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November 1, 2019

The best way to celebrate turkeys at Thanksgiving is to keep them off our plate. Here are some of the many yummy alternatives for the holiday dinners:

October 1, 2019

Lots of chicken illnesses and injuries are treatable if caught in time and properly cared for. Don't hesitate and go see your vet when your chicken is not doing well.
Find a local vet. Here is a list in the San Francisco bay area. And if you need specialist care, we highly recommend Dr Speer at the Medical Center for Birds. Not only did he save Sweetpea, but he also saved Lucie, one of our turkeys.

September 1, 2019

A chicken’s feathers do not cover her entire body. There are featherless areas that help with cooling when a chicken holds out her wings in hot weather.
Feathers grow from follicles that are linked by a network of tiny muscles that allow the chicken to raise and lower her feathers. It helps trapping warm air by puffing out the feathers in cold weather.

August 1, 2019

The virulent Newcastle Disease outbreak is considered over in Northern California, however it is still going on in Southern California.
Continue to practice good biosecurity around your flock.

To keep up to date with this disease, check out the CDFA website.

July 1, 2019

Last month, we featured Matilda as the oldest chicken, but it seems that Muffy beat her by quite a few years. According to Guinness World records, she was a Red Quilled Muffed American Red Game and lived till 22 years old.

June 1, 2019

The oldest chicken ever to have lived was called Matilda (at least she was the first chicken to receive the title of World's Oldest Living Chicken from Guinness World Records). She was a tiny 14-ounce Old English Game hen, and she was sixteen years old when she finally passed away. Matilda never produced eggs, which was most probably a factor to her long life. She lived with a pair of stage magicians, and had a comfortable lif...

April 1, 2019

Cute bunnies, fluffy chicks and ducklings are popular in Easter baskets. They are delightful, fuzzy, and irresistible, but are not appropriate gifts. They are not toys, they are live animals who require special care and commitment to keep as pets. After a few days, they lose their novelty and are relegated to a corner of the backyard, when not abandoned in a local park.
Statistics indicate that within the first few weeks after...

February 1, 2019

Forced molting (aka induced molting) is a practice in the egg industry to boost the laying cycle. At the end of their first laying cycle, the hens are starved for 7-14 days to artificially provoke them to molt. The birds stop producing eggs, which allow their reproductive system to rejuvenate and re-invigorate egg laying for a second laying phase.

While the practice is widespread in the US, it is prohibited in the EU.

January 1, 2019

Sickle feathers are the elongated, sickle-shaped feathers in the tail of a rooster. They are usually very flamboyant.
Hens don't have sickles in their tails. Their tails are shorter and its feathers are generally straight.

December 1, 2018

Saddle feathers are the feathers in front of the tail of a chicken. They look different based on the sex of the chicken. Similarly to the hackle feathers, hens have rounder saddles, whereas roosters have longer and pointier ones.

November 1, 2018

Hackles are the feathers around the neck of a chicken. They look different based on the sex of the chicken. Hens have rounder hackles, whereas roosters have longer, thinner, and pointier ones.

When a chicken wants to intimidate another chicken, all their hackles will stand up in order to make herself look larger. This is particularly noticeable when they are establishing the pecking order or face off an opponent in a fight....

October 1, 2018

Crows are awesome chicken allies. They are the smartest birds: some scientists think that crows may be as intelligent as the great apes. They are loud and very territorial, and that is very handy when keeping chickens. They act as a warning system when a hawk flies over our yard. The chickens recognize their call and take immediate cover. We get out in the yard to make sure everyone is safe and watch the crows attacking the ha...

September 1, 2018

Alektorophobia is the fear of chickens. The word comes from the Greek words “alektor” which means rooster, and “phobos” which means fear.

August 1, 2018

Chickens don't do well in hot weather and can actually die of heat stress.
One way to keep them cool during hot summer days is by offering them frozen treats. Watch the short video below.

See last summer's newsletter for other ways to keep your chickens cool.

July 1, 2018

Using a treadle feeder needs some learning.
Watch our foster girls figuring out how to use it.

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