Raising Chickens for Eggs

Information on Raising Chickens for Eggs

September 15, 2017
by admin
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Raising Chickens for Eggs

Welcome to Raising Chickens for Eggs. This site is dedicated to helping people raise chickens in their own back yard so that they can produce great tasting nutritious eggs from happy healthy hens.
Happy Healthy Hens
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August 7, 2017
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Alternative Treatment for Parasites in Chickens

The most common parasitic irritants to chickens are mites and lice, although chickens can also attract fleas. There are several chemicals that you can buy from your Poultry Supplier to combat these nasties but a great non toxic alternative is Diatomaceous Earth  which not only gets rid of mites, lice and fleas but also gets rid of internal parasites as well.

Diatomaceous Earth  is made from the fossilized remains of tiny aquatic organisms called diatoms. It is an excellent treatment for any mites, ticks, lice or fleas and can help with internal parasites. Simply shake the powder around the coop and put some in the chickens water as well.

Diatomaceous Earth  is totally harmless when ingested. The only down side is that you must not breath it in when you are spreading it around as it can set hard in your lungs. Put a dust face mask over your mouth and nose. Do not get it in your eyes or on your skin as it can be quite abrasive.

Diatomaceous earth is a world-class wormer and insecticide, approved for use by the US Department of Agriculture and is a product that I would recommend for keeping your hens pest and worm free without using harmful chemicals.

Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade 10 Lb

 

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August 1, 2017
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Treadle Chicken Feeder

 How to Save Money on your Chicken Feed.

The biggest expense you will have when raising chickens is Chicken Feed. Chicken Feed whether you buy it premixed or mix your own is really the only continuous cost that you will incur when you are raising chickens.

Unfortunately if you use the standard type of Chicken Feeders you will find that quite a large percentage of your feed will spoil or be wasted. Chickens are messy eaters and will get into the feeder base and spread  the food everywhere. They also have a habit of pooping in the feeder which leaves the feed contaminated.

The other problem you will find is all the other birds and animals who will come and help themselves to your chicken’s food. All sorts of wild birds that can get access to the pen will be attracted to the feed and will tell all of their friends. Rodents can also be a problem and are not something you want to attract to your backyard.

This can become quite a dilemma. On the one hand it is important for chickens to have access to their feed. With our busy lifestyles using a Chicken Feeder that supplies a continuous supply of food is a great idea. It means you don’t have to hand feed the chickens every day and you know they are not going without if you are late or have to go away for a few days. However, when you combine the above problems it can cost you quite a lot in wasted chicken feed.

There is an answer to this problem and it is called a Treadle Feeder or Grandpa Feeder as it is commonly known . This brilliant invention can save you a fortune in Chicken Feed. It is usually made of aluminium and consists of a metal box with a lid and a bar (treadle). When the chicken stands on the bar the lid opens giving the chicken access to the feed. The chicken can’t get into the box to make a mess because the lid will close if the chicken steps off the bar. It also means that all of the other freeloaders that are stealing your feed cannot access it.

The Treadle Feeder holds enough feed to last for several days depending on how many chickens you have. For those with small backyard flocks it certainly means you don’t have to feed them daily. Also as the feed is not wasted or stolen it lasts a lot longer.

Some people claim that it is hard to teach chickens to use the treadle feeder but I have never had a problem. When you first introduce the treadle feeder to your flock you will need to put a weight of some kind on the treadle bar so that the lid is slightly open. This allows the chickens to see where the feed is. Being curious and hungry they step on the treadle to take a look and the lid opens. Once one chicken works it out the others soon follow.

Although Treadle Feeders are more expensive than other feeders they pay for themselves quite quickly. There are cheap versions of the Treadle Feeder available but be aware that you get what you pay for and the cheaper ones may not last long. A solid well made treadle feeder should last you a number of years.

The picture below is an example of a well made Treadle Feeder.

Voilamart Automatic Chicken Chook Poultry Feeder, 11 Pounds of Feed, Aluminum Auto Treadle Self Opening, Container Size 21″L x 7″W x 3.35″H

 

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Pawhut Deluxe Chicken Coop

July 30, 2017
by admin
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Pre – Made Chicken Coops

If you are not a handy person and don’t want to build your own chicken coop, you may want to buy a pre-made chicken coop. When you add up the cost of materials and your time it often works out cheaper than designing and building your own.

