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

What Killed My Chicken?
August 31, 2021 · · 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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How to Trim Chicken Beaks, Claws, and Spurs
August 13, 2021 · · Feed & Health

A chicken’s spurs, toenails, and beak are made of keratin, the same substance as your fingernails and toenails. And like your nails, they continually grow.

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Keeping Guinea Fowl: Reasons to Love Them or Not
July 14, 2021 · · 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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Fences: Keeping Chickens In & Predators Out
May 17, 2021 · · Coops

Add to Favorites Way back when I was ready to purchase my first house, high on my list of must-haves was a place to raise chickens. To make sure the …

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Keep Biofilm Out Of Your Flock’s Drinking Water
May 6, 2021 · · Feed & Health

Add to Favorites Poultry drinkers that aren’t regularly scrubbed often develop bad-tasting biofilm that discourages drinking. Reduced drinking, especially during hot weather, can lead to dehydration, poor health, and fewer …

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8 Reasons To Hatch Eggs In An Incubator
April 19, 2021 · · 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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Getting Ready for Spring Chicks
March 4, 2021 · · Chickens 101

Add to Favorites If you have your heart set on a particular breed or variety of poultry, the best time to place your order is in early January, or as …

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Chicken Soup is Good Medicine
November 12, 2020 · · Eggs & Meat

Chicken soup not only is warming and good for the soul, but also offers relief for the sniffles that ride in on winter weather.

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Toxins in the Environment
November 8, 2020 · · Feed & Health

Poisoning is relatively unusual in backyard poultry, especially if you use common sense in keeping your flock away from pesticides, herbicides, rodenticides, fungicide-treated seed (intended for planting), wood preservatives, rock salt, and antifreeze.

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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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