My chickens love the explosion of insect life in the spring—and so do I, but it wasn’t always that way. In my life before chickens, my Kentucky backyard was unusable for several months of the year, simply because of blood-sucking insects. Because my chickens devour a majority of the bugs that bug me most, […]
During a recent chicken check, I discovered mites in my flock. One was crawling on a fresh egg in the coop, and many more were zig-zagging across a hen’s vent area. I took immediate action, of course, but I still get the willies when I think about it. Mites prefer a chicken’s warmest body […]
Chickens are good at finding places to dust bathe. They will snuggle up between the roots of old trees, lie down in the garden, and fluff their feathers in decomposing mulch. Dust bathing absorbs oil from their skin, and wood ash coats the skin to become a barrier protecting from mite infestations. As a […]
When I started raising my first flock of chickens, I would sometimes start a conversation with something like, “So sorry I’m late! I had to chase a chicken.” It was always true, of course, but it was a great conversation starter about my favorite hobby. Now that I’m more seasoned, I’ve noticed a pattern when […]
These chicken breeds are excellent foragers, and when allowed to free-range, they’ll do their part to supplement their diet—saving you money on feed.
Have you ever found little mouse droppings peppered throughout your coop bedding—black oval pellets about the size of a grain of rice? Evidence of rodents in your chicken coop can be unnerving, but it’s important to recognize that winter is a hungry time for wild animals. The reward of a warm bed and a full […]
Is there a certain type of plant that attracts mites/lice. Which plants should I steer away from growing to deter inviting them to the coop? –D&R Poultry Fortunately for us garden-loving chicken keepers, plant parasites and chicken parasites are two completely different beasts. Plants attract the organisms that feed on the plants, while scaly leg […]