Most of the pre-made chicken coops available have everything that your chickens will need such as roosts and nesting boxes. They often have handy design features that you may not have thought of such as storage areas. These Coops below are a good cross section of what is currently available and offer good value.

Pawhut Deluxe Backyard Chicken Coop / Hen House w/ Outdoor Run

This coop is a high quality larger size chicken coop which is made of fully treated and grooved wood that is coated with water based preservative. Coming with a two section nesting box for egg laying.

This coop can be wide opened to be a “fresh air school”, and closed to make a controlled-environment coop. This coop is well designed with one Living House, a two section Nesting Box and a Backyard Run.

This  Coop is perfect for 2 to 4 Chickens and has received very good reviews from those who have already purchased it. It is sturdy and the price is very reasonable.

Click Here to find out more…..

Pawhut Deluxe Wooden Chicken Coop with Backyard Outdoor Run, 87″

This chicken coop gives your chickens the ability to move seamlessly from a comfortable enclosure to an outdoor protected space. The indoor facility includes multiple roosting poles and a large nesting box that is able to hold multiple chickens.

A small entrance with a travel ramp allows your chickens to run in and out easily, without being wide enough to let the elements in when the weather is bad. This attaches to a wide open fenced enclosure that allows them plenty of room to move around.

The roof is split into multiple segments so the roof may be peaked, closed or completely opened up. This is a perfect unit for someone who has a few chickens, but still needs to minimize the space that the coop will be using. This Coop is suitable for 4 to 6 Chickens.

Click Here ……

 

Precision Pet Cape Cod Chicken Coop, 62 by 32 by 42-Inch, Brown/White

The Cape Cod can comfortably house up to four chickens.
The two front doors provide easy access to the shelter’s interior whether you need to reach your hens or simply perform routine maintenance.

The nesting box with roosting bar is ideal if you are using the Cape Cod as a large outdoor chicken coop. A removable pan under the retreat makes cleaning easy.

This shelter is made with high quality fir wood. An internal ramp provides hens with easy access between the raised retreat and the spacious run Zinc-coated wire mesh encloses the run but provides ample ventilation. That way, your pets will always be protected from predators and the elements.

The Precision Pet Cape Cod Chicken Coop is designed for easy maintenance and assembly.

Click Here to find out more….

 

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May 14, 2017
by admin
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My Chickens are eating their eggs.

Question My chickens have begun eating the eggs before I can collect them each day.  Is there a reason they have started this? Can I do something to stop them?

Answer Chickens that eat their own eggs are a problem as it can be a hard habit to break. Try the following. Collect eggs promptly. Hens usually lay in the early morning, so make sure you have the eggs gathered by noon. Darken your nesting boxes. Hang old towels or pieces of sheet in front of the nesting boxes to block the light. The hens will still get in the boxes to lay. You can leave some golf balls in the nests which they will try to peck and will find too hard.  You can also buy fake chicken eggs if the golf balls don’t work. When the chicken tries to peck the fake eggs they can’t break them.

SummerHawk Ranch Ceramic Decoy Nest Eggs (2 Pack), Brown

Trim hens beaks. Hens with fully sharp beaks are more likely to cannibalize their eggs. Provide a low stress environment. Hens that are overcrowded or bored are more likely to eat eggs. Allow the hens free-range time in a safely enclosed chicken yard, and maintain a small flock.  Make sure your hens are getting adequate calcium and Vitamin D in their diet. Deficiencies of these nutrients make egg-eating attractive and make it easier by producing weak-shelled eggs that are easily cracked open.

Feeding Oyster shells to your chickens will harden up the eggshells. Identify the hen or hens that are eating the eggs. Eliminate egg-eaters from the flock before they spread the habit or start on the others’ eggs. If nothing else works you can take out all the bedding in their nests and put your nests on an angle with a collection tray that the birds can’t get to. When they lay an egg it will roll into the collection tray and they won’t be able to eat their eggs.  

 I hope you have some success with these tips. Egg eating is a problem. You might also want to make sure that other pets such as cats are not getting into the coop and eating the eggs.

Chicken Breeds

April 1, 2017
by admin
52 Comments

Chicken Breeds for Eggs

There are so many Chicken Breeds around the world that it is impossible to name them all so I thought I would pick some of the most commonly used chicken breeds for egg production in the USA.

