May 1, 2020

In pasture raised egg operations, 10% mortality due to predation is common. Pastures are not a natural habitat for chickens. Their ancestors, the jungle fowl, live in forests where despite the colorful plumage of the males, they are really difficult to see in the dense vegetation. They escape ground predators by flying up into trees where they also roost at night.

April 1, 2020

Healthy chicken feet are mostly smooth and soft with a rubbery feel with scales covering the tops of a chicken’s toes. A chicken’s foot is made up of sixteen bones that work together and flex for excellent balance and movement. Generally, chickens have three forward facing toes and one hind toe for extra balancing power, with the exception of breeds like the Silkies, Dorkings and Faverolles which have four forward facing toes.

March 1, 2020

This spring, consider adopting chickens instead of buying them.

  • You save a life.
    Like dogs and cats, too many chickens come into shelters and too few people consider adoption when looking for a chicken.

  • It’s a way to fight hatcheries.
    Almost all eggs and chicks come from hatcheries, and they are no better than puppy mills. In fact they are even worse because they kill the boys just after hatching.
    So actually you sa...

February 1, 2020

The first step of doing a fecal test is collecting the samples. The easiest is to go in the morning in the coop and collect a sample of different looking feces that are conveniently lined up under the roosts. Put them in a Ziploc bag and squish them together. Put the bag in another bag to avoid any leaks.
Second, drop off the samples at your vet, or send them directly to a lab.

We use the California Animal Health and Food Safet...

January 1, 2020

The pineal gland is a small endocrine gland in the brain of most vertebrates. It produces melatonin, a hormone which modulates sleep patterns. The shape of the gland resembles a pine cone from which it got its name. Chickens can sense the presence or absence of light through the pineal gland in their head, so even an entirely blind bird can still sense daylight or seasonal change.

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.

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A monthly newsletter full of practical tips and facts about chickens to help you have a happy and healthy flock.

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