newbie w/oh so many questions...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by swmommyto3, Jun 27, 2008.

  1. swmommyto3

    swmommyto3 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 27, 2008
    I think Ive searched and found most answers in previous posts (thank you sooooo much!!!) but of course I have more! we just built a tractor the run is 8x5 w/4 layers, we plan on letting them out but are concerned their wings arent clipped.
    1. should we clip them? our fence is 5ft chainlink on 1/3acre pretty sure they could fly over it.

    got them from a hatchery as hens not chicks, 2 rhode island red, 1 white and an araucana, one of the reds is "queen hen" and although she goes in the coop she doesnt lay eggs in the nests (the others do just fine!)
    2. is there some reason she wont lay inside or am I thinking to hard?

    I understand the whole bloom thing but...
    3. if you cant wash them why can you rub them w/sandpaper "Storey's guide to raising chickens" to clean them? that seems harsher than water???? can you just not get them wet at all? what about purell or something? (yes Im obviously new to this and really feeling the need to clean them although yes they look fine)

    my grandmother says we have to have a rooster around or they will get aggressive and basically go insane, finding this one hard to believe but thought Ild throw it out there, we have no desire for a guy around (no offense rooster raisers) we just want eggs!!!
    4. can the hens be happy as an all girls club???

    TIA and Im sure Ill have lots more [​IMG]
     
  2. chickiebaby

    chickiebaby Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 2, 2008
    western mass
    welcome! don't want to pose as the expert here: instead I suggest you ask your questions one or two at a time, and title the post with the question. People on this forum, esp the super-experienced ones, seem to answer far more quickly and more frequently when post titles are specific.

    Good luck!
     
  3. jkcove08

    jkcove08 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 12, 2007
    Iowa
    I will give my opinion. It will be different the everyone elses one way or another but that is the pleasure of being on such a large chicken board..lol OK,
    1. Since these were full grown hens when you got them I would clip 1 wing. If you clip both they still might be able to get enough air to get over the fence. With one wing clipped it kinda throws them out of balance.

    2. Older chickens can be kinda persnicity. Your hen not laying in the coop is probly just her thing. Maybe she was used to shavings in her nest boxes and you put in straw. Dont worry about it as long as you can find it.

    3. IMO doing a light rinse on eggs that have a little dirt or poo wont hurt them a bit. A good washing is fine right before you eat them. If yours are coming in pretty clean I would put them in the carton and wash them right before you eat them. I do wash all of my eggs but that is becouse I also sell them and want everyone looking good for the costomers. I rinse them as fast as I can and figure I havent hurt the bloom much when you leave them on a towel on the counter and can watch them dry in seconds.

    4. As far as what grandma says, one of your hens will most probably become top dog in the absence of a roo but they will not go crazy with out one..... They will get to keep all their feathers too..lol

    I hope this helps a little. Jenn
     
  4. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    Since you asked:
    1. should we clip them? Our fence is 5ft chainlink on 1/3acre pretty sure they could fly over it.
    Yep, they can. If you want to keep them safe and productive, in your case, clip.

    ...got them from a hatchery as hens not chicks, 2 rhode island red, 1 white and an araucana, one of the reds is "queen hen" and although she goes in the coop she doesnt lay eggs in the nests (the others do just fine!)
    2. is there some reason she wont lay inside or am I thinking to hard?

    Hmmmmm, dunnno. Chickens, like other creatures, are habitual. Her habit is to lay elsewhere.
    "Coop her up" in the coop for a few days and she may start laying in the nests.

    I understand the whole bloom thing but...
    3. if you cant wash them why can you rub them w/sandpaper
    "Storey's guide to raising chickens" to clean them? that seems harsher than water???? can you just not get them wet at all? what about purell or something? (yes Im obviously new to this and really feeling the need to clean them although yes they look fine)

    Take it easy. They dont need cleaning unless they are badly soiled and then only if they are going to be sold or incubated. There is precedence for cleaning, in that the shell is porous - bacteria can go both ways. But for the most part, it is an appearance thing. I prefer steel wool to rub off the gunk.

    my grandmother says we have to have a rooster around or they will get aggressive and basically go insane, finding this one hard to believe but thought Ild throw it out there, we have no desire for a guy around (no offense rooster raisers) we just want eggs!!!
    4. can the hens be happy as an all girls club???