The breed of your chickens is important and you need to look at what your situation is and decide the breed most suitable for your needs.

You will need to take into consideration the space available to you as this will determine the amount of chickens you can have and the size of the chickens. For example you can keep more bantams in a small area than a larger breed but the bantams will produce much smaller eggs. In colder areas you may need a hardier breed than in temperate climates.

A good idea is to check what breeds other people in your area are using. Chances are they have already done the research and have chosen a breed suited to your environment.

 
Chicken breeds are distinguished by their size, color, plumage, skin color, comb, earlobe color, egg color, leg color and the number of toes they have. They are also divided into groups that are used for egg production, meat production or for purely ornamental purposes. Some are used for both and they are called dual purpose breeds. Most people who are considering raising chickens for eggs especially in the urban backyard will want chickens that have a friendly docile nature, lay over 300 eggs per year, and are quiet and not too big. The following breeds are used mainly for egg production even though most of them are dual purpose breeds.
 

Ameraucana


These are one of the few breeds of chickens to lay blue or green eggs and they originally come from the Araucana breed. They are a dual purpose breed and will tolerate all types of climates. Their egg productivity is fairly average but they handle small areas well and are easily handled and quiet. Many people like to have a few in their flock because of the unique color of their eggs.
 

Brahma

The Brahma breed was originally from China and was brought into the United States in the 1840’s. They are a dual purpose breed with medium egg productivity. They produce large light brown eggs and tolerate all climate types. They are also considered to be an ornamental bird and are very docile and easy to handle. They come in a variety of breed colors.

Buckeye

The Buckeye originally comes from Ohio. The breed was first recognized as unique in 1904. Buckeye’s posses a rich mahogany outer plumage and are a slate color underneath. The Roosters have long iridescent green tail feathers and are very handsome birds. They have an average egg production and produce medium sized brown eggs. They will tolerate all climate types because of their tight feathers which make them particularly suitable for colder climates. They will even lay in the cold winter months when some other breeds stop laying. They also do well in hot climates. The disadvantage of this breed for the urban gardener is that these chickens prefer to free range and will require a larger chicken run. They also can be quite noisy and may become aggressive towards each other.

Delaware

Delawares are a silver bird with black markings. They were originally developed in the state of Delaware in 1940. They are a dual-purpose bird, and are useful for both the backyard and the farm. Their egg production is very high and they produce large brown eggs. This breed is very tolerant of hot climates and they have a friendly and docile disposition. They are a very useful and easy to look after breed and because of their superior egg production I would recommend them especially if you live in warmer areas.

Dominique

The Dominique breed comes originally from the United Kingdom and is a very hardy bird that can handle an extreme climate. They are very docile and friendly and will make great pets for your children. They have a very high egg production and produce medium sized brown eggs. They are a dual purpose breed and have a rose type comb.
 

New Hampshire Red

New Hampshire Reds are a really good breed for producing eggs. They were developed from the Rhode Island Red in the early 1900’s in New Hampshire. This breed matures early, has large brown eggs, and has lots of strength and vigor. They are a ual purpose bird and weigh quite heavily; Their egg production is high and they handle all types of climates well. They lay an egg each day and their eggs are quite large in size. They are a friendly, easily handled breed and quite docile.

 

Plymouth Rock

The Barred Plymouth Rock is a very popular dual-purpose breed. They originated in New England in the 19th Century and are very hardy and known for their egg laying, broodiness, and meat production. They are a very friendly breed and are very easy to handle. They mature earlier than some breeds and their egg production is high. They lay large light brown eggs and if you are planning on breeding from them, they make great mothers. The breed handles all types of climates and they come in a variety of colors.

Leghorn

The Leghorn is originally from Italy and was brought to America in the early 1800’s. They were bred with other birds to increase their size and are a very popular breed for egg laying. Their egg production is very high and they lay large white eggs. They can be quite flighty and scared birds but if you raise them from chicks you can develop a good relationship with them. The breed tolerates all climates and will produce an egg each day. They also come in quite a variety of colors.

Rhode Island Red

This breed is a true dual purpose bird and was developed to withstand the harsh New England Winters. They are a very hardy bird with excellent large egg yields and they can also be used for meat production. They produce large brown eggs and can be slightly aggressive and noisy birds especially the roosters. It does depend on how you bring up your hens as to whether they are friendly or not. The Rhode Island Red is the State Bird of Rhode Island. They only come in the one color.

