• Some Basics For Raising Chickens (continued)
    Have your back up plans and emergencies in mind. Do I need an extra coop for a sick or injured chicken? A dog or cat carrier works great and can be stored easily when not in use. Have a vet that deals with chickens, talk to them when things are good, before a crisis. You should also have some common remedies on hand. Here is a Short list for a
     Chicken Box:
     Eye wash, Vet Rx (nasal), vitamins, different food (high protein/fat), hydrogen peroxide,
     bag balm, Neosporin, ensure or other high calorie drink, "no-pick", Q-tips, gauze and
     water-proof tape. You should also have tweezers, a couple different scissors, "new skin"
     or superglue, needles and surgical thread.

    Flock management will become an issue after a while. What do I do if I lose a
     chicken or two to predators? What to do with Broody Hens? What to do with chicks?
     What to do with "Old Maids."? These are not pressing matters, but if you think about them before they happen, then they are easily taken care of.

    Seasonal Effects and nature become an issue. What do I need to do as the year goes along? Sudden your coop design is not working. The needs of the chickens change over time and with the seasons, maybe not enough light or too wet. If you see a problem as it starts it is easier to fix that after a chicken gets sick.

    Again this is just an outline. Experience is the best teacher; and the best students are the ones want to learn and pay attention to the lessons. Especially the unspoken ones.

    Here are a couple of good Chicken references:
    The Chicken Health Handbook by Gail Damerow
    Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens by Various authors
     Backyard Poultry (Bi monthly magazine)

  • Basics For Raising Chickens

    This is an incomplete outline of what people who want chickens should look at before getting them. Since each person may have different "needs" or wants, for their chickens. These are good questions to ask yourselves, and the answers will help you plan ahead. There is nothing "fun" about animalsthat are unhappy or worse uncared for.

    The first thing you must consider is how much space you want to give to the chickens. This is important, because once the chickens have it, it is theirs. You can't really do much after they have ''used'' it. The will eat everything and dig lots of holes.This is where fences are very important. Remember some chickens are very good flyers.

    Next, how much time do you want to spend on the chickens? Breeding show chickens is a lot of work, having a small backyard flock for eggs is fairly easy. Remember: A little bit of planning goes a long way. More chickens equals more time,one coop verses 2 coops.

    What are my Goals? What do I want chickens for?? Do you want eggs, pets, garden work, breeding and showing or all of the above? Setting a goal allows you to make the right decisions about which coop and what type of chickens. A simple backyard flock for eggs needs just a few basic items: Housing, food, water, and shelter.

    Research the chickens and care before they get home. Buy the book, got to the web, ask other people. Have everything on hand before they get home. This saves a lot of headaches, and allows the chickens to settle in faster. What Age of chicken do I start with? What type of food? How do I keep a chicken happy as it gets older?

    Coop lay out-there are many options and designs for your chicken coop. Things to consider are: Size of the coop, size of the flock, types of chickens, production goals, the run, ventilation, cleaning, easy access, proximity to garden and compost pile, permanent fences, neighbors, weather and your house. What type of Materials do you want your coop made of? There are a lot of ready made coops available, but do they fit with what you want?

    Consider Family interactions; this means the entire family, 4 legged as well. Dogs and cats don't have to touch a chicken to kill it. Same goes for small children. Chickens are a great tool for teaching responsibilities, and show benefits of a job well done. Happy chickens are very productive Sad and dirty ones tend to get sick; which brings us to: Health considerations. What do I need to do to keep my chickens happy? Research and ask others who have chickens. Not everything works for every chicken, but most people figure out what their chickens like.Read More...

  • All the chickens available at the Woolly Egg Ranch are sold as is. We will point out any defect in a bird's condition before the sale. We will tell you as much about a bird's history as we know, about its health, but please remember a lot of birds come through, so we can't know them all.

     We do not guarantee a bird's linage or gender unless specifically stated. The "breed" or "sex" of any bird is determined by sight and what was purchased from the hatchberies. We understand that "mistakes" are sometimes made at a variety levels. Sometimes the hatchery mixes different breeds of chicks in the same batch, sometimes a boy gets through on a "sexed" run, sometimes a straight run is 90% boys. We will try to re-home unwanted birds, or trade for different birds, but no refunds can be made. Please inspect your birds. This is especially true for bantams and/or silkies,

    We also can not "guarantee" a bird's health after it leaves the Ranch. Once a bird leaves the Ranch it is exposed to all sorts of conditions that may or may not be good for it. Your flock may have a "bug" which they are all immune to but the "new" guys don't have any resistance to. I do not know what your coop is like, if the food and water is sufficient for your flock. Cats, dogs, and little kids can be the death of a chicken in a matter of seconds with no traces. I will not be able to give refunds for death or disease after the birds leave here.

    Choose your birds carefully and let them "settle" in at their new home slowly. Do not let your birds' free range until after they know where home is!!!! Any time a "new" member joins a flock there will be a period of readjusting of the pecking order. This may only take a day, but most times about a week. Lots of cackling, pecking, and chasing around will follow. This is natural, just keep an eye out for any blood signs, this can be serious. The new members should be separated, but seen by the old flock. They can be introduced into the main flock at night, when activity is low. The laying of the flock may also be effected and the new comers will probably take a little while to get started. Again this is normal.

    We recommend getting a "book" on chickens. Even a basic guide goes a long way to answering many questions that arise when you start raising chickens. Check out Feathersite.Com and Shagbarkbantams.Com for some good articles and ideas about chickens. Look in the Yellow pages to find your nearest "Avian" vet, call them and ask about their experience with chickens; having the number before you need it is priceless.

    Always watch your chickens; you will come to see what is normal for them. Early detection of problems is the best way to head off trouble. Have a "quite" place ready for any stressed or sick birds. Stress is a major factor in chicken sickness.

    Hopefully you will be happy with your purchase, and get lots of eggs and chicks for many years to come.

    Thank You,
     Ken and Judith at the Woolly Egg Ranch