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Fancy Chicken Breeders Ruffled by Adult Film

Fancy Chicken Breeders Ruffled by Adult Film

Some French breeders of high-end chickens shocked by porn producers

Wikimedia/User:Fir0002

Loué chicken farmers were shocked to learn that someone had filmed an adult video right near where they raise high-end, free-range chickens.

Farmers of France’s famed Loué chickens were outraged to discover their lovely town is now famous for hardcore porn as well as posh poultry.

According to The Local, a woman posing as a “farmer’s daughter” was caught with her co-star and a film crew in broad daylight in the otherwise quiet little town of Loué, which is otherwise famous for producing high-end, free-range chickens. The crew was chased off by town residents, but one of the town’s farmers later found his town in some of the seedier parts of the Internet.

The video pretends the female lead is a young chicken farmer, and features establishing shots of her posing near the roadside sign for Loué. The video’s introduction says the star is Sophie, a chicken breeder who met up with producers because she wanted to make “a video for her husband as a Valentine’s Day gift.”

Then things get grown-up very quickly, right in broad daylight next to the chicken farms.

The Fermiers de Loué chicken breeder collective was very concerned that the producers’ story might be believed and that people would think “Sophie” was a real Loué chicken breeder.

“No, she’s she’s not a Loué chicken breeder," insisted Fermiers de Loué director Yves de La Fouchardière. "You’d have to be naive to believe that, she’s an actress.”

Police were called in to investigate, and they agreed that the film’s star was probably an actress and not a chicken breeder, as she also starred in other, chickenless films. Police say no charges have been filed, as there are no known victims.


13 Common Chicken Diseases Every Chicken Keeper Should Know About (and How to Treat Them)

Jennifer is a full-time homesteader who started her journey in the foothills of North Carolina in 2010. Currently, she spends her days gardening, caring for her orchard and vineyard, raising chickens, ducks, goats, and bees. Jennifer is an avid canner who provides almost all food for her family needs. She enjoys working on DIY remodeling projects to bring beauty to her homestead in her spare times.

Do you consider yourself a chicken person?

Well, I was not when my husband decided we should begin raising them. You can imagine how I felt when he told me he was going to get our first chickens.

For starters, I knew nothing about chickens.

However, I quickly changed my mind as we became more self-sufficient.

Part of raising chickens is understanding how to recognize and treat some of their common illnesses. Today, that is what I’m bringing you.

1. Fowl Pox

If you notice your chickens developing white spots on their skin, scabby sores on their combs, white ulcers in their mouth or trachea, and their laying stops then you should grow concerned that your chickens are developing Fowl Pox.

There are treatment options for Fowl Pox. You can feed them soft food and give them a warm and dry place to try and recoup. With adequate care, there is a great chance that your birds can survive this illness.

If you would like to remove the odds of your birds even contracting this disease there is a vaccine available. If not, you should know that they can contact this disease from other contaminated chickens, mosquitos, and it is a virus so it can be contracted by air as well.

2. Botulism

If your chickens begin to have progressing tremors you should grow concerned. If your chickens have botulism the tremors will progress into total body paralysis which does include their breathing.

You will also notice their feathers will be easy to pull out and death usually occurs within a few hours.

However, what can you do about it?

Well, there is an antitoxin that can be purchased from your local vet. Though it is considered to be expensive. However, if you catch the disease early enough you can mix 1 teaspoon of Epsom salts with 1-ounce of warm water. You can give it to them by dropper once daily.

If your chickens have contracted this disease it means that there has been some type of dead meat left near their food and water which contaminated it. Which means this disease is avoidable as long as you keep your chickens in a clean environment and clean up any dead carcass from around their environment.

3. Fowl Cholera

You should be suspicious of this disease if you see your birds begin to have greenish or yellowish diarrhea, are having obvious joint pain, struggling to breathe, and have a darkened head or wattle. Fowl Cholera is a bacterial disease that can be contracted from wild animals or food and water that has been contaminated by this bacteria.

However, the biggest downside to your chicken developing this disease is there is no real treatment. If by some chance your chicken survives, it will still always be a carrier of the disease.

It is usually better to put them down and destroy their carcass so it will not be passed.

However, there is a vaccine for your chickens to prevent the disease from ever taking hold.

4. Infectious Bronchitis

This disease hits close to home because it wiped out half of our flock when we were new to raising chickens. You’ll recognize this disease when you begin to hear your chickens sneezing, snoring, and coughing. And then the drainage will begin to secrete from their nose and eyes.

Their laying will cease too.

Even so, the good news is you can get a vaccine to stop this disease from impacting your chickens.

However, if you decide against that then you will need to move quickly when seeing these signs. Infectious Bronchitis is a viral disease and will travel quickly through the air.