Rhode Island White

The Rhode Island White is classed as a totally different breed to the Rhode Island Red. They too are a dual purpose bird and like the Rhode Island Red they tolerate the cold climates really well. Their egg productivity is high and they produce large brown eggs. They can be quite aggressive birds especially the roosters but the hens will vary in their temperaments and it depends again how much effort you put into developing a relationship with them. Their color is pure white.


Wyandotte

The Wyandotte is a dual purpose bird with a very nice temperament. They lay well and have a high egg production and don’t usually fight much. They lay medium to large light brown to brown eggs. Their only problem if you don’t want to breed from your hens is their tendency to broodiness. They get broody quite often and this can cause a few problems if you only want to produce eggs from them. They come in a variety of colors, tolerate all climates and are very docile and easy to handle.
For Further information on Chicken Breeds check out the book below:


Chicken Breeds: A Quick Guide on Chicken Breeds for Beginners

 

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March 3, 2017
by admin
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How do I add new chickens to my flock?

Question At what age & or size should the new chicks be before adding them to the coop and the other full grown 2 year old chickens? How do I add them to my flock without them being attacked by the older chickens?

Answer Never introduce baby chicks to a flock of older chickens. Chickens should be introduced once they are fully feathered and half grown. Once your chickens have reached the age of 12 weeks or so you can start the process of introducing your pullets to your flock.

I usually put the chicks in their own small pen inside the coop at night so that the older chicks can see them and get used to them but can’t hurt them. If you don’t have enough room in your coop to do this then try putting them inside a cardboard box or a small dog kennel in the coop at night so the older hens don’t feel like they are being invaded.

The more room you have the easier it will be so make sure that there are enough nesting boxes and room to roost for your new hens when you first let them into the main coop. It is important for the older hens to see the young ones over a period of time, without them being able to get at them.

You also can, if you have the room, construct a small pen next to the main run with a box or shelter of some description. You need to leave them there for a couple of weeks then when you do introduce them you may need to do it gradually  for a few hours per day so it is the least traumatic as possible for all concerned. A pecking order will be formed and this is the most peaceful way of doing it.

Some people have added their new hens to the coop at night while the other hens are roosting. I haven’t tried this but many claim that this is a successful way to add new chickens. The chickens wake up in the morning with the new chickens and think that they are part of the flock and accept them.

You can also construct an area where the younger smaller hens can escape to and where the larger hens can’t access. Take it slowly and you will be fine.

Rooster

May 1, 2016
by admin
98 Comments

Raising Chickens

Raising Chickens

1. IS IT LEGAL

It is very important when you start out raising chickens for eggs to make sure that you are allowed to keep chickens in your backyard. You will need to check with your local authorities to make sure that you are able to keep chickens and see what restrictions they may have. i.e. some councils will not allow you to have roosters but will allow hens.

The reason why this is important is because you don’t want to go to all the trouble of setting up your chickens only to find that you are breaking the laws in your area. If you don’t check with your local authority then you may run the risk of prosecution.

Roosters are not allowed in some cities.

2. CHICKS OR CHICKENS

Another important consideration when raising chickens for eggs is whether you raise your chickens from eggs i.e hatch them yourself or whether you buy them as baby chicks and raise them. You can also buy chickens that are ready to lay. For those who are new to raising chickens I would recommend buying chickens that are ready to lay.

One, you don’t have to wait long for your chickens to start laying and two, the older chickens are not as vulnerable as the young chicks and are much more likely to survive. It’s critical that you buy from a reputable supplier because the health of the laying hens is important for their egg production and also makes it easier for you to care for them.

3. CHICKEN COOPS

You don’t have to have an expensive chicken coop for your chickens. There are many ready made chicken coops for sale out there but it is really not too hard to build your own. If one of your motivations for raising chickens for eggs is saving money then buying an expensive chicken coop will defeat that purpose.

There are many books available on building your own chicken coop with easy to follow plans using cheap easily available materials. All you need to do is decide how many chickens you want, (I would recommend 2 to 4 chickens for a city backyard.) and make sure that you find a chicken coop design that will suit that amount of chickens. The less space you have available means the less chickens you should have.

