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Chicken Behaviors & Egg Laying - Common Questions & Answers

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My hens just started laying about one month ago ago and they keep pooping in their nesting boxes, are the eggs still good if I wash them, and what can I do to keep them from pooping there?
Do your chickens roost in the nest boxes? I have had some to try to roost in them and really make a mess. others may have better ways but i would go out just after they went to roost usually 3 or 4 nights in a row and move them to the roost and they got the idea..the eggs are still good if you wash them as 99% of the eggs you buy in a store are washed.but they do spray a chemical on them to replace the "bloom" they washed off..if you are planning to hatch the eggs the hatch rate will go down on washed vs unwashed eggs...hope this helps ...good luck
don't know how to keep from pooping in nrst, mine do too. eggs are fine!!
My Red Star Hen just started laying. The last 4 days I have went out early morning to find no egg, then return again not long after to find an egg but it has been cracked and eaten. I am not sure if the shell is too soft, so starting yesterday I have added some oyster shell into thier feed. But if this problem keeps persisting, and I have a egg cracken hen, what can I do to stop this? Any tips would be wonderful!
My Golden Buffs just started laying a couple days ago, they are just over 18 weeks. My question is all the books say to expect tiny treasure size eggs & I am getting some pretty big eggs. Today's egg was 2.2 ounces, and it was a double yolk. Is this normal? Just want to make sure I'm taking care of my girls! Thanks!
farmer faith, my girls do not eat the eggs unless they have broken accidently. maybe thats what happen with your girls and see how many eggs have been shouldn't happen that often and if it does and you know who the culprit is, you may have to seperate her so she can only eat her own eggs!!
cheeky777, i have golden bufffington girls and they lay BIG eggs too, no tiny treasures...double yolks are great !!! your girls sound very happy and healthy, sounds like wonderful caregiving to me:)
Question ????? I am about to get 8 to 12 hens that are laying right now. When I go get them and bring them home will they keep laying eggs or might there be a stoppage in the drama of a new home ? THANKS for info I am total newbie, lol.
I am a newbie with chickens, but when somebody wanted to give me chickens i couldn't resist. Now i don't know what to do with the eggs. We do want baby chicks but some of our hens are not laying in their eggs? What eggs can you eat and what eggs hatch????? please somebody help
trickbaby...there might be alittle slowdown at first, depending on the streess level, but once everyone is settled in and happy things will go back to normal
chickleighannie..i eat all my eggs, i might try to hatch some when it gets warmer, then i won't take out all the eggs and i will wait to see what happens...i think it takes about 28 days for eggs to hatch
We have four chickens of mixed breeds. We are getting 2 eggs a day but yesterday one of my girls laid in the yard and the egg had no shell. Does anyone know what causes this? and what can I do to get all the girls laying? We give them mixed seed and pellets as well kitchen and garden scraps.
They might need some oyster shell. You can get it at your seed and feed stores.
i have wild chickens and 1 has made her nest under my deck. she has 11 babies that hatched on valentines day and she has been staying in our yard. we have purchased feed for her and the babies and she hasn't left the yard yet :) can anyone tell me if she might stay and continue to use her nest - which we added straw and clean out when she is out scratching in the yard. i guess i want to know when she will lay eggs again?
we had a wild chicken that appeared one time she stayed for months and then one day was gone I think something caught her she would not go in the pen most of the time if you feed them they will stay
When hens are raising their young, do they still lay eggs? We have two Cuckoo hens that were laying eggs. We got two R.I. Red pullets. When we put them together the hens stopped laying eggs. This happened in November. The pullets have not started laying yet. My husband thinks that the hens might think they are taking care of babies and stopped laying for that reason. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Could someone educate me on the stepping stones to good sitters. Someone must have some ideas to share. I had hoped that providing nesting boxes early on, placed the pullets in the boxes might help. They do go and sit in them. I have tried to keep the nesting boxes especially clean might help.I also thought not taking their first groups of eggs but to let them in the boxes might help. My current flock is so smart there must be some action i can take to make good setters if they are so smart. Also,how do I mark eggs being sat on from the eggs freshly layed. Is there a save way to mark them?
sorry about spelling,edit is not functioning. When hens sit do the eggs still have to be turned? Would it encourage the sitting prone hens to sit if they had their own space seperate from the wild gal community? How many eggs can one hen sit on? Is there an area on the site that covers candling eggs?After the roo has done his deed does leaving the roo with the hens encourage or discourage sitting? I know this is alot of questions. I appreciate anyone taking the time to educate me, I sure need it. Thank you.
dida4rn.........Chicken eggs hatch in 21 days although, I have had some take a day or two longer. Duck and geese eggs take 28 days..
JillS.......It has been my experience that a hen will take to sitting when she wants to. Certain breeds are good sitters. Check out the "Breeds" section of any poultry site. It should tell you which breeds are good sitters.
Marking eggs.....If one of your hens takes to sitting it would be best to separate her and her eggs from the rest of your flock. There would be no need to mark her eggs then. She will leave her nest and clutch of eggs for a short periods to eat and drink. Leaving her (and her eggs) with the rest of the flock may encourage other hens to lay additional eggs in her nest as it tends to lure them in where other eggs have been laid.
Sitting hens/turning eggs......Your sitting hens will turn their eggs using their beaks. They know what to do and when to do it.
How many eggs can one hen sit on.....It has been my experience (and this is just MY experience) that a hen will sit on as many eggs as she thinks she can handle. She will push any she cannot handle out of the nest. Others may have had different experiences with the amount of eggs their hens sit on.
I hope this has answered at least some of your questions/concerns. I am still learning and I have been raising chickens for years.
BackYard Chickens › Learning Center Articles › Chicken Behaviors & Egg Laying - Common Questions & Answers