Mareks Disease in Chickens

MAREKS DISEASE (MD), is a common virus that causes internal lesions (tumors), and kills more birds than any other disease. It is so common that you should assume you have it in your flock, even if you detect no evidence. Mareks is a member of the herpesvirus family of...

Vaccinating for Mareks Disease in Chickens

OK, I give… I finally put together an article exclusively for those of you who would like to learn how to vaccinate your chicks for Mareks Disease. 1. draw 3cc of diluent 2. draw 3cc of re-hydrated vaccine 3. hold the chick face down 4. insert the needle just...

The Many Uses of Oxine AH (Animal Health)

Since I introduced a product named Oxine AH (Animal Health) to the fancy about four years ago, I have had so many questions about its effectiveness and many uses, that I thought it may be time to put something together that would answer the most popular questions in one...

The Many Uses of Diatomaceous Earth

DIATOMACEOUS EARTH (DE) is not ‘dirt’. In plain English it is naturally occurring crystalline silica, found in the earth. Another understandable description would be razor sharp microscopic diatoms (the crystalline silica skeletons of prehistoric aquatic plants) with intricate geometric forms – think microscopic snowflakes. The breakdown properties of diatoms...

Treating Heat Stress and Exhaustion in Poultry

Heat stress, or heat exhaustion, can be a serious problem a serious problem for poultry during the summer months. It can be a problem any time in certain areas of the country where warmer climate, inadequate ventilation, or an enclosed building where the sun beats on a non-reflective roof...

Stress Management for Chickens

STRESS is a big factor in determining the overall health of our birds. Stress comes in many forms and seems to affect the best of our show birds the most. There’s something inherent about the genetic makeup it takes to produce the finest colors and the best type and...

The Emotional Side of Raising Poultry

I’m going to break from the traditional health article this month and talk about something that touches my soul. If I wanted to write a column on the ‘most frequently asked questions’, I’d have to include this topic, since I get more email and calls about the heartbreak of...

Supportive Therapy for Chickens

I’m not talking about the need for psychotherapy (although if you’re talking about my birds, it’s debatable); I’m talking about SUPPORTIVE THERAPY. Supportive therapy is what you administer to a sick bird to increase its chances for recovery. I realize that there are some cases where a Fancier may...

General Care for Backyard Chickens and Ducks

In order to avoid the need for an avian pathologist, a fancier must practice good, common sense GENERAL CARE including good nutrition. In this article I will explain the basics about how to take care of backyard chickens and ducks. Do you realize that a chicken is designed to...

Toxoplasmosis in Poultry

Toxoplasmosis is a coccidian protozoan parasitic disease that affects mammals, birds, and reptiles. It primarily affects the central nervous system but can also affect the reproductive system, skeletal muscles, and critical organs, such as the heart, liver, and lungs. A single species, Toxoplasma gondii, is the cause of toxoplasmosis...

Basic Nutrition for Backyard Chickens

The feed which chickens eat is made up of water, carbohydrates, fats, proteins, minerals and vitamins. Each nutrient serves a special need. What we feed supplies the building material for the development of bone, flesh, feathers and eggs. When nutrients are properly formulated and balanced will produce fowl that...

Treating Wounds and Injury in Backyard Chickens

Quite often, I will receive a call or an email from someone who is frantic over the devastating injury caused to their poultry pet, usually by a predator. When the bird is beyond hope and is suffering, then I recommend the humane thing, and that is to put the...

Probiotics – The Good Bacteria

PROBIOTICS are a dietary supplement that increase the population of the ‘good’ bacteria (micro flora), which are needed in the intestinal tract in order to process food properly. The use of probiotics as a daily supplement has become a popular routine in the commercial poultry industry, particularly following antibiotic...

Common Poultry Myths

Let’s talk about COMMON POULTRY MYTHS. Medicated Starter will kill your waterfowl. You cannot eat eggs from chickens that eat medicated Layer feed with Amprolium in it. Ducks and chickens cannot be hatched or brooded together. The Mareks vaccine can only be given to day-old chicks. Make sure you...

