Raising Chickens for Eggs

Information on Raising Chickens for Eggs

Rooster

August 7, 2013
by admin
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Do you need a rooster for your hens to lay eggs?

Question:

Do you need a Rooster for your hens to lay eggs?

Answer:

No you do not need a Rooster for your hens to lay eggs.  Hens will lay eggs without a rooster but if you want your eggs to be fertilised so that they can produce chicks then you will need a rooster. 

If you are planning on having a small backyard flock then it is best not to have a rooster as they can be noisy (crowing at daybreak) and some of them can get quite aggressive. For those of you that want to breed chicks from your hens then a rooster is necessary.

 


Chick Starter Feed

May 19, 2013
by admin
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Chick Starter Feed

Chickens have different nutritional needs at different stages of their lives. There are a few basic types of chicken feed.  Mash which is grain based and ground into powder, pellets which are compressed mash made into pellets so that there is less waste, and crumbles which are pellets broken into pieces. There is also a whole grain feed called scratch which is a bit like a treat for the birds. If they have too much of this though they can get quite fat. Many people mix their own feed for their chickens but you do need to have a fair bit of knowledge to get this right. I would recommend that people just starting out with raising chickens should buy their chicken feed premixed.

Starter Feed for Chicks

From the time your chicks hatch until 6 weeks of age you will need to feed them chick starter mash with a protein level of 20 percent. It is important that you feed your baby chicks different food to your laying hens as the extra calcium that the older birds need for laying eggs is actually detrimental to baby chicks.

So you will need to separate your chicks from the laying hens until they get old enough. Commercial suppliers provide starter feeds especially made for young chicks. These feeds will provide the chicks with all the minerals and vitamins that they require.

A lot of people use a medicated feed for the first few weeks of a chicken’s life. This is to prevent Coccidiosis which is a parasite that chicks are particularly vulnerable to up until 18 weeks of age.

A chick that is from an egg laying breed will eat about 2 pounds of starter feed in its first 6 weeks.

Chick Starter Feed

Chick Starter Feed- Click Here

Chicken Feeder

March 25, 2013
by admin
13 Comments

Chicken Feeders

Chicken Feeders

Having an automatic Chicken Feeder that hangs from the ceiling is a really good idea for the grain or layer pellets you will be feeding your chickens to keep them laying. This feed is the most expensive part of looking after your chickens so you don’t want it contaminated with chicken manure. You can buy a relatively cheap hanging feeder or you can buy or make a treadle feeder which although more expensive will save you from food wastage. The feeders below are perfect for small back yard flocks. They are at a very competitive price and they guarantee that your chickens will get fed even when you are not there.

HANGING POULTRY FEEDER

Miller 9112 12lb. Galvanized Hanging Poultry Feeder

This hanging feeder is made of heavy galvanized steel, is strong and will last a long time unlike the plastic versions. It has a 12 lb hanging feeder tube with a 12 feeder pan.It has rolled edges for safety. 

Click Here to see more …..
 

TREADLE CHICKEN FEEDER 

Chicken Feed can be the most expensive part of raising chickens. Having a treadle automatic feeder will save you lots of money in wasted and stolen feed. Wild birds and rodents will come and steal your hens feed, not to mention the wastage that occurs when they stand in their food and contaminate it with their droppings.
This is how it works:
The hens stand on the treadle and the lid opens to allow them to feed. It is easy to train your chickens and once one learns the others quickly follow. All I did was put a small weight on the treadle which kept the lid slightly open. The first hen to notice the food will step up onto the treadle and the lid will open. Once they have learnt what to do you simply remove the weight.
I will not go back to anything else now that I have tried one of these. Although they tend to be a lot more expensive to buy than other feeders they soon pay for themselves with the amount of feed that you save.
 

Treadle Feeder for US Readers


Holds up to 36lbs. of feed, fill the hopper easily with hinged lid. Only takes 12oz weight required to open feeder. Feeder keeps feed clean and fresh, it prevents food from attracting wild birds and rodents which may also carry diseases and parasites. This product has a weather-resistant wood finish to protect the feeder from water and sun damage. Easy to Assemble and low maintenance.

