About the Author

Gail Damerow

Gail Damerow is the author of The Chicken Encyclopedia, The Chicken Health Handbook, Hatching & Brooding Your Own Chicks, Storey’sGuide to Raising Chickens, Fences for Pasture and Garden, The Perfect Pumpkin, Ice Cream! The Whole Scoop, Your Chickens, and Your Goats. She is co-author of Draft Horses & Mules and The Backyard Homestead Guide to Raising Farm Animals, and is a regular contributor to Backyard Poultry and Countryside magazines. Gail lives in Tennessee where she and her husband Allan keep Nubian dairy goats as well as poultry, tend a sizable garden, and maintain a small orchard and a large woodlot. On their diversified small farm they seek independence and sustainability by growing and preserving much of what they eat and feed their livestock. Gail’s interest in gardening, canning and food preservation, and keeping poultry originated with visits to her maternal grandmother, who maintained a sizable garden and a large flock of laying hens. As a youngster Gail looked forward to having chickens of her own. At the age of ten she thought she was realizing her dream when a department store Easter Bunny handed her a small carton containing a single chick. At the time she and her family were moving cross-country in a travel trailer, and sharing the cramped space with a chick in a cardboard box did not sit well with her parents. When Gail came of age she sought out a place in the country where she could indulge her passion for poultry. She has been gardening and keeping chickens and other birds for more than four decades. Over the years she has raised many different breeds of bantams and large chickens, as well as guinea fowl, pheasants, peafowl, ducks, geese, and swans. She enjoys sharing the knowledge she has acquired over the years via her blogs, books, and magazine articles.
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Articles by Gail Damerow

Unique Among Chickens
May 19, 2020 · · Chickens 101

Every chicken breed has a unique set of attributes, but a few breeds have the distinction of being the only one of its kind. Without further ado, let’s look at some chicken breeds with distinctive features that set them apart from all others.

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What Killed My Chicken?
May 14, 2020 · · Coops

Keep a flock for long and sooner or later you’ll be asking yourself, “What killed my chicken?” Many marauders love our backyard chickens as much as we do, and each leaves a calling card that offers a clue as to which predator you’re dealing with.

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8 Reasons To Hatch Eggs In An Incubator
May 4, 2020 · · Eggs & Meat

Why on earth would anyone bother hatching eggs in an incubator when it’s so much easier to let a broody hen do all the work?

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How to Keep Your Hens Happy
April 19, 2020 · · Feed & Health

Keeping your hens happy is easy once you know what motivates their behavior. Nearly all of a chicken’s activities are motivated by three basic needs: to get enough to eat, to avoid being eaten, and to make more chickens.

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Feeding Backyard Chickens: 5 Mistakes to Avoid
April 18, 2020 · · Feed & Health

Nutritional deficiencies are a relatively rare problem for a flock of backyard chickens, ducks or other poultry. Of greater nutritional concern are the following five easily avoidable mistakes commonly made in feeding poultry.

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How Do Chickens Lay Eggs?

“I can’t buy your eggs anymore,” was the astonishing announcement made by a college student who had been one of my best customers. I had to know what was going on.

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Cats + Chickens = Toxoplasmosis in Humans?
February 19, 2020 · · Feed & Health

If you have cats and are raising meat chickens, be aware of the potential dangers of toxoplasmosis in humans.

Anyone who has had chickens for more than a few minutes becomes aware of the devastating protozoal disease coccidiosis, which happens wherever chickens are.

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Keeping Guinea Fowl: Reasons to Love Them or Not
February 11, 2020 · · Poultry 101

Add to Favorites Guinea fowl undoubtedly spark more debates than any other barnyard poultry species. Some people love them, others despise them. What’s all the fuss about? Here are eight great …

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8 Interesting Features of the Silkie Chicken Breed
January 6, 2020 · · Chickens 101

Silkies are distinctly different from any other chicken breed. They share a unique combination of genetic and behavioral features. In 2003, a group of Japanese researchers mapped the mitochondrial DNA of a Silkie to determine the breed’s genetic position in relation to other birds in the genus Gallus.

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How to Break Up a Broody Hen
August 14, 2019 · · Feed & Health

Add to Favorites Some chicken keepers are delighted when one of their hens goes broody, meaning she’s determined to set on a nest of eggs until they hatch. A broody …

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