How to Treat Chickens with Mites

Your chickens’ bottoms that is – you know, the area where the egg comes out in a hen and the area on the roo where he can make that same egg fertile. If the area appears dark in color and seems to be moving (E-Gads), your bird probably has...

Infectious Laryngotracheitis in Poultry

Chickens do not suffer from the Common Cold. Your bird may have one of many upper respiratory ailments, such as Infectious Coryza, Infectious Bronchitis, a CRD, or perhaps some other form of respiratory distress including bacterial, fungal, or viral infection – perhaps even something like Laryngotracheitis (commonly known as...

Using Injectable Medications on Poultry

Are you in the dark about giving shots? Many fanciers are. This article will try to help people feel more comfortable with the idea of USING INJECTABLE MEDICATIONS on their poultry (as opposed to other delivery methods), and to provide some tips on doing it easily and successfully. First,...

‘Crusty’ Duck Heads

It’s unsightly, it’s crusty, it destroys feathers, and it’s sticky when wet – what IS that stuff? Oh-No! It’s ‘DIRTY DUCK’ SALIVA! You’ve seen it, I’m sure. Your best show bird has a head of feathers that looks like he’s having a ‘bad hair day’. Tiny feathers are sticking...

Infectious Bronchitis in Poultry

Chickens do not suffer from the Common Cold. Your bird may have one of many upper respiratory ailments, such as Infectious Coryza, Infectious Bronchitis, a CRD, or perhaps some other form of respiratory distress including bacterial, fungal, or viral infection. But chances are, they don’t have the Common Cold....

Toxins that Effect Backyard Chickens

A POISON by any other name is still a poison. To paraphrase Paracelsus from 400 years ago, it’s ‘the dose that makes the poison’. Simply stated, almost anything in an overdose or a diet restricted to only one ingredient would eventually become toxic to your birds. A misplaced decimal...

Coccidiosis in Poultry

I’m not. That’s because I practice prevention. And if there’s anything to practice prevention for, it’s COCCIDIOSIS. Since Coccidiosis is one of the most flock-devastating protozoan parasitic diseases, ‘Cocci’ management should forever be at the forefront of any good health and nutrition program. If you’ve ever survived a round...

First Aid Kit for Backyard Chickens and Ducks

I bet that’s what you’d love to call 911 every time one of your feathered friends has an illness or injury – come on, admit it! I can just see it now – the tiny little stretchers, the toy-sized ambulance that screams off down the road rushing your little...

Egg Drop Syndrome

If you have a serious problem with thin-shelled or shell-less eggs, or a marked reduction in egg production, then you could be dealing with EGG DROP SYNDROME. I would not worry about the occasional thin-shelled or shell-less egg that comes at either the beginning or the end of the...

Upper Respiratory Fungal Infections that Effect Chickens

There’s a reason for most of those deaths, and it’s usually an undetected UPPER RESPIRATORY FUNGAL INFECTION. There are numerous upper respiratory ailments and I’m not going to cover each one here. Instead, I’ll address fungal infections from the most basic of causes, the connection to our environment, and...

How to Increase Hatching Success in your Chickens

I’ve had both the good fortune of good fertility and a great hatch during a year that seemed disappointing for others, and the opportunity to study some of the latest methods used in the commercial poultry industry to increase their HATCHING SUCCESS. Since this topic comes up frequently through...

Egg Binding

EGG BINDING is a serious disorder that most commonly affects a young hen when laying her first egg, but can affect any hen at any time. Some cases are so severe that the only possible solution is surgical, and can result in a complete hysterectomy. This would require the...

Infectious Coryza in Poultry

They probably have one of any number of upper respiratory ailments, such as Infectious Coryza, Infectious Bronchitis, a CRD, or perhaps some other form of respiratory distress including bacterial, fungal, or viral infection. But chances are, they don’t have the Common Cold. I’m going to concentrate on one of...