Treadle Feeder for UK readers.

10kg Treadle feeder for Poultry with anti waste grill kit

So if you are interested in saving money on your chicken food and stopping the waste, check it out.

Chicken Coop

February 11, 2013
by admin
111 Comments

Chicken Coops

The design of your Chicken Coop is very important. There are so many styles and designs of chicken coops, it can all get very confusing. Do you buy one, and if you do what is a good design? If you make your own, how do you know you have everything you need to keep your chickens healthy. A good way to start is to make sure your chicken coop fits the basic principles outlined below. Whether it is the most luxurious or the most basic chicken coop you won’t go wrong if you follow these tips.

A chicken coop can be very simple as this mobile coop above.

1. Space.

If you don’t have much space then you need to restrict your flock to two or three chickens. Chickens need between one and two square foot each in their chicken coop and between two to four feet each in their chicken run.

Bantams need less space and the larger breeds need more, so the size of your hens does matter. If you don’t take this into consideration you risk your chickens getting diseases and fighting each other. If you can let your chickens roam during the day in a large enclosed area then all the better. Just make sure that they are locked up in their coop at night.

2. Predators

This is so important as chickens are extremely vulnerable to all types of predators. From dogs and cats to wild and feral animals that may live in your area, they will all love to get a hold of your chickens. Foxes especially love chickens and because they can climb fences, the coop must be completely enclosed and be secure along the bottom, so that predators cannot dig their way in.

Here is an example of a very secure chicken coop and run, totally enclosed with bird aviary wire.

3. Protection from heat and cold

If you live in a cold climate having insulation or a light may be required in your coop to keep your chickens warm. Recent studies have proven that chickens will lay much more consistently if they are kept warm than those who are not This may sound a bit too expensive for some people so a cheaper way to get around this is to buy a heap of  straw bales amd when winter comes place these around the outside of your coop. This will prevent drafts and also insulate your coop really well. If you live in a hot climate your coop will benefit from being either shaded by a tree or by a building.

4. Ventilation.

Fresh air is vital so along the top of your coop have a thin strip of bird wire that allows the coop to receive fresh air but not cause a direct draught onto your chickens. Do not have your vents down the bottom of your coop as they will create a draught directly onto your chickens. Toxic fumes can build up inside an unventilated chicken coop from the chicken manure so this is very important and is something that can often be overlooked.

This Chicken Coop has excellent ventilation at the top of the coop with bird wire making it secure.

5. Flooring

If you are only going to have a few chickens and you have decided on a mobile chicken coop then the floor can be just the ground the coop is placed on. As you will be moving the coop around the chickens will be quite happy with the new grass they get every time they are moved. A dirt floor covered in straw or hay is also acceptable in a fixed coop but it has the disadvantage of allowing rats and mice in and  can be difficult to keep clean. A concrete floor is the best and will keep out rodents and is easy to clean. Straw or hay is still a good idea to put on the floor as it soaks up the manure and apart from providing warmth the combination of straw and manure produces fantastic compost.

This fantastic chicken coop has a concrete floor, bricks around the bottom so no predators can dig their way in, great looking nesting boxes and a roost.

6. Nesting Boxes

Nesting Boxes for your Chicken Coop need to be at least a foot long by a foot deep. Wooden boxes are the best but they could also be made out of plastic if necessary. Place them at least a foot off the ground and if necessary have a wooden ramp so the chickens can get into them. To make it easy to collect the eggs you may want to make a box with a hinged lid that you can open from the outside of the coop. This means that you don’t have to go inside the coop to collect the eggs. This can save you a lot of time and means that your children can collect the eggs without letting the chickens out. Put some straw, hay, woodshavings or even shredded paper in the boxes so that the chickens are comfortable and the eggs don’t crack.

These nesting boxes have a hinged lid on the outside of the coop so that you can collect the eggs without going into the chicken coop.

