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Everything posted by Sue

  1. I heard someone made a "white pepper" egg and after her chicken ate it she ran off when she even saw an egg, even if she had just laid it herself Try that and post us with the results All the best Sue Dark Brown Eggs
  2. If you leave quantities of eggs in the nesting boxes it will tend to encourage broodiness as the birds think there are sufficient eggs to make a clutch, so a roll away nest box may help with this, but a birds desire to brood is triggered by her breeding and the genes contained in the strain she comes from. Put her in a pen (dog cages are ideal) with just shavings and feed and water, if possible where the other birds can still see her. There is generally no quick fix . People may tell you to dip them in water or put them in drafty wire cages to cool them down. Actually broody hens are already 1-2 degrees cooler than a normal bird - though she may feel warmer when you pick her up as she has removed her breast feathers to aid incubation. It will generally take around 3-6 days before she snaps out of her broodiness, and may be 2 weeks before she starts laying again. In my experience she will often just lay enough for another good clutch and then sit again. But in any case she will need some TLC and plenty of fresh greens to start her laying cycle once more. Putting a broody in with a strange cockerel especially if they are alone together will often bring her into lay, but once again she will probably just lay enough for a good clutch and then sit All the best Sue Dark Brown Eggs
  3. I suppose you could try picking the worst affected one up and holding it in the crook of your arm for 10 mins or so. Make sure you have on old clothes that need to go into the wash and do it pre bathtime just in case. If you have no itchiness after holding them I think you could be pretty certain they are reasonably mite free. Just a suggestion
  4. It might be that she is past laying apparently hybrids sometimes are not productive for all that long, but that wet in the nest leads me to believe she is probably eating her egg shell and all. The problem is eggs taste quite nice and are very nutritious. I she going through a moult, this can bring on thin shelled eggs which are easily broken, and once they have started to eat them it is a difficult habit to break. If you think this is going on try to stop it as she may teach your other hen to do the same, or even eat the eggs herself. Darkening the nest box, collecting the eggs as soon as laid, roll away nest boxes, spectacles, pepper eggs, etc are all things to try. If you think she is moulting you could try increasing her protein rations, (I have heard some people offer dog food) All the best Sue
  5. Often if you break a broody, which you quite easily can - simply by putting her in a cage without bedding, but in sight of the others in the flock, (obviously with food and water available) You will find she will probably come into lay again quite quickly, but will then simply lay enough eggs for another good clutch then want to sit again. I think it is purely genetic plus the right climatic conditions to encourage the hen to feel she will have a successful hatch. I think they know far more about the humidity and climate conducive to hatching. Also there a few more entrancing sights than watching a protective broody hen escorting her little charges. All the best Sue
  6. As the others who have replied said some photos would help in being sure they are female. The breed (and strain) will both affect how quickly they come into lay. I keep Marans and for many strains 30 weeks or even more is unusual for them to come into lay, as is the case with most of the old heavy breeds - but after years of judicious breeding my pullets this year have started into lay at just over 20 weeks. This is mainly by only breeding from those birds which have proved themselves as good layers. Generally birds sold as Point of Lay are 16 weeks old, and of course this is often way before they will come into lay, and sometimes even younger birds are euphemistically sold as pol to people without the experience to judge. Occasionally breeders wait until their pullets have laid at least a couple of eggs so there is not that nail biting wait. Just a thought - you are feeding them layers mash or pellets? All the best Sue
  7. I think it often is a surprise when they lay their first egg. Sometimes it will just be on the floor somewhere, and they even will lay from the perches till they get the hang of things. I couple of false eggs in the nest boxes can be a help at giving them the right idea, and also it is supposed to help stop them egg eating, as they have a good "look" at it with their beaks and decide its not edible before the real eggs appear. My first egg was produced when I had 2 friends staying for the weekend, the chap was so excited he insisted we hardboiled it and then carved it for us all to share All the best Sue
  8. Hi - Easily a few weeks in the fridge. Being an aficionado I only eat a boiled egg if it has been laid that day (preferably within an hour or so), though not all people nowadays seem to know what a "new laid egg" should taste like - then as they stay in the fridge they are suitable for frying, then probably cakes followed by mayonnaise, then general cooking moussakas etc. You can save eggs using Isinglass for several months, and I used to regularly keep the spring flush of eggs for Christmas baking. The thicker and stronger the shell the longer it will last. The eggs which have a grainy surface or thin shelled eggs will not last long as the bacteria have an easier time getting in, and cracked egg should never be kept. Enjoy your chickens and your eggs, you will have so much fun you will be amazed All the best Sue
