FAQ - Learning Center
Avoid Salmonella Exposure:
Safe Practices for Handling Poultry
Source: Ohio Poultry Association
Don't Forget! Always wash your hands.
Even healthy and clean looking birds can be carriers of Salmonella bacteria. Salmonella bacteria are in the droppings of many chicks and ducklings and contaminate their environment and the entire surface of the bird.
Basic Safety Practices
If you choose to own chicks, ducklings, or other birds, following a few basic steps can help you avoid exposure to Salmonella.
1. It is absolutely essential to wash your hands with soap and warm water immediately after touching birds or anything in the birds' environment.
2. Chicks and ducklings are not appropriate pets for children under five years of age.
3. Do not allow the birds to be close to your mouth or face.
4. Live poultry should be kept outside.
5. Adults should clean cages/pens. Litter should be frequently changed.
6. Do not handle birds before or while cooking, eating or doing other kitchen tasks.
7. Do not use the kitchen sink to clean bird cages, feed or water containers.
8. If you are experience abdominal pain, fever, and/or diarrhea, visit your physician right away.
Salmonella can cause serious illness, especially in infants and young children because they are more likely to put their fingers in their mouth and because their immune systems are still developing. Older adults, pregnant women, people on chemotherapy, diabetics and people with weakened immune systems may also have more severe symptoms.
How are baby
We ship them out through the US Postal system. Depending on the size of your order your babies will either go Express or Priority. Please, keep in mind USPS is our only outlet for shipping poultry. They do not guarantee Express shipments to arrive next day. Here's an excerpt from usps.com regarding Express (Live Animal) shipments: "Customers sending Express Mail shipments containing live animals should expect a 2-3 day transport of their shipment."
Do you ever
have birds older than a day old?
We are a
hatchery specializing in baby poultry. Periodically throughout the year, though, we do
offer 1-20 week old pullets limited to the following varieties, Golden Buff, Black
Sex Link, and White Leghorns.
Do you include "packing peanuts" or extra male chicks for warmth?
No. We will never include free extra males like other hatcheries to keep chicks warm during transit. We are far too innovative to send you chicks you don't want or need! We pioneered the 3 chick minimum without sending males for warmth. Instead, we cleverly pack extra nesting material, include a long lasting heat pack when needed and ship small orders Express Mail to ensure they arrive safe and healthy.
my birds up at the Hatchery. Do I need to bring a box with me to take them home
We will have
your order of baby birds already packed up and waiting for you when you arrive
at the hatchery. You will need to provide your own crates or boxes for 16-20 week
old pullets if you are picking them up.
Do you offer
custom hatching if a customer provides the eggs?
We will not do
custom hatching due to Bio-security risks.
How much room
do I need for my chickens?
You will need an
area of approximately 1 to 1.5 square feet per mature bird.
My birds are
pecking at each other. How do I stop them from pecking?
Make sure the
birds are not overcrowding each other. Also stress, feed deficiencies, illness
and boredom all cause feather pecking. Add grass clippings or leafy alfalfa hay
to the pen to eliminate boredom. If this does not work, you may try an
anti-pick spray or anti-pick device which fits over the beak.
Can I have
the beaks trimmed on the baby chicks?
We do not offer beak trimming service for the simple fact that the beak will grow back if
the procedure is performed on birds under 6 weeks old. If you decide to have
the beaks trimmed we recommend having it done before the birds start to lay.
When will my
hens start laying eggs?
It varies from
breed to breed. Some breeds will start to lay as early as 17 weeks old and
other breeds may take up to 30 weeks before they start to lay.
Can I put the
new chicks in with my existing older chickens?
It is not
recommended as the older, larger birds may peck on the smaller, younger birds.
They can be put them together if you wait until the birds are similar in size.
Some pecking may still occur in the beginning, but after a few days the birds
should settle into a new pecking order.
roosters do I need for my hens in order to have fertile eggs?
