Mar 12, 2014

When Baby Chicks Need a Pedicure: Manure Balls.

Manure balls are caused by chicks walking on droppings that stick to, dry and harden on their toes. These foul, cement-like accumulations can cause problems for baby chicks and must be carefully removed.
I may need to begin referring to March as Chicken Poop Remediation month. I recently wrote about how and when I give chickens a bath and how to give baby chicks with pasty butt a modified bath, both of which were necessitated by poop. And now, my one week old chicks remind me of yet another droppings-related problem that requires a modified bath/pedicure: manure balls. Yep, you heard it here first. Manure balls. For the record: I object to the given term for this problem and wish there were a nicer descriptor, but alas...I am not in charge of such things. Manure balls are caused by chicks walking on droppings that stick to, dry and harden on their toes. These foul, cement-like accumulations can cause problems for baby chicks and must be carefully removed. 
Manure balls. For the record: I object to the given term for this problem and wish there were a nicer descriptor, but alas...I am not in charge of such things. Manure balls are caused by chicks walking on droppings that stick to, dry and harden on their toes. These foul, cement-like accumulations can cause problems for baby chicks and must be carefully removed.
So...where were we? Oh, right. Poop. 
Droppings, manure, scat, poop, waste, excrement, detritus, however one may refer to it, it is impossible for chicks to avoid walking on it even in the most meticulously attended to brooder. Manure balls that are not removed can cause a variety of problems.
Droppings, manure, scat, poop, waste, excrement, detritus, however one may refer to it, it is impossible for chicks to avoid walking on it even in the most meticulously maintained brooder. Manure balls that are not removed can cause a variety of problems.
Droppings, manure, scat, poop, waste, excrement, detritus, however one may refer to it, it is impossible for chicks to avoid walking on it even in the most meticulously attended to brooder. Manure balls that are not removed can cause a variety of problems.
POSSIBLE CONSEQUENCES
1. DEFORMED TOES AND FEET
The bones and muscles of a baby chick are flexible initially and manure balls that are allowed to remain in place can cause the toes and feet to permanently setin awkward positions, causing difficulties with normal roosting and scratching later in life.
The bones and muscles of a baby chick are flexible initially and manure balls that are allowed to remain in place can cause the toes and feet to permanently setin awkward positions, causing difficulties with normal roosting and scratching later in life.
2. FOOT INFECTIONS
We know that adult chickens can suffer from an infection known as bumblefoot, which can be caused by bacteria that enters through a laceration on the foot pad. Since chicken droppings are very high in nitrogen, when allowed to build up on the coop or brooder floor, the caustic droppings can cause the skin to break down, essentially causing a burn on the chicken’s foot, which then permits bacteria in the droppings to infect the foot. So, while we don’t usually refer to baby chicks as having bumblefoot, they certainly can get burns and foot infections from manure balls.
Since chicken droppings are very high in nitrogen, when allowed to build up on the coop or brooder floor, the droppings can cause the skin to break down, essentially causing a burn on the chicken’s foot, which then permits bacteria in the droppings to infect the foot. So, while we don’t usually refer to baby chicks as having bumblefoot, they certainly can get burns and foot infections from manure balls.
3. TOE PICKING AND CANNIBALISM
Chicks explore things with their beaks out of curiosity, boredom and natural instinct. A chick may begin picking their own toes from the irritation manure balls create, causing itself injuries. Those injuries and the manure accumulations themselves can draw unwanted attention from other chicks in the brooder, which can lead to unabated picking, serious injury, cannibalism and death.
I prefer sand in the brooder as litter, so I don’t ordinarily run into a problem with manure balls since the sand cleans their feet, but I didn’t have any sand available this week as my sand pile is currently covered in snow.  Pine shavings are my litter back-up choice.
I prefer Koop Clean or  sand in the brooder as litter, so I don’t ordinarily run into a problem with manure balls, but I keep a close eye on tiny toes anyway. 
Manure balls. For the record: I object to the given term for this problem and wish there were a nicer descriptor, but alas...I am not in charge of such things. Manure balls are caused by chicks walking on droppings that stick to, dry and harden on their toes. These foul, cement-like accumulations can cause problems for baby chicks and must be carefully removed.
Manure balls. For the record: I object to the given term for this problem and wish there were a nicer descriptor, but alas...I am not in charge of such things. Manure balls are caused by chicks walking on droppings that stick to, dry and harden on their toes. These foul, cement-like accumulations can cause problems for baby chicks and must be carefully removed.
PREVENTION
  • Provide ample space in the brooder for each chick and expand it as they grow if necessary.
  • Change litter often.
  • Check the condition of chicks’ feet regularly. Manure balls can form in a matter of hours.
Fill a small basin with lukewarm water. While holding the chick as shown, hold the chick's feet in the water to soften the droppings.
Baby chick pedicure.
TREATMENT
Fill a small basin with lukewarm water.
While holding the chick as shown, hold the chick's feet in the water to soften the droppings.
Gently remove softened droppings being careful not to pull as the skin can tear.
Towel dry.
Gently remove softened droppings being careful not to pull as the skin can tear.  Towel dry.
Chicken pedicure- skip the polish. 
Gently remove softened droppings being careful not to pull as the skin can tear.  Towel dry.
 The Chicken Chick is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
Kathy Shea Mormino, The Chicken Chick®

