As the name implies, some good wisdom from the Davaroo archives, collected here and there. Some you may have heard, some not. All good. Add your own, but try to avoid repeats........... If posssible use a cement floor in permanent shelter siting. Its easy to clean and prevents rodents and predators from getting in. Use dropping boards or pans under roosts. This is where most of the filth in a coop originates. Place nests in a darkened area or darken them with curtains/covers or use a community nest. Hens will produce using darkened nests and will be less inclined to eat eggs. Hang your feeders and waterers. It reduces mess and keep rodents from eating and drinking. Allow your birds only enough feed to get them to dark. Rodents travel at night, so clean out your feeders or hang them up high at night and they wont have a reason to visit. For you city chickeners, this should keep the health inspector happy. If city people around you are not as understanding of chickens as you would like, call the birds something else. Use their official name, like Barred Plymouth Rocks. Or call them something really out there, like, Sumatran-line Domesticated Jungle Fowl, or Heritgae Breed Eurasian-Americans. Be consistent and avoid referring to them as chickens. There is much in a name! How To Find Where Your Hen Lays Eggs. When you suspect a hen is secretly laying eggs, try this old farmers trick. 1. Wedge a slightly cracked pepper corn under the suspect hen's tail, just at the skin around the vent. 2. The peppercorn will cause an itching "back there," making the hen think she needs to lay. 3. Follow her back to her nest to collect her hidden eggs. ( I dunno if this works, but it sounds like fun!) Keep hens confined with their nests until about midday. They will usually do all their laying by then and you can allow them out after that. Float eggs in water to test for freshness. Those that quickly float are not fresh, maybe even spoiled. Onions and garlic will taint the flavor of fresh eggs, so avoid feeding these. Chocolate, raw potatoes, and avocados are toxic to birds. Buy a good book on chickens for reference. Let your neighbors know you are going to have chickens BEFORE you get them. Make them your allies and gift them with fresh eggs when your hens are laying. Most city folks are not keen on your having chickens in town. Its not their fault, it's how it is. Plan accordingly. Chickens scratch and dig in the dirt with gusto - it's what they do. If you dont' want them in your flower beds, garden, prize winning petunias or carefully tended lawn - fence them out of these areas. Roosters are loud and even hens make some noise, so be warned. Roosters serve a purpose - they keep hens organized, focused and mimize hen pecking of the runts... without them, hens tend to be scattered and rather witless. Wash your hands after contact with all birds. Insist your children do so, as well. Plan ahead what to do with unwanted birds. This will save you much aggravation.