New to chickens/egg and roosting question...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by dockbrown, Aug 18, 2010.

  1. dockbrown

    dockbrown Hatching

    Aug 18, 2010
    Finally got some eggs the other day. Got a couple issues now though. The hens have a coop that they do not use these days and they prefer to use my back deck and preferably the spot by the back door that makes a whole crappy mess clearly. I am not sure why but if maybe the highest elevation they can get too. This is my first year on the property and it takes floods everynow and then from the bayou and will come up in the yard under the chicken coop. It has only happened once but it has been since that time that the chickens stopped roosting in the coop.
    well and to add to the mess, I got the girls pygmy goats around the same time and they started the whole mess on hanging on the deck and after I locked them out of the deck the chickens seemed to take over. They all seem to get along fine so I dont think its a goat issue but one never knows.
    I will take some time to rework the coop and I would like them to stay in the coop and quit pooping all over my deck. Any suggestions here would be great. Ie.. would a fake snake or owl statue work to discourage or do I just need to lock them up for a week or so.

    Second part of the qustion is the egg laying. I live in texas and have 100 degree heat these days and have found some eggs on my deck under the grill and around. I am not home everyday so the time of the egglaying will always be in question. How long if not in the direct sun will these eggs be good in these conditions? And to complicate matters I have two roosters, one by mistake and I am not sure if any of the eggs are fertilized. So here goes probably the dumbest of questions... If fertilized, I am hearing now of the possiblility of cracking an egg open to beaks and feathers. I would have been under the impression that the gestation period would allow for some time prior to this occuring. Can I hold a light up or have some way of knowing this as to avoid the obvious unpleasentries?

    Oh, and another question, I have heard that not all hens will sit on the eggs. How much time through the day will they sit on the eggs or will this only be at night, assuming that i may let some eggs go the distance. And If i choose to let some eggs stay and incubate naturally, can i mark them with a sharpie so that we can collect the other eggs?
    sorry for the longwinded all over the place dialogue....any suggestions would be great though

  2. texasgal

    texasgal Brood with an Attitude

    Apr 18, 2009
    [​IMG] from another Texan.

    Chickens are going to go where chickens go .. it seems once they have their mind made up .. [​IMG]

    Are you locking them up in the coop at night? How are they protected from predators?

    Re: eggs

    It's best to collect eggs promptly, I would think. The fact that they aren't laying in one place makes it tricky. The weather that we are having down here makes it tricky also.

    Under normal circumstances, a fertilized egg will not start developing until it is incubated (either by us .. or by a broody hen) .. however when our temps are in the 100's, those eggs ARE incubating. If you go several days between gathering eggs, you COULD crack one open to blood vessels and a very small developing fetus.

    As to leaving the eggs to "go the distance" .. unless you have a broody hen, one that is sitting on those eggs 24 hours a day, the eggs will not "go the distance" . Not all chickens go broody, and you can't MAKE them go broody. So best to gather those eggs as frequently as possible until you have a hen that wants to "eat your lunch" for getting near her in her nest.
  3. bigstack

    bigstack Songster

    Jan 4, 2010
    Texarkana, TX
    First off make sure the coop has a huge amount of ventilation! Then lock the hens inside for 3-6 days (Minding the heat). Then continue to lock them in for another week at night! They will figure out that this is a nice place and that they will have to stay here at night! This usually works but as with most animals there is always the exception! LOL They will also figure out that their eggs will be safe here and continue to lay in the coop. As for fertility and eggs..... Its just a gamble. The embryo will start to develope at 3-5 days. You can Find blood and tissue(Beak/head/eyes) at around a week old! It is important to quickly refridgerate all eggs ASAP! this will stop any development! Not all hens go broody. Some may start and continue for a day or 7 then just decide not to set anymore! If you want babies leave a few in a nest and see if you have a hen that will stay on them. (sharpie is fine but not recomended, pencil works well just don't push too hard and I make sure that it has a rounded point, not sharp) Or just get a incubator.

    Good Luck and God Bless!
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2010

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