Can chickens get bed bugs?

If you're like me, you took one look at the question above and said a resounding "No!" People can't get chicken lice and chickens can't get people bugs, right? Then I did some sleuthing around and found out that chickens can in fact get bed bugs. That was unexpected! We know chickens can get mites, lice and even fleas and ticks...but bed bugs? It just didn't sound right. Unfortunately it's true. In fact, bed bugs are a huge problem in commercial poultry farms.

bed bugs in the chicken coop

As chicken keepers we understand that from predators to parasites, everything likes chicken! The best thing we can do for our chickens is to arm ourselves with the knowledge on how to deal with these issues. When I found out that chicken coops can be swarming with bed bugs, I needed to know exactly what I could do if this ever happened at my farm.

Christmas gifts for chickens

It seems like every year I put out a new gift guide for the holiday. Last year I made a list of really unique gifts for the crazy chicken lady. The Christmas before I found a bunch of really awesome gifts for the chicken lover. So this year I decided to write a gift guide for the chickens themselves! We don't forget our furry pets on important holidays, why forget out feathered friends?

Christmas gifts for chickens. A list

Chickens are pretty easy to buy for, after all they're happy when they have a comfy dry coop, treats and some space to spread their wings. So what can you get to make your chickens feel extra loved during the holiday season? Well, yummy treats and fun things to do of course!

Chicken keeping in extreme winter weather. Surviving power outages and ice storms.

This past week winter storm Avery ascended onto our area and knocked out power for almost 6 full days. My chicken farm was without power from Thursday night till Wednesday afternoon. Even though it started with freezing rain, had several days or snow and sleet and barely got above freezing the whole week....my chickens did just fine throughout out the entire winter storm. 

Chicken care in snow storms

Don't get me wrong, it wasn't easy! Just when we thought the weather was warming up it started to rain which quickly coated the chicken coops in a new layer of ice. The trees that hadn't lost their leaves yet cracked and fell under the weight. The chickens were unfazed by this severe weather though as thankfully, we were well prepared! 

Although my preps and a few tricks during the storm definitely helped the chickens to survive and even thrive during this extreme winter weather, most of the credit goes to one main practice I always follow. 

I don't heat the chicken coop

If I had used heat lights or heat panels in my coops, my chickens would have been used to the warmer temperatures and the sudden drop in temperature would have been very hard for them to handle. Since they had become acclimated to the cold weather gradually as the season changed, they didn't even notice when the electric to their coop went out. Of course I noticed the power outage because fresh (liquid) water became a bit of an issue, but the temperature did not faze the chickens in the least.

Here are the other tricks the chickens and I used to get through the winter storm and power outage.

How to raise the Omega-3 content of hens eggs

Last week I posted a recipe for easy suet cakes for chickens. One of the ingredients I used was  flax seeds. I received several emails asking about flax seeds and why I feed them to my chickens...so I decided to answer that question publicly. I've been feeding flax seeds to my chickens for about 6 years now and I started adding flax to their feed to increase the Omega-3 content of their eggs.

Adding flax seeds to hens diet

I eat flax seeds on a daily basis because they are high in protein, fiber, omega-3s and antioxidants. After I started adding flax seeds to my diet I noticed the 'expensive' eggs in the store with labels that touted their Omega-3 content. Since the nutrition of a hens egg is a direct result of their diet, I concluded that it had to be that chickens diet which added the Omega-3s to the eggs. 

I had recently found a great deal on a huge bag of flax seeds so since I had them on hand I started adding flax seeds to my chickens diet. I mix them into their scratch grains, add them to treats and bake them into flock blocks. The chickens seem to like them and I felt like I was adding something nutritious to their diet.  

Quick and easy winter chicken treats

It suddenly got really cold at our farm. The weather turned overnight and this morning the ducks didn't want to go in their pond because there were ice chunks on the top! The chickens refused to come out of the coop because there was snow on the ground! So, in celebration of the chickens first cold day of winter I decided to make them some simple and quick treats to warm them up and alleviate boredom.

Suet cakes made for chickens

I mean, they had to be bored! The chickens just stood in the doorway of their coop clucking at the snow fall. Poor kids. Luckily I had some of their favorite seeds on hand. I mixed those up with some fat and solidified them in the refrigerator real quick and presto, we had chicken boredom buster treats!

These are about the easiest chicken treats you can make and you really only need 2 ingredients: seeds and fat. Oh, and you'll need a muffin tin and a refrigerator to speed things up. 

I had several types of seeds and some mealworms on hand so I used all of them, but whatever you have will work!