Random Questions for Someone New

cherylgladys

In the Brooder
May 17, 2020
39
51
46
Sacramento, CA
Hi Chicken Lovers! Two of my three hens just started laying and its so exciting! I eat delicious eggs every day, and yesterday Tootsie's first egg was a double! So, one question I have is should I wash the egg before I cook it? The shell looks perfect, no stains or blood, just nice and clean. So, I haven't been washing them....
Also, for the three chickens I only have two nesting boxes...and will that cause an issue for the future? I mean, the other one could lay close by where the roosting area is.... The two seem to lay at the same time in the morning, like 10 am, and it's quite a party out there, Marilyn ( the one who isn't laying) looks so confused. Like what is all the noise about?
The other question I have is treats. It has been a very hot summer here in Sacramento, and I have been giving them cool treats throughout the day....watermelon, corn on the cob, cold yogurt ( they love it!) but their main food is the main source (laying Scratch & Peck ). After I mow the lawns, I have been giving them the grass cuttings which they like and also I cut small pieces of nastursiums and leaves, some weeds and some cut up cherry tomatoes. They do not free range so I feel they need this?
The other question I have is about poops. Sometimes their poops are quite runny so is this because of the treats I give them? Dumb question, do chickens pee?
I appreciate any tips and tricks...love this site! Thanking you all in advance!
 

Sally PB

Songster
Premium Feather Member
Aug 7, 2020
501
1,151
153
Belding, MI
I'm gonna take a stab at answering, even though I'm pretty new at this.
Washing: Don't need to. Eggs are covered with "bloom" as they are laid, and that seals the pores in the shell. If you do wash them, the bloom is removed, and then you need to store the eggs in the fridge.
Nesting boxes: Two for three chickens should be plenty. I have three layers and they share one box. Other than very first eggs from two of them, all but two other eggs have been been in the nesting box.
Watery poop: Some treats may loosen up the poop a bit. Cucumbers did that to my girls. Watermelon a bit too. Like candy for kids, treats should be... treats.
Pee: The white stuff on the top of a pile of poop is the equivalent of pee. They don't have liquid urine.
Grass cuttings, etc: My chickens are enclosed (no free ranging) due to predators. I give them grass trimmings, trimmings from the garden, bugs, and grubs.
Good luck!
 

MrFluffyandGirls

Songster
Dec 30, 2018
860
2,308
191
SC, Low Country
If your layer feed is nutritionally complete you really don't have to feed them anything else but they do like new and exciting food just like us! :D
The poops are watery because if its hot they are drinking more water and you are feeding them fresh foods that contain water.
I stay way from grass pr hay because I'm afraid of impacted or sour crop issues. But that's just me some others allow it.
two nesting boxes is fine for 3 chickens.
Your on the right track, enjoy your feathered friends!!!:thumbsup
 

GRB73

Songster
Mar 10, 2016
156
132
131
SE Pennsylvania
Hi! I only give the eggs a quick swipe with a damp cloth if they have poo on them. Otherwise, no washing but I refrigerate them.
As for nest boxes, my three girls have shared one for almost 5 years and so far all has been well.
As for treats, too much of a good thing can be too much. I reserve treats for afternoon after I know they've eaten well from their feed. I also give a small portion, a few tablespoons per chicken. Do offer grit (to help their bodies grind up the food) and oyster shells (for added calcium) in separate bowls on the side. Watch the grass clippings too. Make sure they are untreated with chemicals and not more than 3". Long grasses/fibers can build up and cause crop compaction. One last thing, non related to your question but I always throw out to new owners, always close the coop door at night and make sure it has a secure clasp, something with a spring that takes a few fingers to operate. Raccoons have good dexterity. Enjoy your chickens!!!
 

CluckerFamily

Crowing
Feb 14, 2016
1,466
2,998
261
Wisconsin
I don't wash my eggs but when I sell the eggs I always recommend to the buyer to wash the eggs (just to be safe).
I have 16 hens and 3 nesting boxes. Your 2 nesting boxes are just fine. Your chickens won't always lay at the same time but they will lay in the same box every day.
Your treats could cause the runnier poop like the watermelon (it is mostly water) but it could also be the more water they are drinking in the hot day.
I free range and still give them treats: watermelon, corn, pumpkins, squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, mealworms, etc.
 

LCG Chicken Coop

Songster
Sep 18, 2019
104
714
166
Lafayette, CA
Agree with all that's been said before, adding that occasionally with four nest boxes for 16 hens, I have found an egg in the coop, and once or twice an egg outside in the run. No harm done, though--so if they really need to lay, they will lay wherever! However that was pretty rare (handful of times in 8 months of laying) and they are great at taking their turns.
 

cherylgladys

In the Brooder
May 17, 2020
39
51
46
Sacramento, CA
I'm gonna take a stab at answering, even though I'm pretty new at this.
Washing: Don't need to. Eggs are covered with "bloom" as they are laid, and that seals the pores in the shell. If you do wash them, the bloom is removed, and then you need to store the eggs in the fridge.
Nesting boxes: Two for three chickens should be plenty. I have three layers and they share one box. Other than very first eggs from two of them, all but two other eggs have been been in the nesting box.
Watery poop: Some treats may loosen up the poop a bit. Cucumbers did that to my girls. Watermelon a bit too. Like candy for kids, treats should be... treats.
Pee: The white stuff on the top of a pile of poop is the equivalent of pee. They don't have liquid urine.
Grass cuttings, etc: My chickens are enclosed (no free ranging) due to predators. I give them grass trimmings, trimmings from the garden, bugs, and grubs.
Good luck!
 

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