Sexing Chicks: How to Determine Gender of Your Chickens

Anyone who has had chickens most likely already knows how difficult sexing chicks can be. When the birds are young, the ways to tell what gender your chicken is aren’t always 100 percent foolproof.

Whether you’re a new hatchery owner or you just purchased a straight run of chicks from Freedom Ranger Hatchery, we want to provide you with helpful information to increase your success in raising your flock. That includes sexing chicks as accurately as possible. Continue reading “Sexing Chicks: How to Determine Gender of Your Chickens”

Salmonella: What it Means for Broilers and Egg-Layers

What to Know About Salmonella and the Impact on Different Flock Types

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “salmonella causes about 1.2 million illnesses, 23,000 hospitalizations, and 450 deaths in the United States every year.” Those are staggering numbers, and most of those salmonella infections come from food. While you can find the bacteria in foods such as beef, pork, fruit, sprouts, vegetables, and certain processed foods, we’re here to talk about salmonella in chickens and their eggs. Continue reading “Salmonella: What it Means for Broilers and Egg-Layers”

What is Marek’s Disease? And How to Not Lose 40% of Your Flock

It’s no secret that here at Freedom Ranger Hatchery, we’re all about happy, healthy birds. From chick vaccinations to chicken feed, we’ve covered a variety of topics to optimize your flock’s health. And while we always guarantee you the highest-quality birds, we also want to help make sure you recognize how to keep your flock thriving after they leave our farm and come to yours. Continue reading “What is Marek’s Disease? And How to Not Lose 40% of Your Flock”

What Chick Vaccinations Should You Get?

When it comes to raising chickens, health is always a top priority. After all, healthy chickens are more productive and more profitable in the long run. Unfortunately, many diseases can wipe out a large percentage of your chickens or leave them more vulnerable to other infections, costing you time and money.

The good news is that vaccinations exist for many of the most common chicken diseases, providing effective preventative measures to keep your chickens healthy.

Curious about vaccinations your chickens should receive and when? Read on to find out which chicken vaccinations are right for your flock. Continue reading “What Chick Vaccinations Should You Get?”

Everything You Need to Know About Wry Neck in Chickens

For any chicken farmer, the health of your birds should be at the top of your priority list. Without a healthy flock, egg production lowers, sickness can spread, and in the end, you may lose chickens (and profit).

There are certain diseases, like wry neck, that can be very alarming for first-time farmers. At Freedom Ranger Hatchery, we want to alleviate some of those fears with our years of chicken-raising knowledge. Continue reading “Everything You Need to Know About Wry Neck in Chickens”

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”