Types of Chickens 0 268

Types of chickens
Types of chickens
Three different types of chickens

There are literally hundreds of types of chickens in existence. However, fewer than half of these breeds are uncommon today. The types of chickens are generally grouped into a few categories, which makes choosing breeds a little easier.

Egg-laying breeds

While egg-laying breeds of chickens produce good eggs, they don’t make good meat birds. These chickens won’t sit on their own eggs. You can choose chickens that lay specific colors of eggs. For instance, if you want a lot of white eggs, consider Anconas, Leghorns, or Hamburgs. If you want an abundance of brown eggs, choose an Amber Link breed, Isa Brown, Maran, or Golden Comet chicken. For novelty colored eggs, consider Ameraucana or Easter Egger breeds.

Dual-purpose breeds

If you want chickens that produce a lot of eggs and are also meaty, dual-purpose chicken breeds fit the bill. They don’t lay the same amount of eggs as laying breeds, but the eggs taste the same. However, these types of chickens can have smaller breasts and take a long time to grow. Good dual-purpose breeds include Orpingtons, Brahmas, Plymouth Rocks, and Barnevelders.

Meat breeds

While many meat breeds are actually hybrids, there are some purebreds such as the Cornish hen. Meat breeds generally have larger breasts and a bigger frame, and they grow fairly quickly. In the 50s and 60s, breeders began to create hybrid strains of chickens that were specifically made for meat. Pretty much all chickens sold in grocery stores are hybrids. Some of these meat breeds include Freedom Rangers and Jersey Giants.

Show breeds

Some people like to keep chickens for ornamental purposes, and show breeds generally have unusual feathers or bright colors. They don’t lay a lot of eggs and they aren’t good for their meat, but they can make wonderful pets. Some of these breeds are Cochins, Polish chickens, and Old English Games. They may not make great meals or eggs, but they are great to raise and show them to keep the breeds alive.

Bantam breeds

These little chickens are miniature versions of big chickens, or just small chickens that never had a larger version (true Bantams). Mostly show chickens or simply pets, Bantams generally weigh from 2 to 5 pounds. They do lay eggs that can be eaten and taste just like other chicken eggs; the eggs are simply small. Bantams don’t make good meat birds, but they make great pets. Some Bantam breeds are Sebrights, Silkies, Antwerp Belgians, and Mille Fleurs.

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How to ensure your parrot lives a long and happy life 0 153

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 0 202

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…