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so thankful for this site!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by urbannarnia27, Jun 17, 2016.

  1. urbannarnia27

    urbannarnia27 Out Of The Brooder

    Hi all, greetings from the beautiful Sunshine Coast in British Columbia, Canada. My family and I are blessed to have an acre of urban homestead and have recently branched out to raise some hens for our own egg needs. I found this site when we discovered lice on my matriarch hen and boy, am I glad I did! I look forward to reaping the wisdom from seasoned chicken keepers/lovers!!
     
  2. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life Out of the Woods Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)
     
  3. urbannarnia27

    urbannarnia27 Out Of The Brooder

    Coincidentally just got back from the chicken yard and noticed 2 small shelless eggs in the coop- one in a nesting box and the other behind the biggest roost. We have 3 - 4 month easter eggers. Everyone gets oyster shell, chicken scratch and laying pellets. I've noticed the little ones are starting to peck at the pellets but still have access to the chick crumble. We also have an olive egger who is 6 months old and has a twisted beak. She hasn't laid as far as we know but she does her best to pick at oyster shell (if I want her to eat the pellets I have to soak them in warm water; quite the ordeal...so she gorges on the crumble) Would appreciate any insight anyone can offer. Am concerned (from what I've read on here) that if I don't catch these eggs (and I didn't) my girls will develop a taste for them (and they certainly were this morning!!)
     
  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Young birds often have issues with laying soft shelled, no shelled, too many yolks, double yolks, etc..until their laying machines develop enough, the can have troubles with putting a shell on and such. The best thing to do here is try and get them to lay in the boxes instead of out in the run or yard. This way you can sort of control the egg eating if it comes to that. So I would lock them in the coop for the morning hours, which is the most common time a bird lays. Put fake eggs in each of the nest boxes...this helps teach them not only where you want them to lay but gives them the confidence it is ok to lay them there since another has laid there. Fake eggs are also a good training tool...birds go in the boxes and play with them. And since they are impenetrable, the chickens learn that all eggs can't be broken into so they generally leave them alone. Next...put curtains on the front of the boxes, with a small slit in the middle to slip threw and into the boxes. Curtains not only entice them to use the boxes since chickens love dark corners to lay their eggs, but if they DO lay a softy or a no shell egg, it is too dark in there and they won't mess with the eggs. I cured my flock of egg eating this way as I had a hen that rarely if ever put a shell on over her years and I had a bunch of egg eaters! GAK!! The curtains and the fake eggs did the trick and now nobody messes with anything anymore.

    Pullets are a tough bunch to deal with when they first start laying, but if you can get them trained to always use the nest boxes, you can control the egg situation much better and always collect eggs as soon as possible.

    Good luck with your flock and welcome to ours! :)
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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  6. urbannarnia27

    urbannarnia27 Out Of The Brooder

    Thank you Sumi! We also had our first bout of chicken lice although it seemed to really affect just one primarily (but all got treated). The hen had been broody for almost 2 weeks and it wasn't until I inspected her closely that I saw the lice. She is so much happier now that those awful critters are under control. Some of the others had a couple of egg sacs near their vents, but I treated them right away and will again in a week. Do you recommend cleaning out the entire coop once again with the new treatment? I have read conflicting advice about this. One friend shared she swears by the deep litter method and this has kept lice/mites away from her coop. We've always kept a well maintained coop so finding the lice was extra upsetting. That all said, maybe the shelless eggs are because of that rather than from the coming-into-laying pullets!?
    Would love to hear your thoughts on this.

    So much to learn! So appreciative!!
     
  7. urbannarnia27

    urbannarnia27 Out Of The Brooder

    thank you! will be interesting to see if this continues over the next week or so- thanks for your idea!!!
     
  8. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Out to pasture
    Some folks use "roll away" nest boxes to help prevent egg eating - the egg rolls to a lower end where the hens may not notice it.
     
  9. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    @urbannarnia27 from my experience with mites and lice, I learned that it is best to clean the coop out as well. Have you got Sevin Dust? Mix some of that with enough water to make a milky solution and spray this mixture all over the coop, nest boxes, every nook and cranny. A vet friend gave me that tip some years ago and it's very effective. The thing is, no matter how well and clean you keep your coop, it just takes one infested wild bird to visit long enough to start a problem. Or in my case, my MIL's CATS! They had fleas, they hung around the coop, next moment… It happens.

    The shell-less less, if your hen is broody I'm guessing she's not laying, so the young pullets could be the producers here then… although if they all had bugs, that could well be it? Either way, if it's due to lack of experience or bugs, the problem is manageable with time and bug treatment and curable then with the addition of some oyster shell offered free choice, alongside their regular feed and a splash of ACV (apple cider vinegar) in their drinking water for a week will help with nutrient absorption and egg production as well. *Note: give this in a plastic waterer as it corrodes metal*
     
  10. urbannarnia27

    urbannarnia27 Out Of The Brooder

    @sumi Thanks- I have used the Sevin to powder the girls but will haven't heard about mixing it up to spray. Will do that! (Have just been sprinkling it everywhere but totally left effective) The young pullets don't have bugs. Only 7 of my flock of 14 do (I spend most of my free time looking at chicken bums these days) and only 3 of these had the adult lice that I saw. The Cochins had egg sacs near their vents but that is looking better too since dusting. Thanks again for all your advice; I'll be trying it all!
     

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