    Yes. But one hen is likely to adopt the role of rooster and become alpha. She will dominate the others, fight and even try to crow. It happens.

    GREAT questions.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 27, 2008
  5. crooked stripe

    crooked stripe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    N.E Ohio- Suffield
    With the chicken over the fence question I think it depends on the breed. Other folks here can answer that. I have 5 buff orps and 3 black australorps and they have never tried to jump my 4' fence. They do sit on the cross brace on the swing set and on the fire drum. They don't seem to be interested in getting out. I have even left the gate open and they just stand and look though it. I just figure they must like their home and have no desire to leave. John
     
  6. chickiebaby

    chickiebaby Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 2, 2008
    western mass
    alright: my two cents on the wing clipping, just for diversity of opinion: I dont do it and my chickens who have been known to hang out in trees and on top of their coop, 8 feet off the ground, never leave the yard (six fot fences). A couple did once each were scared, hung around crying, and never did it again. They love to fly about, and I like to watch them fly about. There was a thread about this recently - just search.

    I dont wash my eggs except if I'm giving them as a a present to someone unused to fresh eggs.
     
  7. swmommyto3

    swmommyto3 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 27, 2008
    thank you everyone! I didnt think about washing them right before consuming Ill be doing that now instead! and I guess we'll see if they need their wings clipped or not because one escaped this morning and is happily wandering the yard, trying to figure out what to do w/our dog though! again thanks! and I promise to only post one question at a time now, just didnt want to clog up the board.
     
  8. lowillobe

    lowillobe Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 8, 2008
    I would defiantly clip their wings. Two of my chickens flew over an 8 ft. fence.

    Yay for Rhode Island Reds!!! They are in my experience a really friendly chicken.

    We have one mini RIR rooster. Yet, he doesn't associate with a group of full size hens just the bantams. Martha took over the rooster position and doesn't pick on them. She just tells them where to go.
     
  9. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 19, 2007
    Pennsylvania
    OK, here's my opinion, which is just one among many...

    1. should we clip them? our fence is 5ft chainlink on 1/3acre pretty sure they could fly over it.

    My chickens are way to lazy to fly over a 5 ft fence. I have a 3' fence around my garden that they gaze longingly into all the time, but they have never flown over it. If you are providing for their needs (food, water, shelter, nest box, etc), I highly doubt they're going to fly over that fence. I would not bother with wing-clipping unless you have turkeys or guineas or a notoriously flying breed. You'd have to re-clip them every 6 weeks since they re-grow. Seriously, I wouldn't suggest doing it just to safe yourself the unecessary hassle.


    got them from a hatchery as hens not chicks, 2 rhode island red, 1 white and an araucana, one of the reds is "queen hen" and although she goes in the coop she doesnt lay eggs in the nests (the others do just fine!)
    2. is there some reason she wont lay inside or am I thinking to hard?


    You have to lock them up for 3 weeks (no less!) for them to understand this is home, and this is where they lay eggs. then when you let them out, they'll know it's home. There are a ton of reasons she may not be laying. Hens don't lay when they molt, and they don't lay every day. She may not like the nest, or she may be laying them somewhere you don't see them. Is the nest big enough for her? Hens need to feel safe and happy to lay eggs -- they can CHOOSE not to lay an egg if they don't want to.

    I understand the whole bloom thing but...
    3. if you cant wash them why can you rub them w/sandpaper "Storey's guide to raising chickens" to clean them? that seems harsher than water???? can you just not get them wet at all? what about purell or something? (yes Im obviously new to this and really feeling the need to clean them although yes they look fine)


    the eggs are fine. They only need cleaning when they have poop on them. If you want, you can wash them if you use them within a week or two. If you want them to keep longer, I wouldn't wash them.

    my grandmother says we have to have a rooster around or they will get aggressive and basically go insane, finding this one hard to believe but thought Ild throw it out there, we have no desire for a guy around (no offense rooster raisers) we just want eggs!!!
    4. can the hens be happy as an all girls club???
    Hens are happy-as-can-be as an all girls club. Your grandma may never have had a flock without a rooster???


    Just sit back and enjoy them!
     
  10. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    Quote:Since when has clogging up the board been an issue?? [​IMG]
    GO ahead- post away!
     

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