7. Roosts

Chickens roost at night so you need to provide them with a roost to sleep on. Roosts are best made of wood and can be made from small tree branches, wooden poles, dowel, or even an old wooden ladder. Just make sure that the chickens are able to hang on with their feet and that they can sit there comfortably. Metal roosts are not suitable as they can get freezing cold in winter and very hot in summer.

8. Feeders

Automatic feeders are very handy, or you may choose to scatter the hens food daily in their run when you collect their eggs. This has its advantages as there is little waste. If you are going to buy an automatic feeder you may want to place it in the chicken coop to minimise rodents who will love to share your chickens food and also the local bird population who won’t be able to resist a free feed. For this reason I also like to use bird avairy wire rather than chicken wire as the aviary wire has much smaller holes and other birds won’t be able to get into your chicken coop. It is also good to hang your feeder from the ceiling about six inches from the ground. This also will reduce waste, discourage rodents and stop the chickens from scattering the food far and wide.

If you need a chicken feeder click on the link below.

Chicken Feeders

The Automatic Feeder hangs from the ceiling.

9. Waterer’s.

Fresh water is vital for  keeping your chickens healthy. They need their water checked daily especially in hot weather. You will need a bowl that is deep enough for the water not to heat up too quickly but shallow enough so that the chickens are able to reach it easily. It also has to be in something large enough so that they can’t tip it over. Having an automatic waterer is a good idea but you still need to regularly check that it is working properly and that your water source is reliable. Another hint if you are raising baby chicks. Their water bowl needs to be very shallow as they can drown if their bowl is too deep.

This automatic waterer has two nipples that release water when the chicken presses on it.

Your Chicken Coop should have a place for the birds to roost, good drainage, nesting boxes, a feeder, a waterer and enough space for the number of birds you are raising. You can have a permanent chicken coop. a mobile chicken coop, a premade chicken coop, a homemade chicken coop and they come in all shapes and sizes.

Click on this link for more Chicken Coop Designs.


Building a Chicken Coop

October 11, 2012
by admin
2 Comments

Coop Plans Review

Chicken Coop Plan Reviews

Chicken Coop Plans make it easier to build your own chicken coop from scratch. By following chicken coop plans you make sure that you are providing everything your chickens need for their new home and you are also creating something that is not an eyesore and will look attractive in your back yard.
There are several Chicken Coop Plans ebooks out there and below I have picked out the two top selling ebooks that offer the best value for money. It is definitely worth the investment in one of these chicken coop plan ebooks as they can save you a lot of money in the long run.
They not only tell you how and where to get the cheapest materials for building your chicken coop,  they also provide a lot of information and tips on how to look after and maintain your flock.
Introducing” Building A Chicken Coop”
 

Easy To Build Plans – Includes color step-by-step plans with scale diagrams and dimensions that anyone can follow Handy expert tips on flooring, roofing, walls, nesting boxes, windows, doors and perches
The focus of this ebook written by Bill Keene is on being well-prepared for your flock before they even arrive on your property. Keene ensures that you consider every issue before you spend any money on birds, feed or equipment.
 
He discusses which species are appropriate for your garden, what they should eat and more specifically, how you should house them. Anyone with basic do-it-yourself tools and a patch of land can follow his instructions.
 
The drawings and diagrams are easy to interpret and the lists of materials and tools needed are very helpful. Keene also appreciates the value of using recycled materials in your chicken coop to keep it  cheap and environmentally friendly.He also encourages responsible husbandry and if you follow his tips, your happy hens will be very productive.
 
He offers plans that cover a small chicken house that houses up to four chickens to one that can house up to 50. There are chicken tractor designs, double story designs, portable barn style designs plus an extra bonus book on how to build nesting boxes for free out of easily accessible material. This ebook offers more choices of chicken coop design than the others and is the most comprehensive.

To find out more about this ebook 

 Click Here….

