Whitewash the hen house once a year.
Reprinted from The Almanack of 1914
A temporary shortage of water is more injurious to poults then a temporary shortage of feed.
From The Almanack of 1964
If you want the eggs for consumption, you will need to pick them up daily to prevent the hens from setting them.
Shavings in the scratch area allows a hen to dig or fashion a concave surface to lay her eggs, thus, making the scratch area the single most attractive area in the hen house.
Check a couple of your chickens now and then for pests like mites or lice. If one has it, chances are the whole flock will have lice/mites. Check under the wings and around the vent area.
Most eggs are clean when they are laid, however, if the nesting material is dirty it is likely that the eggs will become soiled as well. Replace the nesting material once it becomes contaminated with dirt or fecal material.
Birds that are heat stressed have increased mortality, reduced weight gain, and poor feed conversion.
Most chicks are sexed at hatch by examination of the complex folding of the vent area (this roughly corresponds to the anal area) of the chick. the method is quite difficult and requires much practice to acquire the skill.
Birds that are kept in confinement and not provided with areas to roost will show signs of agitation and increased locomotor behavior, especially around dusk.
Eggs should be refrigerated as soon after collecting and cleaning as possible. eggs are perishable and will deteriorate in quality unless maintained at proper temperatures. Refrigerate at temperatures of 50–55 degrees.
You can trim off the spurs with a set of hoof trimming pliers. A set of large wire cutters will work if you don't have the hoof trimmers. Just cut the spurs off close to the leg. A little stub is ok. He will probably bleed a bit and you may want to apply some QWICK-STOP styptic powder (available from pet stores for use when trimming dog toenails). He may limp for a few days, but he will live and be much easier to live with until they re-grow. Then just clip again.Most ducks are foragers and prefer a variety of foods such as grasses, fish, insects, small amphibians, aquatic plants, small mollusks, and worms.
If raising chickens for show, remember that they are always judged by their breed, weight, and color. Bantams are a great choice as exhibition birds, and they are easy to raise, take up less space, and eat less. Popular Bantam breeds for exhibition are Cochins, Old English Game and Plymouth Rocks. The most popular large fowl breeds are Rhode Island Red, Leghorns. and Black Australorps.