About the Author

Marissa Ames

Editor of Goat Journal and Backyard Poultry magazines, Marissa Ames runs a small homestead in Fallon, Nevada, where she focuses on saving and propagating rare breeds of goats and garden vegetables. She and her husband, Russ, travel to Africa where they serve as agricultural advisors for the nonprofit I Am Zambia. She spends her free time eating lunch.
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Articles by Marissa Ames

How to Care for Ducklings

Learning how to care for ducklings is a little different than learning how to care for chicks. Though they have similar overall needs for food, water, warmth, and safety, ducklings require some important modifications to their environment.

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When Can Chicks Go Outside?
May 31, 2019 · · Flock Files

Add to Favorites When can chicks go outside? Chicks can go out permanently when “fully feathered,” meaning all fluff has been replaced by true plumage. If even the neck still …

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Sick Chicks: 7 Common Illnesses You May Occur
May 31, 2019 · · Flock Files

Brown egg laying hens consistently appear on best egg layer lists and can be the backbone of a productive backyard flock, many laying more than 200 eggs per year.

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Myths & Facts About Medicated Chick Starters
May 31, 2019 · · Flock Files

Coccidiosis is one of the leading causes of death when caring for baby chicks. One way to help protect your birds against this disease is to feed a medicated chick starter.

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A Guide To Different Colored Chicken Eggs
May 31, 2019 · · Flock Files

There are more than 60 breeds of chickens recognized by the American Poultry Association and hundreds of other chicken breeds that have been developed worldwide — many of whom lay gorgeous eggs in a rainbow of hues ranging from white to cream, green, pink, blue and even chocolate brown.

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Want Blue Eggs? Pick These Chicken Breeds!
May 31, 2019 · · Flock Files

Why not step up the unique a notch and go beyond the standard brown and white eggs by adding blue egg layers to your flock?

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How Long do Chicks Need a Heat Lamp?
May 31, 2019 · · Flock Files

Because they don’t have feathers to self-regulate temperature, newly hatched chicks depend on mothers to keep them warm. Darting beneath wings when they’re cold, and coming out to eat and drink, babies thrive on the mother-to-chick relationship. Brooder chicks must have appropriate heat sources, and humans must closely monitor them with thermometers and good judgment.

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Caring for Chickens During Molt
May 31, 2019 · · Flock Files

Molt is the natural shedding of feathers and the regrowth of new ones. This usually happens in the fall as day length shortens, and starts at the head, down the back, breast, and ends on the wings and tail.

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Backyard Poultry June/July 2019
May 28, 2019 · · Magazine Previews

Check out our June/July 2019 issue of Backyard Poultry for stories on Virulent Newcastle Disease, the science of poultry skin color, balancing your chicken’s diet, and more!

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Village Chicken, Broiler Chicken
May 26, 2019 · · Poultry 101

Chicken is one of the most popular meats among Zambians, with some individuals raising a flock of broilers in a corner of their house until they build enough income to expand, using charcoal braziers for heat if they do not have electricity. A successful broiler operation involves purchasing the chicks, feed, and vaccinations, and finding sales outlets for whichever birds the families do not wish to consume. 

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