Frequently Asked Questions

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

Spinner icon

What is a chicken's crop? What is a gizzard?

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 fills up with food, it may stick out a little bit. It will be smaller in the morning before she has eaten, and larger after she is full. The crop or craw holds food before it goes further down their digestive tract. Chickens basically store food in their crops; it is like a chicken lunchbox. Then it moves into the stomach or proventriculus and gets soaked with digestive juices, before finally...

Read More

What is a droppings tray?

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 or scraped to make for quick and easy cleaning. This prevents you fram having to scoop or shovel out dirty bedding. Droppings tray The droppings tray usually located under roosting poles, because that's where most of the mess occurs (your flock remains on the roosts for long periods at night). In smaller coops, it may make up the entire floor! Again, just pull out your droppings tray, then turn out...

Read More

What is fancy feathering in chickens?

"Fancy feathering" refers to unusual feathering that some varieties of chickens have. There are different types of fancy feathering. Crestedness, for example, is when a chicken has a crest or puff of feathers on the head. Rumplessness refers to a chicken that naturally (not from plucking or molting) has no tail. Araucanas are rumpless. Tuftedness refers to feathers up near the ears. They grow out of a fleshy nub called the peduncle. Note that tuftedness is a fatal gene; that means that chickens that get two copies of the gene typically die in the egg before they hatch. Since tuftedness...

Read More

What is candling?

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 now high intensity light can be used in a darkened box. For instance, here is Brinsea's egg candler: Commercially, eggs are candled to make sure they are free of blood or meat spots. This is why, incidentally, white eggs used to be the most popular type of commercial egg. It's not just a matter of finding a high production, breed, but also of easy examination to make sure...

Read More

What is the "bloom" of an egg?

The bloom, cuticle, or cuticula is a natural protective covering of an that helps keep bacteria from invading the porous shell. It also helps to regulate the loss of moisture from the egg. It is a thin coating and will be removed if you wash the egg.

Read More

What is bedding or litter?

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 chickens to walk on. The most common material that works well is wood shavings. There are other materials that can be used, though. Please read about good choices in the related questions below.

Read More

What is a chicken's spur?

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 spurs as weapons. Rooster spur Older hens can sometimes grow spurs, too. In baby chicks, you can usually see small spur buds in both males and females.

Read More

What is a bantam chicken?

A bantam chicken is a smaller version of a regular chicken. Bantam chickens are typically one-fourth to one-fifth the size of standard chicken breeds.

Read More

"The Clubhouse" Coop

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