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Urban Chicken Management Curious what all the cluck is about? Wondering what your neighbors are up to or thinking about.

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Presentation on theme: "Urban Chicken Management Curious what all the cluck is about? Wondering what your neighbors are up to or thinking about."— Presentation transcript:


2 Urban Chicken Management Curious what all the cluck is about? Wondering what your neighbors are up to or thinking about having a few chickens, but not sure how to get started? Let Walter Taylor, PHS Agriculture Department Instructor and FFA Advisor, orientate you with the facts. You will learn chicken husbandry, which includes instruction on: diet, climate needs and housing, diseases, breeds, permit requirements and more. With more cities, including Plymouth, approving chicken ordinances, now is the time to get stared with this sustainable hobby. Class is appropriate for all: from those who want to get started, those who need assistance with their current setup or those who are simply curious.

3 Urban Chicken Management Welcome Icebreaker Tour of department Course Layout Resources and sharing Walter J. Taylor Agriculture Instructor and Co-FFA Advisor Plymouth Comprehensive High School ext B.S. Agricultural Education UW River Falls



6 Urban Chicken Management

7 Course layout Topics – Breeds – Nutrition and diet – Housing – Waste Management – Health Concerns – Resources: birds, supplies, etc

8 Urban Chicken Management Items for next class period – Bring ideas of breeds desired – Bring a design/photo of a coop desired – Research costs of equipment – Research feeds



11 Egg Components

12 Egg Grades



15 Often egg color is correlated with earlobe color – Red ear lobes equal brown eggs – White ear lobes equal white eggs – Pink will bluish-green – Orpingtons, Cochins, Wyandottes, Chanteclers, Rhode Island Reds, White Rocks, White Shamos, White Malays Have red earlobes by lay white eggs Most breeds take time off in the winter Moderate exceptions: Rhode Island Red, Wyandottes Laying eggs is related to day length (leave a heat lamp or regular light on for 14 hours) Eggs

16 Hens lay fewer eggs as they age, around 3 years of age they begin to decrease Araucanas and Ameraucana and birds related to them lay blue to khaki green eggs Black Australorp is reported to have laid a record 364 eggs in one year, but most birds take a few days off each year. Birds lay less during annual molt – Happens in late summer

17 Eggs Freshness Grades for eating/marketing – AA (fresh egg, laid most recent) o F air cell will start becoming larger – A (size comparable to a nickel – B(size of a quarter) Weight Grades for selling – Small: – Medium: – Large: – Jumbo:

18 Incubation Chickens: ave. 21 days Ducks: days Geese: days Turkeys: days

19 Chicken Classifications American Breeds: – Developed in North America and were created based on the need for egg and meat production Asiatic Breeds: – Developed in Asia primarily as a show quality group bred for size and appearance English Breeds: – Developed in England as a meat group that is commonly cross bred with other breeds to improve meat quality

20 Chicken Classifications Mediterranean Breeds: – Developed in the Mediterranean as an egg production group bred for large size and quality eggs Continental Breeds: Standard Breeds:

21 Best Egg Layers Plymouth Rocks (white eggs) – Feather variation: Barred Rocks (white eggs) Red Island Reds, RIR (brown eggs) New Hampshire Reds (brown-lighter then RIR) Buff Orpingtons (brown eggs) White Leghorns (white eggs) Wyandottes (mixed color eggs) Sexting birds: chest and body feathers – Males come to a point – Females are rounded

22 Biosecurity Practice good hygiene Practice thorough cooking Do your research from credible sources When in doubt, contact a veterinarian Get a premise ID Get a premise ID – /index.aspx /index.aspx –

23 The Coop 2-4 feet inside the coop/bird 8-10 outside To many birds per square foot cause problems – Pecking and cannibalism Have multiple perches for roosting – Decrease pecking order issues 4-5 hens per nesting box – Up off the ground – Otherwise some may want their own box Use an artificial nest egg to encourage them to lay in a desired area (wood is most desired)

24 The Coop Clean constantly – Minimum once a week for smaller flocks More cleaning is needed for larger flocks Winterizing – Sheltered from elements – Can put a heat lamp in – Do not let outside – Collect eggs quickly, they can freeze Litter – Absorbs moisture from droppings – Sawdust, chopped straw, dry leaves, cedar shavings Design the coop so you are not always bent over and have easy access for cleaning and collecting eggs

25 The Coop Online Resources – – Coops-c3.aspx?all=all Coops-c3.aspx?all=all – Many books available on Amazon or from your local library – Buy coops pre-made from distributors like: Nasco, FleetFarm, Tractor Supply, Farm&Fleet, Home Depot – You can also buy materials to constructor your own from hardware/lumber yards at the above stores

26 Feed Requirements Omnivores: eat plant and meat foods – Chicks need 20% protein – Adults need 12-18% protein (even when not laying) Adults will cannibalize if not receiving enough protein Need to have access to feed all the time Laying rations will have higher protein Supplement with oyster shells for calcium Do not feed them their own egg shells – Causes them to break open their own eggs



