Oct 062010
 

 

Parasites in backyard chickens are very common and it is very easy for chickens to pick up parasitic worms.  The popularity of poultry keeping is on the rise these days and many beginner chicken owners have no idea that they have to worm their birds regularly.

 How can your chickens get parasitic worms?

  1. If you buy birds from someone, it is possible that they may already be infested with parasitic worms even if there are no visible signs that they have worms. 
  2. Wild birds can also be infested with parasitic worms.  When they visit your backyard, they can then pass them onto your chickens.
  3. Earth worms can also carry parasitic worms and chickens love to eat worms.

The infected chickens, wild birds or worms carrying the eggs pass them into the environment via eggs that are contained in their droppings.  Then the worm eggs that are laying on the ground are picked up, eaten and then hatch into their adult form inside the bird that has just eaten them.  It can be a never ending cycle of infestation.

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Do you know what some of the common chicken parasites that you may have to treat are?  Click here to find out .



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Oct 042010
 

Your cute baby chicks are now almost full sized pullets that are starting to lay their first eggs.  So how do you go about caring for egg laying hens to ensure that they are happy and healthy ladies.

Most pullets will be mature enough to start laying their first eggs around the age of six months.  Babies start to grow combs and waddles when they are young but they don’t have any color and are not very large.  When they are ready to begin laying eggs, their combs and waddles will grow larger and become bright red.  Once this happens, you will start to find very small eggs in your nests.

In order to keep your young pullets in healthy and in prime laying condition, there are some general house keeping duties you should perform on a daily basis.

  • Give fresh water and feed.
  • Collect eggs
  • Observe your flock every day to make sure your pullets are healthy.

 There are some chores you should do every week or two.

  • Change the bedding in your hen house.
  • Change or freshen the nesting material in your nesting boxes.
  • Clean and sanitize all food and waterers.

 There are also some jobs that need to be done once a year.

Once a year you need to remove every single item from your chicken coop and completely sanitize it.  This is a good chance to check for any parasites that might have taken up residence in your chicken coop.  I always use a bug bomb once a year and once a year I spray the entire area with malathion to help prevent any pest infestations.  Be sure and read the directions because you will have to keep your chickens out of these areas for a few weeks or toss the eggs.

Worm your chickens once a year to help keep their parasite load down.  It is almost impossible to completely get rid of all internal chicken parasites, but you need to keep their numbers down. 

Keeping your egg laying hens healthy and happy is pretty easy to do.  A clean, pest free environment and clean food and water go a long way towards keeping the ladies happy and laying eggs for you.

CLICK HERE to learn more about egg laying hens and how many eggs are normal.


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Jun 232010
 

chicken breeds Did You Buy The Right Breed Of Chicken For Egg Laying?

Your chickens have become old enough that they are beginning to lay eggs but you might wonder “How many eggs are normal“.  Look back to when your your chicks initially were picked up and brought home.  They were so tiny and irresistible and funny that it was tough to envision them ever being big enough to lay eggs for you. It is truly amazing that these birds can lay eggs so consistently.

As your chickens get older, you may get a little worried because they weren’t laying eggs like they used to.  As egg product decreases, many people obsessed that they are unhealthy or that they are doing something wrong.  Usually, there is nothing wrong with chickens and is normal.  There are a lot of things that can put your chickens off laying whether it is for a short time or in some cases, forever. I found out that there’s not an easy response to that question since how many eggs are normal for your laying chickens will depend upon a number of things.

5 Egg Laying Essentials

* The breed of chicken matters.  Chicken egg laying is almost completely dependent on the breed of chickens that you invested in.  Anyone that is relying on the fact that you are going to get one egg every single day from every single chicken is going to be disappointed.  A large percentage of chicken breeds will not lay eggs regularly and prolifically for you.  If you are concerned about getting a large number of eggs, it is advisable to pick the breed of chicken you because that is not what they were bred to do.

* How old are your chickens? What is assumed to be to be customary “chicken egg laying” for your hens will also depend on the age of your chickens.  Remember, the majority of hens will be the most prolific egg layers through their first year or two of laying.  As your hens become older, they will lay smaller amounts of eggs and they won’t lay eggs as regularly as they did when your chickens were more youthful.  But the flip side of this is that older hens usually produce larger, better quality eggs.  Older hens are also not as  prone to contracting diseases than more youthful hens.

* What season is it? Winter, summer, etc.  Chicken egg laying is dependent on the time of year and the weather.  Most chickens should produce more eggs more consistently during warmer weather and the longer days that come with summer and fall.  During the cold winter months and in periods of unbearable heat, don’t be alarmed if you find that you do not get any eggs at all.

During these times, you will find that egg production will normally be irregular and you will only get an egg if you are really, really lucky  As long as your hens still look healthy and happy, it is perfectly normal and there is usually nothing wrong with your flock.

* Are your chickens moulting?  Any time you note that your chickens are molting (losing a lot of feathers) your egg production will drop.  How do you know if your chickens are moulting?  If you start noticing a lot of feathers on the ground, they are moulting.  Moulting is hard on your hens and can cause your chickens to produce a smaller amount of eggs than is typical for your flock.  Don’t worry though because as soon as they are done moulting, your hens will start to lay again.

* Are your chicken healthy?  The number of eggs your chickens lay will be almost completely dependent on how hale and hearty your chickens are.  If you notice that your chickens show an abrubt decline in laying, then something may be up with them. Carefully inspect the legs and feet of your chickens carefully for scales that are raised or swollen as mites may just be your problem.  You have to get rid of the mites or your chickens will not be able to lay very many eggs.

* Give them enough room. Even if you only purchased breeds that are specifially bred to be laying chickens, they will not produce if they are kept confined in an area which is overly crowded or an area that is not kept properly ventilated and is not clean. You might have to build more chicken coops and chicken runs so that you can split up your flock.

These are some of the common reasons why your chicken egg laying may decline.  Most of the items discussed really can’t be fixed and you just have to live with lower production.

Click on the links to find out more on chicken health and common chicken health problems.

 


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