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April 1, 2020


Bumblefoot is a term used to describe a staph infection on a chicken’s foot. It comes from the old British word “bumble” meaning “to walk unsteadily”. Staph is the shorthand for the bacteria Staphylococcus. These bacteria commonly live on a chicken’s skin and do normally increase the bird’s resistance to other infections. But they will themselves cause an infection if they get into the body though a cut in the skin...

March 1, 2020

My ideal coop

During a decade of keeping chickens, we have modified, fixed and extended our original coop. We also added a few extra coops and structures in the yard to fit all the needs that came up over time.

Based on all that experience, how would we redo our coop today?

The short answer is: the coop would be bigger, safer, and more accessible.

Let’s start by repeating the basic requirements for a coop:

  • The hen house should...

February 1, 2020


: security from exposure to harmful biological agents

Biosecurity is a big word that may sound a bit scary. It may invoke images of isolation tents guarded by military personnel where people are dying from a new extremely contagious mutant virus.
Luckily, biosecurity in our backyards is much less dramatic. It simply means reducing the risk of transmission of infectious diseases to your chickens. So ho...

January 1, 2020

Chickens in the rain. 

This is a rerun of January 2017 newsletter.

It’s the rainy season here in California, and our beautiful hills are green again.
While the chickens love the fresh new growths, how much do they enjoy the rain? Is it okay to let them out in the rain? Can they get wet, cold, and sick if let out?

Each chicken has their own preference. Some love being out in the rain while some prefer staying under the hen ho...

December 1, 2019


We love heartwarming stories like Sweetpea's incredible luck and recovery, or The Special Ones at Blackberry Creek Farm animal sanctuary.
Today we are bringing Scout's story to you. It is written by our friend, Kim Kunst, who has a micro-sanctuary in Danville, CA. She has a soft spot for special needs animals. 

"I adopted Scout (Ameraucana / Leghorn) knowing that he was a scissor beak chicken. He was only about 3 m...

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


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

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 ...

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