The Chicken Keeper's Problem Solver: 100 Common Problems Explored and Explained

The Chicken Keeper's Problem Solver: 100 Common Problems Explored and Explained

by Chris Graham


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While keeping chickens certainly isn't rocket science, doing it properly does involve decent levels of understanding, commitment, and attention to detail. Getting the basics right is essential, and this demands a solid appreciation of important areas such as housing, feeding, breed choice, and health

Whether you're a newcomer or an old hand, The Chicken Keeper's Problem Solver provides the information you need to nip probelms in the bud - and, better still, avoid them in the first place. Let longime chicken keeper and poultry expert Chris Graham guide you thorugh 100 common problems faced by chicken keepers. You'll discover in clear and simple terms what the underlying cause is and how to solve it. Each issue is tackled in depth, with photographs and diagrams, as well as a wide range of practical tips and useful insights. The problems are divided into ten chapters covering the main areas of chicken keeping, from health to housing and parasites to predators.

Don't let a simple problem ruin your love for chicken keeping; The Chicken Keeper's Problem Solver has the answers you need!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781631590344
Publisher: Quarry Books
Publication date: 02/15/2015
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 586,043
Product dimensions: 6.60(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Chris Graham has been the editor of market-leading Practical Poultry magazine ( since it launched in 2004. As a trained photographer and experienced editor, he worked for 20 years on motoring magazines, then made a welcomed switch to the rural sector. He now also edits Practical Pigs magazine, and is the author of Choosing and Keeping Chickens (Hamlyn, 2006) and Wisdom for Hen Keepers (Taunton Press, 2013). Married to Rachel, and with three children, Chris keeps chickens, quail, pigs, cats, a dog, and a number of elderly lawn mowers at his home in rural East Sussex.

Table of Contents

Introduction 6

Chapter 1 Food and Water 8

1 My chickens have stopped eating their regular feed 10

2 Feed is going moldy in the sack 12

3 Wild birds are eating the chickens' food 14

4 Too much feed is being spilled 16

5 New feed is not being eaten 17

6 One bird is not eating 18

7 The feeder is always empty 20

8 The hens' bedding is wet 22

9 The waterer is turning green 24

10 Ice has caused the waterer to crack 26

11 I caught my chickens eating a mouse 28

12 I'm worried about my free-range hens eating poisonous plants 30

Chapter 2 Housing 32

13 An external nest box is leaking 34

14 The house bedding smells unpleasant 36

15 It's really dusty inside the hen coop 38

16 The coop door won't close 40

17 The roofing felt has split 42

18 The hen coop walls are damp at night 44

19 The run floor in my hen coop/run combination unit is muddy 46

20 My hen coop blew over 48

Chapter 3 Chicken Runs 50

21 My birds keep escaping 52

22 A fox took my chickens 54

23 The electric fence battery failed too quickly 55

24 The fence voltage is too low 56

25 I keep hearing the electric fence clicking 58

26 There are holes appearing in the chicken run 60

27 My hens are huddling next to the shrubs 62

28 My hens seem bored 64

29 My chickens are eating my vegetables 66

30 I'm unsure whether my run needs a roof 68

Chapter 4 Rodents and Other Pests 70

31 My chicks are disappearing 72

32 The bait station is not working 74

33 I want to get rid of rats in a humane way 76

34 I am worried about contracting Weil's disease 78

35 I found a hole in the hen coop floot 80

36 I have caught a live rat; what now? 82

37 Something has been digging under the fence 84

38 Why has a fox killed so many of my hens? 86

39 I am scared of using poison 88

40 The hen coop has been invaded by crows 89

Chapter 5 Parasites 90

41 The hens are reluctant to enter the hen house 92

42 I've found gray, ash-like powder on the perches 94

43 My hen has patches of bare skin 96

44 My chickens' legs have crusty deposits on them 98

45 My hens are gradually losing weight 100

46 My hens are gasping for breath 102

47 One of my hens has diarrhea 104

48 My feather-crested birds keep scratching their heads 106

49 My chickens have lost their appetite but are very thirsty 108

50 My hen is pulling out her own neck feathets 110

Chapter 6 Health Issues 112

51 One of my hens has a swollen, hard lower neck 114

52 My chickens are hunched over and lethargic 116

53 Some of my chicks can no longer walk 118

54 My chickens have become ill after new additions to the flock 120

55 My hen seems depressed and has a hot abdomen 121

56 My chickens have watery eyes and runny noses 122

57 One of my hens has a swelling on its foot 124

58 My hen's vent is red and very- swollen 126

59 A breeding hen is losing the feathers on her back 128

60 My hen has a cut and bleeding comb 130

Chapter 7 Egg Production 132

61 My hens have not started to lay 134

62 My hens don't jay eggs every day 136

63 The eggs are tiny 138

64 The eggs' shell color isn't right 140

65 I keep finding broken eggs in the hen house 142

66 The eggshells are too dirty 144

67 Eggs ate being laid on the hen coop floot 146

68 I am not getting normal eggs from my hens 146

69 My pure-breed hens are not laying eggs 150

Chapter 8 Incubation 152

70 I'm confused about how to state hatching eggs 154

71 I do not know If my hatching eggs are fertile 156

72 I do not know whether to assist with hatching 158

73 Not all the eggs have hatched 160

74 I have noticed fluctuating incubator readings 162

75 There is a yellow-red mass on the chick's stomach 164

76 A chick has died in its shell 165

77 My internet eggs have not hatched 166

78 The eggs are not hatching on time 168

Chapter 9 Rearing 170

79 The ducks are not interested in eating 172

80 I am rot sure which type of brooder to get 172

81 My chicks have messy bottoms 176

82 The chicks arc all huddled under the heater 178

83 Some of the chicks in my box brooder have died 180

84 I found a drowned chick 182

85 A couple of chicks have done "the splits" 184

86 Small chicks are being picked on by the larger ones 186

87 The chicks are not feathering well 188

88 My chicks have suddenly become ill 189

89 My chicks seem depressed 190

90 I can't tell the sex of my chicks 192

Chapter 10 Behavioral Problems 194

91 I can't catch my chickens 196

92 My rooster is too aggressive 198

93 One of my hens has been attacked by the others 200

94 My hens keep pecking at each other's feathers 202

95 One of my chickens will not leave the nest box 204

96 One hen is losing feathers from all over its body 206

97 My chickens are eating their own eggs 208

98 I have a hen that has started crowing 210

99 My chickens are just too feisty 212

100 I have found a hen with a bleeding bottom 214

Glossary 216

Index 219

Further Resources 222

Image Credits 224

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