The ultimate resource for raising your chickens well: how to start, what to feed them, how to keep them healthy


Chickens are curious creatures – and  their behaviour often leaves their owners stumped. We’ve collated the best hen stories on our site — everything a poultry owner needs to know on how to manage their birds, from coop design to feeding and breeding.

FEED

Everything to know about chicken feed (and how it changes from chick to chook).

How to best feed your chickens and why it’s time to put down the treats.

Why the right feed can be the difference between life and death for your chickens.

How to feed your hens the correct amount of calcium and grit to lay good eggs.

HEALTH

Is your chicken gasping for air? It could mean it has gapeworms.

Flock biosecurity 101: How to keep your chickens healthy when introducing new birds.

All the signs your chickens might have gapeworm and how to treat it.

3 common respiratory diseases affecting New Zealand chickens.

3 reasons why red mites are such a big pest for chickens (hint: they’re also one of the hardest to spot until they’re a real problem).

If you have a limping chicken, you need to turn detective and work through the clues.

How to prevent parasites from feasting on your poultry when it’s warm outside.

The mystery of the dying flock: Signs of avian flu and cocci.

As temperatures and humidity rise, so do the creepy crawlies in and around your hen house. These are some ways to get rid of pests the natural way.

ANATOMY

A guide to everything that happens in the digestive system after a hen gobbles up its meal.

More stories you might like:
5 things to know before you get pigs

The chicken has a unique way of moving air through its body to breathe.

Feathers are a feature of all birds, whether they can fly, swim or just live on the ground, and there’s a lot they can tell us.

BEHAVIOUR

What is your chicken trying to tell you? A guide to poultry signals and hen clucks and cackles.

20+ things chickens know by instinct (and a few basics they get wrong).

9 common mistakes to avoid when raising chicks.

Signs that a hen is starting to go broody and how to deal with her.

If you want your hens to lay eggs in the right place, the most basic requirement is a nest they’ll like over all others.

EGGS

5 common egg imperfections and what they say about your chickens.

True or false? A poultry expert quashes common egg and chicken myths.

What unusual eggs can tell you about your hens.

The real reason why your eggs aren’t perfect.

GETTING STARTED

A guide to chicken breeds, from super-efficient commercial hens to heritage birds with colour and longevity.

Top tips for buying your first poultry flock.

3 things you might not know about poultry (hint: Good egg production often boils down to a high-quality diet).

The basics to a happy hen: how much space do hens need?

The chicken coop of your hen’s dreams should have these features.

5 types of common free range poultry set-ups.

10 inventive New Zealanders share their DIY coop designs.

Get a better understanding of your hens by learning about their South East Asian ancestors.

Going free-range can improve the health of your hens, but there are some factors to consider when letting your hens loose.

More stories you might like:
A Motueka couple's long road to importing cute, toy-like Valais Blacknose sheep halfway around the world to New Zealand

MISCELLANEOUS

Chicken is the cheapest meat you can buy, but a home-grown roast can be well worth the effort.

Death is a natural part of life and you need to make plans on what to do to ensure a bird is humanely culled.


Got a chicken question?

In honour of chicken week, our resident chicken and eggs-pert Nadene Hall, editor of NZ Lifestyle Block, is answering your chicken and egg questions. Post your question here or email to info@thisNZlife.co.nz.


Whether you’re an aspiring flock owner or seasoned chicken veteran, How to Care For Your Poultry Vol 1 and 2 have got you covered with all the essentials.

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