Ep. 147 Managing a Mixed Flock

Interview with Patrick Biggs Ph.D. and editor Jessica Mitchell

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In this episode of Mother Earth News and Friends, Patrick Biggs, Ph.D. from Purina chats with editor Jessica Mitchell about how to manage a mixed species flock in your backyard. Patrick covers what you should consider when wanting to raise a diversity of birds, including spacing, personalities and potential conflicts among species, and mixed-species flock care, such as nutrition and water.

Patrick Biggs, Ph.D.

Senior Nutritionist and Companion Animal Technical Solutions at Purina

It started with a college job at the pet store. Patrick brought home a cockatiel, and from then on, he was all birds all the time, going on to specialize in poultry nutrition.

As passionate as backyard flock owners are, the modern chicken is not as easy to manage as the chickens our grandparents kept.  Patrick helps people sort fact from fiction to keep their chickens happy, healthy, and productive. He guides flock fanatics on oyster shells and chick treats, brown vs. white eggs, and caring for an older hen that’s become a pet.

Patrick holds a master’s and doctorate from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. There, he looked at different ways to manage flocks without antibiotics. He continues the work at Purina by developing feeds with prebiotics and probiotics to keep birds healthy.

Additional Resources:


Hear more from Patrick in our previous episodes:
Prepare to Care for Baby Chicks
Preparing for Chicks

Want more details on pasturing poultry? Check out our podcast episodes on pasturing geese and ducks and poultry fencing.


 Our Podcast Team:

Carla Tilghman and Jessica Mitchell
Music: “Improvisation: Fast Blues in A” by Reverend Gary Davis

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The Mother Earth News and Friends Podcast is a production of Ogden Publications.

  • Updated on May 13, 2022
  • Originally Published on May 12, 2022
Tagged with: chickens, Ducks, flock, geese, Mixed species, Patrick Biggs, poultry, Purina, turkeys