First eggs!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by LeanneP, Oct 25, 2014.

  1. LeanneP

    LeanneP Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 19, 2014
    Kenansville, NC
    I'm SO excited!

    Our flock is 19 weeks old, and for the past 3 days, one of the leghorns has laid an egg each day!

    She laid the first one at the door of their coop (their coop is only temporary, it's an old shed) on Thursday. Then Friday she laid one around the corner of the building. So, I padded the nesting boxes with shredded paper and I laid one of her eggs in each box. Today she laid in the nest box! But she had taken the "cold" egg (Thursday's) and tucked it under the mat we have at the bottom. Today I added pine chips on top of the shredded paper and left two in that box and yesterday's in the other.

    So I have a question for anyone who might care to comment: How long should I leave the eggs in the nests? I have at least 15 other hens (I say at least because there are still a couple we aren't sure about) and none of them are laying yet, though I think a few are "singing" and may start any day now!

    I'm not sure if leaving the eggs in there is a good practice or not? We are more concerned about having them lay in the nesting boxes than we are eager to eat the eggs right now, so that's why we have left them out there for now.

    This is so much more fun than I ever could have imagined it to be! We just love those birds so much!

    BTW, as a side note, the one laying wasn't even meant to still be here! I ordered specific chicks and then decided on the "rainbow layer assortment" from McMurray. We had planned to sell off the "extras" from the order locally, but they're pets now and that's just not gonna happen! I even named all of the leghorns "Betty" because they weren't supposed to be kept beyond a few weeks 'till out of the brooder...and she's the first to lay, go figure!
     
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Congratulations on those first eggs! :ya Those Pearl Whites are wonderful layers, may they lay many more for you!

    You want to have fake eggs (you can buy ceramic or wooden eggs) or something egg shaped in the nest boxes (some people use golf balls), rather than leaving real eggs in there... so the real eggs don't get broken etc leading to egg eating.
     
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  3. LeanneP

    LeanneP Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 19, 2014
    Kenansville, NC
    Thank you so much! I hadn't thought about them eating the eggs. I will get fake eggs and get them out.

    I can't even believe how exciting this is LOL
     
  4. LeanneP

    LeanneP Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 19, 2014
    Kenansville, NC
    So, I'm such a fool!

    That first egg I found was just over a week ago. Every day since then, I have found an egg except for one day. I had some plastic Easter eggs on hand, so I put 2 in each of their nesting boxes. That girl has continued to lay faithfully in the box other than once I found an egg outside of it, but they keep taking the plastic eggs out.

    So anyway...this morning I was out there spending time with the flock as usual, and I noticed 3 of the leghorns acting like they were trying to lay on an upper shelf. Great! I thought, they're getting ready to start laying too! So, I go on to do a little cleaning in the coop only to discover a clutch of A FULL DOZEN EGGS that had been laid UNDER the floor board! I'm not even sure that I got all of them or if some are still under there out of my reach (we'll pull up the board later and cover the access they were using to get under there).

    I've no idea how many of the 6 leghorns are laying, but at least a few.

    Still no brown or blue/green eggs from the others, though.

    So now I need to know how I can tell if an egg is still okay to eat as an egg if you stumble upon them and have no idea how long ago they were laid. I realize I need to candle them, but what am I looking for? (I DO have roosters).

    I'm so grateful for this site and all of you!
     
  5. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    :lau Just when you think you are smarter than your chickens!!! Hate when they do that to you!

    If they were in a dry place (not sure if it gets wet under the coop). The eggs should still be fine, unwashed eggs keep for a good month or more (they don't wash or refrigerate eggs in a lot of countries). Could do a float test on them, and would just open them individually in a separate bowl when you go to use them.
     
  6. LeanneP

    LeanneP Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 19, 2014
    Kenansville, NC
    I swear! Now I feel like they aren't just singing to me when I come in the coop - they've been taunting me (and probably telling each other jokes about me in chicken speak)!

    If an egg is (or may be) fertilized, how soon does it need to be refrigerated to ensure it doesn't start to develop?
     
  7. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Maybe we're lucky we don't know what they are saying about us :D ...

    Unless it is continuously over about 80* (which is where they say development could potentially take place), wouldn't worry about it ... a broody hen collects eggs for weeks even in the summer before she sets them ... would just open them one by one when you go to use them, to be sure you don't have a bad one.

    Nice article on Brinsea and hatching egg temps http://www.brinsea.com/Articles/Advice/PowerOff.aspx
     
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  8. LeanneP

    LeanneP Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 19, 2014
    Kenansville, NC
    Yes! I am much better off to maintain my delusion that those chicks think I am the best mama they could ever have dreamed of! ;)

    I'll just chalk this little incident up as being akin to teenagers throwing their socks under the bed rather than in the hamper...
     

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