244 comments :

  1. I would love the book, sounds like a great one. And thanks for the tip of the chicken feet. I have 27 in my basement now. Made them a nice coop under the stairs. They (and my kids) are loving it.

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  2. Debbie Jones3/12/14, 11:13 AM

    One can never have too many cookbooks

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  3. Kelly Mosley3/12/14, 11:14 AM

    I need to do this today. I'm about to change the litter and every chick in there has nasty feet. I wish I would have let a hen raise these babies. It's soo much easier :)

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  4. Ha! Even baby chicks need a pedi!! :)

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  5. I wanna win !

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  6. Michelle Schumacher3/12/14, 11:17 AM

    Another great post, filled with stuff I didn't know yet! So glad I clicked through and read this today. We're getting our first chicks soon, and if it weren't for your blog, I would know next to nothing. Thank you! :)

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  7. Dawn E. Sarver3/12/14, 11:17 AM

    Once again Kathy you come up with topics that seem to be foretold to be needed! I hope to win as this book sounds as if it will be very interesting reading

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  8. Jacqui Ainsworth3/12/14, 11:18 AM

    My new chicks are brahmas, with feathered feet, anything to be more careful of there?

    The egg book looks great, myvkids are getting tired of french toast.

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  9. Tasha Phillips3/12/14, 11:18 AM

    Thank you

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  10. Christine Lima3/12/14, 11:23 AM

    Great review of the book - makes me want it all the more!

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  11. I love Terry Golson! She is another of my favorite "chicken ladies!"

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  12. Looks like an interesting read!

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  13. Mary Beth Hartley3/12/14, 11:28 AM

    Chickens, eggs and cooking! My favorite hobbies! Thanks for the info on chick's feet. I will be sure to check my chicks today!

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  14. Sandi Bergeron3/12/14, 11:31 AM

    Sounds like a fantastic book! A good read and eat book! Thanks for the opportunity to try and win it!

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  15. I love your blog ..it is a great source of information. I have a backyard flock of 37!

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  16. How interesting!! You have educated me on so many chicken oddities and I appreciate you!!

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  17. simply blessed.eggs in a nest3/12/14, 11:48 AM

    Do you think a soft headed toothbrush would be acceptable to use to get the softened poo off of their feet, or would it be too abrasive and tear the skin?

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  18. I am always looking for help with my chickens. This would be a good addition to my new library of helps.

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  19. manure balls huh? wow.......can I put you in charge of renaming???? LOL - thanks for this Kathy - you are amazing!

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  20. More excellent information. I thought the book might be from you, but this sounds like a very interesting book.

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  21. Wow learn something new everyday. Your blog is fantastic.

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  22. Rhonda Voorhis3/12/14, 12:26 PM

    i hope i win, i am just getting started with chickens am fixing up a coop and hope to have everything set within a month or two!

