Every week at Community Chickens, we get dozens of questions from people across the world, hoping to find someone who has shared a similar experience. We try to answer them all, and forward them on to experts where we can. But many of the questions are unique, and because of this, we realize that sometimes the best people to answer the questions are precisely the people who are or have been in your shoes. This is why we often ask our guest bloggers to tackle questions – and they do such a great job!
So here’s what we’re asking, “What would you do …” if you were in some of the following situations? What would you tell our readers? What is your best advice?
YOU might be the best person in the world to answer someone’s question … and we want to provide you with that ability. So, go for it!
If you’d like to respond to a question, leave a comment, and be sure to indicate to which question you’re responding: (e.g., Q1: This is what you should do …)
Q1: T. Murray writes: After NOT being satisfied with the feed that our local farm stores were selling (the formula changed last summer!), I purchased a different kind of layer crumbles. Then 2 weeks later, I purchased yet another kind of ‘crumble’ that was in smaller pellet form. I kept the label and compared ingredients. What I found was interesting, but I am not sure exactly what the hens need from vitamins and minerals, etc. listed on the tag. Currently my 3 year old hens (still laying) get the poultry crumbles, cracked corn, oyster shells (that I find sometimes are just limestone rocks), grit and whole oats. Plus any scraps go to them, which they love! I am puzzled….. Can you help???
Q2: Vern writes: Can my chickens catch the flu or a cold from humans?
Q3: Dinah writes: What kind of greens are okay to give my chickens in the winter? I was wondering if I could add a pellet dried green to their diet?
Q4: Dave writes: My chickens were supposedly 26 weeks old when I bought them 8th August 2011. They seem happy are scratching around and eating layers pellets and drinking fine but haven’t laid an egg yet is it possible to have infertile chickens (I have 2) or am I doing something wrong?
Q5: Irena writes: When the eggs have blood spots on the egg…are they good to eat? I have been throwing them away.
Q6: Linda writes: I have mini chickens, the hen just hatched out 5, 3 are her size but I have 2 that aren’t much bigger than when they were hatched, the others are back in the big pen. I’ve had to keep the other 2 with us in the house; too cold outside. Any information on mini chickens would help!
Q7: Phillips writes: Having a problem with ants in with the small chicks, afraid to use spray or granular poison. What would be safe to use?
Q8: Loretta writes: How high off the ground should the chickens perch be? Also what should a perch be round (dowel) or can you use a 2×4? What should the diameter be?
Q9: Debra writes: A seemingly healthy 3-month-old chick is suddenly paralyzed on one side. She is still alert and eats. I am giving her grower and electrolyte water. Any ideas?
Q10: Barbara writes: I have a question regarding health. I have a hen that has gotten very quiet and hasn’t laid for well over a week. She acts like she’s cold all the time with her feathers puffed up and hiding her head. I might mention I had another hen act the same way and I lost her.
Today I picked her up. she was very docile. I notice that her chest seemed swollen with like a sack of something.
Should I isolate her, should I try antibiotics, Is there anything I can do to improve her health? I am a new backyard chicken hobbiest and am learning by trial and error and it can be quite heartbreaking at times.
Q11: Tina writes: Is it normal for my chickens to continually pluck the feathers from the others and eat them? Is there something they need to be eating that I am not aware of? Some have all their tail feathers plucked; some have all there hind feathers missing to the point of bleeding! What can I do for them?!
Q12: Patti writes: I want to get 4-6 laying hens and was wondering what size the coop should be and how much outside pen area I would need. I work during the day but do not want to keep them in the coop all day.
Q13: SouthCoast Guy writes: I have 3 hens and this is the first time I have raised chickens. All three were very docile, but over the last couple of weeks one of them has began to peck at us every time we come close, to the point where she drew blood from my wife’s finger … is there any way to discourage that behavior?
Q14: Lisa writes: I was given a bag of walnut saw dust, do not know what type of walnut. Is it safe to use as bedding? Thank you.
Q15: Jay writes: My 3 layers are housed in a 50 sq. ft. fenced run with a second floor coop with roost and nest boxes. I leave them in the run during the day, when I go to work. I let them run free in the yard when I get home. They are out for an hour or two before it gets dark.
My problem is that they will not willingly eat the layer feed that I put out in a feeder for them, either crumbles or pellets. They will eat kitchen scraps and scratch corn, or 3-way scratch, plus the yard and forest foraging. They seem to get what they need, since the egg shells are strong, and the yokes are a healthy yellow-orange, but I wonder why they will not eat the processed layer feed.
I have tried to mix varying proportions of scratch and the feed, but they pick through the feed for the corn, and scatter the rest. If I only put out the layer feed, it sits around until it absorbs moisture from the humidity, and gets moldy and soiled from their scratching through the soil and bedding.
Do you have any advice?
Q16: Carl writes: How much should you feed a full grown chicken per day? How many times should you feed them per day?
Have a question of your own?
Post it in our forum – or shoot it over to firstname.lastname@example.org