Meet the Real Deal Chicken: No Process, No Steroids or Cloning by Terry Clark - HTML preview

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Meet the Real Deal Chicken: No Process, No Steroids or Cloning  "How to Raise Your Own Healthy Chickens Easy"...




"Learn Why It's Better to Raise Your Own Chickens and Not Buy It from Your Local Super Market"... Forget Chicken Surprise!



by Terry Clark




Table of Content


1. A Short Over-View to Raising Chickens - Basic Coops & Daily Care

2. How to Raise Day Old Chickens

3. Best Kind of Food for Tiny Chickens

4. Building Up Chicken Nest Boxes As Part of Healthy Chicken Raising

5. Card Box vs. Chicken Brooder

6. How to Care for Hens

7. Coccidiosis – What It Is and How to Protect Your Chickens from It

8. What to Do with All Those Eggs

9. Food and Housing Needs for Bigger Chickens

10. Why 'Greens' Are Important for Chickens

11. Nutritious Diet to Raise Chickens Successfully

12. How Should I Raise Baby Chickens?

13. How to Build A Chicken Coop for Laying Hens

14. How to Handle New Chickens

15. How to Prevent Diseases In Chickens

16. Raising Chickens –  What An Amateur Must Know

17. What Diseases Chickens Are Prone to?

18. How to Prevent Marek’s Disease In Chickens

19. Mistakes Commonly Made In Raising Chickens and How to Avoid Them

20. Precautions You MUST Take When Raising Chickens

21. Principal Styles of Raising Chickens - Their Benefits and Drawbacks

22. Raising Chickens in Winter in a Hassle-free Way

23. Raising Chickens - A Satisfying Experience for Any Person

24. Raising Chickens As A Business Venture

25. Raising Chickens - Feeding Dos & Don'ts

26. Raising Chickens under Different Weather Conditions

27. The Importance of Choosing the Right Breed of Chickens

28. The Significance of Probiotics for Ensuring the Health of Your Chickens

29. Reasons Behind Stress in Chickens – and how to Treat it

30. Tips and Suggestions on How to Raise Chickens

31. Top 5 Things To Be Aware of When Raising Chickens

32. 3 Top Reasons for Raising Chickens at Home

33. Vital Aspects of Chicken Coop Construction

34. What Baby Chickens Need the Most?

35. What Beginners Need to Know about Raising Chickens

36. What Breeds of Chicken Would Do Well In Extreme Cold Climates

37. What Supplements Keep Growing Chickens In Optimum Health?

38. Where to Buy Chickens?

39. Worried About Feeding your Chickens Healthily?

40. Keeping Chickens As Pets

41. Raising Chickens at Home For Meat - 3 Popular Meat Chickens For Your Small Flock

42. Raising Chickens at Home - Waiting For the First Egg

43. Things to Consider About Cheap Chicken Coops

44. Advantages of Mobile Chicken Coops

45. Tips on Proper Catching, Handling and Caring for Chickens






#1. A Short Over-View to Raising Chickens - Basic Coops & Daily Care


Raising chickens is a lot of fun, but if you lack the fundamental information about caring for them on a day-to-day basis, then it will turn into a lot of hassle for you.


Before you get your chickens, you need to prepare a coop for them to stay in. It is very important to choose the right location for this coop in your back or front yard. The first factor to consider is the wind direction or you might end up with chicken smell all over the house. If the wind is coming from the north, then the coop should be placed at the farthest point to the south.


Make sure that the coop provides an external access to the laying boxes in order to collect eggs easily. Some breeders forget about this and the daily collection of eggs is very hard for them because they need to get inside the coop. Also, make sure that you can access the feeders and the water dispensers easily, as you will need to fill them up regularly.

Constructing a chicken run would be a great idea because you will be able to let your chickens free all day long. This means that the coop will require less cleaning and that there will be plenty of fertilizer for your garden.


Make sure that you collect the eggs daily or the chickens may crack them while getting in and out of the nest. Do not attempt to do all the work yourself, but try to involve all the family members in order to decrease the amount of work you have to do. Make everyone share the fun.

Make sure that the water source is always clean and warm, especially if you live in a place where the water freezes in winter. It is highly advisable to get a heated water dispenser or place a heater under the standard water dispenser.


When you are purchasing chicks, make sure that you are getting them sorted out in terms of sex. If you have neighbors nearby, they can be annoyed by roosters crowing in the early morning. Hence, getting hens is a much better idea. On the other hand, if you do not mind the sound in the early morning and you are more interested in the meat, then roosters might be your choice. You can mix males and females according to your circumstances and your needs. Also, decide whether you want to raise the chickens primarily for eggs or for meat.