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  23. Cheers to the elimination of Manure Balls! That's better than saying 'Poo Balls', I guess.

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  24. Nancy Addington Tye3/12/14, 12:42 PM

    Thank you for all the info, I have learned so much.

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  25. Jessica Shankle3/12/14, 12:47 PM

    I just love your page!!! we recently got chickens and from all the research and information I got from your site, I noticed one of the chickens had a blocked vent and I was able to help it!! Thank you so much!!

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  26. Brenda Hollmann3/12/14, 12:52 PM

    Kathy ~ I learn something NEW here everyday you post an article!!! Chickens are easy to get but there is responsibility when you have them...and thanks to you, I know I can come to your site and learn what to do for just about anything. And the best part is, if I can't find it, all I have to do is ask and you respond! Best site on the Internet! Keep it up!!

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  27. Melissa Wittner3/12/14, 1:03 PM

    This happened to one of my adult birds. It looks amusing, but I could tell she was so uncomfortable. Luckily it rained the day I noticed it and it was gone the next.

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  28. I don't have a lot of this with the fine pine bedding, either. I just keep it changed out and use the used bedding as mulch.

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  29. Love your blog! I've learned so much!

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  30. That is a cool book I have it in my amazon cart just in case I do not win. it has been two years since we lost all in the house fire. The hardest of course was our pets. We finally are narrowing down house choices to get out of this tiny rental . I miss my animals. I may only be able to keep 3-4 chickens at the house we like but I want to give them the healthiest environment. Have to check the zoning laws but do the chickens make too much noise for a suburban neighborhood where the houses are right on top of each other? I never payed attention in the country to the noise levels of the animals. Most zoning here is about nuisance to neighbors. Do you have sound barrier advice beyond wooden fence? I am thinking of plants Thanks

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  31. Joy Johnson3/12/14, 1:15 PM

    Sounds like a great cookbook for us chicken lovers! :)

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  32. Maria Campbell3/12/14, 1:17 PM

    That was very interesting. I come in from cleaning the droppings board and tell my husband what really great poop the chickens are making, it looks just like the pictures on the Chick's blog. Total silence. Then he says, "You have an interesting life." Truer words have never been spoken. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  33. Alison Drouillard3/12/14, 1:31 PM

    Very excited about the cook book.

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  34. Alicia Charmbury3/12/14, 1:32 PM

    Looks like a great book!

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  35. I best go check the feet on our baby chicks, thank you for the advice.
    Cheers!
    izzi~avis

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  36. Love reading all the helpful advice! Thanks :)

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  37. Looks like a wonderful book! Thanks for the giveaway opportunity!

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  38. Well, I don't know if manure and cookbooks should be in the same post.....however, I am always interested in new egg recipes, and Terry's book looks very enticing!

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  39. Robin Lake Reints3/12/14, 2:04 PM

    Thank you for the giveaways! How fun, a book on cooking with eggs. I'd love one!

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  40. Valerie Jensen3/12/14, 2:07 PM

    You always have such great info and delivered with a quick wit I enjoy!

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  41. Esther widgren3/12/14, 2:10 PM

    Love chicks! Even their little poopy feet are cute!

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  42. Beth Simicich3/12/14, 2:12 PM

    Would love to win the Farmstead Egg Guide & Cookbook. Sounds like a great reference book. Sure could use more recipes in order to use up our bountiful chicken gifts.

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  43. TheChickenChick3/12/14, 2:31 PM

    Thanks Valerie. :)

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  44. TheChickenChick3/12/14, 2:33 PM

    Just keep an eye on it to be sure nobody picks it. If you have Vetericyn, spray it with that several times a day. If it looks infected and as if it's spreading, you'll need to treat her for the infection.

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  45. TheChickenChick3/12/14, 2:34 PM

    LOL Maria!!!!!!!!!!

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  46. TheChickenChick3/12/14, 2:36 PM

    Thanks Laurie!

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  47. Another great giveaway ! Love your page !

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  48. TheChickenChick3/12/14, 2:37 PM

    Thank you Brenda!

