackle feathers are the feathers around the neck. These feathers can sometimes be showy in roosters. People that "fly tie" (for trout... read more

Q: What does "straight run" mean?
A: Straight run chicks are an "as hatched" mix of male and female chicks.

read more

Q: What are bantam chickens?
A: Bantams chickens are miniature chickens. Regular-sized chickens are often called "standards," but in reality the correct term for the larger chickens... read more

Q: What is a chicken's spur?
A: A spur is a horny growth on a chicken's legs, right above the toes. In most breeds, roosters are the only ones who grow spurs. Roosters use their... read more

Q: What is bedding or litter?
A: Bedding or litter is the material added to the coop floor and nest box in order to absorb odor and droppings and provide a soft surface for your... read more

Q: What is the "bloom" of an egg?
A: The bloom, cuticle, or cuticula is a natural protective covering of an that helps keep bacteria from invading the porous shell.

read more

Q: What is candling?
A: Candling is the process of shining a bright light into an egg to have a look at the contents. It used to be done with a candle in a dark room, but... read more

Q: What is regular chicken body temperature?
A: Chickens have a much higher body temperature than humans do. Normal chicken body temperature ranges from about 105 to 107 degrees Fahrenheit. Just as... read more

Q: What is fancy feathering in chickens?
A: "Fancy feathering" refers to unusual feathering that some varieties of chickens have. There are different types of fancy feathering.... read more

Q: What is a droppings tray?
A: A droppings tray is a great coop feature, if yo're lucky enough to have it! It's like a shallow drawer in your coop that can be pulled out and dumped... read more

Q: What is a feeder for my pet chickens?
A: A feeder is the item you use to dispense feed for your flock. Of course, you could always just dispense feed on the ground or in a dish, but there... read more

Q: What is a roost?
A: A roost is a perch for a chicken---what s/he sleeps on, usually a branch, pole, or board that is elevated. It also refers to the act of resting on... read more

Q: What is incubation?
A: Incubation is similar to "gestation" in animals that give live birth. It's the process in which the embryo in a fertilized egg develops into a baby... read more

Q: What is a dual-purpose chicken?
A: In the modern day, factory farm chickens are kept for laying or meat production. Laying breeds or "layers" tend to produce impressive... read more

Q: What is the difference between different types of chicken feeds like starter, grower, finisher, layer, and developer?
A: Starter, grower, finisher, layer, and developer are all considered "complete feeds" to offer your chickens, but they come in different... read more

Q: What is a dust bath, and do my chickens need one?
A: A dust bath is essentially a "bath" your birds will take in dry dirt. They'll flop around looking as if they're dying. But don't be alarmed! They're... read more

Q: What is a fertilized chicken egg?
A: Fertile eggs are those that contain both ova and sperm, and will develop into a baby chick if incubated. If you have nothing but hens in your flock,... read more

Q: What is the Latin name for chicken?
A: The Latin name for chicken is Gallus gallus domesticus.

read more

Q: What is a nest box?
A: A nest box or nesting box is just an enclosed area meant to give chickens a place they feel comfortable laying their eggs.

Chickens...
read more

Q: What is a setter and what is a non-setter in chickens?
A: A setter is a hen who will hatch her eggs. A non-setter is a hen who will not hatch eggs.

The vast majority of chicken breeds will...
read more

Q: What is pecking order?
A: "Pecking order" is the social hierarchy of the chicken flock. Those at the top of the pecking order get the best nesting spots and roosting spots,... read more

Q: What is a poultry show?
A: A Poultry Show or exhibition is very much like a dog show. Breeders and fanciers---often 4-Hers---bring their best chickens to show them at the... read more

Q: What are wattles? Are they they same thing as earlobes?
A: Wattles are the red flaps of tissue that hang down beneath a chicken's throat.

read more

Q: What are shanks and spurs?
A: A chicken's shank is the bottom part of her leg, above the foot, but below the hock. The spur is the chicken's chief weapon, and grows out of the... read more

Q: What is a chicken coop?
A: The word "coop" simply refers to the structure that your chickens live in. A run refers to the enclosed part of the chickens' area that is outside,... read more

Q: What is sexing, autosexing, and sex-linked?
A: The word "sexing" simply refers to the process by which chicks are sorted into males and females. Chicks are not easy to tell apart because they... read more

Q: What is a chicken's vent? Fluff? Wheezer? Cloaca?
A: Prepare yourself for this: a chicken's vent is the opening where she expels waste AND the opening from which she lays her eggs. It's all one... read more

Q: What are hackles, sickles, and saddles?
A: Hackles, sickles, saddles: these are all terms referring to different types of chicken feathers.

