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chick1wLivestock & Pets : Poultry

The articles below cover a number of topics about poultry health, breeding and farming. There are more articles in The Basics section too. If you're looking for something in particular then use the search box above. If not, then browse the article titles and see what there is to help you.  If you can't find an answer here then why not ask in our discussion forums? One of the very friendly and helpful members is sure to be able to help you.

New articles are added all the time so don't forget to check back here regularly!


This is the first in a 12-part series on the “Care of Farmyard Poultry”.

What breed of chicken you choose will of course depend largely on what’s available, and that will vary hugely from one country to another.

Free range poultry - what should you feed them?

One of the basic requirements for all backyards flocks is good housing. 

What’s the best way to carry a hen?  How do I clip my birds’ wings?

Generally, free-range poultry that are well cared for in a suitable yard have a very good quality life.

There are hundreds of different diseases that can affect poultry, and free-range chickens may be more or less at risk. 

Infectious diseases can be a problem in any group of poultry, even those in the best managed backyards.

Many of the diseases that can cause problems in farmyard poultry are the results of infections by parasites, bacteria or viruses, but there are many other types of problem too. 

One of the best reasons for having backyard hens is that they provide your family with a regular supply of tasty fresh eggs.

Males normally reach sexual maturity between 12-16 weeks old.  This varies with management system and genetics, with the feeding and lighting regime having a major effect. 

The best way for anyone with a backyard flock to hatch chickens is using a broody hen,

If you have farmyard chickens then sure as eggs is eggs you will have to deal with sick birds sooner or later.

Ducks are endearing creatures and they make friendly and lovable pets, even if they can be a bit messy! 

Studies of wild fowl and free-range domestic hens show the importance of the very strong maternal behaviour that develops between the hen and her chicks.

The start of sexual behaviour is greatly affected by the environment, especially feeding, lighting regime and genetic strain. 

Make sure the hen is “sitting tight’ on eggs before introducing the hatching eggs to her.

Being a social bird from the open forest, the hen has developed a wide range of sounds for communication.

Chick embryos respond to light as early as 17 days after the start of incubation

The broiler chicken industry shows what can be achieved by applied science. 

Chicks dehydrate quickly at the high temperatures of rearing, so they must find water quickly after hatching and learn to drink.

Chicks are very active and when running, they extend their wings and flap them for use as breaks. 

hopperA design for a feed hopper for chooks.

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