Quick question on eggs,

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andysod907
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Quick question on eggs,

Post by andysod907 » 28 Nov 2013, 12:11

I was reading a couple of days ago that chickens don't lay in the dark, I have 8 POL and the first one, a columbine lay an egg yesterday about mid-day, perfect blue one, this is the first egg, we have only had them 3 weeks. When I went to open coop at 7.30am this morning there was another egg in the corner of the coop but it had a dent in as though one of the hens had caught it a blow. My nest boxes are closed at night because they were all roosting in them and making a hell of a mess, I open them first thing when I let the girls out. Bit of a ramble but my question is how likely is it that more of the hens will lay like this instead of having the decency to wait until I open the boxes. I do love them though and all of their dirty antics. TIA Andy

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Re: Quick question on eggs,

Post by drfish » 28 Nov 2013, 13:17

Unfortunately, chickens don't read the rule books, and when you've gotta go, you've gotta go. It's not unusual for them to lay seemingly overnight, it's happened to me quite a few times, but only really during the winter months of their first laying season. Most chickens slow down in the winter after their first peak year, so it becomes less of a regular thing. I think the general egg cycle takes around 26 hours, so if they're banging out one a day, it will generally get a couple of hours later per day. Mine aren't prlific layers, so I don't really notice this so much.

Ducks are a lot more predictable with egg laying. Mine tend to do an average 9 days on, 1 day off, but the eggs are always there first light.
Giving power to politicians is like giving whiskey and car keys to a teenage boy - P. J. O'Rourke (thanks Jessie)

It's amazing that people can believe everything is predestined but they still look both ways when crossing the road - Stephen Hawking

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Re: Quick question on eggs,

Post by andysod907 » 28 Nov 2013, 13:54

Thanks drfish, I will just have to be a slave to the girls whims and aren't they greedy buggers for treats, they almost snatch your hand off.

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Re: Quick question on eggs,

Post by drfish » 28 Nov 2013, 14:25

Yes, they do tend to have a 'never been fed before' reaction to everything.

Just a quick note though to say go easy on the treats. A fat hen is an unhealthy hen, and egg production and general wellbeing can be affected quite quickly. Stick to feeding treats later on in the day, after they've had a good fill of proper quality pellets. Don't want to sound like I'm preaching, but we've all been there and it's very tempting to keep shovelling the corn and cake down them :mrgreen:
Giving power to politicians is like giving whiskey and car keys to a teenage boy - P. J. O'Rourke (thanks Jessie)

It's amazing that people can believe everything is predestined but they still look both ways when crossing the road - Stephen Hawking

1 Wife, 3 children, 1 Staffie Bitch (RIP Marley), 1 Chi-Chi, 1 Tuxedo Cat, 1 part Maine Coon cat, male bearded dragon, Horsefield Tortoise, 2 White Silkies, 1 Frizzle Pekin, 1 CLB, 1 Appenzeller Spitzhauben Cockerel, 1 blue laced Wyandotte, 3 Appenzeller x Wynadotte pullets, 1 Call drake, 3 khaki Campbell ducks, 4 (2 male 2 female?) Aylesbury x Campbells, a breeding colony of Dubia cockroaches.

And a lot of Ibuprofen.

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Re: Quick question on eggs,

Post by andysod907 » 28 Nov 2013, 14:59

Thanks drfish, no my wife gives them a little wild bird seed mixed with sunflower seeds and dried mealworms about 10am and they get a corn treat about 3.45pm about an hour before they are thinking of going in. We had had a cabbage hanging for them, lettuce leaves, sprouts and sprout tops they don't bother with any of it. But to be honest most animals or birds that we have ever had were daft as brushes and abnormal, I think the chickens are going to be the same.

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Re: Quick question on eggs,

Post by drfish » 28 Nov 2013, 15:23

Define 'normal' for a chicken. They're all slightly mentally inept in their own ways. I guess that's part of the attraction for most people. And the fact they also earn their keep to some extent.

