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We found 47 results for category 'Glossary'

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: What is quarantine and when should I use quarantine in 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: 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: 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: 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: What's a coop, what's a run, and how much space should they provide my chickens?
A: A coop is really any structure in which your chickens shelter. In most areas of the country, a chicken coop is an enclosed space, but in warmer areas... 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: 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 terminology.

Designer... 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.

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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.

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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 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 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 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 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.

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

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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 coop, and what is a run?
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...
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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.

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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 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 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.

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

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