Ep. 139 Preparing for Chicks

Interview with Patrick Biggs, PhD

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by Adobestock/Uros Petrovic

Sponsored by Purina Mills

In this episode of Mother Earth News and Friends, Dr. Patrick Biggs breaks down how to prepare for the arrival of baby chicks and beginning poultry in your urban/suburban space – including assessing your space, gathering the right supplies, and setting up the brooder so you can successfully raise healthy backyard chicks.

Senior Nutritionist and Companion Animal Technical Solutions at Purina Mills.


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.

Our Podcast Team:

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

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