"Hackles" are the feathers around the...
read more

Q: What is a wormer?
A: A "wormer" is a medication used to help rid your chickens of infestations of internal parasites like round worms or other worms, the same way you... read more

Q: What is a waterer?
A: A waterer is simply the vessel or system you use to provide water for your birds. Waterers may be basic and made from plastic or metal.

read more

Q: What is a Showgirl CHICKEN?
A: A Showgirl is a type of chicken that combines the features of two of the weirdest-looking chicken breeds, Silkies and... read more

Q: How do I raise show quality chickens?
A: Well, it helps to start with good stock. Have a look at our special read more

Q: What does BBS stand for with chickens?
A: BBS stands for "Blue-Black-Splash." But that doesn't tell you a whole lot, either, if you don't know how the genetics of blue plumage colors works!... read more

Q: What is the best brand of chicken feed?
A: That's a little like asking for the best brand of jeans. In other words, most major brands are going to be fine, and what's "best" will depend on you... read more

Q: Will my chickens be bothered by mice?
A: Well, it's true that if you leave chicken feed out where mice can get to it, it's possible that some may show up to eat the feed, just as they would... read more

Q: What is wire gauge, and why should I care about it?
A: When you're looking at fencing... read more

Q: Can I cancel or change my order for fertile hatching eggs?
A: Yes, we're happy to cancel or change an order of fertile hatching eggs provided you let us know by the week before your scheduled ship week.... read more

Q: Can I cancel or change my order for juvenile 6 week old chickens (started pullets)?
A: Yes, we're happy to cancel or change an order of juvenile chickens provided you let us know by the week before your scheduled ship week. For... read more

Q: What should I consider when choosing a waterer for my flock?
A: When selecting a chicken waterer for your flock, there are five important considerations:

  1. Physical dimensions. Make sure... read more

    Q: What is NPIP and why should I purchase only from NPIP breeders?
    A: NPIP stands for National Poultry Improvement Plan, and it's a voluntary certification system that poultry breeders and hatcheries can participate in.... read more

    Q: Avian Infectious Bronchitis Overview
    A: Avian Infectious Bronchitis Also called
    IB, IBV, Infectious Bronchitis, Cold

    Prevalence-...
    read more

    Q: Domestic Newcastle Overview
    A: Domestic Newcastle Also called
    Newcastle Disease, Avian Distemper, Pseudofowl, ND, Parainfluenza, Fake Flu...
    read more

    Q: Exotic Newcastle Overview
    A: Exotic Newcastle Also called
    Pseudo-plague, Asiatic Newcastle, VVND, NVND, Velogenic Newcastle, VN,...
    read more

    Q: What is quarantine and when should I quarantine my flock?
    A: In your backyard flock, quarantine is the act of isolating a chicken or chickens who has been potentially or actually exposed to contagious illness... read more

    Q: How can I cope with the loss of my chicken?
    A: First, we're so sorry to hear about the loss of your chicken. Losing any pet is hard, but there's something about having a bird who begs for pets and... read more

    Q: Can bed bugs bother my chickens?
    A: Ew, yuck! But yes: just as bed bugs can feed on dogs and cats, they can feed on chickens, too. It's a particular problem with chickens in factory... read more

    Q: What is an overhatch and why do you advertise it?
    A: Well, let's start with the idea that we literally count our chickens before they've hatched. :) The exhortation against doing that is pretty good... read more

    Q: Salpingitis Overview
    A: Salpingitis
    Also called
    Inflammation of the oviduct, infection of the oviduct

    Prevalence-...
    read more

    Q: What is a lash egg?
    A: A lash egg is less of an egg than it is a roughly egg- or sausage-shaped exudate, consisting of thickened pus and other materials. It is probably read more

