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Eggshell Quality Problems In Layer Flocks

Click here to view as a pdf: Eggshell Quality Problems In Layer Flocks  

By Nele Leiterman, D.V.M.

The purpose of any layer flock is to produce one of America’s favorite protein sources: eggs.

Eggs are a unique food in the fact that they go from farm to the consumer’s table largely unaltered. Therefore, any egg with visible imperfections of the eggshell needs to be sorted out and cannot be sold as is. Producers keep a close eye on the appearance of their eggs. While many deformities might look scary and immediately raise the concern of a serious issue like diseases, they very often have benign or easy to fix causes.

The main factors that affect eggs are most often nutrition, maturity of the bird, management factors like lighting, and stress. Infectious diseases are a rarer cause of eggshell deformities.

This article will help you to identify the kind of deformity, the cause, and offer problem solving strategies.

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Free-Ranging Your Family Flock

Click here to view as a pdf: Free-Ranging Your Family Flock

By Alex Austin, B.S.

Raising and keeping your own small flock of poultry has grown in popularity over the last few years. These small backyard flocks are often allowed out of the chicken run to free-range around the property. Free-ranging is believed to improve chicken welfare as it provides the opportunity to move freely outdoors, increases exposure to sunlight, and provides greater opportunities for natural behaviors. Although there are many benefits to free-ranging chickens, it is also important to be aware of some of the challenges faced when doing this.

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Ordering Spring Chicks

Order your Spring Chicks with Crystal Creek today!

Young chicks on their first adventure outdoors

We’re cooperating with 2 Wisconsin hatcheries that are providing our customers with healthy baby chicks:

Sunnyside Hatchery & Abendroth Hatchery

Find all available breeds and prices in our chick order form: Crystal Creek Chick Order Form 2023

We offer many different breeds of chicken. Layer breeds like White Leghorns and ISA Browns. Dual Purpose and Heritage breeds like Orpingtons, Barred Plymouth Rocks, Australops, and Speckled Sussex, to only name a few. The portfolio also includes layer breeds that have special feather colors, like Lavender Orpingtons or Sapphire Gems. Breeds like Easter Eggers, Americana, and Marans lay diversely colored eggs from dark chocolate-brown to blue and green. And lastly, the offering even includes some very rare breeds like Bielefelder, Cream Legbars, and Polish.

Check out the sheet linked above to get the full list!

French Wheaten Maran

Blue-laced Red Wyandotte

Lavender Orpington

Barred Plymouth Rock



How does the “Chick Order” Work?

We can take your order and place it with the hatchery as soon as you decide what kind of birds you want to have.

This way we can make sure your ideal delivery date can be achieved (or at least a day very close to your perfect date).

Both hatcheries have one dedicated hatch day per week. That means that Sunnyside chicks usually will be arriving on Tuesdays and Abendroth chicks come in on Thursdays. You can pick the week of hatching and delivery with your order.

On the delivery date, the one-day-old chicks will be shipped overnight and our staff will pick your precious cargo up from the post office right away when the post office opens its doors.

We will put the baby chicks in a pre-warmed incubator in our warehouse with fresh chick starter feed, water with Aloe Vera juice, and heat lamps. You then have the complete business day to pick your baby chicks up from our office.


Starting Your Chicks Off Right

Under the following link you will find our article on staPoultry Webinar Chick Selectionrting chicks right: click here


And here you’ll find the link to our Spring Chick Webinar recorded in 2022: Spring Chick Webinar Here 





The Right Supplies

Family Flock® Turkey Starter, Grower



Our Family Flock Chick Starter feed is the perfect complete feed for the first weeks of life of your chicks.









Crystal Creek’s Aloe Vera Juice is the perfect choice as an additive for baby chick’s drinking water. It will help with the stress of transportation, encourage the chicks to drink more, and help with the digestion of their first meal. Just one ounce per gallon of drinking water is enough. Drinking water with Aloe should be exchanged and freshly prepared daily.





Spring Poultry WEBINAR

Crystal Creek® recorded a Spring Chick Webinar to supply you with useful information on breed selection, disinfection techniques, and general poultry nutrition.

