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What To Know When Feeding Meat Birds…

Diet & Feeding Schedule

When it comes to raising your meat birds from the early days of when they are born, it is very important to keep an eye out for their food consumption. You want to make sure that you have a feeding schedule in place that is consistent around what your meat birds will be eating and when they will be eating. During the first three weeks of their life, your meat birds should be fed a 20% (approx.) protein chick starter. After the first three weeks of their life, you can then switch them over to an 18% protein grower feed as their main diet consumption.

When it comes to scheduling your meat bird’s meals, it is crucially important that you stay on top of their feeding windows. After the first week of the meat bird’s life, you must feed your chickens on a 12-hour rotation, which includes figuring out when their feeding time will be and knowing when they will not be feeding. You must take away the feed during the off hours to prevent over-eating and consumption which can hinder and even kill your chickens if you do not stay on top of their eating schedule of 12 on and off.

Do Not Overfeed Your Meat Birds

Do not overfeed your meat birds. We will say this again; do not overfeed your meat birds! One of the astounding facts around meat birds which a lot of people do not know about is that these birds can literally eat themselves to death. This is why it’s absolutely crucial to keep your meat birds on a consistent 12-hour feeding schedule where they feed and when they do not feed. Being diligent in taking away the feed during their non-feeding hours is one of the most important factors when rasing meat birds.

The negative aspects of overfeeding your meat birds include heart attacks, exploding stomachs, blood clots, and a variety of other deadly side effects that can hurt and even kill your meat bird. These birds have the ability to sit in front of their feeding 24/7 and continually eat if they are not monitored on a proper eating schedule. If you want to have healthy meat birds, you need to make sure that you do not overfeed your birds and you keep an eye out during their specific feeding times that you have on a strict, consistent schedule.

Learn More About Why Not To Overfeed Your Meat Birds

The video below is from our YouTube Channel Absorbent Products Ltd. that goes more in-depth around why you need to be-careful when it comes to feeding your meat birds and keeping an eye out on their food consumption.

Check out a video on our Absorbent Products Ltd. YouTube channel that goes into depth on the negatives of overfeeding your meat birds.

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Fresh Coop Odor Control

What Is Fresh Coop Odor Control?

Fresh Coop Odor Control is a neutralizer that eliminates the harmful ammonia levels, controls and kills the odours in the area(s), and absorbs any moisture that might be in, around, or beside your Chicken Coop. The Fresh Coop Odor Control not only helps improve the smell of the area in and around your Chicken Coop, but it also makes the area feel tidier and under control.

What Can It Do?

Fresh Coop Odor Control provides the latest innovation and technology within the livestock industry that provides one of the best odor neutralizers out in the marketplace. Our product combines natural Food Chemical Codex Grade Diatomaceous Earth, along with Calcium Montmorillonite and non-GMO Citric Acid. This allows our Fresh Coop Odor Control to eliminate all harmful ammonia levels, control the odor in the surrounding area, and absorbs all of the moisture that is built up in your backyard chicken coop. Thus, your chickens and your chicken coop will be a healthier and cleaner environment.

Our Fresh Coop Odor Control can also be used with and around backyard chickens, pullets, layers, quail, ducks, turkeys, pigeons, and pheasants. If there is an animal that is not listed here that you are curious about whether or not our Fresh Coop Odor Control can be used with, please do not hesitate to get in contact with us. It would be our pleasure to give you advice and more information on our product. Let’s see whether or not Fresh Coop Odor Control is for you and your chickens!

Where Can I Get It?

You can purchase and learn more about our Fresh Coop Odor Control on our website. If you have any specific questions, concerns, or thoughts, please reach out to us over here. Someone will be in contact with you shortly to answer all of your inquiries.

Here is a video from our YouTube Channel ‘Absorbent Products Ltd.‘ about Fresh Coop Odor Control to learn about the product more in-depth.
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Dust Bath

What Is A Dust Bath?

Dust Baths are a way for chickens to keep themselves clean; hence, the word bath. The Dust Bath is a way for the chickens to clean and maintain their feathers to make sure they are in top condition. During the Dust Bath, all of the dust is worked into the bird’s feathers and coats their entire body. All of the dust will absorb any and all of the excess oil, which will help keep the feathers from becoming greasy, matted, and parched.

Using Fresh Coop Dust Bath

Before you start putting together a Dust Bath for your chickens, make sure that you have purchased the Fresh Coop Dust Bath. Once you have purchased your Fresh Coop Dust Bath, you are now ready to make your chicken’s Dust Bath experience that much better!

