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November 1, 2019

November is a special month here at Clorofil.
 
It’s our third anniversary! We became an official 501(c)(3) nonprofit in November 2016. And we published our first newsletter, which means there are 36 newsletters for you to enjoy! Check them out on our website.
 
It’s also Sophie and Lucie’s first rescue anniversary! They were saved from becoming someone’s dinner just the week before Thanksgiving last year. So I thought I would...

October 1, 2019

Sweetpea.

By Danielle Hanosh.
Danielle is the co-founder of Blackberry Creek Farm Animal Sanctuary.


In June we received a phone call about a chicken who had been the victim of a dog attack. Sweetpea the hen (who had been allowed to roam the neighborhood without protection from predators) had been snatched up by a small dog and shaken, resulting in a gruesome, life-threatening wound. The tissue on her head had been ripped ope...

September 1, 2019

Molting.
 
It was like they had a pillow fight in the hen house!
Poppy started molting overnight.
 
Molting, moulting, sloughing, shedding, or ecdysis is the manner in which animals routinely cast off a part of their body.
A chicken’s feathers protect her skin from injury and sunburn, conserve her body heat, and provide some waterproofing. Feathers wear out and are replaced every year.
Late summer and early fall is the time of...

August 1, 2019

Diseases from chickens.

Can chickens make people sick? This is a question I get asked often, and for good reason. We keep hearing alarming news about a worldwide epidemic of bird flu (aka avian influenza), a deadly salmonella outbreak, and most recently about the virulent Newcastle disease spreading in California. We are told that backyard chickens are making people sick, and that we should stop snuggling with our chickens and...

July 1, 2019

Happy chickens.
 
A chicken who doesn’t get adequate enrichment and mental stimulation will be more inclined towards problem behaviors.  Feather pecking, being noisy, bullying, egg eating ... are almost always a result of chickens that are confined without proper enrichment.
 
First, let’s review the basic requirements for housing chickens.
The hen house, where they lay their eggs during the day and sleep at night, should be s...

June 1, 2019

Dealing with death.
 
Sharing your life with chickens is quite fun and full of delights. Unfortunately their life is more temporary than ours, and we can’t help feeling heartbroken when they leave this world.
We’ve recently been reminded of the ephemerality of our beloved companions. We lost 3 hens in the span of 2 months earlier this year. It was hard and we are still grieving them. They all departed in different ways.
It was...

May 1, 2019

My chicken ain't doing right.

This is a rerun of the May and April 2017 newsletters with the addition of a chicken health check video.

My hen was acting strange. Instead of foraging with her sisters, she came and sat next to me while I was in the garden. The others in my little 3-hen flock started to be aggressive toward her. Three days later, I found her dead in the coop.
She was sick and I missed all the signs.

Does this st...

April 1, 2019

Gardens for chickens
 
It’s springtime! Time to take your trowel and spade out of the shed, and plant your garden! While selecting new ornamental and edible plants to add to your backyard, think about your chickens as well.
 
They love all sorts of fruits and vegetables, which make wonderful healthy treats. They will devour tomatoes, melon, cucumbers, and all types of squash in the summer. So make sure you plant enough for you...

March 1, 2019

Bird brains

By Rhianna Axon
Rhianna is the Animal Care Director at Charlie’s Acres Farm Animal Sanctuary.


I bet you’ve heard the phrase “bird brain” used as an insult before, but it’s actually not very insulting. It’s a common misconception that because birds are so small, their brains are small, and therefore they must not be very smart. It is actually not true! In the animal kingdom, birds have very large brain to body size...

February 1, 2019

Egg labels

There are so many labels on an egg carton nowadays that it’s easy to be both overwhelmed and confused. What do all these labels mean? And what do they not?

Let’s start with the labels that mean nothing. Labels like “Happy Hens” and “Ethical Eggs” are purely marketing ploys designed to make us feel good and buy the eggs. Who in their right mind would want to be unethical and buy eggs from sad mistreated hens?

Similarly ...

January 1, 2019

Peppa's coop

Peppa came to our micro-sanctuary last summer. She is a 6-year-old Brahma bantam who lost her vision and started to be bullied by her flock mates. Being tiny and blind in the chicken world is tough, so instead of trying to introduce her to our main flock, we decided to give her her own space.
 
We had a small coop that had been donated to us and wasn’t assembled yet. This is the kind of cute little coop you can b...

December 1, 2018

The Special Ones

By Danielle Hanosh.
Danielle is the co-founder of Blackberry Creek Farm Animal Sanctuary.

 
Dashing through the door of the feedstore and out of the downpour, I rushed over to the counter to make my order of feed for our sanctuary residents before they closed for the evening. As I checked out, I heard muffled voices huddled over a cardboard box nearby.

 

“What are we going to do with her?” one staff member ask...

November 1, 2018

Bachelor flocks

By Lauren Cole.
Lauren is an Animal Care Technician at Marin Humane where she loves socializing with all the feathered friends who arrive at the shelter.


Bachelor flocks – flocks of only roosters – have increased in popularity as rooster overpopulation has risen. Because roosters are banned in many cities, shelters see great numbers surrendered as more people get backyard hens – the shelter I work at included...

October 1, 2018

California Prop 12

Last month we talked about the many different chicken breeds. Let’s have a closer look at the lives of the 7.7 billion egg laying hens living in the world today. 90% of them live in cages.
 
I have been in such an egg farm here in California. There were many sheds in that farm. The shed I went in only had a roof with four open sides covered with rusted chicken wire. There were 3 long double rows of cages in...

September 1, 2018

Chicken breeds

Like dogs, chickens come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. There are more than 400 breeds of chickens. Some have fancy feathers and big combs, some lay blue eggs, some are tiny, and some are all fluffy. They are all descendants of the jungle fowl and are the result of selective breeding. We breed chickens for their looks, their fighting characteristics, their flesh, and their eggs. Since the beginning of indust...

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