Chicken Mites and Diatomaceous Earth

If you notice swollen scales on your hens, this may be an indication that they have mites.  Fortunately, this is easily treatable with diatomaceous earth.

Diatomaceous earth is an all-natural, non-toxic, and biodegradable insecticide.  Your hens can even eat it!  This natural insecticide can be rubbed on the hen and into her feet to eliminate and/or prevent mites.

Here is a short video from Ann Bartley with information about diagnosing chicken diseases, including the treatment and prevention of mites.

In her video, Ms. Bartley shares several simple tips for making sure your birds are healthy and disease-free. [Read more...]

How to Set Up a Chick Brooder

A clean and dry chick brooder is the first step to giving your baby hens a good start.  For a small flock, a cardboard box is an inexpensive starter space.  For larger flocks, you will want to set up a place in your barn or shed that is separate from your older birds.  The brooding area should be secure from predators, and 3 to 4 square feet of room should be allotted for each chick.

Here is a very informative video from Purina Mills TV that will get you started with your baby chicks:

Two days before the chicks arrive, clean and disinfect the brooding area, as well as their feeders and waterers.  Spread litter 3 to 4 inches deep in the brooding area.  In the video, Dr. Ballam recommends using Eagle Valley bedding material.  It is an all-natural, absorbent, pelleted wood product from Canada. [Read more...]

Urban Chicken Coops from Ikea?

I have talked here before about the rising popularity of urban chicken coops.  Of course, nothing says "urban" like Ikea...

Recently, a chicken coop primarily made of Ikea products was featured on the IkeaHacker blog:

Ikea Chicken Coop

Click here to see more pictures and read about the Ikea chicken coop...

The family who built this coop spent about $400 to make it.  However, they did make one "deadly" mistake.  They used green plastic chicken mesh to enclose the coop.  Unfortunately, their foster dog broke into the coop and killed their four chickens.  Lesson learned - now they have three new chicks, and have replaced the plastic mesh with wire. [Read more...]