The winter season can be a very difficult season for chicken owners. You may be asking yourself whether your precious chicken will survive the winter cold. Don't worry any longer; the following tips are helpful for you and your chickens' survival.
1. To Warm Your Chicken, Use the Deep Litter Method.
The deep litter technique allows the chickens' bedding material and poop to accumulate in the coop over other hot seasons. This method ensures that you have a foot of composting manure on the surface of the chicken coop, giving off heat and warming the coop naturally.
2. Feed Your Chicken With Corn and Fresh Water Every Evening To Keep Them Warm at Night.
Corn is chicken's favorite meal. Keep the bellies of your chicken with bowls of cracked corn every evening. By doing so, you keep them busy overnight with something to digest, keeping them warmer.
3. Roosts Are Essential In The Winter Season.
Roosts allow your chickens to fluff themselves; it keeps them warm.
Make sure that you raise the roosts at least 2 to 3 feet above the earth's surface to keep your chicken off the icy and cold ground.
4. Select The Right Breeds For Winter.
The most favorable decision you can take to ensure your chickens are safe through the winter is to get the right cold hardy chicken breeds. Such breeds are adapted to cold seasons; they have very reduced wattles and combs, making them non-susceptible to frostbite. Some of these breeds include:
5. Insulate The Coop.
Another great way to protect your chicken from winter is by winterizing the coop. This is easily done by insulating the coop. If it's possible, you can use fiberglass insulation around the walls of the chicken coop, then cover them up with plywood.
I hope that the above tips have cleared your worries and answered your troubling questions on how to keep your chickens warm during the winter.
And don’t forget to feed your chickens PopWorms! to treat them in the winter months!
Here's the Scoop on Giving Your Chickens a Bath
Welcome to the wonderful world of backyard chickens! Having a reliable source of eggs and becoming more independent is now within your reach, plus you get the added bonus of watching your new chickens develop their personalities. Now that you have your chickens you'll want to keep them clean and happy. So here's the skinny on the exact reasons why and how to wash a chicken properly.
How chickens normally keep clean and when to intervene
Chickens are very independent, just like you're aiming to be. For the most part, they keep themselves clean with regular dust bathing. So when do you need to intervene in their normal routine and give them a good old fashion rinse off? They won't be able to remove caked-on feces themselves, so giving them a hand is the best way to keep them spick and span. You may also come across some less common problems such as: treating pests, cleaning to assess injuries, or the dreaded skunk spray.
The steps to get a clean chicken
Bathing a chicken is much like bathing any other animal, the supplies and process are very similar. Whether you are bathing them in a bathtub, sink, or a bucket, you are going to need to keep yourself safe. Make sure to hold your bird very securely with one hand on their wings at all times. Lower them in gently, this is a new experience for them after all. Begin using lukewarm water and soak your chicken's problem areas applying a small amount of shampoo, lather up, and watch the suds work their magic!
If your chicken has a foot infection or caked-on debris a nail brush will be super helpful to have on hand. After you remove any dirt or feces be sure to rinse well and gently squeeze any excess water from their feathers. On hotter days you can now release your bird to air dry, you don't want a wet chicken so if it is a little chillier wrap them in a towel and use a hairdryer on the low heat setting. Even better if it has a cool setting. Lastly, make sure to never leave your little chicken unattended in water, chickens can drown very easily.
At what age should I bathe my chickens?
When they are younger than 6 months a full bath is not necessary and if they have any caked-on feces or dirt, wiping them down with a wet towel will do the trick.
What type of shampoo should I use?
Baby shampoos or any other gentle use shampoo with no irritants, such as Johnsons baby shampoo, or dawn dish soap.
And don't forget to treat your clean chickens with PopWorms! Treats!
You realize you know little about raising chickens as soon as your first flock arrives. It can be an uphill task, especially when you don't know where to start. Luckily, you're not the only person who goes through this stage. Many people find themselves in this predicament because they pick up chicken raising as a hobby.
Although the internet seems to have all the answers, books provide a massive wealth of knowledge and experience. You have to follow standard procedures to raise a healthy flock and high-quality eggs. The following books will help you raise both healthy chickens and other small birds.
