Friday, April 15, 2011

Advice for Chickens with Problems

Question:  Hello I want to be a mother hen. I have laid a clutch of eggs but they just do not hatch, what am I doing wrong?
Signed Mom To Be Maybe

Dear Maybe
There are many reasons why a hen's eggs do not hatch. If you are new to laying that could be the issue, your first few eggs are not fully developed. If there is no rooster present, or you have not mated, your eggs will not be fertile and will not hatch. You must be broody, this means you must sit on your eggs to keep them warm, as if you do not the chicks inside will not develop. You must also turn your eggs regularly to allow the chick to develop properly. Even with all things done right there are other things that can go wrong such as a bacterial infection.

Hopefully the problem with hatching your eggs is minor. Keep in mind that it takes 21 days for chicken eggs to hatch, so maybe you have not been sitting on them long enough.

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Question:  Help I feel like a freak. I have no feathers on my neck and its chilly. I an a fully grown rooster but have never had feathers on my neck and I feel silly, what can I do to grow feathers?
Signed Naked

Dear Naked
Very likely you are a breed of chicken that is called Naked Neck. It is normal for you not to have feathers on your neck. This breed originate in Transylvania, oddly enough, home of the vampires. It is best for you to have a shelter on colder days when the temperatures are below freezing, but otherwise have no worries. The lack of feathers on your neck is totally normal.

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Question:  I am a rooster and apparently I am disliked. People seem to be mad at me for making so much noise, but I cannot help it crowing is so natural. What can I do to help people to like me better?
Signed Big Mike

Dear Mike
Roosters are very valuable to some people but not everyone likes them. It is impossible to get new chicks without a rooster to fertilize the eggs. Chances are your owner knows this and that is why they have you around. Roosters are also very good at protecting their hens. If a predator is small enough the rooster can often scare it away, and will even try to fight larger predators such as foxes! Ideally the noise will alert your owner who can act quickly to secure the safety of all the chickens.

Some roosters are not friendly, they get mean and chase even people away from the hens, if you want to be liked, don't do that. Additionally your crowing is probably annoying even though it is natural. People need to understand that you crow, not with the intent of waking everyone up, but rather to state “I am here!”. You are just trying to warn off intruders in the area.

Hopefully, Mike, you will have owners that understand the real value of a rooster and not dislike you for being what you are.
Reading for Chicken Owners

Care of Pet Chickens

Why Won't All Chicken Eggs Hatch

The Naked Neck Rooster

Chicken Breeds for Pets


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  6. Cute post! We currently have 9 pet chickens and 1 rooster. We always have just one rooster in our flock. A rooster provides protection for our girls (which means less worry for me). I also think they're quite handsome and add a little mixture to the look of the flock!

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