  1. Firstly, make sure that you have an area of dirt or sand that is there before you put down any Fresh Coop Dust Bath on an area. In addition, this area should be around 2-3″ inches deep, which will allow your chickens to properly have their Dust Bath and absorb all of the materials. If your flock is already free-range, then you can put down the Fresh Coop Dust Bath in an already existing area that your chickens use.
  2. Pour a layer of Fresh Coop Dust Bath on the area that you have already made and prepared for your chickens. This layer of Fresh Coop will blend and mix together with the existing area of dust and sand as your chickens start to have their Dust Bath.
  3. Keep an eye on your chickens when they are having their Dust Bath to make sure that you have put down enough Fresh Coop Dust Bath in their area. If you feel that you have not put enough Fresh Coop Dust Bath down in their area, then you can carefully add some down. The more you set up Dust Baths for your chickens, the better you will get at judging how much Fresh Coop Dust Bath that you will need to add to your chicken’s bath area.
  4. Lastly, if you are planning on putting together regular Fresh Coop Dust Baths for your chickens, then you will need to have a designated area such as an existing area around the coop or a container that you have specifically for Dust Baths. This will the dirt or sand you have in that area to constantly be absorbed with the Fresh Coop Dust Bath, which will allow you to not have to put down too much Fresh Coop Dust Bath each time your chickens have a Dust Bath.

Fresh Coop Dust Bath Product

You can purchase Fresh Coop Dust Bath for your chickens from us directly on our website right here. To learn more about Fresh Coop Dust Bath and what it can offer you and your chickens, please check out the FAQ on the product page, which is at the bottom of the page. This will help answer any other questions that you might have about Fresh Coop Dust Bath, Dust Baths, where you can purchase this product, etc.

Learn More About Fresh Coop Dust Baths

Check out our video on our YouTube channel, Absorbent Products Ltd., to learn more about Dust Baths for your chickens.
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Fresh Coop Chicken Grit

What Is Fresh Coop Chicken Grit?

Fresh Coop Egg Layer Grit is a soluble grit that is as effective as any Calcium Supplement for backyard layers that are 18 weeks old or even older than that. This product allows your chickens to easily swallow down their food since they do not have teeth to chew and breakdown any materials they put into their beak. You even have the choice of purchasing Fresh Coop Egg Layer Grit with either coarse grain or free-choice.

Why Is It Important?

It allows the eggs to stay strong and healthy in the chicken coop, along with having quality hard eggshells. Fresh Coop Egg Layer Grit offers a high source of natural calcium for the chickens, which allows them to lay strong eggs, instead of soft, thin-layered eggs that show a lack of calcium in your chickens. Keeping your chicken’s calcium intake up will ensure that your chickens will continually lay high-quality, healthy eggs. In addition, this product is exclusively for your chickens only. Make sure that you do not feed the Fresh Coop Egg Layer Grit to your Roosters or any other barn animal that you have, as this will not benefit their dietary needs or general health.

Where Can I Purchase?

You can learn more about Fresh Coop Chicken Grit, as well as use our store locator for this product on our website. If you have any other questions around this product, please do not hesitate to reach out to us as we would love to answer any of your questions. Please note that this product is only availa

Learn more about calcium supplement for your layers and why it’s an essential asset for your chicken coop here in our video. Please subscribe to our YouTube channel Absorbent Products Ltd. to stay up to date with what we are up to!

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Cleaning Your Coop

If you own chickens, then you will understand the importance of taking care of everything that comes with having chickens; including, taking care of their coop. When it comes to cleaning your coop(s) and keeping your chickens healthy and happy, Fresh Coop Chicken Products can help you get that job done. It’s very important that you do a thorough and deep clean your chicken coop at least once or twice a year to allow your chickens to have a beneficial environment for them to thrive and grow. We will give you a rundown of how to clean your chicken coop since it’s way easier than you think and very straightforward to maintain with our Fresh Coop Odor Control.

Rundown On Cleaning Your Coop

  1. Clean Out The Entire Coop: Take the time to clear out all of the dirt, feathers, bird droppings, and any other build-up of materials that are in your coop. Depending on the size of your coop, this could take a decent amount of time. Make sure you wear a dust mask and protective eyewear while cleaning up your chicken coop.
  2. Place A Layer Of Fresh Coop Odor Control: After you have cleaned out your coop, we recommend that you place a layer of our Fresh Coop Odor Control, which will help keep the odor and moisture down, making both you and your chickens happy.
  3. Place Down A Fresh Bedding Layer: Once you have a layer of Fresh Coop Odor Control in your chicken coop, you will then be able to place down a layer or two of fresh bedding. The layer of fresh bedding will not stick to the bottom of your chicken coop, thanks to the high-quality materials used in the product, which makes future cleans even easier since the materials can be disposed of quickly.

