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”
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”
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”
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”
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”
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”
Whether you are thinking about raising your own chickens for meat or eggs or have an established flock, learning to protect your chickens from a variety of diseases will help you raise the most productive and healthy chickens. Continue reading “Coccidiosis & Your Chickens – What You Need to Know”
Purchasing day-old chicks and raising them yourself can be an entertaining and rewarding endeavor. There’s a great deal of work and time commitment involved to raising day-old chicks; however, with the right information and tools, you’ll be enjoying the sight of growing chicks and fresh eggs/meat in no time. Continue reading “Chick Care on Day One”