1. Melissa Caughey — How To Speak ChickenAfter spending a lot of time watching and studying chicken behavior, Melissa Caughey wrote a masterpiece to get you started. How To Speak Chicken is a super fun book that helps you interpret your chicken's gestures and sounds. You get to learn everything from the call of a mother about to lay eggs to the cute baby sounds. It is an excellent book choice if you are thinking of raising chicken with the entire family.
2. Kathy Shea Mormino — The Chicken Chick's Guide to Backyard ChickensAre you thinking of raising chicken for commercial purposes or as a hobby? Poultry farming is very different from backyard farming. While one focuses on meat and egg production, the other is about raising healthier chicken in a happy and safe environment. Kathy Shea Mormino provides the insight you need to raise healthy and happy chickens in your backyard.
3. Gail Damerow — The Chicken Health HandbookRaising chickens comes with one enormous downside — diseases and ailments. The Chicken Health Handbook gives you all the information about potential diseases that might affect your chicken. Chapters include chicken anatomy, health and nutrition, diagnostic guides, parasites, treatment, and so much. Avoid costly veterinary visits by following the tips and tricks presented by Gail Damerow.
4. Lisa Steele — Fresh Eggs DailyAmericans are getting cautious about what they eat. If you need a guide on getting high-quality eggs in your backyard, consider reading this book. Lisa Steele's Fresh Eggs Daily helps the reader choose the right breed and care for them correctly. It contains all the information you need to get healthier meat and eggs right from your backyard.
5. Harvey Ussery — The Small-Scale Poultry FlockHarvey Ussery presents an all-natural approach to raising chickens in this must-have book. Interestingly, The Small-Scale Poultry Flock covers both chickens and other fowl. It emphasizes the need for quality over quantity, whether raising chickens for personal or commercial purposes.
Don't Just Read, Treat Your ChickensRaising chicken is simple once you understand a few procedures and techniques. However, every chicken-raising book will emphasize the need for a healthy diet for your flock. At PopWorms!, we provide healthy and high-nutrient treats for your backyard chicken. Ensure you contact us today to give your feathered friends something they will love.
Unique birds of a feather flock together, and Polish Chickens are no exception. These gorgeous crested birds are known for their downy flair—some even come fully bearded—but there's more than meets the eye when it comes to the Polish Chicken. Here are a few important things to know about this heritage breed.
They're Not Actually Polish
According to the Livestock Conservancy website, Polish Chickens don't originate from Poland, but were given their name because of how their crests resemble the feathered hats donned by soldiers in Poland. One theory is that this breed originated in Spain and was subsequently brought to Holland. It was there that the breed gained its unique coloring and signature crest. Another theory, according to the Rural Living Today website, is that the birds were brought from Asia to Europe during the Middle Ages.
They're Mild Tempered
The Livestock Conservancy page notes that birds in this breed tend to be non-sitters and non-broody, and are known to be mild-tempered and even cuddly when well-bonded. They're also lower in the pecking order and can be vulnerable to bullying by more aggressive breeds. This makes them ideal as show birds and as pets. Be mindful, though: according to the folks at the EcoPeanut website, because their crests tend to partially or even fully cover their eyes, they're more likely to be spooked. This also means they're more vulnerable to airborne predators when let out to free-range, so take extra care if you choose to let them wander.
They Require Extra Maintenance
Keeping the plumage on this bird clean and dry is essential, in order to prevent dust, dirt, or debris from getting into their eyes. According to EcoPeanut, these birds do well in confinement, which will help keep them away from excess dirt and the elements. However, if their crests do get dirty, it is important that they're cleaned and dried as quickly as possible. These fowl are also at risk of infestation of mites and lice, and should be checked and treated regularly to prevent irreversible damage to their eyes.
They Can Be Persistent Layers
Long before they laid claim to the showroom floor, these birds were used primarily for their egg production. However, as they're been bred more for ornamental purposes over the years, their laying levels have decreased as well. Polish Chicken eggs tend to be medium-sized and white, and the most persistent can lay up to 200 eggs a year (EcoPeanut). The Livestock Conservancy notes that these birds tend to lay a bit later in the season, but once they being, they are excellent producers.
Making sure they're well-cared for, well-fed, and have enough protein is an essential part of keeping your Polish Chickens happy. PopWorms! has an excellent variety of black soldier fly larvae supplements to add to your laying feed to make sure all your chickens are happy, healthy, and full of love.