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  49. TheChickenChick3/12/14, 2:38 PM

    I'm happy you knew what to do, Jessica!

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  50. Lisa Battersby Fernandez3/12/14, 2:42 PM

    Great post! Thanks for all the info. I hope I am a good chickie mama.

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  51. I showed this to my daughter who is a nail tech. We both enjoyed your chicken pedicure blog post. :)

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  52. I police cook books

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  53. Julie Drigot3/12/14, 3:27 PM

    Kathy, It's okay with me that you're talkin poop!. At first I thought you were talking about poop balls on grown hens, which has been something I've had to watch out for here in WI. I've had to cut large poop balls that have frozen to the butts of my large hens. This has happened here with temperatures that have been -20 degrees at times. Luckily spring is coming!

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  54. Melinda Vaikasiene3/12/14, 3:30 PM

    a new book. Nothing better on a windy evening than to snuggle up to a good book.

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  55. Angela Rhoads3/12/14, 3:34 PM

    I can always use a new cook book, and with so many eggs to use up this one sounds great. Thanks for all your well thought out and excellent advice. Keep up the good work.

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  56. Would love to win

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  57. This sounds like a great cookbook! Yes to learning more about eggs, but more recipes featuring eggs is right up our alley. We use 27 eggs every time we have eggs for breakfast!

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  58. Valerie McNaught Rogers3/12/14, 4:55 PM

    the article was informative, thanks for the info and the book looks like a good one

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  59. Sounds like a great cookbook! Would love to add it to my cookbook collection! :-)

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  60. Tracy Harden3/12/14, 4:58 PM

    More egg recipes! When I first read this, I thought it said manicure balls! LOL

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  61. Can always use more ideas on cooking with eggs!

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  62. Becky Lovett Kulis3/12/14, 6:00 PM

    I'm new at this and will get my chicks next week. You have a wealth of information that I have been reading everyday since I found you about 2-3 weeks ago. I thought I read to use pads when I first get my chicks. If so, when should I switch from pads to sand in the brooder?

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  63. Great tips, Kathy! Thanks for another giveaway (=

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  64. My layers are getting old and I need some new chicks - I am also in Connecticut, do you have any good recommendations for layer chicks? Great site! Thanks for the inspiration.

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  65. I enjoy your blog and learn a lot. Please enter me in the contest. Blessings. nancythedove@aol.com Nancy Carr

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  66. Well all the poop related info is obviously very important. Thank you so much for the lessons. I don't have chickens yet but am learning so when I move this year I will be ready with some know how.

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  67. Karrie Sedlmeyer3/12/14, 7:17 PM

    YAY!! a cookbook!!! with eggs!!!! very cool.......

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  68. Teri Robinson3/12/14, 7:20 PM

    That soufflé looks amazing!

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  69. Thanks for.the tips! I've been looking for an egg cookbook too. :)

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  70. Sylvie Aguilar3/12/14, 7:25 PM

    I had the chance to meet Terry at one of her talks...I now have 6 hens of my own!

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  71. Andrea Manfredo3/12/14, 7:31 PM

    Great article, when are you going to put them all in a book? Until then enter me in the giveaway.

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  72. Cool discussion. So far so good that I haven't had this problem but since a new batch of chicks will be coming in a few months, I can keep a better eye on them! :)

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  73. I d love to win a cookbook. But I can't ever figure out how to enter. I already subscribe yo the newsletter.

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  74. Meg Kapla Oursler3/12/14, 7:47 PM

    sounds like a great book!

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  75. Linda J. Walker3/12/14, 7:47 PM

    Enter me please!

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  76. Valerie Cottingham3/12/14, 7:48 PM

    We devour eggs and need more ways to do it! :)

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  77. Mmmmm eggs....droool

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  78. I would so love this..I am now the proud owner of a brood of 23 chicks. My first attempt!

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  79. Suea N Oldkid3/12/14, 7:59 PM

    I would so love a cookbook of egg recipes! Hold the manure balls, please!

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  80. Great giveaway!

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  81. theresaoconnell3/12/14, 8:03 PM

    Looks like a terrific book!BTW, love your tips. Hoping to start my flock this spring!

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  82. Tracy Spangler3/12/14, 8:03 PM

    Hello! I have the pleasure of subscribing to your blog via email, Twitter, Google + and Bloglovin'. Thanks for all the wonderful posts that help me care for my chickens the best I can!

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  83. Tracy Spangler3/12/14, 8:05 PM

    The Farmstead Egg Guide and Cookbook looks fantastic and the recipes sound divine! At first I thought you wrote it- how lovely of you to put the word out about it for a friend and to offer such a great giveaway to us at the same time. Thanks so much! I will definitely be looking for this book at my local bookstore! Have a great day!

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  84. Heidi Nawrocki3/12/14, 8:07 PM

    What a cool cookbook!

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  85. fivedonlans3/12/14, 8:07 PM

    can't wait to read this book. It was featured in the Boston Globe this past weekend. She will also be at the Concord Ma bookstore this Sunday!

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  86. Sounds like a great read! I love cookbooks and how much better that it's about chickens and eggs!

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  87. Jody Ita Smith3/12/14, 8:10 PM

    Crazy this came just hours after my chicks arrived!! I noticed in your pic. That u start them on paper towels like I do. Do u see this foot problemoften when using that bedding? Either way I will keep an eye on their little toes, and keep their brooder cleaned up!

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  88. Michelle Chun3/12/14, 8:16 PM

    I can't say that I've ever considered manure balls. What a strange and wonderfully informative post. Thanks Kathy!

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  89. Please enter me in the contest, and thank you for hosting this great giveaway!

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  90. Our sweets get this method often!

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  91. Wow! I always have more eggs than ideas. I would love to win this new book.

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  92. Woohoo! An egg cookbook! As always, thanks for a chance to win!

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  93. I would love to add this cookbook to my collection. I just started to collect them. My mom has this habit..ahhh, I mean hobby and now I do also. :) Thanks Chicken Chic for your dedication with your blogs. Your site is my go to place for any and all questions regarding my girls.

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  94. Romi Schlem3/12/14, 9:09 PM

    I love cookbooks and recipes with eggs, the more the better! Thank you for a great blog and the prizes you giveaway!

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  95. Carolyn Zewe3/12/14, 9:14 PM

    Thanks for posting this! Now I'm going to check all my chicks' feet.

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  96. TheChickenChick3/12/14, 9:22 PM

    LOL. Thanks Kathleen!

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  97. TheChickenChick3/12/14, 9:22 PM

    LOL! Had to be said, Michelle. :)

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  98. TheChickenChick3/12/14, 9:23 PM

    Yes, which is why I only use paper towels until the problem begins.

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  99. Book looks great, would love a copy! Thanks as always for the great giveaways Chicken Chick :)

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  100. We had to do this just last month with our 3 new babies, I wish I had this info then! I just let them run around in a plastic tub with an inch of warm water until the poop fell off. I didn't know if I was doing it right or not!

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  101. This is some of the best info I have ever seen. The topics are the best and hard to find any were. Thanks so much

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  102. What a great cover! I bet the contents are even better.

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  103. Jennifer Sites3/12/14, 9:39 PM

    I love cookbooks and eggs :)

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  104. would love to have this cook book

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  105. Looks like a fun cookbook.

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  106. Renee Bonneau Sturgis3/12/14, 9:53 PM

    Thank you so much! We have had to deal with this once on one of our grown chickens after a particularly wet week in Florida. We used to use cob bedding but thanks to guidance from you we have switched to sand bedding and that has helped a lot. But this is always a concern particularly with chicks. Thanks again!

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  107. I would love to win this cookbook. I'm always looking for recipes that would make me eat eggs more. I'm not crazy about eggs so I end up giving most of them away!

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  108. The cookbook looks great. We're enjoying our small flock of chickens.

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  109. Teresa Riddick3/12/14, 10:41 PM

    great info.

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  110. Grace Murray3/12/14, 10:50 PM

    Manure balls huh? Now I've heard it all. I will watch my new little ones carefully. Well I always do but I don't usually check their toes carefully. Fun, fun, fun...