#2. How to Raise Day Old Chickens


Whether you have hatched the chicks in the incubator or have purchased them from a hatchery, this is only part of the battle. The true test will be when you can rear the little day year old chicks to full grown chickens. Just as a brooding hen would look after her little chicks, you will also look after, care; provide food, water and warmth to the little chicks as well.


Building a coop that has enough area for them and keeps them warm as well


Remember that chicks can’t be kept at home and they require their own coop. Ideally this chicken coop should be round so that there are no corners that can hurt the chickens. Even a small tub would do initially and it should be secured on all sides with a wire mesh. This prevents the chicks from being attacked by outside predators while providing them with enough fresh air and preventing them from running all over the place. The area of the chicken coop would depend on the number of chickens that you have.


The chicks have to be kept really warm. For this the heat source should be adequate enough to keep them warm and not roast them alive. A 100-watt bulb with a heat lamp should do perfectly fine for about 25 odd small chicks. Usually the temperature should be set at a comfortable 90 degree F or 32-degree C. To ensure that the temperature is constantly maintained, you would also need to have a thermometer inside the chicken coop. This temperature would be gradually decreased over the coming months.


More often than not, the chickens will themselves tell you whether the temperature is hot or cold for them. If they are really peeping loudly and are huddled in a group under the lamp, it means that they are feeling cold and the distance between lamp and chickens should be decreased. If they are trying to get away as far as possible from the lamp, then it means that they are feeling extremely hot. Move away the lamp and the chicks will feel really comfortable.


Lining the coop


Now that the coop and lamp is in place, the coop also needs to be lined up with sand and grit as well. Don’t line the coop with newspapers as the chickens have a natural tendency to scratch and they will tear up all the newspapers. The grit in the coop will help them to digest the food easily. If you aren’t sure about the amount of grit to be used for the coop, then ask the store from where you would buy the grit and the chicken starter feed.


Waterer and feeders are equally important


A waterer is also very important, as the chicks are extremely thirsty after they are born. Place the waterer in such a way that it can’t be toppled over when the chicks are running around in their coop. The temperature of the water should also be maintained at 90-degree F. this would prevent the chicks from catching a cold when drinking the water.



The feed for the day old chickens would be chicken starter or chicken crumbles, and they will come in medicated as well as un-medicated variety. The option to buy either variety would be yours. If you have bought the chicks from a hatchery, then you could try a bag of medicated and then switch over to non-medicated. If you have hatched the chickens in your own incubator, the option is completely yours. When the chicks are just a day old, use small feeders, but ensure that they aren’t made of Styrofoam.  Chicks have a tendency to peck at everything and can easily digest the Styrofoam that isn’t good for them.


Teaching the little chicks to drink water


When you first introduce the chicks to their coop or pen, just watch them for sometime and let them get familiar with their surroundings. The day old chicks need to be taught to drink water. Just dip their beaks into the waterer, but ensure that their body remains dry. When they get wet, they can get chilled and die very easily.


Keep a watch on them and ensure that house pets including dogs don’t come near them. Teach the children the proper way of handling the chicks as well.



#3. Best Kind of Food for Tiny Chickens


The food for tiny chickens is vastly different form the food that is given to the adult chickens.  They should be fed the right amount and type if you want them to grow well and be healthy and prevent the spread of diseases as well. Many farm owners will give the chicken their specially formulated chicken feed, but many a times, these home made chicken feed can lack the nutritional content that the commercial available chicken feed can provide. If the home made recipe is been given to the chickens, ensure that the ingredients are fresh and haven’t been treated with chemicals or pesticides as it can interfere with the breeding and the overall development of the tiny little chicks.


Use best quality chicken starter feed for the little chicks


Usually the best kind of food for the tiny chickens is known as chicken starter feed and is quite easily available in poultry shops. Remember that all vegetarian poultry mix isn’t quite natural for the little ones as well. In nature they would also have consumed little bugs as well. They need the animal protein to grow. An all-vegetarian fare can render the little chickens quite malnourished as well.  An ideal situation for the chickens would be to roam free and eat as many bugs and plants and weeds that they can lay their hands on. This will give them the maximum nutrition. Of course, since this isn’t the case, it’s better to stick to the feeds that are available in the market.