 Chicken Coop Video Guide

 This guide is by Dan Kennedy. Not only do you get a written set of plans (so you can print them off and have them next to you while you build your coop), but you also get a video guide that shows you what to do at every step.
Chicken Coop Plans
This is the only set of chicken coop blueprints on the net that includes both written plans and an easy step-by-step, no guesswork required video guide. You Get the Complete Plans for twelve Chicken Coops.
Whether you want a starter coop for four chickens or a larger coop for up to eight chickens, you’ll get the plans you need to create the perfect coop: These coops include a front door, ramp, larger rear access door, perch, nest, and peaked roof.
Also included with your purchase of the complete guide and videos is a free report that will show you how to get started looking after your new chickens!
This book and video series is well presented , easy to follow and offers good value.
 
Incubator

August 8, 2012
by admin
22 Comments

Incubators

Incubating Eggs

If you are planning on raising your chicks from eggs then you will need an incubator of some kind. Fertile eggs should hatch approximately 21 days after the hen has begun to sit on them. You can leave them with your broody hen to hatch or you can incubate them yourself using an incubator.

1. Heat up Incubator

You will need to get your incubator ready by heating it up and making sure that the temp is at 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit before you put your eggs in. You can buy an incubator that does not require you to turn the eggs or you can buy

one that does require you to turn them. Some people prefer to turn them themselves so that they are more involved with the process and can keep an eye on the eggs.

2. Position the Eggs

An incubating egg should be set in a normal position as it would if you laid it on a flat surface. The large end should be slightly higher than the pointed end.

 3. Turning the Eggs
 Turning the egg is essential in the early stages .but in the last 3 days of incubation when the chicks are preparing to hatch, do NOT turn the eggs.Keep an accurate count of the days so that you know when you can expect the chicks to hatch. During the early stages if they are not turned they may stick to the shell and become deformed. Turning the egg mimics what a mother hen would do naturally.
 
If you are going to turn them yourself, you need to mark them with a marker so that you know which side is which when you turn them. You need to turn the eggs at least 3 to 5 times a day .You can’t skip a day as this will affect the development of your chickens.
 4. Moisture & Humidity
 The incubator must have adequate moisture in it at all times. A pan of water in the incubator will keep the air nice and moist. Make sure it is continually topped up. As well as having a thermometer to check the temperature you need to be able to measure the humidity. This combined thermometer below is an example.
 
 
 

Click Here – Chaney Indoor Thermometer with Humidity

Temperature measuring range: +32°F to +122°F (0°C to +50°C) – Humidity range:20% to 95% RH
5. Incubators
 An incubator keeps the eggs uniformly warm and moist, simulating the mother hen sitting on her eggs. If you’re going to buy one, there are lots of types and sizes and it will depend on the capacity you need, the features (auto-turning etc), and your budget! Below is a very economical incubator suitable for small backyard flocks.
 

 


 
 7. Hatched Chickens
Chicks will survive up to 3 days without feed or water after they have hatched. The yolk of the egg provides enough nourishment for the transitional period from the time the bird hatches to when he is ready to search for food. In general chicks are taken from the incubator after 24 hours. No harm is done if they are not taken out for 48 hours after they hatch.
 
Making Your Own Incubator
 
Another alternative is to build your own incubator.  I recently found an ebook that gives you step by step instructions on video on how to build your incubator with cheap materials from the harware store. So if you are handy this could be a cheap alternative to buying a ready made one. The author claims that the hatch rate is superior to some of the bought incubators. If anyone has built their own incubator perhaps they could share their results with us.
 
 
Egg Candler

June 26, 2012
by admin
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Candling

 CANDLING

To check if your chicken eggs are fertile or not, you can put them through a procedure called Candling.  Candling is the process of shining a light through the egg to see if there is any sign of an embryo inside.

The fertility of eggs cannot be determined before you incubate them, so after 2 to 3 days in the incubator, you can candle white-shelled eggs to see if embryos have developed.

Eggs that are damaged do not hatch and often develop odors and they should be removed when found.

