New Articles for Chicken Keepers | April 29, 2016

Articles for Chicken Keepers, by Chicken Keepers is an updated collection of chicken keeping articles from across the web archived in one convenient library on our menu bar.

Have an article to submit? Send it to amyichi@yahoo.com with ARTICLE SUBMISSION on the subject line.

New Articles | April 29, 2016
Poultry Processing Equipment for the Novice Farmer – eFowl Blog
The Chicken Chick®: How Much Heat Do Chicks REALLY Need? Think Like a Mother Hen!
Marans Chicken: April Breed of the Month – Countryside Network
When Will My Chicken Start Laying Eggs?
The Miracle of Chickens’ Feathers
The Chicken Chick®: Caring for Broody Hens: Facilitating Egg-hatching
Coop to Kitchen – 5 Tips to Ensure Clean Eggs from your Backyard Chickens | Fresh Eggs Daily®
Are my Chicken Eggs Fertile? | Fresh Eggs Daily®
Chicks Vs. Pullets: What’s The Best Way To Start Your Flock? – Hobby Farms

Feature Article:

Seven Things You Must Prepare Before Your Chicks Arrive

7-Things-You-Must-Prepare-Before-Your-Chicks-Arrive-Blog-Cover

April overlay

Great Information about Raising Hatch-A-Longs | The Chicken Chick

Hatching eggs the natural way, everything you need to know is covered in this article.  I referred to this article several times while preparing for my first hatch using a broody Silkie. Thanks Kathy!

What’s New at TBN Ranch

Finally finished predator proofing the last coop, just in time to house Mamma and her new chicks. A great find at a local feed store puts the last finishing touch on my broody coop, a beautiful ramp just the right size… and price!

 

Prickly Pear 6-2015

Welcome Spring!

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A Tip on Keeping a Hen with Eggs or Chicks Safe Among the Flock

It’s best to keep a hen with fertile eggs under her in a separate place, but that’s not always possible. Personally, I like to keep my birds together, so this box is a nice solution. I found this pic somewhere and saved it so I could incorporate the idea in my own coop.

Brooder Box Inside the Coop

Why is this Box Important?

1.  Sometimes other hens can disturb a nest of fertile eggs causing them to break.
2. Other hens may quit laying if they are discouraged to enter the community nest area by a hen with eggs under her.
3. Newly hatched chicks may get injured or even killed by other members of the flock.

I like having the wire top hinged. It’s nice and super easy to move a broody hen from the community nest area and have the option to close the lid as hatch day approaches.

Picking out my Chicks!

Black Tailed White Japanese Bantam

1st choice: Black-tailed White Japanese Bantams

I’ve never had bantams before, thought this year I might see if I can locate a few Japanese bantams.  My Pet Chicken carries them, but they are out of stock. 😦

Bantams aren’t anything special other than for their size, they are small, about half the size of a chicken.  Japanese bantams aren’t easy to find, but lately, they have been advertised on Craigslist by a private party about 30 miles from here. They most likely won’t be sexed, but I’m positive re-homing roosters of this breed will be a breeze.

delaware hen
DELAWARE

If I don’t find my pretty bantams of choice, I’m choosing the Delaware. They are available Sept. 30th from My Pet Chicken, but hopefully I can find them local, shipping is pretty spendy!

I’ve chosen this breed because I may try to hatch fertile eggs. The Delaware is a setter, and hopefully at least one of these ladies would like to be a foster mommy.

The brooder is ready, but the coop for young pullets? Well… it’s gone, I sold it, ha ha! Better get busy!

The Fertilization of a Chicken Egg

The Basic Reproduction Process Explained

Silver Laced Polish

As in all animals, the fusion of ovum and a sperm is how fertilization occurs. Then an embryo forms and develops into a new organism. The chicken is no exception; their eggs need to be fertilized in order to develop a chick.

A chicken will begin laying eggs between five and six months of age, until then she is called a pullet. However, climate, seasons, and other various factors do play a significant role in laying cycles.  Certain breed types are also included in the variances of  egg laying, first time or otherwise.  One thing for sure, when a pullet reaches sexual maturity she will lay eggs whether or not there is a rooster present.

Roosters [males] have reproductive organs which produce sperms that are released during mating.  The sperms enter the oviduct of the hen [female] and continues a nearly week long reproductive journey to meet the eggs. The sperms final destination is in the infundibulum. This is where they will wait about a week for the partially formed and unshelled eggs. If there is a yolk, the eggs are fertilized instantly. So, it’s safe to say you can expect fertile eggs seven to ten days after mating.

Note:  It is possible the hen may produce fertile eggs the following week as well.

When hens are in the presence of a rooster there is a way to separate the fertilized eggs from infertile by a technique called candling.  This method uses a bright light source behind the egg to show details through the shell. Fertilized eggs will show a darker yolk on one end, usually when they are one or two days old.  Within two to three days, if incubated, you may actually see indications of a growing embryo.