For beginners the pre made commercial chicken starter feed will also take out the headache and unnecessary tension of figuring out what to give the chickens. The feeds have a healthy balance of protein, vitamins, minerals and other nutritional elements that are necessary for the chickens to become healthy and strong and lay eggs (or become meat birds meant for producing chicken meat). Other mixes or food shouldn’t be given to the little chickens, as this will interfere with the nutritional balance of the commercial food that is being given to them.


The feedbag label will tell you about the feed for the exact stage development and will also mention the amount of nutrients per serving and the quantity that should be fed. The well-prepared diets are substantial for the little tiny chickens and additional use of vitamins isn’t required.


Table scraps may be fed occasionally


Table scraps that consist of grains such as barley, wheat or corn can be given as additional treats when training the chickens. However the use of such treats in daily food isn’t advised. It can interfere with the daily food that is been given to the chickens. You may also feed them vegetables such as lettuce, tomatoes, and many other fruits and vegetables. However the commercial feed is still quite practical and beneficial.


The chickens will usually feed till the time that their little tummies are full. For this top up the feeder in the morning and then again in the late afternoon. This will also make the little ones. The chickens usually help themselves to the food when they are hungry and will leave the rest when they are quite full. Remember to clean out their feeders everyday and never feed them leftover feed.


Provide clean and fresh drinking water


Water is also an essential part f their food and water feeders should be ideally kept at an elevated level. This will prevent the bird dropping from falling in the water. Change the water containers at least twice a day in ideal situations. If you can’t do that then change the containers at least once a day or when they seem really dirty and cloudy. . The clean drinking water should be provided at all times. Remember that the temperature of the water should be just right. Ideally for the first week, the temperature of the water should be kept at 90 degree F. this prevents the little chicks to be chilled out.


In case you can’t get chicken starter feed, you can do with breakfast cereal for the first few days or even mashed hard-boiled eggs. But the sooner you get them on the started feed, the better it is.



#4. Building Up Chicken Nest Boxes As Part of Healthy Chicken Raising


If you are planning to raise chickens, then it’s important to start off in the right way. First, start with their habitation. Chickens require:


1. Protection

2. Light

3. Heat

4. Fresh air

5. Plenty of water

6. Food supplied all the time

7. Cleanliness to keep off diseases.


The pen or coop that you will be building must meet all of these requirements. You cannot afford to miss on one. All of the above points are equally important. To ensure that your chickens get all of the above, you will either need a sturdy cardboard box or a wooden box. Always go for a wire netted enclosure. This will give you all the conveniences that you are looking for.


Water supply and good sanitary facilities are of utmost importance for healthy chicken breeding. You must have access to a good source of water. Buy a water jet with adequate piping to wash the brooder or box where the chickens are kept. Water is the best medium when it comes to cleanliness. It also helps in removing dirt and sticky droppings. A number of diseases can be prevented if you can devote some time to cleaning the chicken brooder. You do not need soap and detergents for this, plain water is sufficient. 


Always use good surgical gloves when you are cleaning the area around the boxes or nests. In this way, you will not be contaminated with any infection. If you find any of the chickens’ bottoms pasty with the droppings, apply wet cloth and lightly wipe them clean.  The cleaner your birds are, the more likely they are to stay away from diseases and infections.


Do not apply anything around the box. The more open the box is, the better the ventilation is. Chickens need lots of fresh air to breathe and live.


Keep the feeding tray clean and allow access to feed all the time.

Meat chicken breeds also give a robust flock of birds ready for consumption. Most of these birds are extremely fleshy and have small bones. They sell well too and are highly valued.  Younger birds tend to have a larger price than older birds. If you are having a meat business in mind, then go for these rapidly growing breeds.



#4. Card Box vs. Chicken Brooder


The card box can be a relatively inexpensive proposition to build for the newly hatched little chicks, but is only suitable for small numbers such as about five chicks. Commercially there are several chicken brooders that are available. The essential purpose of the chick brooder is to keep the chickens warm and protected. It’s essential to have the brooder till the time that the chickens can be left outside in the chicken coop.


Another point to consider is that the brooder has to be cleaned everyday and that food and water should be readily available to the chicks at all points of time as well. Even if you are using a commercial chicken brooder, it needs to be disinfected and cleaned before the chicks can be placed inside. Furthermore the brooder or the card box should at least be 12 inches or more in height. If it’s any shorter, the chicks can easily climb out of the brooder. Further you should really put a cover on op of the cardboard box to prevent them from getting out as well.