White-shelled eggs may be candled by placing a light bulb under a box. Make a hole slightly smaller in diameter than the egg through which light will pass. Place the egg over the hole, if a cloudy spot is observed, this can be assumed to be a growing embryo. If the contents of the egg allows light to pass uniformly through it you can assume that the egg is infertile. If an egg is candled at 7 days or older and is absolutely clear it is dead or was never fertile.

If you prefer you can buy a Candler, which is a sophisticated product specifically designed to show you if the eggs are fertile or not.

Here is an example of a Candler below:

OvaView Standard Egg Candler

Chickens Eating Scraps

May 20, 2010
by admin
56 Comments

Chicken Feed

Chickens have different nutritional needs at different stages of their lives. There are a few basic types of chicken feed.  Mash which is grain based and ground into powder, pellets which are compressed mash made into pellets so that there is less waste, and crumbles which are pellets broken into pieces. There is also a whole grain feed called scratch which is a bit like a treat for the birds. If they have too much of this though they can get quite fat. Many people mix their own feed for their chickens but you do need to have a fair bit of knowledge to get this right. I would recommend that people just starting out with raising chickens should buy their chicken feed premixed.

If you have chicks go to Starter Feed for Chicks

Chickens – Growing Feed

Once they turn six weeks of age you can start them on pullet grower feed which has only 14 to 17 percent protein. You feed them this until they reach twenty weeks old. You can then start supplementing the grower feed with grain. This will reduce the overall cost of rearing your chickens. Pullets may begin to receive grain as soon as they start eating growing feed. Corn, wheat, barley, oats, millet, grain sorghum, or combinations of these may be used. Begin with 10 pounds of grain for each 100 pounds of growing food. Increase the grain until they are getting equal parts of growing food and grain.

Chicken Grower Feed

Growing Feed – Click Here

It is at this point that you can also start introducing your pullets to vegetable scraps, garden weeds, grasses and any plant material. This also helps to reduce your costs and it is also a very important part of your hen’s diet.  Vegetable peelings, stale bread, and leafy vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower, turnips,broccoli etc. are excellent sources. Avoid strong smelling vegetables such as onions or garlic unless you want onion or garlic flavored eggs. Don’t feed them food that is rotten as they can get food poisoning which can kill them very quickly. It is best to feed your scraps to your chickens daily.

Chickens eating Scraps

Chicken Food for Layers

When pullets are 18 to 20 weeks old, gradually withdraw the growing feed and replace with laying feed over those last two weeks. Layers need a quality balanced ration to maintain their egg production. If you are new to raising chickens then it is advisable to use a mixed feed purchased at a poultry feed store. This feed will ensure that your chickens are getting the nutrition that they need to produce eggs. Laying hens need a mixture with a 15 percent protein level with the vitamins and minerals blended into the commercial feed to complete their diet. This food can be supplemented with grain as before. Just make sure you do not feed too much grain as this can make your layers fat if you are feeding them both types of food.

 Chicken Layer Feed

Chicken Layer Feed – Click Here

There is growing evidence that supplementing your chicken’s food with grasses and other vegetable matter, will produce eggs with a higher ratio of omega three’s than those hens fed just on commercial food. We all know that the taste of eggs from chickens allowed access to weeds and grasses, insects and vegetable matter, is far superior to commercially grown eggs. Now we are starting to see evidence that eggs produced from chickens (who are allowed to eat the food that they would in the wild) are more nutritious and actually benefit your health.

Healthy Eggs

If you can achieve it, give your chickens access to your yard for about 30 mins every day. If you let them out about half an hour before their roosting time at sunset you will not have to chase them back into their coop as they will go in by themselves. All you will have to do is shut the door. By limiting the time they have access to your garden, gives them less time to actually damage your plants. They are more likely to feed on grasses and insects in the time given to them. If you have plants that you don’t want damaged, put a bit of wire mesh around them to protect them.

Another way to ensure that your chickens get enough greens is to have a portable chicken coop that you can move around on your lawn. You have to move it quite a lot so you need to be prepared to do this but they will mow your lawn and keep the bugs out as they go. If none of this is practical, pulled up weeds and garden refuse plus scraps from your kitchen will still do the trick and give them that extra nutrition they need.