To treat Infectious Bronchitis, give your chickens a warm, dry place to recoup. I gave my birds a warm herb tea and fed them fresh herbs, which seemed to help.

5. Infectious Coryza

You will know that your birds have caught this disease when their heads become swollen. Their eyes will swell shut and their combs will also swell. Then the discharge will begin to flow from their eyes and noses. They will stop laying and will have moisture under their wings.

Unfortunately, there is no vaccine to stop this disease.

Once your chickens contract this disease they should be put down. If not, they will remain a carrier of the disease for life which is a risk to the rest of your flock.

Be sure to discard the body afterward so no other animal becomes infected by it.

However, the light at the end of this tunnel is that even though this disease is a bacteria it only travels through contaminated water, other contaminated birds, and surfaces that have been contaminated with the bacteria.

If you keep your chickens protected from other random chickens and keep their coop and water clean they should be safe from this disease.

6. Marek’s Disease

This disease is more common in younger birds that are usually under the age of 20 weeks.

You will know that this disease has struck your baby chicks if you begin to see tumors growing inside or outside of your chick. Their iris will turn gray and they will no longer respond to light. And they will become paralyzed.

Unfortunately, this disease is very easy for them to catch. It is a virus which means it is super easy to transmit from bird to bird. They actually get the virus by breathing in pieces of shed skin and feather from an infected chick.

And sadly, if your chick gets this disease it needs to be put down. It will remain a carrier of the disease for life if it survives.

However, the good news is there is a vaccine and it is usually given to day-old chicks.

7. Thrush

Thrush in chickens is very similar to thrush that babies get.

You’ll notice a white oozy substance inside their crop (which is a space between their neck and body.) They will have a larger than normal appetite. The chicken will appear lethargic and have a crusty vent area. And their feathers will look ruffled.

It is important to mention that thrush is a fungal disease. This means it can be contracted if you allow your chickens to eat molded feed or other molded food. And they can also contract the disease from contaminated water or surfaces.

Even though there is no vaccine, it can be treated by an anti-fungal medicine that you can get from your local vet. Be sure to remove the bad food and clean their water container as well.

8. Air Sac Disease

This disease first appears in the form of poor laying skills and a weak chicken. As it progresses, you will notice coughing, sneezing, breathing problems, swollen joints, and possibly death.

Now, there is a vaccine for this illness, and it can be treated with an antibiotic from the vet. However, it can be picked up from other birds (even wild birds) and it can be transferred from a hen that has it to her chick through the egg.

As a precaution, keep an eye out for any of these symptoms so it can be treated quickly and effectively.

9. Newcastle Disease

This disease also appears through the respiratory system. You will begin to see breathing problems, discharge from their nose, their eyes will begin to look murky, and their laying will stop. Also, it is common that the bird’s legs and wings will become paralyzed as well as their necks twisted.

This disease is carried by other birds including wild birds. That is how it is usually contracted. However, if you touch an infected bird you can pass it on from your clothes, shoes, and other items.

Still, the good news is that older birds usually will recover and they are not carriers afterward, but most baby birds will die from the disease.

There is a vaccine for the disease although the US is working to rid the country of the disease all the way around.

10. Mushy Chick

This disease obviously will impact chicks. It usually shows up in newly hatched chicks that have a midsection that is enlarged, inflamed, and blue-tinted. The chick will have an unpleasant scent and will appear to be drowsy. Naturally, the chick will also be weak.

This disease doesn’t have a vaccine. It is usually transmitted from chick to chick or from a dirty surface where an infected chick was. And usually, it is contracted from an unclean area where a chick with a weak immune system contracts the bacteria.

There is no vaccine for this disease, although sometimes antibiotics will work. However, usually, when you come in contact with this disease you will need to immediately separate your healthy chicks from the sick ones.

Use caution as the bacteria within this disease (such as staph and strep) can impact humans.

11. Pullorum

This disease impacts chicks and older birds differently. The chicks will show no signs of activity, have a white paste all over their backsides, and show signs of breathing difficulty. Though some will die with no signs at all.

However, in older birds, you will see sneezing and coughing on top of poor laying skills.

This is a viral disease. It can be contracted through contaminated surfaces and other birds that have become carriers of the disease. Unfortunately, there is no vaccine for this disease and all birds that contract the disease should be put down and the carcass destroyed so no other animal will pick up the disease.

12. Avian Influenza

Avian Influenza is most commonly known as bird flu. It was one of my initial fears of owning chickens because all you hear about on the news is how people get sick with bird flu from their chickens. However, after knowing the symptoms you’ll be able to put that fear to rest.

You need to know how to act quickly if you are afraid your backyard birds have come in contact with it.

The signs you will notice will include respiratory troubles. Your chickens will quit laying. They will probably develop diarrhea. You may notice swelling in your chicken’s face and that their comb and wattle are discolored or have turned blue.

And they may even develop dark red spots on their legs and combs.

Unfortunately, there is no vaccine and the chickens infected will always be carriers. Wild animals can even carry the disease from bird to bird.

Once your birds get this disease, they need to be put down and the carcass destroyed. And you will need to sanitize any area that the birds were in before ever introducing a new flock.

Use great caution because this disease can make humans sick.

And here is a great resource about avian influenza for all backyard chicken keepers. Hopefully, this will help to put your mind at rest about this disease and your backyard flock.

13. Bumblefoot

Bumblefoot is a disease that you’ll know exactly what you’re looking at when you see it.

It begins with your chicken accidentally cutting its foot on something. It can happen when they are digging in the garden, scratching around in mulch, and so many other ways, but then the cut gets infected. And the chicken’s foot will begin to swell. It can even swell up the leg.

You can treat it by performing surgery. If not, the infection will eventually take over the chicken and claim its life.

Obviously, bumblefoot can happen very easily and there isn’t much you can do to prevent it besides keeping a close eye on your chickens’ feet. If you notice they have a cut then be sure to wash and disinfect it to prevent this disease from setting up.

That is all of the common chicken diseases I have for you today.

However, there are many less common illnesses too. Just be sure to always pay attention to your flock and stay alert to any changes. Never be afraid to research. It is better to overreact than to underreact and miss something that could be detrimental to your whole flock.


Why chickens have diarrhea

From what Do you experience diarrhea in chickens? The most common cause is poor-quality feed or the development of infection in the body of the bird. If the cause of diarrhea is an infectious disease, do not hesitate, you should contact a veterinarian, only he can prescribe adequate treatment and save the chicks from imminent death. If digestive upset is due to a mistake in the diet, folk remedies can be used.

Why is broiler diarrhea so dangerous?Due to the light weight of the chicks dehydration occurs extremely quickly, the process of assimilation of nutrients in the intestine stops, as a result of which the bird is not able to deal with external stimuli, it can even die. It is secondary infection that is most often the immediate cause of death.

A list of measures that should be taken first if the poultry is diagnosed with diarrhea:

  • Checking whether the chicken house is in good sanitary condition or the house’s standards.
  • Checks if the bird receives fresh food, whether the feeding is on schedule.
  • Does the amount of vitamins exceed the maximum allowable rate.
  • Is periodic disinfection carried out the house and the surrounding area.

Fancy Chicken Breeders Ruffled by Adult Film - Recipes

We have seven heritage breed hens living in the main coop at 1840 Farm. They eat, sleep, and lay eggs there. They spend their days outside soaking up the fresh air and sunshine. They stretch their legs, take dust baths, and enjoy picking through the vegetation that grows nearby. Every evening, they return to the coop and take their place on the roost until the next morning.

I’m a farmer. I expect a little mess and aroma to come with the job. I’m not afraid of getting dirty in fact, I find it to be a badge of honor on the farm. If I don’t end the day with dirt beneath my fingernails, I must not have been working very hard. If I’m not working very hard, then there will be less homegrown food on our farmhouse table. Bring on the dirt.

During the summer, our coop and barn are open and ventilated all day. I’ve already discussed how important I believe cross ventilation is to the health of a flock. Our front facing window and rear facing vents and access doors help to keep fresh air flowing into the coop. The side screen door is also kept open during warm weather, allowing even more fresh air to enter the coop.

We follow the same method of keeping air circulating in our circa 1840 barn. Each morning, I slide open the south facing front door and unlatch the screen. Then the back door is opened and secured to keep it open and allow a breeze to flow through the main aisle. Keeping a coop smelling fresh is a big goal and a breeze can only do so much on a hot, humid day. Regular mucking and cleaning is the most laborious and also most successful way to keep a coop or barn smelling fresh. Even with our drop down cleanout door, a total coop cleaning takes a sizable time commitment, not to mention the need to have a large quantity of replacement bedding on hand.

While I don’t want to disinfect our coop on a weekly basis, I have developed a Sunday routine that enables me to freshen the coop in between deep cleanings. My weekly coop freshening takes only minutes and uses supplies that I always have on hand. Even better, it leaves our coop smelling fresh and clean even on the warmest summer day.

I chose the components for my spray carefully. I use Dawn lavender dishwashing liquid soap both because of its lavender scent and its known gentleness and effectiveness to clean birds in the wild. If it can be trusted to be used during the crisis of an oil spill, then I feel like it is safe to invite into our coop. You could certainly substitute another brand of soap when making your spray, but I can only attest to the effectiveness of Dawn as it is the only brand that I have used.

Lavender Dawn has a lovely, light lavender scent, but I wanted to up the ante. I also wanted to boost the power of this spray to both lightly disinfect the coop and help to deter pests. I always have grapefruit seed extract on hand for making household cleaners and knew that it had incredible, natural powers to help disinfect yet it was safe enough to be taken internally. I don’t have any plans to feed my chickens grapefruit seed extract, but I feel safe adding it to our spray. Then I add tea tree oil and peppermint oil for their insect repelling qualities. Lastly, I add a bit of lavender to help boost the calming properties of the freshening spray.

I simply combine the ingredients in a clean spray bottle, replace the cap and shake the bottle gently to mix the liquid. The resulting spray has a light, fresh scent without being overpowering. One bottle of spray lasts me several weeks and has worked effectively in both our main coop and garden coop.

Herbal Coop Freshening Spray

4 ounces Dawn lavender dish soap
12 ounces water
10 drops grapefruit seed extract
10 drops tea tree oil
10 drops peppermint oil
10 drops lavender oil

Every Sunday, I enter the coop after completing my morning farm chores ready to freshen the coop for the week. I come armed with my homemade coop freshening spray and a small bucket of herbs gathered right outside the coop door. Mint grows directly outside of our barn and coop and we seem to have an unending supply. Using it to freshen our coop and barn seems like a great way to use it to its full advantage.

I spray each nest box with the herbal spray several times. Then I lightly spray the bedding on the floor of the coop and also the two roosts. I place a handful of fresh mint on top of each nest box. If the nest boxes need a little bit of nesting material, I add it after spraying the boxes with the herbal spray and before adding the fresh herbs.

Even on a hot day, the coop immediately smells fresh and clean. Over the period of the next few days, the herbs I have left behind in the nest boxes continue to perfume the air in the coop. Occasionally, I add a handful of mint to each nest box during the week as I am collecting the day’s eggs.

Both our adult laying hens and adolescent pullets seem to enjoy their freshly smelling coops. They immediately come in to investigate their freshened surroundings. While they sometimes take a closer look at the mint, I have yet to see one ingest any. Instead, they seem content to nest on top of them and enjoy the aroma of mint in their coops.

While I felt as though our hens appreciated my efforts, I wanted to test my theory. One week, I only freshened a single nest box. I left the remaining boxes untouched and didn’t spray the floor or roost. I placed a handful of mint on top of the lone freshened box and exited the coop.

Later that afternoon, I went out to the coop to retrieve the day’s eggs. Every egg that had been laid was in the same nest box. They were sitting on top of the fresh mint leaves as if I had placed them there for effect.

Clearly, our hens did appreciate my weekly freshening services. The fact that they decided to lay their eggs in the only nest box that I had freshened confirmed that. As a chicken keeper, there was no bigger affirmation the hens could give me. Collecting enough fresh eggs to feed my family was all the encouragement I needed to keep me coming back to freshen the coop every Sunday.

How do you keep your coop fresh? Do you add herbs to your nest boxes to encourage your hens to spend more time there?


The Scoop on Vitamins

Vitamin deficiencies that occur in backyard flock are easy to avoid with the variety of feed formulations available, such as chick starter and layer feed. When fed as the only source of food intake, these provide a complete, nutrient-rich diet for our flock.

Deficiencies may arise with treats, scratch, or table scraps, off-setting the daily nutrition provided. Other factors that may cause a vitamin imbalance include intestinal parasites, stressful conditions which may alter the chicken's eating habits, illnesses and their ability to induce malabsorption, and specific medications we may use to treat disease. Coccidia, for example, is prevented and managed with a product called Amprolium (Corid). It is a thiamine analog and works by blocking Vitamin B-1 in which the protozoa coccidia need to thrive.

Vitamin deficiency could appear in any backyard flock. Understanding the underlying causes and how chickens utilize vitamins prepares for illness. To prevent future vitamin deficiencies one must be able to understand the nutritional values of feed formulations and be able to recognize vitamin absorption issues within the flock.

VITAMIN A
Adult birds require this vitamin to maintain general health, egg production and the all-important hatchability of these precious eggs. In chicks, it is crucial for their growth. Poultry lacking in Vitamin A may take weeks to show symptoms of a severe deficiency. The first signs noticed may be general ataxia, ruffled feathers, and weight loss. Eventually, this may manifest into what appears to be a chronic respiratory infection, including discharge from nostrils, and swelling around eyes. This deficiency is not something chickens will often experience. However, proper sources of Vitamin A include alfalfa meal, kale, fish oils, blended carrots, and the green grass in your backyard!

VITAMIN B
Like all other vitamins, we categorize Vitamin B into several factors. The focus in poultry being Vitamin B-1 (Thiamine) and Vitamin B-12, which play an essential part in the chicken's nervous system. Symptoms of deficiency will present itself in general weakness of the legs, "walking on hocks," weight loss, loss of coordination, and neck and leg jerks. In chicks, you may see the condition “star gazing.” Cooked eggs are an excellent source of Vitamin B, as well as an injectable form which can be prescribed by your veterinarian.

Vitamin D
"The Sunshine Vitamin" enables poultry to utilize and metabolize their diet completely. In brooding chicks, a deficiency will present itself in leg weakness, general failure to thrive, and ruffled feathers. Having an all-inclusive UVB light in your brooder may help with a chick's uptake of Vitamin D. In hens you may see rubber eggs or other egg-laying problems. The preferred source of Vitamin D is direct sunlight, which is crucial for all animals to thrive.

Vitamin E
Reproduction and the overall health of growing chicks require Vitamin E. It may take 3-4 weeks of a diet low in Vitamin E for birds to start showing symptoms. Chickens suffering from a Vitamin E deficiency will show muscular dystrophy, ataxia, muscle weakness, and may be found lying on their side with paralysis, before eventual death. Good supplemental sources of Vitamin E include vegetable oil and cereal products containing vegetable oil, eggs, liver, legumes and green plants. Any of these feed items may be given to affected laying hens to increase the hatchability of their eggs, and health of their chicks.

Vitamin G
Also known as Riboflavin, a deficiency of this vitamin can cause degeneration of nerve tissue, which may lead to leg paralysis in growing chicks, curled toes, and “walking on hocks.” Mature hens lacking this vitamin can pass the deficiency through the egg, which in turn will affect the growth of their chicks. Good sources of Vitamin G include alfalfa seeds and yeast.

Vitamin K
Vitamin K is crucial in allowing blood to clot. Impairment of blood coagulation is the primary symptom of a deficiency. While a Vitamin K deficiency is difficult to diagnose just from outward appearances, a severe lack of Vitamin K will turn any minor wound into a potentially fatal situation. Like Vitamin G, hens can pass this deficiency through her egg and in turn cause her chicks also to be affected. Some outward signs are bruising or hemorrhaging visible to the naked eye from a small bump or fall. Chickens routinely produce some vitamin K on their own by intestinal synthesis. Coccidiosis, necrotic enteritis, and the use of antibiotics can cause a decrease in this production, leading to the bird being dependent on getting their source of Vitamin K strictly from their diet. Thankfully, Vitamin K deficiency is also a rarity in Poultry. Vitamin K deficiency, if suspected, can be diagnosed with diagnostic blood work and treated by your veterinarian.

As chicken lovers, breeders, and enthusiasts, we are fortunate that there have been extensive studies regarding vitamins in poultry. Companies such as Durvet have given us a comprehensive understanding of when the need for supplemental vitamins is appropriate and have made providing them to our flocks easier than ever. Products like the Vitamin and Electrolytes for Poultry, by Durvet, is a simple to use, water-soluble powder that can be utilized as a preventative to keep your backyard flock healthy as well as assist in correcting a deficiency in chicks and adults. I highly recommend keeping a bottle of Durvet's Vitamin and Electrolytes for Poultry on hand in the event you may recognize symptoms or know your flock may be susceptible to developing a deficiency.

Here's to happy & healthy chickens!

Photo created and drawn by hand by: Jennifer Pike, www.chickenzoo.com

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Gretchen Suggs is the Owner of Sweetheart Silkies, Inc., a nonprofit organization formed to promote poultry health and provide education to backyard flock enthusiasts. She has been breeding and showing silkie bantams for 6 years.


Livestock Disease Tables

Backyard Livestock (The Countryman Press, 2017), by Steven Thomas and George P. Looby, acts as a reference for anyone who keeps animals as a sustainable food source. Laying out up-to-date information on breeding, feeding, disease prevention, housing, and management for livestock, complete with clarifying diagrams, full color photography, and a catalog of supplemental reading.

Understanding and preventing diseases that can effect your livestock is essential for identifying potential threats. Listed below is an overview of common diseases organized by species.


23 Homemade Dog Food Recipes Your Pup Will Absolutely Love

It seems like we’re always hearing horror stories about the horrible byproducts that go into commercial dog foods &mdash not to mention the constant recalls companies seem to always be issuing. More and more, DIY pet food is starting to feel like the right way to go.

These homemade dog food recipes will give your pup the nutrition they need, without all that added stuff they don’t. Plus, your dog will totally think they are eating human food &mdash which will make them feel beyond special.

1. Turkey and fresh veggies

There’s nothing to this recipe but turkey, fresh vegetables and rice. It’s super-simple and much cheaper than that store-bought stuff.

2. Chicken, sweet potatoes and kale

A big batch of this easy recipe will last your dog for weeks.

3. Vegan dog food

4. Chicken and spinach

Freeze this dog food in individual servings for easy thawing and feeding.

5. Diabetic dog food

Having a dog with special dietary needs is a challenge, but a good arsenal of recipes helps a ton.

6. Organic dog food

You go organic for the rest of your family. Doesn’t your dog deserve it, too?

7. Natural dog food

If you have a dog with allergies, this might be your best bet.

8. Slow cooker dog food

Image: Damn Delicious

Throw this in your slow cooker in the morning and have a week’s worth of dog food by dinner time.

9. Double-meat slow cooker delight

Your dog won’t be able to get enough of this dog food made with both chicken and turkey, and you’ll love how easy it is to throw together.

10. Frugal dog food

Even homemade dog food can be costly. This version keeps the budget low.

11. Healing mash

If your dog has tummy issues, serve it up some of this ASAP.

12. Bone broth

Bone broth is a great addition to a meal for healthy dogs, and it’s an easy-to-handle meal replacement for one that’s a bit under the weather.

13. Puppy power smoothies

You’re not the only one who enjoys a smoothie every now and then. Make one for your pup, too.

14. Peanut butter and coconut biscuits

We all know dogs love peanut butter, but have you thought about mixing it with coconut?

15. Gimme Kisses cookies

Dogs love cookies, too. Make these so it’ll stop begging for yours.

16. Bacon biscuits

Well, this one’s pretty much a no-brainer.

17. Homemade greenies

Image: Good Dogs & Co

This recipe proves that healthy snacking options exist, even for your pooch.

18. No-bake dog treats

You don’t even have to turn your oven on to make your pup these treats.

19. Sweet potato chews

Have you ever looked at what those chews your dog loves are actually made of? Gross! These chews are just made of sweet potatoes, so you won’t gag when you dole them out.

20. Two-ingredient treats

Just two ingredients make these treats that are both dog- and people-friendly.

21. Doggie ice cream

Don’t leave your dog out at ice cream time. Make your pooch its own.

22. Pupcakes

Cupcakes make everyone’s day better, so make a batch for your pup, pronto.

23. Puppy birthday cake

Don’t let its birthday go by unnoticed. Make your dog its own cake &mdash and then make a human cake so you can celebrate with your pooch.

Before you go, check out our slideshow below.

Image: Liz Smith/SheKnows


Showing Poultry

Showing Poultry is a rather specialist activity and one that many people haven’t heard of, yet it is widespread around the World and has some very dedicated followers. The first ever significant poultry show was held in the UK at London Zoo in 1845 (America’s first show was held in Boston public gardens a little later in 1849) and there are now people showing poultry in many countries around the World.

In larger countries, such as America, Canada and Australia, showing poultry becomes difficult at a National level due to the difficulties in transporting birds over long distances. By far the biggest shows are held in Germany and The Netherlands where there are often 30� entries. The largest shows in the UK are The Federation of Poultry Clubs show and The National Poultry Show which usually attracts around 6� entries.

Before taking birds to a show, there is of course a lot of preparation (they don’t come out of the muddy chicken run ready for the show unfortunately!) This preparation involves breeding at the right time so that birds are at their optimum for a show, keeping the birds as clean as possible once they have their adult plumage, then washing and drying them just before the show.

Taking a step back from show preparation, a fancier needs to hatch and raise good quality stock that will be as close to the Breed Standard as possible and this is where the real skills are required. Many years of work are put in to become an outstanding breeder. There are articles in our section on Poultry Breeding that may help you get started.

People that show poultry often take judging of their breed very seriously. Naturally, judges can interpret standards differently when there is any ambiguity and the same bird may be placed differently with different judges but if a judge does not understand the breed, there can certainly be some ruffled feathers amongst fanciers!

It’s always nice to know that competitors exhibiting the same variety will usually be the first to offer advice to you and before long, become good friends. All ages of people get involved in showing poultry and there are always additional categories for juveniles.

Showing Poultry Sub-Categories

Articles on Showing Poultry
Articles on how to prepare poultry before a show and tips and tricks for exhibiting show chickens, to improving your poultry photos whilst showing your poultry at one of the many shows around the country.

Show Reports, Photos & Results
Show reports, photos and results from around the shows.
Please get in touch if you have any photos or show reports that you can send to us for inclusion here.


1. Mary Poppins & Bert

You don't need to be able to carry a tune to dress up as Mary Poppins, but you will need a few items to look like the famous nanny. And with Bert, the sweet chimney sweeper on your arm, everyone at the Halloween party will know exactly who you are.


12 Things You Need to Know Before Getting Your First Ducks

MorningChores Staff is a team of writers and editors who collaborate to create articles. If the article you are reading is authored by MorningChores Staff, it means multiple people contributed on it.

Raising ducks is an amazing experience! They are cute and bring a lot of entertainment to the yard.

Plus, despite chicken’s popularity as a backyard pet, ducks are actually easier to raise than chickens because of their hardiness. They are quite similar in some ways, but there are grave differences you need to know as a future duck keeper.

Understanding ducks and their needs are something that should be understood before jumping into raising ducks.

1. Recommended Breeds

Pekin ducks always come as the most recommended breed for a backyard duck.

They are great for many reasons. First, at 10 pounds per bird they’re considered pretty large in size that they’re too heavy to fly, so you can allow them to free-range in your yard without having to worry about them trying to fly south for the winter.

Second, Pekin ducks are great foragers and are also very friendly. These are awesome traits if you don’t want to micro-manage your ducks.

Third, Pekin ducks are a great meat source (because of their size) and also excellent layers of large white eggs. You can expect Pekin hens to lay somewhere between 150-200 eggs per year.

Khaki Campbells are another highly recommended duck breed. They are smaller in size (usually weighing about 3 pounds or so) but still have limited flight capability, which is important because otherwise it is difficult to keep them home.

Khaki Campbell ducks lay more eggs than Pekin ducks at 280-300 eggs per year, but you’ll get less meat from them. So if you prefer eggs than meat, you might want to choose Khaki Campbells instead and vice versa.

Just like Pekin, Khaki Campbells are excellent foragers and friendly towards other ducks and humans. Though they can be more energetic at times, so you’ll need to provide a bigger space for them.

Don’t dismiss other breeds just yet. There are other duck breeds that are just as good or better at egg/meat productions. Learn more about other popular breeds here.

2. Proper Protection

Though not as bad as chickens, ducks are still highly preyed upon. If you have a dog, you might have to keep the ducks away from it unless it’s one of the dog breeds that can’t run very fast or older dogs who just don’t have the energy to chase down a duck.

If you have cats, you have to be even more careful because it’s hard to train cats not to hunt birds.

Here’s the list of some of the most common duck predators:

Keeping ducks fenced is a wise option to protect them from most predators.

If you have a hawks problem, place a taller fence. Birds like hawk have a hard time pulling an animal away from a tall fenced area because they can’t fly up and down vertically like a helicopter.

If you have problems with animals that can dig their way in, make sure you use hard material for flooring.

3. Housing for Ducks

Ducks do not require nor do they desire a fancy house.

As a matter of fact, the more run down the house is, the happier they seem to be. Ducks love to be wet and they are covered in waterproof feathers. Giving them a home where they can keep some moisture (not too much) and have lots of airflows seems to be what keeps them happy.

The most important thing to have in your duck coop is comfortable bedding made of straws or pine shavings.

Nesting boxes are optional because your ducks might prefer making their own nesting area inside or outside the coop.

Make sure that their housing is elevated from the ground to keep it dry but still low enough that a duck can enter it with a small ramp. If you make the duck house too high, the ducks will be afraid to step on it.

If you want to try DIY-ing a duck coop, read up on further duck coop considerations before selecting one of these free duck house plans.

4. Laying Habits of Ducks

Ducks are not like chickens when it comes to laying habits.

Chickens decrease laying when the days become shorter, but they still lay sporadically. Ducks do not. They take a total hiatus every year during winter.

Most years, they will quit at mid to late fall and reconvene at the onset of spring.

Though ducks don’t lay all year long and they lay less frequent than most egg-laying chicken breeds, they lay much larger eggs and are much hardier birds than chickens. Here’s an article where you can learn about the characteristics of duck eggs and how it compares to other poultry.

Ducks are earlier risers than chickens. During their laying time, she will have already laid an egg before your feet even have hit the floor. If you’re a morning person, you’ll love your ducks because of it.

Read this article to learn more about duck’s nesting and laying habits.

5. Ducks Love Water (but they don’t need a whole dam of it)

People that have never raised ducks might assume that they need a body of water in order to have them. This is not the case.

Ducks do not require water besides for drinking purposes.

For that, you just need to fill up a 5-gallon bucket of freshwater every day, and they will be very happy.

Water for swimming isn’t a requirement, but they do love water. If you live on a property without a source of swimming water, investing in a kiddie pool is a good idea to keep them happy.

Ducks will only swim in clean water, they won’t swim when the pool water gets too colored. For a small kiddie pool, you need to change it daily, and every 4-7 days if you have a larger kiddie pool.

6. Food for Ducks

Feeding ducks is not complicated.

Ducklings need waterfowl starters with 18-22% protein content. Juvenile ducks (2 months old) need duck feed with at least 15% protein content. Adult laying ducks need duck feed with 16-17% protein content. Broiler ducks need duck feed with at least 20% protein content.

See, It’s not hard. Though we do have a guide if you want to learn more about feeding ducks. If you’re a perfectionist, here’s the most detailed guide about ducks protein requirement.

The more important thing is how you provide their food.

Always, always keep their food and water separate. They love to play in the water, and they love to eat. So, of course, they are going to try and mix the two.

The best method of feeding ducks is the full-feeding method. Just fill a feeder and leave it available for them all day. They will eat when they need it.

Ducks forage, so they will eat weeds, plants, and bugs, which means they will eat less feed from the feeder if you free-range them. Great way to save some money.

Another way to save money on duck feed is to grow fodder. Here is how you can grow fodder systems to feed them inexpensively.

7. Ducks are Great Garden Guards

Ducks are a gardener’s best friend.

They are great at pulling bugs off of your garden plants without harming the actual plant (they’re even better than chickens!).

The only word of caution is to be sure not to allow your ducks in your garden until the plants have passed the seedling stage. Ducks have a tendency to step on small plants and kill them.

8. Raising Ducks for Meat

Ducks are great as a source of meat, especially Pekin ducks. They can grow to be 10+ pounds in a matter of 3-4 months. It does not take long to have a viable meat source from ducks if that’s what you’re looking for.

However, you must know that it will probably not save you money compared to buying duck meat from the grocery store. In fact, in some cases, raising ducks for meat costs more money unless you have commercial-level management and not planning to sell some of the surplus meat.

But that doesn’t mean it’s not worth it at all.

Raising ducks for meat means having a good quality food source in your backyard. You can rely less on grocery stores and become more self-sustainable. Plus, you can learn a lot from the process in case you want to sell the meat in the future.

9. The Difference in Gender

Having two males in a small flock is not productive. It is important to know the difference in characteristics of ducks, so you don’t end up with more than one male.

You do not sex a duck the way you would most animals because female ducks look a lot like male ducks in most breeds. The difference is her quack sounds more like a honk. She is the louder of the two, hands down.

It’s subtle but male ducks have a little tail feather that curls at the tip of his tail. He will usually follow behind her and be the quieter of the two. When he wants to lead her, you will see him bob his head up and down to communicate and quack softly at her to get her to go where he wants her to.

If you are getting too close to his hen and her eggs the male duck will guard her. He won’t flog as a roost would. Instead, he will start off by bobbing his head (as though to nudge you) to get you to move away from her.

If you don’t take the hint is when he will get angry. The female will hiss and let you know you need to back off.

10. Mating

Male ducks (a drake) usually require more than one female. They have an extremely high sex drive and can literally breed a female duck to death. One drake can handle up to 12 (!) female duck.

Also, the way they mate is…astonishing. It’ll look like he’s trying to killer, but don’t panic, he’s not.

It gets more extreme. If the couple is mating in the pool, you will see him push her head underwater like he’s trying to drown her. Again, don’t panic, it’s normal.

The only time you need to worry is when she’s honking really loudly. That means she doesn’t appreciate it or needs your help. If you don’t hear her honking, let them be.

11. Keeping Ducks with Chickens

Some people raise their ducks with chickens, and some people against it.

Ducks and chickens can coexist just fine. Even the meanest of roosters can get along with a drake. The only risk to raising chickens and ducks together is that a rooster will try to mate a duck hen, and a drake will also try to mate a chicken hen.

A rooster mating a duck hen, that’s not a big deal. However, things get a little complicated when a drake is trying to mate a chicken hen.

You see, unlike a drake, a rooster does not have an appendage that protrudes from his body during mating. This is an issue because chicken hens are not equipped to handle that. They can get seriously hurt or even die.

If you still want to raise chickens and ducks together, make sure you have at least three female ducks per drake so he won’t try to mate a hen. Or, don’t keep any drake at all.

12. Unlike Chickens, Ducks are Really Hardy Birds

Chickens are prone to viral respiratory infections, ducks are not. This is why you don’t need to give ducklings medicated starter feed.

They are also not sensitive to the cold as much as chickens. You can even find your ducks hanging around outside the coop with snow on the ground or even during a rainstorm.

If you’re a beginner farmer, ducks are awesome and fun animals to raise because of their hardiness.


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