Just another little tip, avoid lettuce and other watery based salad stuff (cucumber, celery). They tend to give the girls runny bottoms. Although it's not bad for them per se, it all adds to the cleaning up ;)
Giving power to politicians is like giving whiskey and car keys to a teenage boy - P. J. O'Rourke (thanks Jessie)

It's amazing that people can believe everything is predestined but they still look both ways when crossing the road - Stephen Hawking

1 Wife, 3 children, 1 Staffie Bitch (RIP Marley), 1 Chi-Chi, 1 Tuxedo Cat, 1 part Maine Coon cat, male bearded dragon, Horsefield Tortoise, 2 White Silkies, 1 Frizzle Pekin, 1 CLB, 1 Appenzeller Spitzhauben Cockerel, 1 blue laced Wyandotte, 3 Appenzeller x Wynadotte pullets, 1 Call drake, 3 khaki Campbell ducks, 4 (2 male 2 female?) Aylesbury x Campbells, a breeding colony of Dubia cockroaches.

And a lot of Ibuprofen.

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Re: Quick question on eggs,

Post by andysod907 » 28 Nov 2013, 17:28

Thanks drfish.

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Re: Quick question on eggs,

Post by Miss Chooks » 28 Nov 2013, 17:53

I personally don't see the problem of hens sleeping in nesting boxes, if they are laying they can sleep where ever they want. I have 4 and they all sleep in 1 nesting box, all stacked up on top of each other but obviously happy :grin:

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Re: Quick question on eggs,

Post by andysod907 » 28 Nov 2013, 19:51

I don't see a problem myself Miss Chooks apart from the fact that they make one heck of a mess and if they lay their eggs in the same box, well I have read not to clean eggs apart from a dry cloth so they could end up very dirty. Bear in mind I am just beginning to learn and 6 months down the road hopefully I will be a little more knowledgeable, cheers Andy

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Re: Quick question on eggs,

Post by Henwife » 29 Nov 2013, 09:01

If I get shitty eggs from my hens they get washed in warm water since that also draws out any grots in the shell. There's a limit to what I keep in my kitchen or fridge. It's only commercial producers who aren't supposed to wash eating eggs. They get broken for the volume catering trade I believe.
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Re: Quick question on eggs,

Post by drfish » 29 Nov 2013, 10:20

I always wash mine if they're a big mucky, and I'm still here. Although chicken eggs are porous, I fail to believe that washing them would make any difference to the ingress of germs. The germs would already have soaked through by the time you wash them anyway. But I find a damp scouring pad is perfectly adequate without drowning them.

The duck eggs are a necessity. They have no concept of laying in the nest box, so they usually lay anywhere, generally where they've crapped and paddled mud in. Be slightly difficult to sell them to anyone covered in shit :grin:
Giving power to politicians is like giving whiskey and car keys to a teenage boy - P. J. O'Rourke (thanks Jessie)

It's amazing that people can believe everything is predestined but they still look both ways when crossing the road - Stephen Hawking

1 Wife, 3 children, 1 Staffie Bitch (RIP Marley), 1 Chi-Chi, 1 Tuxedo Cat, 1 part Maine Coon cat, male bearded dragon, Horsefield Tortoise, 2 White Silkies, 1 Frizzle Pekin, 1 CLB, 1 Appenzeller Spitzhauben Cockerel, 1 blue laced Wyandotte, 3 Appenzeller x Wynadotte pullets, 1 Call drake, 3 khaki Campbell ducks, 4 (2 male 2 female?) Aylesbury x Campbells, a breeding colony of Dubia cockroaches.

And a lot of Ibuprofen.

