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Poultry Knowledgebase

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FAV Faverolles
FCB French Copper Black - Marans
FOC Free of Charge
FP Fowl Pox
FTGH Free to Good Home
Favus This will form white spots and spreads rapidly over the face. Treatments include vaseline or formalin oil.
Feeding Feed your hens fresh grain or pellets. Grain in the form of wheat is a good diet but more protein and minerals are needed for optimal egg production.
The finest and best value protein, as the hen can use it all and therefore needs less of it, is fishmeal.
As a treat, poultry will love any household food scraps which are beneficial providing they are not the base diet.
Use kitchen scraps as a supplement and don't feed your hens anything containing poultry derivatives.
Wheat and maize can be offered as a scratch feed to keep the birds active. If they are not free range, green feed is always welcomed by the birds, but hang up vegetatables and nettles to get the most benefit from them.
Large fowl will eat about 4-6oz (110g-170g) per day, bantams need around 2-3oz (50g-85g), according to size.
Instead of pellets, mash is more interesting for the hens - it takes longer to eat - but it can be wasteful and really needs to be contained in a proper hopper to prevent it from being scattered everywhere.
Mash can also be mixed with warm water (especially in winter) and other foods.
Crushed oyster shell and limestone grit should be made available. Baked and crushed egg shells make a good supplement also.
Feeding - Chicks It is suggested that only balanced feeds from reputable sources are used.
Feeding scraps tends to upset the balanced ration which has been proven over many years. Chicks should be offered chick crumbs of 20-22% protein containing a coccidiostat.
This chemical helps to control coccidiosis and buid up an immunity to the parasite.
Turkey starter crumbs have a higher percentage of protein and are beneficial for the larger breeds. Crumbs should be fed ad lib in a container with a series of small openings or a swivel top to avoid waste.
There should be enough trough space for most chicks to feed at one time to avoid bullying. At about 6 weeks introduce growers' pellets over the space of a few days.
When the birds reach about 18 weeks they can be changed gradually, to a layers' ration of 16% protein. This can be fed either as pellets or meal.
The meal can be fed dry (but may be wasteful and also sticks to the beak and as a consequence quickly fouling the water) or as a mash.
When mixed as a mash it should have enough water added so that when pressed in the hand and then released it should crumble away.
Pellets and dry meal can be fed via ad lib hoppers, but wet mash must always be freshly mixed as it quickly goes rancid. Water and flint grit should be available at all times from hatching onward.
Flint grit is needed to assist the gizzard in grinding up the food, especially hard grain. From four weeks before laying commences, oyster shell or limkestone grit should be provided to help the formation of egg shells.
Light breeds start to lay at about five months and the heavier breeds at about six months. In the winter, a little cod liver oil can be added to the ration.
Fertile Eggs Eggs which can be incubated and developed into chicks. Fertile eggs are not more nutritious than non-fertile eggs, do not keep as well as non-fertile eggs and are more expensive to produce.
An egg that is fertilized; the capability of an egg to develop into a chick.
Flubenvet There are six different worm types inhabiting different parts of the hen, most of them in various areas of the intestine.
Hens get an immunity to worms eventually but stress (for example, caused by moving to a new environment) can disturb the hen's immune system and the worms then breed wildly and affect the health of the hen.
The easiest preparation which controls all types and stages of parasitic worms is 'Flubenvet' which is a powder you add to the feed.
Worm your regular stock at least once a year by providing a mix of Flubenvet in their feed over a 7-day period. This will have the affect of killing off all known internal parasites.
Tablet wormers given to individual birds are also effective. Some people have had success using garlic, but usually as a preventative rather than cure.
Chicks can get worms if they eat worm eggs from contaminated ground.
Foot Infection An infection of the foot which is swollen and may feel hot. An antibiotic topical ointment may cure this. Wear gloves when doing this.
Arthritis may also be the cause of a limping bird.
Formation A hen requires about 24 to 26 hours to produce and egg. Thirty minutes later, she starts all over again.
Fowl Pox (FP) FP is a world wide problem and is prevalent wherever poultry are raised. It is one of the earliest recognised diseases of poultry and was identified as a virus in 1902.
It is a relatively slow spreading infectious viral disease of poultry of all ages. Almost all birds of all ages are susceptible. It is transmitted by air or infected mosquito and possibly by ingestion of infective scabs.
Once airborne in the a poultry house, the virus can enter the blood stream through conjunctiva of the eye, skin sounds, or respiratory. Mosquitoes become infected from feeding on birds with FP in the blood stream.
Clinical signs are classic raised wart-like lesions on unfeathered areas (head, legs, vent, etc). Unthrift ness, retarded growth, and slow spread through the flock are typical FP symptoms.
The lesions will heal (after 2 weeks) If the scab is removed before healing is complete, the surface beneath the scab is raw and bleeding.
There are two types of lesions: dry form (skin) lesions and wet form (diphtheritic) lesions occur in the mouth, pharynx, larynx and trachea and cause canker like lesions and swelling.
The dry form is very common and does not really cause any damage unless the pox forms right beside the eyes. The dry pox will go through a flock in about two weeks and then it is over.
The wet form can be a serous problem and it is where the pox forms down their throats. If you have a wet form of the pox you can vaccinate your flock to stop it from spreading.
Use wing-web (WW) vaccination method for chickens and feather follicle method for turkeys older than 8 weeks. Treat pet birds with silver nitrate and give an antibiotic in water for 2 to 3 days to combat infections.
FP outbreaks in poultry confined to houses can be controlled by spraying to kill mosquitoes. If FP is endemic in the area, vaccinate all birds.
If you vaccinate your birds against FP you may have to do it again in a year. If you let your birds go through the natural pox they will never get it again and will not be carriers.
Free range Not controlled in a small area by fences, able to get to fresh greens and insects.
Freshness How recently an egg was laid has a bearing on its freshness but is only one of many factors. The temperature at which it is held, the humidity and the handling all play their part.
These variables are so important that an egg one week old, held under ideal conditions, can be fresher than an egg left at room temperature for one day.
The ideal conditions are temperatures that don't go above 40F. (4C.) and a relative humidity of 70 to 80%.
Frizzle Curling feathers rather than flat, rather like a chicken with a perm.
Fryer A young meat-type chicken, usually 9 to 12 weeks of age, of either sex, that can be cooked tender by broiling or frying, usually weighing between 2 1/2 and 3 1/2 pounds.

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