Frequently Asked Questions

Here we answer the most commonly-asked questions about ordering, chicken care, and more.

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Can I catch bird flu (avian influenza) if I keep chickens?

No. But it's always a good idea to be informed, to practice good biosecurity, and to cook your eggs and meat all the way through. Bird flu, or Avian Influenza (AI), is a viral disease that can infect domestic poultry. There are two types of AI viruses: low pathogenicity (LPAI) and high pathogenicity (HPAI). Whether a virus is LPAI or HPAI depends on the severity of the illness it causes. HPAI is the extremely infectious and deadly-to-birds form of the disease that you've probably heard about. It can spread rapidly from flock to flock. In 2022, the USDA is finding...

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How is Salmonella infection transmitted to chickens in the first place?

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 factory farms usually get infected because they have eaten rat droppings from the conveyor belt that carries their feed. Apart from rat and rodent droppings, chicks can hatch ill with salmonella, having had it passed to them by their mothers. Chickens that are purchased at auctions, shows or other places may pass an illness into your own flock. Chickens that are ill with Salmonella can also pass it to other flock members if their...

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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 with salmonella will be weak, lethargic, have purplish combs and wattles, a decreased appetite and increased thirst. Plus you will see distinct white, sulfur yellow or green diarrhea. In some cases, joints might be swollen and blindness might occur from swelling in the eyes. If your birds were laying, production will be drastically reduced. But these symptoms can also indicate other illnesses, so you'll have to consult a vet to...

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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 2004. It was designed to educate the growing population of backyard poultry owners on how to keep their flocks healthy. The campaign is focused on public education and reducing the risk of contagious poultry diseases in backyard poultry. This is great for those who keep pet or show chickens, and who want to know how to best keep them safe. For more information about keeping your birds healthy, read the related questions below, or visit the APHIS Biosecurity...

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How do I know if my chicken is sick?

We know you love your birds and want to make sure they're healthy. Just like our other animal friends, chickens can become ill. In this article we'll teach you what are the common signs and symptoms of illness, how to hone in on a diagnosis, and finally, help you decide when you'll need to call a veterinarian. How to know if your chicken is sick Chickens can be a bit sneaky, so knowing whether they need medical help can be tough. Here are a few important things to keep in mind. Chickens hide symptoms of illness. Since they are prey...

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What biosecurity should I practice to protect my flock from AI and other illnesses?

Good question! Most illnesses or even infestations (such as mites or worms) are contracted when your birds are exposed to other birds, either directly or indirectly. For that reason, there are simple steps you can take to reduce the chances of exposure and keep your flock healthy. Use common sense and restrict access to your birds and to their area. It's fun to have chicken keeping friends, but remember that allowing visitors to your flock that have been exposed to other birds is one of the main ways illnesses and infestations can get passed from one flock to another Before...

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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. Research has shown that a diet of whole grains and seeds is associated with decreased Salmonella colonies -- so start there! We offer these treats that fit the bill: Farmer's Helper Optimal ForageCake Supplement Sunflower Sensation Organic Chicken Crack Sounds easy. Too easy, right? Especially since, if you're even reading this, you're probably already a responsible chicken owner concerned with providing your flock the best care you can... so you've undoubtedly provided lots of space and clean conditions to begin with. But consider this:...

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My hen's beak tip broke off. 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, her beak should grow back with no problems. Normally, her beak will slowly wear down with use, but if her beak grows faster than it wears, the tip may break, or a break can be caused by an injury. Possibly your chicken caught her beak somewhere and broke it trying to escape. In any case, check your coop and feeders to make sure there is no place to catch a toe or a...

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"The Clubhouse" Coop

Easy to assemble and built to last, the Clubhouse Coop is the perfect starter coop for a small flock.