The Hearty Homestead

 

Dealing with Calf Scours

Calf Scours: Step 1

Most calf scours, or diarrhea, occur within the first 3 weeks of life, with about ¼ of all pre-weaned calves being treated. Keeping the calf hydrated with an electrolyte solution is the first and most important task. So it helps to have good idea of how much a scouring calf needs. It’s safe to assume that a calf with diarrhea and no other visible signs of dehydration is about 5% dehydrated. For a 100 pound calf, 5% dehydration means it has lost 5 pounds of water:

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A History of Antibiotics

January 1, 2017 marked the official start date of the FDA issued Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD). Consumers wanting to purchase animal feed, formulated with select antibiotics, are now required to present a VFD, written by a licensed veterinarian, at the time of purchase. So, why exactly does the FDA care about the type of livestock feed consumers purchase? 

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Winter Tips for Backyard Poultry Success

Chickens, like most animals, are fairly cold-hardy. They handle Winter far better than the heat of Summer, but if you live in an extremely cold area, choosing breeds that are known to be particularly cold-hardy is definitely a good idea. These breeds tend to have larger bodies, smaller combs and wattles, and are often named for the areas where they originated in the North, such as Rhode Island Red, New Hampshire Red, Jersey Giant, Swedish Flower Hen or Ohio Buckeye.

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Molting


Molting is the annual process chickens go through to replace their dirty, broken feathers with new, shiny, healthy ones, before Winter sets in. However, chickens molt not for aesthetic reasons but to keep warm through the cold months. Healthy new feathers trap warm air against their bodies, better than old feathers do. A chicken will fluff their feathers up, especially at night, to help keep warm in Winter.

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7 Questions You Wanted to Ask About Antibiotics in Animal Feed...But Were Afraid to Ask!


Question 1: Why are antibiotics in animal feed in the first place?

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Feather Loss in Backyard Chickens

One of the biggest questions that I am asked is, why are my chickens missing feathers? There are a number of reasons for feather loss that can include dietary deficiencies, molting, feather picking, pests and parasites. It will take a bit of detective work on your part to determine why your flock is missing feathers. However, once you determine the reasons why, you can encourage those feathers to return.

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Breaking Down the Goat Diet

Feeding a herd of goats can be tricky. Goats have a complex digestive system that requires different types and amounts of food to run smoothly. When you enter the goat world, it seems that everyone has an opinion on what is the “best” way to feed. As a result, it can be confusing to know what is right for your animals.

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Keeping Rabbits: Controlling Harmful Ammonia in Your Rabbit's Environment


While reading one of my favorite gardening websites a few days ago, I came across an extremely helpful article; one all about keeping pests at bay, naturally. As my hostas are currently chewed to the ground by deer, and my potato plants are currently being dug up by skunks, I clicked into the article with a hopeful attitude.

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First Aid Kit for Chickens


Whether you are new to chicken keeping or have been keeping chickens for years, it is a good idea to be educated and prepared not only in regards to caring for your flock but also when health issues arise. It's important to realize that health issues are rare, but sometimes things happen. It's for this reason that I recommend to all chicken keepers old and new alike to be prepared by making a chicken first aid kit for their home.

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Oyster Shell vs. Grit

If you’re new to chicken keeping, you might be confused about two products you have read about or seen on your feed store shelves: oyster shell and grit. While many use these two products interchangeably, each actually serves a very important, and very different, purpose for your chickens’ well-being.

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