Size is another major factor, when you are choosing the brooder. Get a brooder that can accommodate the number of chickens you intend to get. Remember that chicks grow quickly, so get a brooder that can be used till they are ready to go out to the coop. The ideal space requirement per larger chick is 2 sq ft., this ensures that the chicks have room enough to grow and space out. However, day olds will not need so much room. If you cover the box, the chicks will need ventilation so make holes in the top and sides. Ensure that the box is not kept in a draft as this can harm the little chicks.


Chicks don’t require precise temperature control, however some rare and exotic species of birds may require specific temperature controls. For this reason, commercial brooders are better than the cardboard box. For new born chicks and chicks that are less than a week old, the temperature must be maintained at 90 degree F. This can be decreased as the weeks go by.


Whether it is a commercial brooder or a card box, it would need to be completely dry before it can be lined properly. Remember that it also needs to be changed daily as the chicken poop and other droppings need to be cleared. This will prevent the spread of the diseases and also maintain hygiene in the brooder. The lining can be done with paper towels (if there are few chicks), hardware cloth, burlap, newspaper or newsprint (it’s better to have shredded newspaper than whole newspapers as the newspaper is less absorbent), decomposed non toxic saw dust and wood shavings, peat moss, clean sand etc. the lining should be at least 2 inches thick. This helps the chicks to get a better foothold and also makes the surface non slippery.


A heat lamp is must for keeping the chicks warm. It is better to have a red light than the white light as the red light can’t hurt the chicks. You can also opt for a 250-watt infrared light that can keep them warm. Ensure that a healthy distance between the chicks and the lamp is maintained. This ensures that the chicks are kept warm without been roasted or chilled.


 If you find that the chicks are huddled together under the lamp, then you need to move the clamp closer. While the lamp needs to be moved away from the chicks, if you see that the chicks are moving towards the edge of the brooder.  Pick up the lamps and reflectors at any of the hardware shops. The commercial chicken brooder come with a variety of temperature controls and thermostat and this removes the headache of checking the chickens often to ensure that they are warm enough.


The feeder and the water tray in the commercial brooder are clamped to the outside of the mesh so that the chicks cannot topple the containers or get wet. For the card box, you will have to set a heavy based feeder and waterer, so that the chicks don’t fall over them and get all wet. If the chicks become wet, they can easily die.


Choose your option and just follow these simple rules to ensure that your chicks survive well.



#6. How to Care for Hens


People would think that raising chicken is very easy but, the truth is totally different from that because in order to breed some chicken in your backyard, there are some information that you need to know and there are some steps that you need to do in order to be able to breed them and get a good amount of meat and eggs from them.


Before you start, you should learn to care for your hens. The process starts with determining the needed amount of space inside the coop. this is possible when you know what the strains that you will breed are and how many chicken you will get. Always make sure that the chicken coop has an extra space for future expansions or you will need to dismantle it and reconstruct it once more in a new place or in a new direction.


After deciding which strains you will get and what the amount is, you can start building your chicken coop and put your hens in it. Before you enter the hens, you need to make sure that the floor of the coop is covered with soft bedding made of wood shavings or straw. These two materials can help keep the chickens warm and also protect the eggs from falling on the ground.


After putting the bedding, the coop will be ready to receive your chickens and you should allow them an hour or two inside the coop then check the whole coop. it is very important to see that every part of the coop is connected tightly to the other parts and there is no loose parts or holes that predators can go inside from.


It is very important to dig a little in the ground before installing the fence as this is the only way to protect your hens from the predators that can dig through the ground. Try to choose the materials that you can afford but, do not go for the cheap stuff because they will wear very quickly and you will need to replace them soon. That means that you will end up paying the double of the cheapest price.


There are three important factors that you need to keep in your consideration when you are starting your hobby or project of hen breasting. First is the light, lighting the coop in the morning is not necessary but, at night, you may need to keep the light on as they need to eat and they won’t eat with the lights off.


If you are breeding hens for egg production then you may need to invest in some nesting boxes or your hens will start laying their eggs on the ground and most of it will be cracked before you collect it. You can use the wood shavings instead of the straw because they last longer and will provide more warmth to the hens in cold weather.


Make sure that you are supplying your chicken with enough amount wood shaving as bedding inside the nesting houses and on the ground of the coop. also you should change this bedding periodically in order to make sure that the hens are enjoying dry and healthy bedding free of fowl all the time.