    Q: Will my lawn be safe for my pet chickens at the same time it's safe for dogs or cats, after I've had it treated?
    A: No, even if the lawn treatment may be safe for dogs and cats, it won't necessarily be safe for your pet chickens. Remember, dogs and cats are not... read more

    Q: How do I break my hen of broodiness?
    A: If your hen has gone broody, that means she wants to hatch eggs. She'll puff up and stay in the nest---even if the eggs in there aren't fertile (she... read more

    Q: Infectious Laryngotracheitis Overview
    A: Infectious Larygotracheitis Also called
    Avian Diphtheria, Laryngo, ILT

    Prevalence-...
    read more

    Q: Fowl Pox (Wet) Overview
    A: Fowl Pox (Wet) Also called
    Fowl Diphtheria, diphtheritic pox, ILT

    Prevalence-
    Common, but less so than Dry...
    read more

    Q: Fowl Pox (Dry) Overview
    A: Fowl Pox (Dry) Also called
    Fowl pox, sore head, cutaneous pox, dry pox

    Prevalence-...
    read more

    Q: Infectious Synovitis Overview
    A: Infectious Synovitis Also called
    Mycoplasmosis (one form), MS, big hock disease, enlarged hocks,

    Prevalence-...
    read more

    Q: Mycotoxicosis Overview
    A: Mycotoxicosis Also called
    Aflatoxicosis, Aflatoxicosis, Ergotism, Fusariotoxicosis, Oosporein Mycotoxicosis, other mycotoxicoses...
    read more

    Q: Nutritional Myopathy Overview
    A: Nutritional Myopathy Also called
    White muscle disease, Nutritional Muscular Dystrophy

    Prevalence-...
    read more

    Q: Perosis Overview
    A: Perosis Also called
    Slipped tendon, chondrodystrophy

    Prevalence-
    Uncommon in layers, common in heavy, fast...
    read more

    Q: Polyneuritis Overview
    A: Polyneuritis Also called
    Star gazing, Thiamine deficiency

    Prevalence-
    Uncommon, particularly so in backyard...
    read more

    Q: Encephalomalacia Overview
    A: Encephalomalacia Also called
    Crazy chick disease

    Prevalence-
    Rare, particularly so in backyard flocks with...
    read more

    Q: Marek's Disease Overview
    A: Marek's Disease Also called
    Neurolymphomatosis, MD, range paralysis, grey eye, Marek's, uveitis, neutitis, pseudobotulism, false...
    read more

    Q: Infectious Bursal Disease Overview
    A: Infectious Bursal Disease Also called
    IBD, Gumboro

    Prevalence-
    Common in large flocks

    Signs
    ...
    read more

    Q: Blackhead Overview
    A: Blackhead Also called
    Enterohepatitis, histomoniasis

    Prevalence-
    Common in turkeys, rare in...
    read more

    Q: How much space should my chickens have in their run?
    A: The "run" is a fenced or enclosed yard space you give your flock outdoors, where they can forage, sunbathe and generally engage in all the chicken-y... read more

    Q: What is a chicken run?
    A: A chicken run is the fenced or enclosed outdoor space you provide for your chickens. The coop is the indoor space---where they go to sleep on their... read more

    Q: Fowl Spirochetosis (Borrelia) Overview
    A: Fowl Spirochetosis (Borrelia) Also called
    AIS, Avian Intestinal Spirochetosis, Avian Spirochetosis

    Prevalence-...
    read more

    Q: Fowl Spirochetosis (Brachyspira) Overview
    A: Fowl Spirochetosis (Brachyspira) Also called
    AIS, Avian Intestinal Spirochetosis, Avian Spirochetosis

    Prevalence-...
    read more

    Q: How do I find an avian veterinarian?
    A: It's always a good idea to seek out an avian veterinarian BEFORE you get chickens, so you'll know where to turn in case of any emergency or health... read more

    Q: Why your chickens are not laying eggs (overview)
    A: There are a number of possible reasons your chickens are not laying eggs. Let's look at a brief overview of reasons to give you some ideas, and you... read more

 

Related Items: