Episode 36 Show Notes


“So… do you come here often?”

The Giants Aren’t Too Bright

Last week, we came home a little later than expected and it was already dark. Earlier, we have allowed the Jersey Giants some free time out in the yard while we were away. Normally, chickens will march themselves back inside the coop when the sun starts to go down so they aren’t left out in the dark. The Jersey Giants didn’t make it that far apparently, because we found them huddled up against the outside of the coop. We did a head count while placing them one by one inside the coop and discovered two were missing.

Hot Grits on a Cold Morning

We have had a few cold mornings lately, so Suzy made some hot instant grits for them before heading to work. When I made my morning rounds before heading to work, they had all licked the bowls clean! Consider making some hot grits or oatmeal for your chickens when it is cold outside.

Chicken News

Is the thought of appearing before your city commission to propose a chicken law sound intimidating to you? I feel the same way, but we may have to rethink our hesitation. A ten-year-old girl in City Michigan appeared in front of her city commission to propose a chicken ordinance for her city.

Watch the Heaters in Those Coops

A couple in Duluth, Michigan received an unpleasant call from their neighbor while vacationing in Mexico. Their chicken coop caught fire, killing their entire flock and two cats. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the fire also burned down their house, causing $500,000 in damages. The firefighters believe that the heather in the coop caught fire because it had become too dusty. We have always advised people to make sure they secure heaters so that they can’t be knocked down into shavings or hay. Make sure you also dust them regularly to prevent this sort of thing from happening to you.

Can You Mate Sibling Chickens?

Dustin emailed to ask if it is okay to mate brother and sister chickens from the same hatchery.

Chickens are a little more tolerant of inbreeding than many species. You can safely mate brother and sister chickens for at least a few generations.

Linebreeding is a form of inbreeding where a child chicken is mated back to its parent. This is done with many types of animals to ‘lock in’ desirable traits. You do need to be careful though, you may also ‘lock in’ some undesirable traits as well.

If you do too much inbreeding, the first issue you will run into will be a loss of fertility, which will result in a low or non-existent hatch rate.

Dustin also left us a very nice review on iTunes. Thanks Dustin!

Are We Too Concerned with Biosecurity?

We also received a nice review from ‘teacherofOz’. TeacherofOz mentioned in the review that we focus too much on biosecurity for your typical flock keeper.

I can’t deny that we are obsessed with biosecurity. Five months into our first flock keeping experience, our dog killed most of our flock. We were heartbroken and not too excited to start over with baby chicks. We decided to take a short cut and found many new hens and a few roosters through three individuals on Craigslist.

Unfortunately, one of the individuals sold us birds that carried the contagious chicken disease MG. Within a month, all of our new birds were sick with MG. This began a painful nine month process of treating diseased eggs for MG, hatching the baby chicks and raising them to replace the diseased birds.

We would not wish this experience on anyone, so we may be a little heavy handed with the biosecurity issue. MG itself, just one disease of many that can infect chickens, is very prevalent in backyard flocks and can be easily transmitted from one flock to another if you practice poor biosecurity techniques.

In the end, you can do what you want with your flock, but we do want you to have the information to decide what is best for you.

What Killed My Chicken?

During a conversation with a very nice lady who attended one of our chicken classes, she mentioned that something killed one of her chickens and she wasn’t sure what did it.

We walk through the process of being a CSI: a Chicken Scene Investigator.


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