Cleaning Your Coop vs. Deep Clean

Cleaning Your Coop: When it comes to maintaining your coop every couple of weeks, we recommend you to dispose of all the of the droppings and any other buildup that has developed over a week or two. After that task is completed, you can then replace the old bedding with fresh, quality bedding material.

Deep Clean: At least once or twice a year, you will need to go through your chicken coop and conduct a thorough deep clean. This deep clean will allow you to clear out, disinfect, and make your chicken coop as good as new for your chickens, as well as fully preparing your coop for the winter and spring seasons. There is a lot more information and steps when it comes to deep cleaning your chicken coop, compared to cleaning your coop every few weeks, which we will share in a future blog post.

Walkthrough Video Of Cleaning Your Coop

Learn more about ‘Cleaning your Coop’ in this video featuring Teil and Chet & B’s Coop.

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Backyard Chicken Care

A red chicken stands on some stumps after taking a dust bath in diatomaceous earth.

If you want your backyard chickens to lead healthy, happy lives – Diatomaceous Earth is a must-have for anyone who owns a coop and has a flock of feathered friends.

What is DE (Diamotacious Earth), and how can it help my chickens?

Food-Grade diatomaceous earth contains finely ground and processed fossilized algae commonly called diatoms.

DE has a whole array of benefits for poultry’s health, from absorbing odor-causing moisture, to increasing the strength of their egg’s shells. Diatoms are essentially very fine, abrasive particles with sharp edges that have natural absorption capabilities. When chickens excrete, the resulting manure is rich in nitrogen, especially the chicken’s equivalent of urine – uric acid. When the manure then becomes wet, the nitrogen decomposes and produces a gas called ammonia, which gives off a pungent smell. Adding DE to your backyard chicken care routine will make for happy, healthy chickens.

How do I use DE with my chickens?

Absorbent Products has produced several Diamotacious Earth products specially formulated for use with your backyard chicken coop.

To Help Control Odor

Activated Barn Fresh, Fresh Coop Odor Control available in both a resealable bag or jug with shaker lid. It is a safe and easy way to manage the ammonia odor and moisture levels present in your chicken coop.

Sprinkling your Diamotacious Earth over the freshly cleaned floor of your coop before laying down new litter is a safe and effective way to capture the moisture that naturally collects there.

To Aid In Preening Maintenance

Absorbent Product’s Fresh Coop Dust Bath encourages your flock’s natural daily preening maintenance. Keep their feathers in tip-top condition by promoting and enhancing their natural dust bathing behavior. 

Sprinkle a layer of DE over your chicken’s dirt and sand tub, and let the chickens work it in. As the chickens play and roll around in the dust bath, they will cover themselves with the DE infused sand. Fresh Coop Dust Bath is composed of Food Chemical Codex Grade (Food Grade) Diatomaceous Earth and Calcium Montmorillonite. This unique natural blend of Diatomaceous Earth helps to keep feathers clean by absorbing excess oils.

To Lay Strong, Beautiful Eggs

Fresh Coop Egg-Layer Grit is our soluble chicken grit that is essential for healthy, beautiful eggs. Soft, thin, or missing eggshells are a sign that your layers are calcium deficient. A proper egg-laying diet will ensure they’re getting the calcium they need while allowing you total control over their feed. Fresh Coop Egg-Layer Grit offers an excellent, natural source rich in calcium for chickens.

For chickens that are over 18 weeks old, Fresh Coop Egg-Layer Grit can be mixed with coarse grain or free-choice. Grit is designed to help the chickens’ digestive system function well and break down the food as it should. The grit also helps grind down the food in the gizzard, keeping their digestive system happy!

Are there disadvantages to using diatomaceous Earth?

There are a few things that will affect the overall usefulness of Diatomaceous Earth that you need to keep in mind.

  • Unfortunately, Diatomaceous Earth can become less effective when wet. Limiting use to inside the coop means that you will mitigate problems in areas with higher natural moisture levels. Proper storage is vital.
  • When using a deep litter system, be aware that DE is unable to distinguish between good parasites and harmful parasites. Using DE with a deep litter system means it will disable your deep litter system’s processes.