4. HOW MANY CHICKENS

Instead of complicating raising chickens for eggs by having a huge flock, concentrate your efforts on a small number of chickens. Most chickens in full production will lay an egg each day. If you have too many chickens you may find it difficult to use all the eggs that they will produce.

I have found that having 2 to 4 chickens will give you plenty of eggs for your family and friends and you will not be overwhelmed with eggs that you cannot use. Concentrate your efforts by only having a few hens and you will find that raising chickens for eggs is not as hard as you may think.

5. FEEDING CHICKENS

Chickens need to have a place to roost at night which is protected by the weather and they need to be fed and their water checked every day. They also need a nesting box to lay their eggs in which you put in your chicken coop. If you have children, you will find that they love collecting eggs as it is a lot of fun and you can also get them to help with feeding and checking the water as well.

Chickens need a variety of foods to produce great tasting eggs and the best way to achieve this is to feed them all your kitchen food scraps. Chickens will eat just about anything and what they are doing is transforming your food scraps into fantastic garden fertilizer. Chickens will also benefit from eating layer pellets or grain to maintain their egg production and will quickly turn any weeds and garden waste you have into fertilizer as well.

May 1, 2016
by admin
1 Comment

Why do my Chickens Eggs Taste Funny

Question . I have been raising chickens for 10 years and just this past year my eggs taste funny. Not all of them, but maybe one out of 6 or so eggs will taste bad, even if they are just laid. The yoke, not the white, has an awful taste and smell. I have not changed anything I have been doing. Any suggestions?

 Answer It sounds like your chickens have access to food that is making them lay bad tasting eggs. Have you been feeding them onions, garlic, fish meal or fish oil in the scraps that you feed them. It sounds like they are randomly eating something like this and that is why not all your eggs have this taste. Some fruit peelings can also have an effect on egg taste.

Try eliminating the above and have a close look at what they are actually eating. It could also be what foods you are storing them next to in the refrigerator as the eggs will absorb odors from other foods they are stored with.

 

April 30, 2016
by admin
1 Comment

Why are my Chickens Egg Yolks Orange

Question We got our first eggs from hens we raised from chicks. The yolks of the eggs, (shells are light brown or tan), are a very orange-y color.  We were expecting to see bright yellow yolks as opposed to the light yellow of store-bought eggs, but not the reddish orange of our hens’ eggs.  Will that change after they have begun to lay regularly?

Answer   Egg yolk color is really just an indicator of the hen’s diet. If they eat more yellow-orange carotenoids, or natural pigments, it affects and changes the yolk’s color. Orange yolks have the same amount of protein and fat than lighter yolks but studies have shown that eggs from pasture-raised hens have more omega-3s and vitamins but less cholesterol due to healthier more natural feed. Orange yolks are an indication of a well balanced and highly nutritous diet and many people claim they taste better as well. Eggs from hens that have access to grasses and insects as part of their diet tend to have orange colored yokes that are firmer and egg shells that are thicker.

 

Chicken Coop Guides

February 17, 2014
by admin
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Chicken Coop Guides Review

Chicken Coop Guides is a downloadable guide to building your own Chicken Coop.

John White the author of this guide is a professional architect by trade. He explains the process without using overly technical terms and phrases so that the average individual can easily follow his instructions.

He offers easy to follow Chicken Coop Plans, Complete Chicken Raising Guides and Weekly Chicken Raising tips to all his members.

There are 19 plans on offer and you get a complete material list that you can print out and take to the hardware store. They can prepare the materials exactly for you which makes it so much easier to put together.

The plans are computer drawn with step by step instructions, cross sectional diagrams and full color illustrations.

 

Chicken Coop Guides

This Coop was made by one of their customers. This is one of the larger coops but there are other simpler plans for smaller flocks if you only want two or three chickens.

If you purchase these plans you are entitled to several bonuses. You have access to forums with over a thousand active users where you can discuss your experiences with other like minded people. You also get access to instructional videos that show the process of building a Chicken Coop. Plus you receive regular tips about looking after your chickens.

The information in this guide is presented logically and in a format that makes building your coop easy. Instead of struggling with measurements, materials lists etc. it is much easier to build a coop if a professional architect has already developed the plans for you and given you a step by step guide on how to go about the process.

To find out more about Chicken Coop Guides by John White

  Click Here

 

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