Duckling for adoption in Chicago area

Anyone interested in giving a home to a Pekin duckling? Hatch date was May 31. This little guy was a product of a school hatching project.
(773) 827 2187
kulsumsiddiqi AT gmail

Save the date(s) for the Windy City Coop Tour

The coop tour is in its planning stages. It looks like either Sept. 15-16 or 22-23 will be the dates this year. We always need hosts and volunteers!

For more information go to the coop tour page. 

Fun chicken rain and gardening shoes

A tip from one of my clients!

Check out Sloggers’ supercute gardening shoes and rain boots!

Chickens and Heat

With this mini-heat wave we’ve been having, I’ve been getting questions about chickens and heat.

When temperatures reach the mid-80s, your birds will probably start panting. In temperatures above 100, your birds may suffer heatstroke.

Chickens don’t have sweat glands, so they have different ways of releasing heat from their bodies. Combs and wattles serve as radiators to release heat. Their feet also provide a cooling mechanisms. Chickens will pant, releasing heat through their mouths. You may also see them standing with their wings away from their bodies. A good dustbath in a shady spot with cool soil also helps.

Here are some tips, excerpted from my class on chickens and heat.

1) Provide fresh, clean water – and lots of it.

2) Freeze 2-liter bottles and put them in the coop to cool it down. Your birds can snuggle up to these portable AC units.

3) Remove excess bedding, which traps heat.

4) Feed a mash or a crumble feed, rather than a whole-grain food. Grains generate heat as they are metabolized. Remember, though, that birds may not accept the new food immediately.

5) Provide shade.

6) Provide frozen, cool treats, such as watermelon.

7) Allow them to dustbathe in shaded areas.

8) Set up a sprinkler in a shaded area outside the coop/run.

If you notice that the birds are listless and lethargic (signs of heat stress), consider bringing them into a cool basement. Even a few degrees cooler would help. It’s best to change temperature slowly to prevent shock to the system.

As always, keep an eye on your birds and know what’s normal for them. This will help you catch problems before they become life threatening.

Chickens looking for homes in Chicagoland area

Contact Annette: 630 841 7110

The following are looking for homes.

A pair of Serama bantams

OWNER LOCATED for the bantam hen.
Contact Annette: 630 841 7110

Home to Roost will not be at Custer Fair This weekend.

Hi, everyone,

Due to illness, I’ll be unable to attend Custer Fair. I hope to see you at an event soon.


Hen or Roo?

I’m getting a kick out of all the “is this a hen or a rooster?” posts and questions! A few things to look for as you try to sex your birds:
1) Comb and wattles: The roos will generally develop larger combs/wattles than the hens of their breed.
2) Hackle and saddle feathers: The hackles are the feather around the neck. The saddle feathers drape along the sides of the back, between the wings and tail. Roos will have pointier, shinier hackle and saddle feathers.*
3) Tail feathers: Roos’ tail feathers will start to form the traditional sickle shape, forming a curve. They will also may develop a blue-green iridescence.*
4) Attitude: Roos may be a bit cockier than their female counterparts!
5) Practice crowing: At first this might sound pretty funny, like someone is strangling a set of bagpipes!
*NOTE: The hackle, saddle, and tail feathers does not apply to all breeds. Some are considered “hen feathered,” and the roos lack the male feathering.
I hope to get some pix up to point out these features! Hold tight – it’s my busy season. Feel free to post or drop an email if you have a burning hen-or-roo question!