  9. Mine don't fly being large heavy birds, but I think the trick is to clip the wings before they have discovered they can fly. Once they know they can, the advantage has been lost Remember just to cut the flight (ie longest) feathers on one wing only, and just cut them about half way down. Then there is absolutely no possibility of bleeding. All it does is unbalance them, like an aeroplane being out of trim, once they think they can't fly they generally won't try again. Do an Internet search to see if your birds are light and likely to fly and make sure they are wing clipped on one wing only before they have "got their wings" if you know what I mean. Or alternatively buy something which is not a flyer.# All the best Sue
  10. Hi - Eggs can vary in shell colour. Generally the darkest egg is laid first day, then I think it is about 25/26 hours to the next egg so they get a little later each day. When it is too late to lay that day, the egg is laid the following day, and as it stays in the oviduct longer it often comes out darker, and so on through the cycle. Sometimes if the colour is a bit short it can come out speckled. I am trying to get photos of eggs from each type of hen so I can put more information on my website. So often one sees a written description of the colour of the eggs laid, but rarely backed up by a photo, so if anyone has some photos of their eggs I would love to hear from them All the best Sue
  11. Hi All - I was fascinated to read that some people don't like new laid eggs. My parents kept poultry, so all my life fresh eggs were on the menu, and I will never eat a soft boiled egg unless it has been laid that day, preferably within a few hours, and it is the texture of the white and the freshness of the egg which I find appealing. It just shows what creatures of habit we are, and there is a definite difference in eggs as they age. However I would sometimes use an older egg to hardboil, as the "rubberiness" of the white makes them so much easier to peel (though again the flavour and texture of a newer egg is - to my mind - superior. In the 50's and 60's NEW LAID EGGS was a real selling point. All the best Sue
  12. I would say definately broody Best to either do something to break her of it, or think about some eggs. All the best Sue
  13. Hi - Yes chances are she is ready to lay, especially if her comb in nice and red, and she is "talking" a lot. Good luck with her Sue
  14. Hi - If they were mine I would leave them for at least another 4 or 5 days just to be on the safe side. Eggs can hatch late for a number of reasons, so don't give up hope yet. Try not to keep opening the incubator to check them, and I assume you have switched the turner off? All the best Sue
  15. Hi - Has she got her annual moult over? Moulting puts most but the most determined hybrid off laying. All the best Sue
  16. Hi Janty - it dosn't sound like there is too much wrong with her !! . I suppose every chuck is an individual, and that goes for tone of voice as well. I think a regular layer at 3 needs some sort of accolade All the best Sue
  17. Hi - Do you happen to know if these particular chickens are laying eggs all the best Sue
  18. Sound as though she's coming down with something, but probably too early to tell what. If she's a pet maybe a trip to the vet, unless anyone else on the board has had experience of this. So sorry she's poorly Sue
  19. Hi - Do you want her to hatch out some eggs, or do you want her to start laying some eggs for you? If the latter...... "The best way to encourage a broody back into lay is to put her in a pen of some sort on her own with just shavings and feed and water, if possible where the other birds can still see her. There is no quick fix . People may tell you to dip them in water or put them in drafty wire cages to cool them down ( a broody hen is probably no hotter than a normal hen but she has just removed her breast feathers and her bare skin feels hotter to the touch) A hens desire to brood is triggered by her breeding and the genes contained in the strain she comes from, and there seems little reason to punish her for something she can't help. It will take at least 3-6 days before she snaps out of her broodiness, and will probably be 2 weeks before she starts laying again, and in my experience she will often just lay enough for another clutch and then sit again. But in any case she will need some TLC and plenty of fresh greens to start her laying cycle once more.." Hope that's some help. If you want her to hatch eggs its a different story All the best Sue
  20. Hi It might be several things including:- Worms (as suggested) Red Mite - they have been particularly troublesome during the hot weather, and can make hens anemic She might be getting fowl pox - makes them feel miserable and off colour, but they usually get over it fine though it is contagious She might just be going into the annual moult - has she been laying for a year, are there more feathers around than usual? all the best Sue

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