Visit our online store, or find us at your local supplier to get goodies for your backyard friends today.
Happy Memorial Day!
It won't be long before millions of families across the nation will gather together around their tables with bowls full of dye, some fancy stickers, and a whole bunch of chicken eggs. Along with Easter comes Easter eggs. They are such a staple of American life that people rarely stop and think about why, exactly, they do it. How do colorful eggs and chicks relate to Easter? Why do we do it, and where did it start?
The practice of coloring eggshells for special events is an ancient one. The oldest known examples date back to 60,000 years ago when prehistoric humans painted ostrich eggs. After the rise of civilization, ancient Mesopotamians and Egyptians would paint eggs to symbolize new life and a celebration of spring. This practice spread through other cultures, eventually influencing early Christians who soon adopted the practice in their worship of Jesus Christ.
For early Christians, the egg was a clear symbol for Jesus. The eggs were most often painted red to symbolize the blood of Jesus, and baby chicks acting as a symbol for the rebirth of Jesus. During the middle ages, the practice of using eggs during Easter only continued to grow. It was a common practice of the time that people weren't allowed to eat eggs during Lent. After going weeks without them, the people were naturally excited and decorated and celebrated their ability to enjoy the food staple once again.
The Easter Egg tradition would later be brought to America by Germans who settled in Pennsylvania. The eggs were still a symbol of the life of Jesus, and the practice slowly spread throughout the entire nation. Today, it's estimated that over 180 million chicken eggs are bought each Easter as people continue the decorating tradition.
The practice of dying eggs remains alive and strong, and there's no doubt that there will be plenty of dining tables with new stains on them very soon--and lots of egg salad sandwiches in the near future! Happy Easter, everyone!
None of us ever want our chickens to turn up sick; but sometimes, there's not a lot we can do to avoid it. Certain diseases of backyard poultry are more common than others.
We've put together a quick guide to recognizing illness, remedying the problem and protecting your flock, and a handful of the most frequently-seen ailments.
Common Diseases of Backyard Poultry
We find that the majority of backyard poultry seems to fall ill with one of these:
What to Do-- Natural and Medicinal Treatments
Obviously, the exact steps you should take to help your chicken (or chickens) depend on what negative symptoms you've observed. Some things to try include:
How to Protect Healthy Chickens
There are a number of things that chicken owners can do to prevent the spread of disease:
How to Protect Yourself
Keeping yourself and your birds healthy isn't exactly rocket science, but it does take a little work. The good news is that you'll be rewarded with a happy, thriving flock!
Now is a perfect time to plan gift-giving for the chicken lover in your life. Here's a guide to get started!
1. Add a personal touch to every egg with this personalized egg stamp. Starting around $30 on Etsy, you choose the design. Made from premium wood and laser-engraved rubber, it's the perfect gift!
2. Give the gift of knowledge with this fun book that delves into the unique behaviors of chickens. How to Speak Chicken goes beyond the basics and provides a fascinating look into chicken language, habits, and more. They will love this gift, which is just $15 on Chewy.com.
3. Give the gift of chicken poop! This fun lip balm is not really chicken poop, but they will love the name. Made of all-natural ingredients, this lip moisturizer is a lighthearted gift for less than $3.
4. Make gathering eggs easy and fashionable with this chicken egg apron. You pick the fabric and choose from two options--4 larger pockets or 12 individual pockets. Made from 100% cotton for easy care, this is a perfect gift for around $27 on Etsy.
5. The chicken person in your life will enjoy this puzzle that depicts 49 hens. Choose the difficulty level, from 30 to just over 1000 pieces. Starting at around $20 on Zazzle, this puzzle is sure to please!
6. Every coop needs a peck toy that dispenses a favorite treat, and it's a perfect gift for the chicken person on your list. The Omlet Peck Toy is less than $15 and provides excellent enrichment for the chickens.
7. A must-have for every chicken devotee is crazy funny chicken leg socks, available on Amazon. For less than $10, these socks will not disappoint!
8. Chicken fans will love a chicken mug, and CafePress has a huge selection of mugs for $10 or less. There is a mug for every chicken aficionado.
Don't forget the flock! Check out our selection of delicious and nutritious treats at Popworms! Happy shopping and Happy Holidays!
