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

Cats + Chickens = Toxoplasmosis in Humans?
March 14, 2019 . · 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 …

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10 Common Mistakes New Poultry Owners Make With Chicks
March 14, 2019 . · Chickens 101

Most of the mistakes people make when starting out with baby chicks can easily be avoided with a little advanced preparation. Here are 10 typical errors and how to avoid …

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Getting Ready for Spring Chicks
March 14, 2019 . · Chickens 101

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 soon as your …

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How to Keep Your Hens Happy
March 14, 2019 . · 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, …

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One Rooster Too Many?
March 14, 2019 . · Chickens 101

By Gail Damerow Some chicken keepers have more than one rooster by design, others by accident. If you hatch your own chicks, or you purchase straight-run chicks from a hatchery, at least half of them will grow …

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Unique Among Chickens
March 14, 2019 . · 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 …

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8 Interesting Features of the Silkie Chicken Breed
March 14, 2019 . · 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 …

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Common Poultry Abbreviations
March 14, 2019 . · Chickens 101

From the day I first started keeping chickens I’ve constantly run across abbreviations used by other poultry keepers that “everybody else” seems to know. Poultry shows are particularly fond of …

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8 Reasons To Hatch Eggs In An Incubator
March 14, 2019 . · 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? Assuming you want to hatch …

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Plant a Chicken-Themed Garden
February 26, 2019 . · Feed & Health

Artwork by Bethany Caskey Stop me if you’ve heard this one: A city slicker moves to the country and decides to raise chickens. He goes to the local farm store and …

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