As another spring quickly approaches, and thousands of newcomers embark on keeping backyard chickens, I once again have to emphasize the importance of where you get your information. You have to ask yourself: Are you looking for entertainment, or education?
Sure, there is room for both, but unfortunately the entertainment providers that do a good job sharing cute chicken pictures, cute chicken jokes, and cute homemade chicken recipes ultimately cross over to providing educational information for which they are not qualified to dish out.
Sure, they can provide “This is what I do” and “This worked for me” information, but that is a slippery slope when it comes to the health of your flock which you have a lot of time and money invested in.
Can you tell true from false?
Just this week for example, on a newly-launched chicken podcast, I heard the following comments:
"White Leghorns lay two eggs every day.”
“Hatchery chickens lay all their eggs in two years.”
“Most of the chicks purchased in retail farm and garden stores are vaccinated.”
All of these are absurd statements because they are all FALSE statements! Hopefully, there were not a lot of listeners to get mislead by this misinformation, but the podcast is out there for anyone to listen to at any time, including the new beginners.
One chicken-related television show that is out there (being aired on some station no one has ever heard of at 3:30 a.m., fortunately) fact checks nothing they allow to air. I know this because I asked the producer. They allow their guests to spout off anything they want, and then they let the cards fall where they may.
One popular chicken blogger has made the statement, "Giving probiotics to baby chicks reduces the risk of Salmonella in eggs and other diseases later in life" because they read a study that showed giving probiotics to broilers and meat chickens seems to be beneficial. Really? How can you even come up with this correlation?
I could go on and on, but I will digress. Yes, doing your research is important, but it’s equally important to research correct information provided by poultry professionals, especially when it come to the heath of your flock.
So, as spring approaches, please be careful about where you are getting your information. Do you want entertainment, or education? Each one is—and should be kept—separate.