It's that time of the year again! The holidays are here; but what do you get for the one who loves taking care of their chickens? Here is a list of ten great gift ideas for the chicken lover in your life!
These ten awesome and unique gifts ideas would be perfect for the chicken lover in your life! And for the chickens in their life? PopWorms! ECO and PopWorms! PRO, of course! For these, or for more ideas, check out our PopWorms' Buy Online Section. We hope you have a Merry Christmas this year! Happy Holidays!
A hen in your flock is suddenly spending a lot of time in the nesting box and is not welcoming you in her space. Chances are, you have a brooding hen. If you have a rooster, you can assume that your broody hen is sitting on fertilized eggs. While it may seem overwhelming at first to ready the coop for new chicks, a brooding hen will do all the hard work. All you need to do is keep her safe, fed, and happy! Here are some considerations when caring for her.
What to Expect
A brooding hen may pick out her chest feathers to expose her skin, helping keep her eggs warm and moist. She may be rather grumpy about your presence and may very well be outright vicious toward you. She will leave her nest once a day to eat, drink, and relieve herself. Her poop will be huge and very smelly, even more than usual! Prepare the area for her safety and comfort, and she'll do the rest.
Ideally, having a dedicated space for hens to hatch their chicks is ideal. Whether you have a dedicated area or not, the space with the nest box needs to be predator-proof, quiet, and dark. Nest boxes should be upscale and have a soft bottom to ensure the eggs are well protected. You can use straw on top of a good liner so the hen can move it around to suit her needs. Keep the area clean, replacing bedding as often as needed. You could move a brooding hen and her eggs to the maternity ward if she forgot to reserve her space beforehand. This might be tricky, so it's best to do so at night.
Food and Water
A brooding hen will eat far less while sitting on eggs, and of course, she will not lay eggs during this time. Because she doesn't need the layer food, feed her a higher protein mix. You can feed her starter food like the chicks will eat when they hatch, or some other special diet high in protein. And, don’t forget to pamper her with PopWorms! ECO or PopWorms! PRO!! Offer her scratch as well; the carbohydrates will give her an extra boost. Take extra care in the provision of water; ensure the brooding hen has access to fresh water as it is critical to her good health as she sits on eggs.
Mom will welcome her chicks around the 21st day; you should hear peeping in the egg around day 19. You have provided her with security, comfort, and sustenance. The rest is up to her! And, don’t forget to pamper her with PopWorms! ECO or PopWorms! PRO!!
While your dog or cat is your best friend, she can be unpredictable at times. It is prevalent for these domestic pets to want to make a delicious meal out of your chicks or even the grownup chickens. Perhaps, cats and dogs have the ancestral predatory instincts that are yet to get eluded from them; hence, they may end up considering your chicks as easy prey. Taking the necessary steps is, therefore, is vital to realizing benefits from your newly acquired chickens. Here are a few tips that will help you protect your chickens while maintaining that friendly relation you had with your pet before the new visitors arrived at your backyard.
1. Let the pets have the scent
Your pets should experience the chicken's trail first from you before you formulate an official introduction. After handling your chicks, call that dog or cat, offer it nose your hands. This way, she will be friendly to the chicks because it first got the scent from its owner.
2. Pets Learn from what they see
Select the time when your pet is at her finest. This is usually after a meal or playtime. Allow that cat or dog to observe you as you interact with the chicks. It will learn from your friendly handling and recognize that these chickens are also part of the family. Nevertheless, Do not be in a rush to leave your pet unattended with the chicks regardless of the much tolerance she demonstrates.
3. Install Low-voltage Electric Fence
When the chickens are in the open-air, keep a beady eye on your pets as they interact with them. If they prove aggressive or curious around the birds, installing an ultra-low-voltage electric fence around the coop may be a good move. Once bitten, twice shy — your pet will ultimately overlook the enclosure thanks to the occasional light zap on the muzzle.
Still, you may allow the pets to coexist with your chicken if they seem uninterested and lenient. But there is no assurance in the future that they won't act violently towards your birds.
Give your Backyard Flock a Treat
Want to give your feathery friends something they will love and make them healthier? Check our PopWorms! treats that will leave your chickens happier while giving you an excellent return to your chicken investment.