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CHICKS

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Chicks Night In Recap

Chicks Night In Recap:

Nutrena poultry expert Lana Olson Beckard gave Mill chicken owners some useful winter tips on Wednesday. Lana focused on three main items – food and water, weather and shelter.

Chickens are now preparing themselves for the winter. Lana reminded owners to make sure their chickens have a complete diet with plenty of calories. She recommended complete layer feeds and Feather Fixer (to help with molting). Remember, scratch grains and treats should not be a chicken’s main source of feed. A good rule of thumb is that a chicken should not eat treats and scratch for more than 15 minutes a day.

Water is also very important. Think about it. Chickens are constantly breathing, leaving litter and laying eggs. That’s a lot of moisture! So, make sure chickens have access to water at all times.

With a good bit of moisture, owners should make coops dry and damp free. Lana reminded new chicken owners NOT TO REACH FOR THE HEAT LAMP! Heat lamps encourage moisture. She said it is worse for chickens to go from a freezing outside into a hot hen house.

Although all chickens’ combs are susceptible to frostbite, roosters are more frequently affected. Chicks Night In attendees said they heard of people putting Vaseline on combs and feet before the cold hits to protect them.

Even though they are little animals, chickens have a big winter coat; more than 8,500 feathers worth! So, most birds (Orpingtons, Barred Rocks, Rhode Island Reds, Wyandottes and more) handle the cold well. Lana said it’s okay to let the birds outside on cold days or even when there is snow on the ground.  If temperatures are dropping below zero she recommended get a heating pad because they are a lower wattage than a heat bulb.

Always be aware of potential fire hazards!

Keep your air as fresh as possible without any drafts near the nesting boxes or roosting areas. If the chickens are coming in, the parasites are going to want to also. Be sure to dust the coop, nesting boxes and any other places birds congregate. Parasites typically target the vent area.

As the days get shorter, the hens stop laying. You can, however, encourage them to continue laying by adding light in the coop. Lana said chickens need about 15 hours of light to lay eggs and recommended owners set a light timer for early morning rather than keeping the hens up at night. Remember, a hen has a set number of eggs she will lay in her life time. If she lays through the winter it will not decrease her lifespan, but it will reduce her egg laying span.

We want to thank Lana for sharing her knowledge and our customers for joining us at Chicks Night In. For more information about Mill events and sales, visit our EVENTS AND SALES page. If you would like to receive The Mill’s monthly newsletter please email info@themillofbelair.com.

You can view Lana’s slides here.

Click the image below for Chicks Night In Slides

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ASK QUESTIONS

Whether you’re buying chicks, it’s best to ask questions about the chicks before buying them. We have provided three questions that should help you decide!

Are they straight-run or pullets?

Hatcheries sell chicks in groups of straight-run or pullets. Straight-run is a mix of genders. With a straight-run group, you take a gamble of having just as many, if not more, males than females. Pullet is a term for female chicks under the age of one. You may find it beneficial to pay more for a group of pullets. Keep in mind the guarantee percentage for all females in a pullet group is high, but not 100%. There is a chance your batch could have a rooster.*

The majority of The Mill’s chicks are pullets.
The Mill’s French Guineas,  Ring-Neck Pheasants, ducks and turkeys are straight-run.

What are they eating now?

Chicks at the Mill are typically started on a medicated chick starter, as opposed to non-medicated. Medicated feeds are designed to give chicks an immunity boost during the first days of their lives. This helps fight off illness while the chicks are adjusting to a new home. The medicated feed The Mill uses contains amprolium, not an anti-biotic. It helps to prevent Coccidiosis.

Have they been vaccinated?

Chicks at the Mill have been vaccinated for Marek’s Disease, a viral disease. The vaccination can prevent Marek’s if administered immediately after the chicks hatch.

The Week of March 6th - CNO 3/8

Scheduled Arrivals
Monday: Bel Air, Hereford, Red Lion
Thursday: Black Horse, Hampstead, Whiteford
(subject to change)

Rhode Island Red

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Barred Rock

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Araucana

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The Week of March 13th - CNO 3/15

Scheduled Arrivals
Monday: Bel Air, Hereford, Red Lion
Thursday: Black Horse, Hampstead, Whiteford
(subject to change)

Silver Laced Wyandotte

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Jersey Giant

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Buff Orpington

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The Week of March 20th - Chicks Night Out 3/21 & 3/22

Scheduled Arrivals
Monday: Bel Air, Hereford, Red Lion
Thursday: Black Horse, Hampstead, Whiteford
(subject to change)

Rhode Island Red

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Araucana

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Golden Comet

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The Week of March 27th

Scheduled Arrivals
Monday: Bel Air, Hereford, Red Lion
Thursday: Black Horse, Hampstead, Whiteford
(subject to change)

Red Cross (similar to Red Sex-link)

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White Leghorn

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Barred Rock

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The Week of April 3rd

Scheduled Arrivals
Monday: Bel Air, Hereford, Red Lion
Thursday: Black Horse, Hampstead, Whiteford
(subject to change)

Golden Laced Wyandotte

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Black Australorp

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Dark Brahma

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The Week of April 10th

Scheduled Arrivals
Monday: Bel Air, Hereford, Red Lion
Thursday: Black Horse, Hampstead, Whiteford
(subject to change)

Rhode Island Red

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Araucana

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Buff Orpington

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Ducks

The Week of April 17th

Scheduled Arrivals
Wednesday: All Mill Locations

Pekin

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Khaki Campbell

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Mallard

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The Week of April 24th

Scheduled Arrivals
Monday: All Mill Locations

Welsummer

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Cuckoo Marans

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The Week of May 1st

Guineas & Pheasants

Scheduled Arrivals
Wednesday: All Mill Locations

Ring Neck Pheasants

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French Guineas

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Turkeys

The Week of June 12th

Scheduled Arrivals
By Friday: The Mill of Black Horse, The Mill of Red Lion
& The Mill of Whiteford only.

Broad Breasted White

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Mammoth Bronze

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Click Here to Order Feed

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Chicks at The Mill

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Our bird sales are on a first-come-first-serve basis. They typically arrive by mid-morning at our locations, but this time is subject to change. We recommend you follow our store’s Facebook pages Bel Air, Black Horse, Whiteford, Hampstead, Hereford, Red Lion for the most recent updates.

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Chicks Night Out 2017

Chicks Night Out is one of The Mill’s most popular events. The night is filled with important information about owning and raising chickens. There will be a guest speaker, giveaways, discounts and a display of products available at The Mill. Our staff will be there to help you with any questions.

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