Identifying Problems in Your Birds

For new chicken owners, identifying when a bird in their backyard flock is sick can be a challenge. And knowing what to do about it can be even more daunting. Learn from Nutrena poultry expert Twain Lockhart what to look for, and what to do when you suspect an issue.

 

Helpful tips:

  • Because chickens are flock animals, they try to mask their symptoms so the other birds don’t know that they are sick
  • Some signs of illness include listlessness, loss of appetite, pale fact
  • Check for parasites under the wings of skinny chickens
  • Poultry dust can help to get rid of mites and lice

 

Keeping Your Birds Healthy

As a backyard chicken owner, your first goal is keeping your girls happy and healthy. There are lots of ways to work towards that goal, and Nutrena offers you one more option: our unique FlockShield healthy flock shield system, found in our NatureWise poultry feeds. Learn about it here from Nutrena poultry expert Twain Lockhart.

 

Helpful tips:

  • FlockShield is an additive that boosts the chickens’ overall immune systems helping them to live longer and lay more eggs

 

Bedding in the Coop

When it comes to bedding in the chicken coop, there are lots of options for backyard flock owners to choose from. Nutrena poultry expert Twain Lockhart shares his thoughts on the most common types, and the pros and cons of each.

 

Helpful tips:

  • Shavings and straw are the two most commonly used types of bedding
  • Do not use sawdust as it can cause respiratory issues
  • Avoid redwood and cedar as some woods carry toxins that can cause respiratory and eye issues
  • Use natural dirt or sand to lay down underneath the bedding
  • Your nose will tell you how often to change the bedding

 

What Makes a Great Chicken Coop?

If you are new to chickens, or are looking at upgrading your current coop, there’s a few key things to consider when building a home for your flock. Learn from Nutrena poultry expert Twain Lockhart how to keep your girls happy, healthy, and safe from predators in their coop.

 

Helpful tips:

  • Use hardware cloth instead of chicken wire to keep chickens safe from predators
  • Chickens need about 16 hours a day of daylight to get eggs
  • It’s very important for chickens to be positioned so they are exposed to natural sunset
  • Four chickens per nest box is a good rule of thumb
  • Make sure the coop is well ventilated, but not drafty

 

Feeding Chicks and Layers Together

Bringing baby chicks home to add to your existing flock? Check out this video from Nutrena poultry expert Twain Lockhart for tips on feeding the entire flock properly through this transition.

 

Helpful tips:

  • Feed baby chicks, or juveniles, chick starter crumble until they are 16 weeks of age
  • Have oyster shell available for adult females as crumble feed have very little calcium

 

Brooder Maintenance

Got new baby chicks in a brooder? Then you’ll want to know how to keep them warm and clean, so they stay healthy and strong. Listen in as Nutrena poultry expert Twain Lockhart shares tips to keep your brooder in proper condition.

Helpful tips:

  • Baby chicks self-regulate their temperature and will gather together if they’re too cold. 
  • If you see the chicks huddled together at one side, that is a sign there may be a draft.
  • Put newspaper down underneath the pine shavings to make cleanup easier.
  • Clean the brooder once every couple of days.