How to Prevent and Treat the 5 Most Common Chicken Diseases

No matter what you use your chickens for, keeping your birds happy and healthy is always a priority in raising them. Healthy chickens mean a better profit for your hatchery. To keep your birds healthy and free of poultry diseases, your biosecurity needs to be up to snuff.

At Freedom Ranger Hatchery, we are dedicated to producing high-quality chickens for our customers through traditional, sustainable, and environmentally-friendly farming methods. And this means biosecurity is extremely important to us so we can keep our hatchery healthy at all times. To further keep the chickens we sell to you healthy, today’s post shares some of the ways to prevent the most common chicken diseases. Continue reading “How to Prevent and Treat the 5 Most Common Chicken Diseases”

What is Aspergillosis? Plus How to Prevent It in Your Flock

Aspergillosis is a non-contagious respiratory disease caused by a fungal species known as Aspergillus. Commonly referred to as mycotic pneumonia, brooders pneumonia, or fungal pneumonia, Aspergillosis affects chickens, ducks, turkeys, waterfowl, game birds, and many other bird species.

Young birds are the most susceptible to infection, though older birds under stress or with compromised immune systems can develop chronic Aspergillosis.

Infection with Aspergillosis occurs through the inhalation of spores, typically from contaminated litter or other contaminations in the hatchery. Infection in young chicks is usually the result of inhaled spores from a contaminated hatching machine. Infections can also occur when infected eggs hatch during incubation and release large numbers of spores which are inhaled by other chicks.

Incidence and severity of the disease increases under warm, wet, or humid conditions. Dusty conditions and environments that result in high levels of ammonia are also perfect breeding grounds for Aspergillosis. That’s why contaminated poultry bedding is one of the most common sources of infection. Continue reading “What is Aspergillosis? Plus How to Prevent It in Your Flock”

What to Feed Your Chickens, and What Not to Feed Them

A visit to the local feed store can be overwhelming, especially for new chicken owners. Each colorful bag of chicken feed contains a variety of terms from “mash” and “grower feed” to “medicated” or “un-medicated,” “fermented,” and more. So how do you make sense of all the jargon and choose the right food for your chickens?

Check out our chicken feed primer, where we simplify the jargon and show you how to feed your chickens at every stage of their lives. We also go over common fruits, vegetables, and plants to avoid so your chickens stay healthy and happy. Continue reading “What to Feed Your Chickens, and What Not to Feed Them”

Choosing the Right Chickens to Start Your Flock

Whether you’re considering raising chickens in your own backyard or have an established farm suitable for free range chickens, you’re probably wondering how to choose between the vast numbers of chicken breeds available. Beyond choosing whether you will raise chickens for eggs or meat, there are a few things you’ll want to consider before settling on a particular breed.

Here are some helpful tips to narrow your choices, along with a few suggested breeds that do well in a variety of environments. Continue reading “Choosing the Right Chickens to Start Your Flock”

Protecting Your Chickens from Newcastle Disease

Newcastle disease (ND), also known as pneumoencephalitis, is a contagious, viral infection that affects both domestic and wild birds, particularly chickens. The most highly contagious and deadly form of the Newcastle virus is known as viscerotropic velogenic Newcastle disease (VVND). VVND is also referred to as exotic Newcastle disease or Asiatic Newcastle disease.

Newcastle disease was first discovered in 1926 in Indonesia, but was later named after the town of Newcastle upon Tyne, England, where the disease occurred in 1927.

According to the World Organization for Animal Health, “the disease has been currently controlled in Canada, the United States and some western European countries. It continues in parts of Africa, Asia and South America. However, since wild birds can sometimes carry the virus without becoming ill, outbreaks can occur anywhere that poultry is raised.” Continue reading “Protecting Your Chickens from Newcastle Disease”

Protecting Your Flock – What You Need to Know about MG & MS

MG (Mycoplasma gallisepticum) and MS (Mycoplasma synoviae) are both common bacterial infections that affect chickens, turkeys, and other avian species. Found most often in backyard flocks or multi-age commercial layer operations, MG and MS can result in severe economic losses due to slow growth rates in broilers or diminished egg production in layers.

MG, also known as chronic respiratory disease (CRD) attacks the respiratory system of infected birds and can weaken their immune systems, making them more susceptible to other infections. MS can also affect the respiratory system of infected birds, but another form of the disease attacks the joints. Continue reading “Protecting Your Flock – What You Need to Know about MG & MS”

How to Raise Chickens Using Alternative Poultry Production Techniques

With the increased awareness the “integrity food movement” has raised about the nutritional benefits of chickens raised in more natural environments, chickens raised with more human techniques are more profitable than ever before. Now is a great time to invest in what many people refer to as “free-range flocks” to sell as backyard layer flocks or meat to individuals. But how do you get started?

Today we’re taking a closer look at what these alternative poultry production techniques are, why people are interested in them, and how you can build up a healthy flock as a grower with chicks sourced from highly reputable hatcheries like Freedom Ranger. Continue reading “How to Raise Chickens Using Alternative Poultry Production Techniques”

Understanding NPIP Certification Standards for Poultry

Raising chickens isn’t always easy, especially when your chickens aren’t healthy when you receive them or develop diseases soon after. However, you can protect your investment in your flock and save yourself a lot of frustration by taking steps to get your chicks from the most reputable sources.

One factor to consider is deciding whether to purchase your chicks from an NPIP-certified hatchery. Continue reading “Understanding NPIP Certification Standards for Poultry”