Chicken Waterer

December 30, 2009
by admin
68 Comments

Chicken Waterers

Having an Automatic Chicken Waterer is a must when you are raising chickens. Chickens need clean water, it is essential for their health and these waterers below guarantee that your chickens always have access to clean uncontaminated water. If you live in a cold climate a heated automatic waterer is also available.

Galv. Double Wall Fountain

This Automatic Waterer is very easy to fill and clean.

The edges are rolled for safety and feature arched inner handles for added strength. Brass valves and rubber seals produce a positive water shut off. Seams are constructed and tested to prevent leaks. Founts also feature a locking pin. Ingredients: Galvanized Steel.

 Click Here to find out more…

Farm Innovators “All-Seasons” Heated Plastic Poultry Fountain – 3 Gal. Model HPF-100, 100-Watt


Thermostatically controlled to operate only when necessary

Prevents water from freezing down to 0-degree F

Ideal for year round use

Click Here to get yours now……..

December 28, 2009
by admin
37 Comments

FAQ about Raising Chickens

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Question I have six young red production hens.  My husband is building a hen house and it should be operating by the end of this month. Where can I find egg lights to check for blood spots? When (at what age) can I start feeding the chicks apple cores and other vegetable clippings from my food preparations?  I appreciate any information you may have to help me succeed at this new adventure.

Answer I would recommend that you start feeding your chickens kitchen scraps when they are about 8 weeks old. Continue feeding them their normal commercial chicken food and start giving them small amounts of green vegetable scraps. Try to avoid bread at this stage as this might clog them up when they are small.

Gradually increase the amount and variety of scraps as they grow older and larger. As for Candlers, (egg lights) you can go to my website under the Incubator Category and you will find a Candler for sale there.

Here is the link http://www.raisingchickensforeggs.com/incubators/incubators Scroll down till you see the heading Candling and you will see an example of a Candler.  Click on the link and you can find more information on the product.

Question I bought  some chicks when they were 2 days old at my country store. I was told they are all female.  Do you think they know that for sure?  I will not be too popular in my neighborhood with a rooster. The hens will only deliver unfertilized eggs right?  Do I need the light if I already know they are infertile?  Maybe blood spots in the egg could be found before I open one up would be helpful to find with the light.  We have built a brood box for the little chix and my hubby is finishing up a portable run that should be ready in the next day or so.  Is that ok to let them be under that protection now as they are nearing a month old.  Will it be ok to let them be under that protection on the lawn? Thank you so much for helping us be successful egg producers.

Answer If your local store says they are all female I would believe them as the chicks can be sexed as it is called, when they are just born. When your hens get all their feathers you will be able to tell if you have a rooster in your flock and you can then give him away as unless you are going to breed chickens, having a rooster can get very noisy and your neighbors’ will not like it. If you don’t have a rooster then you will not get fertilized eggs and you will not get bloodspots in them. You therefore will not need to buy a light.

If you are going to put your chicks out on the lawn you must make sure that no predators can get to them . At their age they are vulnerable to hawks and other large birds taking them so make sure that your portable run has a wire roof so that nothing can get in there. They will love being on your lawn and will love to eat the tips of grasses. They make very good lawn mowers if you move their run around. As long as they have somewhere warm and protected to go to at night they should be fine.

 

Question I am have trouble with my hen having impacted eggs.  Lost two and now seem to have another sick one.  Looked close and do not see shell but she is sick. HELP

  Answer If your hen is egg bound-try the following A hen is said to be egg bound when she doesn’t lay her egg. This is a common condition, and may result from inflammation of the oviduct,malformed or double yolk er egg, or a too large an egg in a young pullet She will tend to stand all hunched up. She will be restless. Her vent will look quite red and protrude. She will drink & eat very little. Her oviduct may end up protruding due to excessive pushing by her to eject the egg; internal haemorrhage or exhaustion may occur and she may die. She may smell badly. She may have faecal matter that has built up behind the egg, if you see white liquid that will be her urates trying to pass (urine in chickens)

Sit her in a tub of warm soapy water Make sure the vent is submerged for about 30 minutes. This may seem like a long time, but you have to relax the vent area and make is easier for the egg to pass through, it really does help the hen, 85% of the time this will be all that you will need to do for her and the egg will pass out with a little push. You can rub some lubricant around the vent area if you think that may help too. KY jelly, petroleum jelly, Vaseline or Olive Oil all work fine .