The third factor is the water and it is a very important issue for hens because they get thirsty all the time. You should provide a source of clean water in the coop in appropriate amount for all the chicken you are breeding. Make sure that this water is always clean and available for the chicks to drink from.


Feeding your chicken is one of the things that you need to do on daily basis and you should also choose the right type of feed for your chickens in order to yield the meat and eggs you need. Some people would take the easy way and feed their chickens with the dry food but, others would prefer to take the right turn and feed their chickens with green feed that yields better meat and better eggs.


Greed feed contains large amounts of water so, the hens won’t feel thirsty all the time and it also contains huge amount of nutrients that will keep your hens healthy all the time.

You need to know all the essential information about your hens and how to care for them before you proceed with getting them into your back yard.  




#7. Coccidiosis – What It Is and How to Protect Your Chickens from It


Coccidiosis is one of the most dangerous parasitic diseases. Hence, you should do what it takes to protect your chickens from this protozoan disease. This disease afflicts not only chickens. Other birds like ducks, geese, and turkeys are prone to it as well.


The protozoan parasites appear naturally in most types of soil. There are only certain types which are responsible for causing harm to chickens. One of the harmful parasites belonging to the Eimeria genus is Necatrix. 

The cocci outbreaks generally affect the youngsters. The adult chickens develop some sort of resistance to this disease, particularly to the strains they have previously been exposed to. When any new strain comes from another poultry farm and the conditions are favorable for the proliferation of the protozoa, the adults will succumb to this disease as well. This is the reason why ‘bio-security’ is so important for ensuring healthy chickens.


The initial indicators of this fatal disease are ruffled feathers in previously healthy chickens. Then diarrhea occurs along with blood or clear fluids oozing from the chicken’s mouth. Once any of these symptoms has already occurred, the bird dies within 96 hours.


Chickens’ eating habits are responsible for the quick spreading of the cocci infection. Chickens tend to poke and dribble manure and litter where protozoa might be naturally present. The cocci oocysts are present in the droppings of the already infected chickens. The manure is found easily in the soil. Then a healthy bird comes and ingests these oocysts.


Sporozoites get released after the crushing of the oocysts in the chicken’s gizzard. Slowly these sporozoites start replicating and destroying the various parts of the chicken’s digestive tract. If the bird has been infected with a very small amount of oocysts, there is a possibility for it to combat the infection and build up its immune strength.


In order to protect your chicken from this Cocci menace, it is important to keep the floor of the coop clean at all times. Although rampant cocci outbreaks can be reduced by this method, it is certainly not full-proof. A more effective way is to provide medicated feed to the chicks till they become adult chickens. Amprolium and Bacitracin are two important elements of these medicated feeds given to young chicks. A Cocci vaccine is also available on the market. Before you decide to adopt any of the prevention methods involving medication, you should consult a veterinarian.



#8. What to Do with All Those Eggs


One of the major mistakes that occur to amateur hen breeders is the high yield of the eggs. Once a breeder build his first chicken coop and it starts to produce eggs, he or she will realize that this small number of hens is producing a huge amount of eggs that exceeds his personal and family needs. At that point, the excess amount of eggs constitutes a problem because the breeder does not want to throw them away and in the mean time he does not know what to do with them.


The best solution for such situation is to sell these eggs through what is known Farm Gate Selling. Farm Gate Selling is a legal way to get rid of the excess amount of farm products that you do not need and it does not incur any taxes from any kind. In this way, you will be able to get back a portion of what you are paying to keep these hens but, there are some points that you should keep in your consideration when you Perform Farm Gate Selling.


The first step is to advertise and promote your eggs to people. Do not expect people knocking at your door asking if there are any eggs to buy without knowing that you are willing to sell. The best thing to do is to hang a visible sign announcing that you are selling eggs. It is also very important to amend this sign with two other signs. The first sign is a fixed one showing the people how they can contact you if they want to buy eggs.


For example, you can ask your customers to ring the bell or knock the door to get the eggs. This sign will encourage those who want to buy eggs to contact you. In many cases, buyers may steer away because they do not know how to contact you. The third sign is a detachable one; this sign should indicate either if you already have eggs to sell or if the whole stock had ran out. This sign particularly plays a very important role because if it reads that there is egg stock then it will entice people to come inside and buy and if it reads stock sold out then buyers will understand that your eggs run out quickly and they are always fresh so, they will flock for it every day.

After you advertise your products and your eggs, you need to make sure that you legalize everything in order to start selling these eggs and make some profit. When you

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