We all love fresh eggs, but sometimes the my chickens get to them before me. I'm 12 and started with a small group of hens (3) earlier this year. They seemed ready to die so my Dad bought 3 more. All the chickens survived; I say chickens because one of my "guaranteed sexed" hens was a rooster. So here are some ideas and things I've encountered in my small coop with 5 Rhode Island Red hens an one rooster to keep the chickens from eating the eggs or breaking them as well as tips for keeping your hens laying all year.
1. place extra wood chips/straw in the nesting box so that the chickens won't break their eggs when they get out .
2. if you find they have cracked an egg and they are eating it sprinkle some cumin in it and that should stop them
3. make sure they eat plenty of corn so the shell will be strong and brown
4. try to use your eggs after 2 weeks or they won't taste quite right
5. Using a heat lamp in the winter along with extra food will keep them laying even in the winter though usually only 2-3 eggs per hen.
6. while bloodspots do not change the flavor of the egg, they do change the value they nearly slice it in half so if you're planning on selling them I would suggest removing the rooster.
7. leaving shells wet after you clean them could lead to softening so make sure they are completly dry before you put them away
8.the most important thing is that you feed them plenty so they have the energy to lay
9.separate the sick from the well
10. in the winter lock the chickens in there coop so they will not freeze
11. If you decide to sell your eggs make sure you ask a fair price so that your customer will buy from you again and will tell there friends about your eggs
12. make a mark for your cartons so that you'll remember when you collected them
13. mark on your eggs with the date you got them so you won't sell eggs 2 weeks after they're layed because it's illegal in most states
14.be ready for anything including special orders and reservations when selling eggs.
15.another big one is "pasty butt" it can slow productivity and if it goes on to long it can kill your chicken when "things" block the lower area
the chicken can not relieve itself and dies. but just beacause "things" are sticking to your chickens butt does not mean its going to die.
If your chicken has pasty butt there are severeal different things you can try: 1. baby wipe gently rub the butt until it comes of
2. (this one will make the chickens mad cause it stings ) take some hydrogen peroxide (yes canker sore medication) and rub it on the area using a dry washcloth
3: (for chickies only) cut the butt feathers that the poop is stuck to .