Keeping chickens as pets 0 97

Pet chickens

Chickens are known as one of the most common farmyard animals and are often used for their meat and eggs. With the rise of vegetarianism and an increased knowledge around sustainability, however, people are coming round to the idea of keeping chickens as pets. Of course, owners of chickens will need to have plenty of outdoor land to let the chickens roam and should know that they are committing to a very lively animal. Investing time and energy into chickens, however, can pay off for those who are so inclined, as they are surprisingly friendly creatures that may even provide you with a few eggs every so often! The following basics are some need-to-knows for those considering keeping chickens.

1. Food

Purchasing food for your chickens may actually be one of the easiest aspects of looking after them once you know what to purchase. Specially formulated chicken feed should make up the majority of the diet, with the animals’ age, breed and needs accounted for. Indeed, there is a wide range of chicken feeds available, so make sure you follow the manufacturer’s guidelines before going ahead. Leafy greens can also make a nice treat to keep your chickens healthy, particularly weeds, cabbages, cauliflower offcuts, and grass cuttings.

2. Fencing

Keeping your chickens safe and secure is perhaps the biggest and most important responsibility for chicken owners, as they are very vulnerable to predators. Chicken wire can be one of the best materials to keep your chickens safe and should be high enough to keep other animals out (around six tall should be adequate). Provide a base of sand or wood chips to ensure your animals are comfortable. A chicken coop or house can be another good option for owners, with a huge variety of styles on the market.

3. Health

Chickens should have regular health checks and be vaccinated from common diseases associated with poultry. Redmites are another big problem for chicken owners, as hoards of these critters can cause health issues such as anaemia. Infestations can be dealt with using a specially formulated wash.

The above is just a short introduction to the kind of things to expect from keeping chickens. There are a number of governmental regulations associated with keeping chickens, so make sure you do your research and ask for some advice before going ahead and filling your land with these wonderful creatures.

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How to ensure your parrot lives a long and happy life 0 177

Happy pet parrot

Are you considering getting a parrot as a pet or have you recently made the great decision to get one? Today we are going to explain how to ensure your parrot lives a long, happy and fulfilled life.

When you decide to purchase a parrot as a pet you have to be aware that they can live for a very long time depending on the exact type and breed. Your new parrot from day one will become a huge part of your life and most definitely a part of the family.

Consider the size of the cage

The first thing you will probably think about when getting your parrot is its cage. This is going to be where your parrot spends most of its time, so it is essential that the cage isn’t too small. Your parrot will be happy within its cage but not if the cage is crammed and leaving it feeling hemmed in – it should definitely be big enough so that your new pet can fully stretch out its wings and have room either side. Cover the bottom of your cage with newspaper as it will get messy each day – this offers an affordable and quick way to change it over every day.

Where you place your cage is just as important. Do not place your cage in the kitchen as fumes are extremely bad for parrots. Do not place near a window or in direct sunlight. Look for a calm, quiet spot for your bird to enjoy.

Feeding your parrot

When feeding your parrot, you need to remember that they enjoy a varied diet including parrot pellets from your local pet shop and a selection of fresh fruit and vegetables. Parrots can be given various other foods, but it is important to check that they are safe first, as chocolate and avocado are not.

Letting your parrot out of its cage

You need to ensure you let your parrot out of its cage at least once a day, ensuring this is supervised. Parrots are extremely clever and should be stimulated to ensure they remain as happy as possible. Give them a selection of suitable toys and you can practice tricks with your new pet. Most importantly, look after your parrot and ensure it is loved and well cared for.

Learn more about caring for pet birds

Hatching Chickens 0 271

Chicken hatching
Hatching chickens
Two chickens hatching

It’s the 18th day of incubation for your chicks, and one of them is beginning to hatch from its shell! You may even hear peeps coming from the eggs. What do you do now? Here’s a quick guide to hatching chickens.

When an egg is freshly laid its temperature is 105 degrees Fahrenheit. A chicken begins to develop at 88 degrees Fahrenheit. The chicken does not develop from the yolk or the egg white, but from a small segment of cells called a blastodisc.

First, try not to move the egg because the chick is already in a position to hatch. Moving the egg means the chick has to move back into the hatching position, and this causes them to expend energy and weaken them.

After 2 more days of incubation, the chick will more than likely begin to pierce the membrane of the egg with its beak. This lets in outside air for the chick. Then, the chick must chip away at the shell, and it does this in a circular pattern. It may take up to a few hours for a chick to complete chip away the shell so that the top pops off. After this tiring process, the chick may simply lie there for a while to rest and dry off.

While it may be tempting to help chicks come out of their shell if they are having difficulty, it’s actually not a good idea. Hatching is an incredibly slow process, and patience is key. If the membrane of the shell has dried out too much around the chick, you can slowly and very carefully help the chick with tweezers.

So what should you do if the eggs hatch late? (FYI- If the eggs hatch early, the incubator temp was probably too high, or you miscounted the days. If the eggs hatch too late, the temp was probably too cold, or you didn’t store the eggs properly before incubation.) If a lot of the eggs fail to hatch by day 22, pull some out and open them. They could have improperly formed embryos or no embryo at all. If you do find some living embryos, put the unopened eggs back for more time in the incubator.

Many problems are associated with incubation temperatures and humidity level. High temperatures can result in malformed chicks, and temps that are too low can result in chicks hatching with egg goo on them. If chicks have bad legs, it may have been caused by hatching them on a slippery surface.

There’s much more to learn about backyard chicken care…