Make sure you isolate her from the other hens, or they will peck at her vent causing more damage Put her into an isolation cage, put plenty of news paper down first and then put heated towels down. They will act like a heat pad for her, no drafts when she is wet or she will catch a chill. You can heat up towels in your microwave, it works well or a wheat heat pack is good too. Just put towels over it. Leave her for a little while to see if she passes the egg, if not, repeat the warm water and soap again Some people just use the heating pads, this sometimes seems to relax the muscles and allow the egg to slip out

If this doesn’t work, you may have to resort to removing the egg manually, which is not a pleasant task. You will need two people to do this. Using KY jelly, Petroleum jelly or Vaseline, insert your finger in the vent. With your other hand you can press gently on her abdomen moving the egg down the oviduct towards the cloaca. Once you can see the egg, if it won’t pass, then rupture the egg and gently remove all the shell Some people suggest using  a sharp instrument. I would not recommend this at all as it could result in causing the hen internal injuries. The shell of the egg will be very sharp when broken and could also damage the chicken internally.

Once you have broken the shell, you must make sure you remove every particle carefully. The cloaca should then be washed with a weak warm water/salt solution. This is to make sure all the egg contents and shell has been removed from inside the hen. If it isn’t it could cause bacteria to start growing inside her and then you’ve got an even bigger problem to solve Once the egg has ejected you will want to keep an eye on her for a while There may be another egg backed up in her oviduct system, especially if she lays an egg every day or every other day. If it has ruptured inside her, you should look for small pieces of shell, or evidence of any cuts around the vent area Be careful you don’t cut yourself or her.

 If you do find any cuts around her cloaca, rinse with hydrogen peroxide and watch her for listlessness, dull eyes, and signs of fever. Infection can come on pretty quickly. Keep a close eye on her, this could happen again to her and she will need immediate action to fix the problem

 

Question Hi, wondering if we need to give chicks any meds to keep them healthy?  Our water has some chlorine in it does that cause a problem?  Some animals are given antibiotics, is that necessary in a backyard environment?

  Answer You can buy feed that has medicine in it to prevemt diseases such as coccidiosis. This disease can wipe out your flock. However you don’t have to give your chicks feed with medicine in it and some people choose not to. It depends on how large your flock is and if your chicks have been exposed to the disease. I would ask the store you are buying your chick feed from. It may be in the food you are already giving them. As I said many people prefer not use any medicines until it is necessary (they get sick).

If you keep them in a clean environment with plenty of food and water and room to scratch around in you will generally be ok. If your water is fit for human consumption then it will be fine for your chickens. Chlorine in levels found in normal drinking water should not be a problem.

Question How long can we keep the fresh eggs before they need to be refrigerated and eaten before they go bad?

Answer I would put your fresh eggs straight in the refrigerator. They will last  a lot longer. Some chefs say that it is better to use eggs that are at room temperature but you can take out the eggs that you are going to use for cooking and let them warm to room temperature before you use them.

The USDA recommends a maximum of 5 weeks in your refrigerator before you discard your eggs. Eggs can remain edible for even longer than a month but the freshness of the egg with an egg yolk that sits firm and high, and a thick viscous egg white will be noticeably less after two weeks.

Here is a how to test for freshness: Get a bowl of cold water. Put the whole egg in the water. If it sinks to the bottom and lays on its side its fresh; if it floats to the top, it is old. You can see the age of it by how much it floats.

Eggs in a Basket

                          Lovely fresh eggs.

Chicken Breeds

December 1, 2009
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.
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