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  111. Robin Guerra3/12/14, 10:53 PM

    Oh what a nice thing to have, an egg cookbook. Thank you for the info on poop!

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  112. Lavender Chick3/12/14, 10:59 PM

    cool book.

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  113. What?? No polish! Oh well. What I have learned from you, however, is that red polish might cause some nasty toe picking - right? You have taught me so much about chickens. Thank you. I would love to win that book - thanks for the opportunity!

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  114. Robin Guerra3/12/14, 11:03 PM

    The info on poop was great, I would love the cookbook.

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  115. Karen Fessler3/12/14, 11:18 PM

    I would love to win this book...thanks.

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  116. I love all of your health related posts, and poo usually brings up issues that we wouldn't think of ourselves!

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  117. Yet another informative poop article! It amazes me just how much I deal with poop when it comes to my chickens!! That will all pay off very soon when my compost hits my garden!! Thanks again for all the information.

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  118. I would love to have an egg cookbook to round out my collection of cookbooks. Thanks for all the helpful hints to help us raise our chickens .

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  119. TheChickenChick3/13/14, 12:33 AM

    Thanks! :)

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  120. I would LOVE to win this cookbook.

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  121. Very interesting information I learn something every time I read your blog.

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  122. Great info. I'd love the book

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  123. jody Andrews3/13/14, 4:24 AM

    Pasty butt, manure balls and poop!! Oh my. Love your blog.

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  124. Just had my first experience with sticky bum so it is good to know I should look out for this, too!

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  125. Monica Johnson3/13/14, 6:43 AM

    Hope to win the book, but if I don't win it I will definitely buy it!

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  126. love those poop covered toes. I often wonder if i should wash the big girls feet, some are just yucky to put it mildly, especially the feathered feet of my Buff Brahma, Chloe.
    We eat a lot of eggs here, always interested in more ways to serve them and this new book looks like a fun and informative gem that would do the trick! Thanks for giving us another opportunity to win a great prize!!
    love your thoughts and researched articles!

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  127. Wow! great article. Thanks Kathy. Am headed to check the chicks feet now.

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  128. thanks for your informative posts and the chance at this book.

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  129. TheChickenChick3/13/14, 9:00 AM

    Thanks for asking, Andrea. Some day? :)

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  130. Seramasoncall3/13/14, 9:28 AM

    Ducks get manure balls, too. Yuck! I'd love to win the book.

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  131. Thank You again for all the great info. Glad to know I was doing it right, if your kids have dirty feet, you wash them.

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  132. jonquil alexia3/13/14, 10:24 AM

    That is one resigned looking chick! ;) I follow you via Bloglovin (never sure if it's under Petoskystone or Jonquil Alexia) & Twitter (@jonquilsgrdn).

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  133. plan to start a flock this spring. The information you share has given me the courage to move forward and experience the joy of chickens

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  134. Kathleen Immel Cross3/13/14, 10:33 AM

    I had this issue with some chicks I brought home last fall. They came to me that way. I did soak their little toeseys in warm water. I wasn't aware this issue had a name! Now I know. Is it proper to use a large plastic/rubber tote as a temporary brooder? A friend told me that's what he uses for the first week or 10 days. He has a brooder light suspended over it.

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  135. Evelyn Qualls3/13/14, 11:14 AM

    I would love to receive The Farmstead Egg Guide and Cookbook. I still LOVE the way my hubby scrambles our eggs, fries, hard boils, etc. Great article. Still a couple of days to go before we will have chicks in the brooder.......cannot wait for newbies.

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  136. Sara Amerine3/13/14, 11:14 AM

    Thanks for this this post. I didn't know this.
    Thanks for the giveaway too!

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  137. Sounds yummy! Please enter me in the giveaway... and thank you for all your awesome info!

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  138. Thank you for sharing!

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  139. yawningreyhound3/13/14, 1:04 PM

    So much good information here! This blog has become my chicken rearing bible. Great coookbook photos, can't wait to see it.