Call us today at 1-888-376-6777 or email your name, phone number, and the email address you would like to receive webinar sign-up information at:

Watch the Webinar on YouTube under the following link:


Egg Yolk Color And How To Manage It

Click here to view as a pdf:  Egg Yolk Color And How To Manage It

By Dan Leiterman

Food color and presentation matter. Color is an important sensory factor that helps consumers determine food quality and its potential health benefits. Richly colored egg yolks, for example, can only come from healthy layers that have been fed a well-balanced, nutrient-rich diet. Hens need to be healthy enough to convert their diet properly in order to pass critical nutrients into the egg (primarily the yolk). Egg yolks are an excellent source of key nutrient-dense compounds such as proteins, fats, minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and trace minerals that are essential to our good health. Consumers associate a strong yolk color with a healthy, nutrient-rich food. There is a growing market demand for eggs with rich yolk coloring.

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Biosecurity in Poultry

As the days become longer and temperatures increase, we can sense that spring is upon us. Spring brings us new opportunities and experiences. Many poultry enthusiasts are starting their own backyard flocks for the first time while others are introducing new birds to an existing flock. With these events, we would like to remind our poultry raisers of the importance of a good biosecurity protocol.

The key to preventing diseases, such as Newcastle disease, and maintaining a healthy flock of your own starts with good biosecurity practices.  Contact Crystal Creek® today to learn more about how you can protect your birds from common pathogens and health risks.




Heat Stress In Poultry

Click here to view as a pdf:  Heat Stress In Poultry

By Stephanie Hutsko, PhD

Simply put, heat stress occurs when a bird’s core temperature is higher than its thermoneutral zone (Figure 1). A thermoneutral zone is a temperature range in which an animal does not use any additional energy to maintain its normal core body temperature. Heat stress is a result of a negative balance between the energy transfer from the bird’s body to its environment and the amount of heat energy produced by the bird. This imbalance can be caused by multiple factors such as ambient temperature, humidity, air movement, metabolism rate and thermal irradiation. Effects can range from mild distress to death.

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Interpreting The Value Of A Livestock Mineral

Click here to view as a pdf:  Interpreting The Value Of A Livestock Mineral

Customer Favorite This article was originally published in the April 2012 Issue of the Crystal Creek® Newsletter

By Dan Leiterman

The goal of this article is to offer insight in determining the value of a livestock mineral. The value can be determined by combining the information supplied on the label and visual observation of the mineral itself, along with some basic ingredient knowledge. A critical analysis will consider ingredient quality, nutrient bioavailability and possible negative, unintended consequences associated with poor ingredient quality or inappropriate formulation techniques.

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Understanding Biofilms In Agriculture – Republished as a Customer Favorite

Click here to view as a pdf:  Understanding Biofilms In Agriculture Customer Favorite1

Customer Favorite This article was originally published in the April 2017 Issue of the Crystal Creek® Newsletter

By:  Jessica Getschel, B.S.

In agriculture today, sanitation technique and protocol implementation have become more important than ever before. An increased awareness of health benefits gained from a clean environment has stimulated a higher standard of cleaning expectations. Many producers not only strive to remove organic matter from surfaces, but also microbial buildup; more accurately, biofilms.

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Recognizing The Need For Disinfection In Your Poultry Operation

Click here to view as a pdf:  Recognizing The Need For Disinfection In Your Poultry Operation 

By Stephanie Hutsko, PhD

Why do we need to have a disinfection plan in place when working with livestock, especially poultry? One word: pathogens.

Pathogens are bacteria or viruses that, when exposure levels are high enough, can cause disease. When bacteria are left uncontrolled, their numbers grow quickly, wreaking havoc on the birds exposed to them. A common parasite associated with poultry, Eimeria sp, can lead to coccidiosis. Common bacteria associated with poultry include Salmonella and E. coli, both of which can lead to food safety concerns. The main poultry viruses we are concerned about are Newcastle disease, Marek’s disease and Avian Influenza.

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