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Re: Quick question on eggs,

Post by Miss Chooks » 29 Nov 2013, 11:43

I've never yet had a dirty egg and I 've had them over a year now :thumbright: I have posh girls :lol:

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Re: Quick question on eggs,

Post by Henwife » 29 Nov 2013, 11:57

Do you by any chance poo pick the nest box every morning or have you really got house trained chicken? If so, there are a lot of people who would be interested in them!
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Re: Quick question on eggs,

Post by darkbrowneggs » 29 Nov 2013, 12:32

drfish wrote:I always wash mine if they're a big mucky, and I'm still here. Although chicken eggs are porous, I fail to believe that washing them would make any difference to the ingress of germs. The germs would already have soaked through by the time you wash them anyway. But I find a damp scouring pad is perfectly adequate without drowning them.

The duck eggs are a necessity. They have no concept of laying in the nest box, so they usually lay anywhere, generally where they've crapped and paddled mud in. Be slightly difficult to sell them to anyone covered in shit :grin:
Apparently when eggs are laid they are covered with a finish which help prevents germs entering the egg. So once you have washed them you remove this thereby allowing more germs to enter. There is a egg wash solution that you can add to the final rinse water.

I think sometimes folk dunk them all in a bowl and clean them in there, so in effect they are lying in polluted water. If I needed to wash duck eggs for hatching I would put them in hand warm water till any poo was beginning to soften. Take them out one at a time and run under the tap while I got them clean. Then dip them in a clean bowl of warm water with egg wash solution in - then place on a clean teatowel to dry off . Always had very good hatch rates after doing it this way.

For the ducks I could mostly keep the eggs clean by giving them a barrel to lay in with a really good layer of woodshavings in the bottom, The ducks were shut in a pen till about 11 am during the laying period, though I think I could have let them out much earlier actually as most of the eggs seem to have been laid by morning. The pen was concrete bottom which could be hosed off so most of the eggs were immaculate unless there was a queue for the 2 barrels in which case one or two got laid outside and needed washing
To follow my travel journal see www.thebusphoebeandme.us For lots of info on keeping and breeding Marans see www.darkbrowneggs.info

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Re: Quick question on eggs,

Post by drfish » 29 Nov 2013, 13:09

I never fully submerge the eggs at all, I always just rinse them under the tap first, then remove the icky bits with the scourer, then give them a final rinse and dry them. The problem is they are white and stain quite easily if you don't scrub them well. The chicken eggs are never really that bad. One chicken favours the nest box to the right (the frizzle pekin) and the 2 silkies both lay (and sleep) in the same box to the left. Usually only the left one will have poop in. But as the silkies like to keep the eggs warm, the poop doesn't come into contact that often. And unless there's a red mite issue, I only change the shavings every other week in the nest boxes.

Might give the barrel idea a try. I have one duck who occasionally makes her way to the nest box attached to the coop, but more often than not they are just rolling round in the main coop area. Amazes me that they never break them in their haste to evacuate the coop every morning. But they are always all laid before dawn. On work days, I open them up at 7.30am so it's still almost dark, and the days quota of eggs are always available then. Only one one laid in the run so far, and that was right at the beginning of them coming into lay. And they aren't allowed out the coop until 9am on a weekend coz I can't be bothered to go and do it any earlier :P
Giving power to politicians is like giving whiskey and car keys to a teenage boy - P. J. O'Rourke (thanks Jessie)

It's amazing that people can believe everything is predestined but they still look both ways when crossing the road - Stephen Hawking

1 Wife, 3 children, 1 Staffie Bitch (RIP Marley), 1 Chi-Chi, 1 Tuxedo Cat, 1 part Maine Coon cat, male bearded dragon, Horsefield Tortoise, 2 White Silkies, 1 Frizzle Pekin, 1 CLB, 1 Appenzeller Spitzhauben Cockerel, 1 blue laced Wyandotte, 3 Appenzeller x Wynadotte pullets, 1 Call drake, 3 khaki Campbell ducks, 4 (2 male 2 female?) Aylesbury x Campbells, a breeding colony of Dubia cockroaches.

And a lot of Ibuprofen.

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