your hands thoroughly before and after handling eggs. Store all eggs with the larger ends
facing up at 50-55 degrees. If you are preserving fertilized eggs for sale you will want to
keep them at a 55 degree temperature and you will have to turn the eggs daily until they
are placed in an incubator. The sooner they are place in an incubator the better — they will
remain hatchable for approximately five to seven days.
Give them vaccine
There is controversy over whether to vaccinate poultry. However veterinarians recommend
that poultry be vaccinated due to the number of severe diseases that can affect chickens
such as Marek's Disease a particularly virulent and deadly disease.
Keep everything clean
One way to prevent disease is by adhering to strict guidelines for cleanliness with the flock.
It is essential that the coops and surrounding areas be kept clean and there should always
be clean water available for the chickens.
By keeping coop areas clean and providing enough space, ventilation and fresh water for
the chickens you are going a long way in helping to maintain the health of the flock. Keep
a vigilant eye on the flock so that if one is showing signs of illness it can be taken care of
right away. As a precaution do not bring new chickens into an established flock right away.
Any new chicks or chickens should be isolated for a few weeks to ensure healthiness.
Protect them from bad weather
Chickens are affected by weather extremes of cold or hot weather and rain. The living con-
ditions for chickens should provide basic care at all times including reasonable temperat-
ures, dry conditions, and free from draught or high winds. If your chickens have a pen area
and you live in an area where there is a lot of snow or rain, provide a tarp or covered area
for the flock.
Maintain a regular check-up
If you are running a poultry business whether it is commercial or just a backyard operation,
you have made an investment in your poultry and in their health. It is a good idea to have
them checked over on a regular basis to ensure good health.
Consult a Veterinarian
You will find it is necessary to use veterinary care for your chickens. Just like any other
animal, chickens can get sick and they can get hurt. Be sure to find a veterinarian that is
familiar with poultry in your area.