29 Common Diseases Mareks Disease Mareks Disease – AKA range paralysis – Caused by a herpes virus that causes diarrhea, weight loss, leg or wing paralysis and death – There is no cure at this time, but a vaccine is available

30 Common Diseases Newcastle Disease Newcastle Disease – Caused by a virus that affects the respiratory system causing wheezing, gasping for breathe, open-mouthed breathing, possible paralysis, soft- shelled eggs, and possibly no egg production – Notable sign is birds attempting to twist their necks – No treatment – A vaccine is available – Bird comes in contact with bad air and feed

31 Common Diseases Infectious Bronchitis Infectious Bronchitis – A respiratory virus that affects only chickens, mostly young birds – A vaccine is available – Prevented by proper sanitation and isolation of sick birds – Signs: bronchitis, wheezing, nasal discharge, gasping for air, poor appetite, ruffled feathers, depression

32 Common Diseases Fowl Cholera Fowl Cholera – Caused by a bacterial infections – Signs Fever, purple coloration to heads and cobs, yellow droppings, sudden death – A vaccine is available – Can treat with antibiotics called sulfonamides

33 Common Diseases Avian Pox Avian Pox – A virus spread by mosquitoes and is a slow spreading disease that has several strains, it is species specific – Difficult to manage/control – No treatment available – A vaccine is available – Signs: respiratory distress and wart- like growths on the skin and beak

34 Common Diseases Avian Influenza – AKA Bird Flu – Virus that affects all breeds of poultry, is zoonotic – Naturally occurring in the intestinal tract – Transmitted by bodily fluids, droppings, or nasal discharge – A human vaccine is available but not treatment or vaccines for birds

35 Common Parasites Poultry are susceptible to 10 parasites both internal and external Coccidiosis Coccidiosis – Internal parasite – Caused by a protozoan – Found in droppings of wild birds (soil, food, water sources) – Signs: lethargy or depressed appearance, bloody droppings, pale skin, weight loss, loss of appetite, ruffled feathers

36 Common Parasites Large Roundworms Large Roundworms – Occur in the intestinal track – Can be three inches in length – Signs: diarrhea, weight loss, emaciated (dehydrated and appearing thin), droopy wings – Prevention: dewormers and sanitation

37 Common Parasites Tapeworms Tapeworms – More common in poultry with access to the outdoors – From ingesting: snails, earthworms, beetles, and fliers – Prevention: dewormers and proper sanitation – Signs: pale skin over the body, head and legs

38 Common Parasites Mites Mites – External parasite – Types: lice, ticks, chiggers – Use approved insecticides, limit access to the outdoors and interaction with wild birds – Signs: visible parasites, droopy wings, listless appearance, itching, feather loss or damage, and pale skin color

39 Diseases Bacterial and Fungal Diseases – Staph Infection Naturally occurring in chickens Seen on cuts or pus pockets on joints/foot pads Vets have erythromycin for treatment Prevention: eliminate sharp objects in the coop and removing wet litter – Colibacillosis Bacteria from the intestines, non transmitted by birds, but from the litter If this occurs, disinfect the coop with bleach or other disinfectants – Avian Mycoplasmosis Respiratory infection, bacterial disease – Loss of appetite and laying – Coughing and sneezing occurs – No treatment, transmitted to each bird via the air – Not a problem for human consumption – Newcastle Disease Velogenic strains are severe and cause high mortality….no signs showing – If you look closely, rapid breathing, depression, watery/greenish diarrhea Mesogenic: more common in the US, similar to the veolgenic strains, less mortality, neurologic issues are seen, respiratory issues – Mareks Disease A herpes virus disease cause tumors, paralysis results Good to know where your stock comes from to know if they have been vaccinated

40 Diseases Parasitic Disease – Coccidiosis Very common Bleed internally…can see blood in feces Typically look sick and depressed Vaccine: – Administered through food or water – Worms Live in the ground and litter, get into feed or birds dust in them Dewormer can be given, typically in the water – Mites (spider family, 8 legs) Lice (6 legs) Suck blood Look for them on the neck, vent area, under the wings Check at least once a month, more often in the winter Serious infestation can kill birds in a matter of days Buy poultry dust, follow label guide for administering Buy poultry shampoos, follow label guide for administering, make sure birds are dried thoroughly

41 Consuming Eggs and Meat Do not eat an egg with a blood spot – Candling is necessary to check interior quality – If a fertile egg is sat on and reaches 90 o F, the embryo will begin to form – Quality Cut Meats is a regional poultry processor 125 Milwaukee Ave, Cascade, WI (be respectful and call ahead for booking birds to be harvested) – Always cook meat and eggs thoroughly, consuming raw or undercooked meat and poultry products can cause illness or death

42 SOURCES Ms Nikki Beucler – Agriculture Instructor, Lake City High School, MN How to Raise Chickens. Heinrichs, Christine Chicken Coops by Judy Pangman Website: mypetchicken Website: backyard chickens Various veterinary textbooks

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