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  140. I just love your blogs! You are such a inspiration to us all! Your so helpful and I've learned so much from your posts. Thank you for a chance to win.

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  141. Jennifer Bier Thompson3/13/14, 2:26 PM

    another reason i will probably not raise chicks again. can't wait to win the book, though!

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  142. I have never claimed to be a very good cook. We will I hope have an abundance if eggs. Having a guide and cookbook is a win win situation for me.

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  143. Darcy Farrens3/13/14, 3:06 PM

    Who would of thought that those cute little chicks could have such issues! I would love to add this cookbook to my collection! Thank you Kathy.

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  144. Payne Farm Eggs3/13/14, 3:07 PM

    I love, love, love cookbooks! Have some I have used so much they are being held together by rubber bands. This would be a perfect cookbook for me since I have lots of hens so, needless to say lots of eggs! Oh, did I mention I cook all the time for my family and extended family! You should come by one Sunday. I was raised that if at no other time, a family should gather together on Sunday to thank God for His bounty and care , break bread (and a few other items), and fellowship together. I hope my children and my beautiful grandchildren will remember this and continue the tradition!!!

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  145. Jennifer Jarman3/13/14, 3:31 PM

    Brilliant! :D

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  146. Enter me in the giveaway !

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  147. Frances Weathersby LeClair3/13/14, 4:48 PM

    Thank you for the great information! This will help!! Also, Thank you for the chance to win an awesome book!

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  148. Would love to win the cook book! Also enjoy all your articles even tho I don't own any chickens, I am learning things that are really interesting!

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  149. Tara Karpinski3/13/14, 5:33 PM

    Love the info in your posts and would love to have a book with lots of ideas for the eggs

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  150. Good tip - been there! The book looks interesting too!

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  151. Heather Warnock3/13/14, 7:28 PM

    Poo toes, just another fun unexpected thing for first time chick parents to deal with lol :)

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  152. TheChickenChick3/13/14, 7:46 PM

    Thank you Sue!

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  153. Candy Halford3/13/14, 8:49 PM

    I have been blessed that I haven't had this problem so far. I thank you for making me aware of it and how to handle it. There is a lot of things I don't consider until I see them when I raise my babies, mainly because I don't know to look for them. Your blog has been a big help and influence on me. Thank you.

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  154. I have one chick who is just THE MASTER at getting here ickle toes into cecal poop. Ick!

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  155. TheChickenChick3/13/14, 9:47 PM

    Now is a good time to pick up chicks at any feed store, Dawn. I don't recommend getting older birds from other flocks- it's just too dangerous from a flock biosecurity standpoint.

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  156. TheChickenChick3/13/14, 9:47 PM

    No mold developed in mine. I poked drainage holes in the bottom of the bag.

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  157. TheChickenChick3/13/14, 9:48 PM

    I use puppy training pads underneath paper towels for the first 3-5 days then switch over to sand after that.

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  158. TheChickenChick3/13/14, 9:49 PM

    Lol! I would have if I could have thought of something clever!

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  159. TheChickenChick3/13/14, 9:50 PM

    It's probably overkill. Once it's softened, it pops off fairly easily in one piece.

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  160. TheChickenChick3/13/14, 9:50 PM

    Thank you Candy, happy to help!

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  161. Bev Thacker3/13/14, 9:50 PM

    Good info - thanks.

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  162. I love your posts! I want some chicks, so this post in particular may come in handy. Thank you!

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  163. ok, thanks. There are a few in the area that sell new chicks, I wouldn't have brought in older hens for the same reason. I'll keep reading for tips and topics.

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  164. Patricia Lessard3/13/14, 11:27 PM

    Thanks for the information! The book looks interesting.

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  165. I've had chickens for 15+ years and have found your site to be very informative - thanks so much for sharing your knowledge and information! I'm going to try sand; not sure how it will work here in fire ant country (south AL), but it sounds like it will work better than anything else I've tried (pine/cedar shavings, shredded tree trimmings, shredded paper, sawdust, wheat straw....if it can be composted I'll try it...).

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  166. TheChickenChick3/14/14, 2:15 AM

    Thanks Mrs. L! Please let me know how it works out for you.