Diatomaceous earth is a remarkable and versatile poultry product for any backyard chicken coop enthusiast. Regardless of the size of your flock, you will be able to reap the benefits of Diatomaceous Earth each day for your chicken! 

For customers in the USA – To purchase any of our Absorbent Product’s Fresh Coop products, please visit our US distribution page to find the retailer nearest to you. 

For customers in Canada – Fresh Coop products can be purchased on amazon.ca or please give us a call at 1-800-667-0336 or email us at info@absorbentproductsltd.com. We would be happy to help!

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Diatomaceous Earth and Chickens: Common Uses and Application Methods

Mother hen with baby chicks

With so much information available on the web it can be hard to get a concise answer as to how diatomaceous earth products are commonly used with chickens. This article encompasses the most common uses of diatomaceous earth for chickens, providing a guide to help you discover new possible ways to use DE.

In Chicken Feed

The Benefits: Red Lake Earth Diatomaceous Earth is meant to be mixed in livestock feed as an anti-caking agent and flow aid. What this means is that the product prevents grain and feed from clumping together, as well as helping to lubricate feed materials being compressed into pellets.

Application: Red Lake Earth Diatomaceous Earth can be mixed into feed (on a daily basis) at a rate of 2% of the animals’ total diet.

As a Dust Bath

The Benefits: Many people find that food grade diatomaceous earth dust bath materials, such as Fresh Coop Dust Bath, create the perfect dust bath for their backyard birds. The DE absorbs excess oils in the feathers and helps to keep a flock happy and healthy.

Application: Most commonly, individuals spread the Fresh Coop Dust Bath powder in areas where their chickens naturally dust themselves. However, the product may also be dumped into a tub or other container and set out for the birds to use as a dust bath.

In the Coop

The Benefits: Diatomaceous Earth, specifically Fresh Coop Odor Control, is often sprinkled around chicken coops to help reduce moisture and odors, as well as dangerous ammonia levels that build up.

Application: Spread the Fresh Coop Odor Control powder around the perimeter of your coop using your hands, a small scoop or other application device. As well, apply the product in any cracks or crevices throughout the coop.

If you have any suggested uses or application methods we would love to hear from you! Share your ideas with us on facebook or contact us directly

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Poultry Mites

One of the most common problems that is faced when raising poultry is that of mites. There are several different types of mites that can infest flocks and poultry housing. These mites can result in production and economic losses as well as eventual death if the problem goes unresolved.

These mites can come from many different sources. Wild birds and rodents entering the coop may bring them in or they may be picked up at sales, auctions or shows where many birds are in close contact.

Chicken mites are the most common type that may infest your flock. Chicken mites are nocturnal and feed on the bird’s blood while they sleep at night. They are tiny and yellow or gray in color however they get darker as they feed. Chicken mites live on the skin of birds as well as in nest boxes and bedding. While they prefer chickens as their host, chicken mites may also infest turkeys, pigeons, canaries as well as wild birds. Chicken mites are also known as red mites, gray mites and roost mites. They are a particular problem in warmer climates and in poultry houses that contain wooden roosts. An infestation may cause your birds to become anemic and lethargic with pale comb and wattles.

Chicken mites are considered to be members of the spider family. They are very quick runners and live in the cracks and crevices of poultry houses, on the roosts, walls, ceiling, and floors. The spring, summer and fall months are when these mites are most active.

The most effective way to get rid of these mites is to treat the coop rather than the birds themselves. In fact, you may never see these mites on your birds unless they are examined at night.

Northern fowl mites are another common type of mite. These parasites infect many types of birds including chickens, turkeys and game birds and are thought to be carried by English sparrows. They live directly on the birds and will feed at all times. They are red/brown in color and will cause discoloration of a birds’ feathers. This discoloration is due to the eggs and waste that is left by the mite. If a flock is highly infested the birds may experience anemia leading to decreased egg production, decreased immune functioning, weight loss and many other negative side effects. Infestations may be found to be more severe during the winter months.

Treatment of the birds themselves is most effective for getting rid of these types of mites.

Scaly leg mites may also pose a threat to your poultry. These mites live on the scales of a chickens legs and feet. The scales will begin to lift and separate from the skin. The chickens legs and feet may become swollen and tender and discharge may form under the scales.