We recommend 1
rooster for every 6-8 hens. Keep in mind, hens will lay eggs without a rooster
present but the eggs will not be fertile.
Do I need a
permit to raise game birds?
from state to state. Check with your local extension office or game warden.
Can I put
Turkeys in with my chickens?
We do not
recommend mixing breeds of poultry together in the same pen due to the fact they
can pick up a disease called blackhead.
How many nest
holes do I need for my hens?
Figure on about 7 hens per nest box hole.
Do you ship
out of the country?
No! Federal and
custom regulations make it too difficult to ship live birds out of the country.
Also, the amount of time involved in shipping makes it prohibitive.
recommend the Marek's Vaccination?
Yes! It is a
good idea to have them vaccinated as it helps build up their antibodies. A
single vaccination confers lifelong immunity, but is not 100% foolproof. About
5% of the chickens vaccinated can still get the disease anyway.
My eggs are
soft and keep breaking what can I do?
This comes from
a deficiency in their diet and you need to increase the amount of calcium or
vitamin D the hens are receiving. Adding Oyster shell to their feed will also
help harden the shell.
medicate my birds for worms right away?
You can do it
before they start laying, but if you medicate them after they start laying, you
must wait 30 days after treatment before you can use the eggs.
light do my birds need once they begin to lay eggs?
For maximum egg
production, it is recommended that hens get 14 hours of continuous light each
day. They need periods of darkness as well. It is best to monitor the amount
of light they receive with a timer set to turn on and off consistently at the
same time every day.
How do I get
my chickens to lay in the nest box and not on the floor?
In order to coax
your chickens to use the nest box, it should be located 18 to 20 inches from the
floor. Also, try to eliminate any dark corners as they like to hide in dark
spots to feel protected while laying an egg.
causing my chickens to loose their feathers?
through a normal molting stage at about 18 months old. This molting period
usually lasts for 3 to 4 months. Egg production will cease during the molting
period, but will resume at a slower rate after the birds end molting.
When will my
credit card be charged?
Your card will
be charged at the time your order is placed or if you choose to defer payment, you will be charged two weeks before your hatch date.
What is the
longest time I can store my eggs before I set them in the
Your eggs can be
stored up to 7 days and will not significantly affect the hatching, but up to 14
days can definitely decrease your hatch.
Can I set my
eggs as soon as I receive my shipment?
We recommend you
let them set for a minimum of 6 hours at room temperature before setting them.
Is there a
proper way to set my eggs in the incubator?
Yes! Eggs should
be set blunt end up to maximize hatchability and your eggs should not touch each
candle my eggs?
early on is a good idea, because it helps you find the rotten eggs and
remove them so that quality of the other eggs do not become contaminated. By
day 3 blood vessels can be seen, and by day 7th movement can be
seen, remove the bad eggs.
temperature should I set my incubator at?
Keep in mind
every incubator is different depending on the air flow in the incubator. A good
temperature should be 99.5 but always follow the manufacturers suggestions.
the humidity read in the incubator?
A good hatch
humidity reading should be 60%, but keep in mind this also depends on the type
of incubator you may have.
Can't Login to My Account
We get many questions from
customers about not being able to login to their account. They either
get an error message, login failed message, or the page just resets
itself. Generally it is a common error and can be fixed very easily.
Here are a few steps to take if you are having trouble logging in to
Refresh your browser.
Try using a different
browser then what your on. Try using Firefox, Google Chrome,
If you don't have
another browser you may need to update to a more current edition of
your current browser.
Make sure you are using
capital letters and lower case letters when appropriate.
Recover your password.
There is a button for this right on our login to account page on our
Make sure you have only
used the account email for one person and one account, our system
does not allow an email to be used twice. If your email is used more
then once you usually will get a message that says please login with
existing account. If this happens it is best to call in so we can
get the email taken off one of the accounts.
If you try all of these and
your login is still not working feel free to call in to see if we can
fix it. Sometimes the problem may be beyond our control but we will
do our best to answer any questions you may have.