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...]