Another problem that is faced by poultry farmers is lice. Unlike mites, lice do not feed on blood but rather on dry skin scales and feathers. They have chewing mouth parts rather than the sucking mouth parts possessed by mites. Lice can be found on the skin of a bird, especially on the head, under the wings and around the vent. The chewing action of the lice as well as their movement on the skin will irritate the bird and can result in loss of appetite, weakness, lowered egg production, and susceptibility to illness.

In the case of both lice and mites, untreated birds may exhibit symptoms such as weakening, loss of appetite, emaciation, lowered egg production, lethargy, and even eventually death. It is therefore important to constantly monitor your flock and to immediately treat your birds as soon as signs of an infestation occur.

A minimum of 10 randomly selected birds should be examined for mites weekly. You can estimate the infestation level by blowing on the bird’s feathers and counting the mites you see.

If there are:

  • 5 mites counted = bird may be carrying from 100 to 300 mites
  • 6 mites counted = bird may be carrying from 300 to 1,000 mites (light infestation)
  • 7 mites counted = bird may be carrying from 1,000 to 3,000 mites – small clumps of mites seen on skin and feathers (moderate infestation)
  • 8 mites counted = bird may be carrying from 3,000 to 10,000 mites – accumulation of mites on skin and feathers (moderate to heavy infestation)
  • 9 mites counted = bird may be carrying 10,000 to 32,000 or more mites – numerous large clumps of mites seen on skin and feathers; skin pocketed with scabs (heavy infestation)

When treating for mites it is important to apply treatment to both the coop and the birds themselves. This is due to the fact that, unlike lice, some mites are able to live both on and off of their host.

A variety of treatments and preventative measures are currently available. Pesticides are a common method of treatment however mites and lice can become immune to these pesticides and therefore the technique will no longer be effective. Diatomaceous earth (such as DE-cide) may be a solution that will not become ineffective over time.

Image by furtwangl

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Backyard Chickens: Winter Tips

Chicken outside in the snow

Caring for backyard chickens during the winter months will require some additional work on your part, as cold weather can produce many challenges.

Here are some tips to consider to help keep your chickens happy and healthy during the winter season:

  • Ensure that your coop has sufficient ventilation in order to prevent moisture from building up. A damp coop during cold weather can lead to frost bite on your chickens’ feet, combs and wattles. Some people will also cover their birds’ combs and wattles with petroleum jelly to help prevent frost bite during very cold weather.
  • Don’t use a heater! This could cause a fire! Rather, provide your chickens with a thick layer of bedding to help keep them warm. Roosts are also helpful in keeping your chickens warm during the winter by keeping them off of the ground. Be sure that there is enough space for all of your birds to roost.
  • Provide your birds with an additional light source, especially during short, dark days. Providing a light source for a few extra hours per day will help to keep your hens laying throughout the winter.
  • Feed your chickens cracked corn. The addition of cracked corn will help your chickens to produce body heat. (As their body’s digest the corn, body heat is generated.)
  • Watch for freezing water! Many individuals will use electric water heaters in very cold climates. If you are not using a water heater, be sure to check and change water buckets regularly to prevent freezing. Providing warm water will also help.
  • The same is true for eggs! Be sure to collect eggs from the coop several times a day to ensure that they do not freeze.

Please note: While it is important to help your chickens stay warm during the winter, it is not necessary to entirely seal up the coop. Chickens will follow their natural instincts and will know whether they want to be inside or out. Providing your birds with an access door so that they can move in and out of the coop freely may be a good idea.

Image by n0rthw1nd

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Consumer Reports: Diatomaceous Earth and Chickens

Chicken coop

RaChelle from Jacksonville, Florida uses Diatomaceous Earth with her chickens. Below are her suggested uses and the results she has experienced.

I like your product, I use Red Lake Earth DE in my chicken feed every few months.

Fresh Coop Odor Control:

I put it diatomaceous earth in a coffee can with holes in the top to dust the area around the coop and inside the run before I put hay down. I use it inside the coop under bedding to absorb moisture, control odor, and make a nice base so that cleaning the inside is easier.

When I’m cleaning the inside of the coop I sprinkle some everywhere, then take a wire brush with a metal scraper on the edge (used for cleaning barbecue grills) and scrape waste easily [away] and the surface is free of poop and debris and ready to be cleaned and/or hosed down without scrubbing or any effort.

Fresh Coop Dust Bath:

Finally, I mix a bath for my birds using ashes (I burn hay), dirt, and DE.

Needless to say the 50 lbs bag is my best friend.

Image by Kristine Paulus