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  167. I am currently raising my first EVER chicks! Arry (the Silver Laced-Wyandotte) Winnie, (the Ameraucana) and Lena (the Buff Orpington). And I LOVE them!

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  168. Sweet Apple Farm3/14/14, 11:37 AM

    I told myself I would not get any chicks this year, just take care of my girls I already have....then I get on your website.........dreaming of little chirps!

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  169. Nancy Powell3/14/14, 1:51 PM

    Thanks so much for all of your wonderful posts!

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  170. I'm looking at the photo of your brooder with the sand, could you tell me about the white dish under the water bottle? I will be getting chicks for the first time in April and I'm busy collecting all sorts of info. Your site is remarkable and adorable and extremely helpful especially since you're in the North country like me!

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  171. Christy Abrams3/14/14, 2:01 PM

    love your blog!

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  172. none of my other chicken books covered this! thanks so much for the info!

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  173. Getting my chicks tomorrow. Love your blog. I have been reading it to prepare for their arrival.

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  174. TheChickenChick3/14/14, 8:00 PM

    Lucky you! Enjoy!

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  175. TheChickenChick3/14/14, 8:07 PM

    HA! Enabling at its finest! :)

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  176. TheChickenChick3/14/14, 8:11 PM

    That's to catch the water drops that the chickens miss.

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  177. I never would have thought of this. Thanks for the heads up. I'm picking up a pair of Wheaten Marans chicks tomorrow, and will make sure that I keep an eye out for this.

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  178. Brande Donoho Vogele3/14/14, 11:36 PM

    Love your blog...even when you talk about poo!

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  179. maureen sollman3/15/14, 8:52 AM

    This would be a wonderful cookbook!! :) I'm beginning to think that the white stuff will never leave! I did see my very first robin 2 days ago..that is certainly a good sign! Maureen from Michigan

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  180. Vivian Hogue3/15/14, 10:32 AM

    Always looking for ways to use up eggs :)

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  181. Kelly Miller3/15/14, 10:35 AM

    I read your blog everyday.

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  182. Michelle Boyero3/15/14, 10:36 AM

    Looks like a great cookbook! Love your blog and thanks for being so knowledgeable and showing us the way to be great chicken moms and dads. :)

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  183. Yvette Carpenter3/15/14, 10:36 AM

    I learn something new every time I go to your blog & webpage. Thanks.

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  184. Desiree F Sovinski3/15/14, 10:36 AM

    My canary came to me with poop ball feet. It was an easy fix

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  185. Kristie Fontaine3/15/14, 10:38 AM

    I love all the information you share on your blog. Your recent posts about using sand as litter has me seriously considering it for my little flock. I don't have any little fluffy butts right now, but when we decide to expand our flock this information will come in handy.

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  186. Would love this book!

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  187. I swear I learn something new every day on this blog, also be getting chicks in April, eggcited!

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  188. Kathleen Potter Storch3/15/14, 10:45 AM

    Love your blog

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  189. Becky Hansen Carlin3/15/14, 10:45 AM

    Trying to hatch our own for the first time..we've seemed to have become addicted to their antics, even if naughty sometimes. We sell eggs to cover expenses and provide simple, healthy food for us and our children's families. I think I NEED this book! Pick me!

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  190. I would love to add this book to my collection

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  191. No new chicks this year, just taking care of the girls who came to roost here last spring, but there will eventually be new chicks one day. As always, great information.

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  192. Darcey Byrne3/15/14, 10:57 AM

    Had some quality peep time yesterday stopping at the farm store. Got to hold a peep and it happily fell asleep in my hands. Would love to win more books for the library!

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  193. Please enter me

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  194. Another great article :) So far so good as I have not had this issue. Thank you for sharing :)

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  195. I could always use another cookbook!!

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  196. Dennis Doyle3/15/14, 11:17 AM

    good luck to all! thanks Kathy!

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  197. Could use this book!

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  198. I would love to win this! My daughters and I just ordered this years chicks!

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  199. I would love to win the book! Please enter me!

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