This page has references and resources--- and now links.......
For Vet help with your chickens if you don't have access to a local vet who handles poultry:
A vet I wish I had known about is 'The Chicken Doctor', Dr. Peter J. Brown. He will do a call back for $25 and the fee would be waived if you ended up buying meds from their site. (I figure sometimes I would need a medication anyway, and if I can talk to an expert poultry vet, all the better, I'd be happy to purchase from them. ) It is First State Vet. Here is a link: http://www.firststatevetsupply.com/
-- I consulted him about a suspected problem I had with one of my chickens. He also has an on-line radio show on Monday afternoons. You can call or perhaps eMail the on air show. I just listened last Monday it is on the show 'the chicken whisperer'. Not 100% how it all works as yet, but I think you register, and you can email in---and you can listen and call in. No charge. Here is the link --> www.blogtalkradio.com/backyardpoultry -- the time is Mondays at -- I think 12:30PM EST
How big is that EGG?
above Information Reference: Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens by Gail Damerow except asterisks which are my additions thanks to Nonny in Queensland and Wikipedia..... Note: Nonny's Australorps have laid an egg 96 grams. (ouch)
THANK YOU LINDA FOR FINDING MY ERRORS and alerting me so that I was able to fix it!
Unusual Egg Chart-- Look at the left side bar and match to the egg yolk or egg shell problem that you see.....there is a good article and it is sobering to realize the effect of heat on our feathered friends-->
HEAT and Chickens:
The following table is posted on the web at the Poultry Site -- here is the link: http://www.thepoultrysite.com/articles/138/hot-weather-management-of-poultry
Table 1. Heat Stress and ambient temperatures &and Abient Temperature
55° to 75°F
Thermal neutral zone. The temperature
range in which the bird does not need to alter its basic metabolic rate or behavior to maintan its body temperature
65° to 75°F
Ideal Temperature range 75° to 85° A slight reduction in feed consumption can be expected, but if nutrient intake is adequate, production efficiency is good. Egg size may be reduced and shell quality may suffer as temperatures reach the top of this range. 85° to 90°F Feed consumption falls further. Weight gains are lower. Egg size and shell quality deteriorate. Egg production usually suffers. Cooling procedures should be started before this temperature range is reached 90° to 95°F Feed consumption continues to drop. There is some danger of heat prostration among layers, especially the heavier birds and those in full production. At these temperatures, cooling procedures must be carried out. 95° to 100°F Heat prostration is probable. Emergency measures may be needed. Egg production and feed consumption are severely reduced. Water consumption is very high. Over 100°F
Emergency measures are needed to cool birds.
Survival is the concern at these temperatures.
The above from article By Kenneth E. Anderson, Extension Poultry Specialist and Thomas A. Carter, Specialist-in-Charge, Poultry Science Extension, North Carolina State University web link is above
Information on charts is very valuable. I also think that animals are tremendously adaptable and if the chickens are used to higher heat conditions, they may not drop dead. They do have some mechanisms for cooling themselves, such as panting. In our heat wave which has lasted over 51 days and is predicted to continue for at least the next 2, the thermometer by the coop is 100-degrees. (yes it is shaded). The chickens cope--but there was one very close call this summer and one other example where the chicken was suffering.....and luckily those times I was there.... what may have happened when I wasn't around at other times, I don't know.
Shell-less eggs. I think that there can be a lot of causes for the chicken to loose the ability to create a good shell.
Do they get enough calcium? Free choice oyster shell in a container is good, and crushing the shells of the eggs you use and feeding them back to your flock is good. My chooks prefer egg shells to oyster shells BTW.
Apple Cider vinegar in their water (1TBSP per 1gallon of water) - helps the chicken's digestive system absorb nutrients -- including calcium, it has to do with the pH factor.
Vitamin D3 helps the hen with egg shell production too. I bought a bottle of tablets at WalMart and crushed up one. put it in with some feed and the contents of the shell-less egg (she was making membranes but no shell) - so vitamin D3, and more protein and good quality layer feed with the most calcium of the available feeds, They tended to gobble that down.
Old age, and other factors can interfere with shell production if you think your hens may be approaching the end of their laying period.
Rooster Despurring video
More that once I have referred to this youtube video of how to despur a rooster -->
Bumper bits - aka bumpa bits
Charity gift of livestock (flock of chicks to the needy) http://www.heifer.org/
Build PVC pipe Chicken enclosureHOUSING YOUR CHOOKS
Here are the plans:
CATTLE PANEL CHICKEN RUN--- Someone very clever posted this on the internet...and I refer to it a LOT:
From Mother Earth News.....Ap/May 2012
chicken coop - with PVC run. also a link to the kits for run.....
LINKS ABOUT CREAM LEGBARS!!