Dust Baths and Longer Beaks Can Make Cage-free Chickens into Mite-free Chickens

By Meredith Swett Walker Life is improving for America’s chickens. Due to consumers’ increasing interest in animal welfare, large portions of the poultry industry are shifting towards less restrictive housing. Many poultry farmers are replacing the conventional conjoined small wire cages, called “battery cages,” with cage-free housing in large open poultry houses. Cage-free housing gives […]

Researchers Raise Maggots on Chicken Blood to Save Darwin’s Finches

By Meredith Swett Walker In 1676, the great scientist Isaac Newton (of gravity fame) wrote a letter to another scientific titan, Robert Hooke (who had coined the biological term “cell”), in which he humbly stated, “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.” Even in using that line he was […]

Backyard Chickens Harbor Greater Diversity of Mites and Lice than Farm-raised Chickens

By Meredith Swett Walker Today’s backyard chickens are not your grandmother’s birds — they sport jaunty sweaters, go for walks on leashes, and dine on treats like “chunky chicken caviar.” As keeping chickens has become more popular, the bird’s status has been elevated from practical livestock to pampered pet. And though they may indulge in […]