Q? What is the difference between cockerel, cock, stag, pullet, hen and straight run?
A.  Cockerels are males age 1 day to 12 months of age. Cock is a male over 1-year-old. Stag is a male 5-11 months of age. Pullets are females age 1 day to 12 months of age, hen is over 1-year-old and straight run is a term for males and females mixed as they hatch and are not separated. Generally, 100 straight run chicks will give you 50 pullets and 50 cockerels as an average.

Q? How do I know if my pullets are ready to lay?
A.  Generally, if they are 5-8 months of age, they have red combs and they are singing you should have eggs. You can pick the hen up and feel between the 2 bones of their bottom. If 3 fingers will fit between the bones they should be laying. If only 2 fingers fit between the bones then the hen will usually start to lay with 3-6 weeks.

Q? What birds should only be bought for butchering?
A.  The Cornish Cross, White Turkey, and our Bronze Turkey will not survive long if not butchered. They grow too fast and too big and will have heart attacks and /or leg problems.

Q? How do I treat my chickens for lice?
A.  To see if your poultry has lice, pick up the chicken holding both legs with one hand and tip the chicken upside down. Pull the feathers back around the butt area to look for lice. The lice stay around the butt area for moisture and if you see any running around the base of the feathers, then you need to treat them. One easy way is to buy some “Seven” garden/pet dusting powder at your local farm store. Use about a tablespoon of the dusting powder and cover the base of the feathers and skin in about a 2-inch radius of the butt area. Do this every 30 days for 3 months. Extreme cases you will find parasites in the ears and under the wings. In this case, treat these areas also. It is also a good idea to treat the roost poles and ground area to maintain control of the parasites. Chicken lice will not want to stay on humans and are different from human lice. After treating your fowl for lice, simply take a good long shower to remove any chicken lice that might be on you or in your hair. We also offer Diatomaceous Earth for the “Green” way to treat

Q? What is the terminology “Standard (STD)” or “Bantam” mean?
A.  In a short answer, a Standard breed is the large version of the breed/variety and a Bantam breed is the miniature version of the Standard breed.

Q? What is medicated feed for growing chickens?
A.  Poultry feeds are available with several types of medications for preventing or treating diseases. Coccidiostats and/or antibiotics are the two most common medications added to feeds.

Coccidiosis is hard to control by sanitation practices alone. It is best prevented by feeding a coccidiostat, which is a drug added to feed at low levels and fed continuously to prevent Coccidiosis. Feed broilers a ration containing a coccidiostat until the last week before slaughtering. Feed an unmedicated feed during this last week.

Mature chickens develop a resistance to Coccidiosis if allowed to contract a mild infection of the disease. Birds raised for placement in the laying flocks are fed a coccidiostat feed until about 16 weeks of age. The medicated feed is then replaced with a nonmedicated feed. Spotty outbreaks of the disease can be controlled by treating in the water with an appropriate coccidiostat. Examples of coccidiostats added to the ration include Monensin Sodium, Lasalocid, Amprolium, and Salinomycin.

Antibiotics may also be added to some poultry feeds. Antibiotics aid broiler performance and maintain healthy birds. They are usually added at low (prophylactic) levels to prevent minor diseases and produce faster, more efficient growth. High (therapeutic) levels are usually given in water or injected into the bird. Examples of antibiotics fed in the feed are penicillin, Bacitracin, Chlortetracycline, and Oxytetracycline.

Follow the recommended medication withdrawal periods before eating meat or eggs from the treated birds. Follow all warning instructions listed on the feed label.

Q? Why do blue color varieties of breeds not breed a true blue color?
A.  The color variety of the SELF BLUE breeds does reproduce true to a blue color. However, the regular blue color varieties reproduce generally offspring of 1/3 blue, 1/3 splash and 1/3 dark blue. This is a genetic anomaly that occurs with the blue feather coloring gene. You can breed splash to splash and that will produce 100% splash. You can breed the splash to the dark blue and this will produce 50% blue offspring. Our breeds of blue currently include blue Sumatra, blue cochin standard and bantam size, blue old English standard and bantam size, blue polish, blue rose comb, blue slate turkey and Blue Swedish ducks. Our breeds of SELF blue currently include self blue old English bantam and the self blue D’uccle bantams.