We don't generally think it is a good idea to offer anything but plain, clean water unless your chicks are exceedingly stressed.
What is medicated feed all about--do I need it?
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
Why don't you offer vaccinations for bantams?
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
What are the signs of mites or lice and how do I treat my birds if they have an infestation?
Mites and lice are a common problem for chickens and can be carried in by wild birds, so if you have an infestation, it doesn't necessarily mean your... read more
My hen's egg shells have rough patches, and sometimes little hard pimples on the shell. Should I be concerned?
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
Why does my hen sometimes lay eggs with ridges halfway down the shell?
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
I just found a little dark spot in my hen's egg, but I don't even have a rooster! How can this happen?
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
Why did my chicken lay a shell-less egg?
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
My chicken has a lump or tumor on her chest--what should I do?
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
My flock is pecking one another! What should I do?
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
Do my chickens need to be wormed, and if so, what schedule should I use?
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
Are you a member of the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP)?
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
What is NPIP and why should I purchase only from NPIP breeders?
NPIP stands for National Poultry Improvement Plan, and it's a voluntary certification system that poultry breeders and hatcheries can participate in.... read more
Avian Infectious Bronchitis Overview
Avian Infectious Bronchitis
IB, IBV, Infectious Bronchitis, Cold
Prevalence-... read more
Domestic Newcastle Overview
Newcastle Disease, Avian Distemper, Pseudofowl, ND, Parainfluenza, Fake Flu... read more
Exotic Newcastle Overview
Pseudo-plague, Asiatic Newcastle, VVND, NVND, Velogenic Newcastle, VN,... read more
What is quarantine and when should I use quarantine in my flock?
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
My hen has sticky, tar-looking poop--is there anything wrong?
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
Do I need to be worried about bird flu if I keep chickens?
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
Are there symptoms I should watch for that mean my birds are seriously ill? If they do get seriously ill, whom should I call?
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
What is the Biosecurity for Birds campaign and how can I find more information about it?
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
How can I tell if my flock is infected with Salmonella? What are the symptoms?
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
How is Salmonella infection transmitted to chickens in the first place?
You probably don't have to worry about well cared for backyard hens catching salmonella if you provide a clean environment for them. Hens in factory... read more
What can I do to reduce the risk of my birds getting sick with Salmonella or another illness?
The easiest thing to do is simply to provide your birds with safe, roomy, clean conditions.
How do I know which chickens feeds have hormones and which are hormone-free?
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
Should I be concerned that my hen laid an egg with blood on the shell?
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
What can my chicken's comb tell me about his or her health?
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
Today I noticed that the tip of one hen's beak has broken off--how can this happen and what should I do?
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
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?
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
Why is my chick's beak getting crooked, and what should I do?
Usually, chickens with crossed beaks or scissor beaks lead long, normal lives.
In most cases, this defect is caused by the chick... read more
How do I dispose of a dead chick or chicken?
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
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?
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
Are oversized eggs that are difficult for my hens to pass caused by overfeeding?
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
I got the Marek's vaccination for my chickens, but one chicken seems sick! Is the vaccination not working?
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
Why does my chicken have a bare spot on her chest? She's not molting!
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
Will ticks attack our chickens? We find ticks on our dogs.
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
Is wry neck a genetic weakness that I should be worried about seeing in my chickens' offspring?
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