Frequently Asked Questions

Here we answer the most commonly-asked questions about ordering, chicken care, and more.

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All about Salmonella disease

The word "Salmonella" evokes fear in the hearts of chicken-keepers. A healthy respect for this bacterium is certainly justified, but should not be blown out of proportion. The main concern is that Salmonella can be transferred to humans and can make us very sick, or in some cases even cause death. Thankfully, practicing good biosecurity and following the CDC's guidelines can keep humans safe. Unfortunately, though, the prognosis isn't so good for chickens that become infected with Salmonella. Read on to find out more. Salmonella (general) Various types of Salmonella infection include Pullorum, Typhoid, Paratyphoid, Arizonosis, Paracolon, various other names...

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All about Perosis disease

Perosis is a nutritional deficiency that can cause swollen, twisted, broken, or bowed legs, or loss of color in feathers, the comb, or the roof of the mouth. Thankfully, nutritional deficiencies can be avoided by making sure your flock has free-choice access to complete, nutritionally-balanced feed. Don't just feed them scratch or kitchen scraps; that can cause problems for them later on! Read on to find out more: Perosis Also called Slipped tendon, chondrodystrophy Prevalence Uncommon in layers, common in heavy, fast growing chicken breeds used for meat production. Signs General signs Swollen hocks, one or both legs twisted to...

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All about Polyneuritis disease

If one of your bird's neck muscles seems to have "frozen" in a position that leaves them staring at the sky, it's possible they have polyneuritis, or "star gazing" disease. This is caused by a thiamine deficiency that can usually be avoided by giving your flock free-choice access to complete, nutritionally-balanced feed. Don't just feed your flock scratch or kitchen scraps, as that can leave gaps in their nutrition. Read on to find out more. Polyneuritis Also called Star gazing, Thiamine deficiency Prevalence Uncommon, particularly so in backyard flocks with access to pasture. Signs General signs - Lack of appetite,...

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How do I know which chickens feeds have hormones and which are hormone-free?

There are no hormones in any brand of commercial chicken feed in the United States, according to the US Cooperative Extension Service. We think that "hormones" rumor makes the rounds every so often because there are some poultry feeds that specifically label their feed as "hormone free" while others don't bother. The Extension Service explains that it's basically illegal to use hormones in poultry feed in the US. However, because some feeds specifically advertise themselves as "hormone free," that begs the question for the other brands that don't mention it: "Do you use hormones in your feed?" They do NOT....

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Are you a member of the National Poultry Improvement Plan (NPIP)?

Yes! Our hatching facilities and all other breeders with whom we contract are NPIP-certified. If you would like NPIP papers to be included with your baby chick order so that you can show your birds, just let us know -- we'll be happy to do it! They arrive by email a few days after your birds arrive. Remember that NPIP papers are only available for 6 months after you have received your birds, so be sure to ask for them in time! Most states in the US require baby chicks and juvenile birds that ship across state lines to originate...

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Is Salmonella a concern with backyard chickens?

Not usually, but let us explain why. Humans do not catch Salmonella from chicks or chickens the way you would catch a cold from your neighbor. Salmonellosis is food poisoning; you get it from eating infected meat or eggs. Even then, in order to get a case of Salmonella, the meat and eggs you have eaten must be improperly prepared, that is, not completely cooked through. Or, you can also get Salmonella by getting your hands or something else contaminated with feces and then putting that thing in your mouth. People more at risk for contracting Salmonella are very young,...

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Should I get my birds vaccinated?

Here at My Pet Chicken, we offer a Marek's disease vaccination on all baby chicks. Marek's disease is the #1 disease-related killer of chickens. It can cause paralysis, blindness and death in up to 80% of an infected flock. There is no cure for a flock once it has been infected; the only way to prevent the disease is to vaccinate for it within 24 hours of the chick hatching. Learn more about Marek's disease Yes, you should get your chicks vaccinated To be blunt about it, yes. Make the small investment in a Marek's vaccine for your chickens. While...

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What is this black spot or thin string attached to my baby chick's rear end?

It's your chick's umbilical cord, and if you notice, that black, scabby spot or string will be below your check's vent or "pooper." Be SURE not to confuse this with pasting, which occurs on the vent, not below it. Usually the umbilical cord falls off immediately during hatching, but sometimes it can hang around for a few days (or it falls off but the belly button takes a while to heal, leaving a scabby spot). This can happen whether you hatch at home, or if you order from My Pet Chicken or another hatchery. Please don't try to remove it,...

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"The Clubhouse" Coop

Easy to assemble and built to last, the Clubhouse Coop is the perfect starter coop for a small flock.