Recent Articles on Poultry Farm Raising Information & Help

Incubation and Brooding Help

Brooder Houses for the Small Flock - Univ of Nebraska Brooding and Rearing the Home Meat Flock - Univ of Nebraska Bantams as Incubators - Univ of Georgia Candling Incubat read more »

What and How to Feed Birds

All birds are fed "free choice".  This means that food is available to them at all times and they eat what they want.  Chickens will not over-eat like some pets and livestock will. According to Evergreen Feed Mill's feed sack labels, they indicate an appropriate daily quantity of layer ration is 3.5 ounces per bird or 22 pounds per 100 birds. read more »

Impacted Crop

People often suspect something is wrong with a chick or chicken if their crop is full. In the case of chicks or juvenile birds this is usually normal as they will eat quite a bit during this fast growth period.  It often happens with full grown chickens as well and is usually normal as long as they all have the same sized bulge.  You shouldn't worry unless one chicken has a much larger crop than the rest, or the chicken is acting "funny" indicating distress. read more »

The Avian Embryo

Credits: Mississippi State University and Dr. Tom W. Smith Jr., the author.   The earliest stages of a bird in its egg are amazing and exciting. In only three weeks a small clump of cells that do not seem to resemble any animal species changes into an active, newly hatched chick. A study of this change is educational and interesting and gives us insight into how humans are formed. read more »

Bantam & Gamebird Breeder Cages

  We built cages for our bantam breeders that are 24 inches Deep by 72 inches Wide by 20 inches High.  They have a divider in the middle creating two 24"x36" cages.  These are stacked two high and supported by pine 2x4 legs (photo 1). Construction is of 1"x2" - 14 gauge and 1/2"x1"  - 16 gauge welded wire both 24" read more »

Barn Pen Construction

Before we got started, we had to move several stacks of lumber out of the way.  The cages at the north end were moved out into the aisle as well.   Detail of the treated 2x6 boards that frame the bottom of the pens connected to the 4x4 posts.  We used Simpson "Stong-Tie" metal connecting plates and power drive 1 1/4" screws exclusively. read more »

Plants Toxic to Poultry

Alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) American Coffee Berry Tree see Kentucky Coffee Tree Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis L.)  Bouncing Bet (Saponaria officinalis L.) Bull Nettle (Solanum carolinense L.)  Bracken or Brake Fern (Pteridium aquilinum L.)  Burning Bush see Fireweed Buttercup (Ranunculus spp.) Carelessweed see Pigweed Castor Bean (Ricinus communis L. read more »

Incubation and Hatching Procedures

Welcome to our "hatchery".  We'll give you a quick tour.  The room is a small bedroom about 10' x 12'.  The GQF Sportsman Cabinet incubator model 1503 is in the back left corner.  The 1503 is just like the popular 1202 except that it's equipped with the multi-turn electronic thermostat.  We've also added the automatic humidity option. read more »

Cheap and Easy Chick Brooders

Have you looked at the prices of commercial brooders lately??  Who's got that kind of money?? We originally described our home made brooders on the " Our Hatchery " page of the website with photos.  James Davis, one of our website visitors used our instructions and made a few improvements to our design.  He emailed us photos of his completed brooders with permission to use them on the website. read more »

Toxic Plants and Their Effects

Abrus precatorius (CRAB'S EYE, JEQUIRITY BEAN, PRECATORY BEAN, ROSARY PEA); seeds; gastrointestinal tract affected by toxalbumins. Acacia spp. (CATCLAW, GUAJILLO); foliage; plant is cyanogenetic. ACKEE (Blighia sapida); pink raphe attaching aril2 to seed, arils in immature fruit; gastrointestinal tract and nervous system affected by toxins. Acokanthera spp. read more »

Coloring Chick Embyos

The main purposes in coloring embryos are to provide a practical method of identifying chicks from different groups of eggs and so you can watch their movements after they leave the nest. In wildlife management studies, where identification and observation of ducks are difficult, identification and observation are made easy by coloring the embryos with bright dyes. read more »

Spraddle Legs

Spraddle Legs is a condition caused as a result of a newly hatched chick not being able to get good footing in the hatcher or brooder right after hatching.  The photos here are of a Silver Spangled Hamburg chick that hatched in a GQF Sportsman and jumped out of the tray and tried to walk around on the tin foil in the bottom of the incubator for 36 hours. read more »