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This City Girl Needs HELP!!

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by FarmerV, Apr 25, 2009.

  1. FarmerV

    FarmerV New Egg

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    Apr 25, 2009
    Hi All!

    We just bought a place in the country and it came with Chickens - 2 hens and a rooster. Today I found 4 eggs in a nest and I don't know what to do. I'm not sure how long they have been there, but for sure less than 4 days. We would love to have chicks, but I don't know how long to leave them in the nest. Both hens were outside when I made the discovery - my mom tells me that when they get broody they won't leave the nest. Is this true? Also, should I start marking eggs each day so I know when they were laid? Any advice on how to take care of these animals would be appreciated. I was going to find a new home for them when it was warmer, but they are actually growing on me :) I even have plans to build a bigger house for them this summer! I have been told that I should get rid of the rooster and my hens will lay more eggs, but I thought it might be fun to have some babies first! Am I crazy, or is it possible for a city girl to learn how to take care of chickens??

    Thank you so much!
    Vanessa
     
  2. hikerchick

    hikerchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 6, 2009
    Dover, PA
    Vanessa- I am a city girl. I currently have goats, ducks, geese, chickens, and a brooder full of chicks.

    So yeah- it is possible.

    Nora
     
  3. scbatz33

    scbatz33 No Vacancy, Belfry Full

    Jan 23, 2009
    South GA
    Anyone can learn to take care of chickens thaey are super easy. For startes, I'd just pitch the eggs since you don't know how old they are.

    We collect eggs every day and we do date them so we always eat the oldest first.

    Get yourself a nice layer ration. I feed mine free c hoice. I also mix in some grit for digestion. My girls do "free range", but I add the grit anyway. I mix it per the instructions on the bag.

    Always have a fresh water supply too.

    As for the rooster, I have several. Although I keep each seperate. I have several breeds. I don't think the roos effect the laying much if any. I get an egg a day per hen - rooster present or not. If you're not going to hatch eggs, you may think about getting rid of him if he's overly territorial or if he is "worrying" you r girls too much.

    I love hatching and plan on expanding so I have boys. Although I have way too amny so some are scheduled to go to "camp cold" for the summer!!

    Broody hens will not leave their eggs. If your girls are laying then leaving, you'll probably need to invest in a good incubator.

    Raising chickens has been the coolest thing to start doing. It won't take long for you to get egg-dicted!!!
     
  4. scbatz33

    scbatz33 No Vacancy, Belfry Full

    Jan 23, 2009
    South GA
    OH, and I grew up in the 'burbs. My mother hates farm animals!!! I had to beg for years just to get a dog!

    We have horses, dogs, cats and chickens. Soon we plan on adding goats and maybe raising a calf for slaughter. My hubby and I have started to really look into raising our own food and becoming self-sufficient. It gives you a certain feeling of pride to bring food you raised yourself to the table.
     
  5. birdlover

    birdlover Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    Northern Va.
    Hey there, Vanessa!! [​IMG] You've come to the right place!! heh heh...that is, if you want to become a chickaholic like the rest of us! [​IMG] I can see you are already falling under their spell! I will try to address some of your questions. Your mom was right. You can't hatch eggs unless the hen is broody OR you hatch them in an incubator. If the three of them get along well, I wouldn't get rid of the rooster; I'd get more hens!!!! A rooster should have a flock of at least 8 or so hens so one or two hens don't receive all of his amorous attention. [​IMG] If he's always mating with one or two hens, that can be very hard on them. Since it sounds like you're interested in pursuing this new hobby, I would go with getting more hens. About eating the eggs, they are probably fine to eat if they are only 4 days old unless the weather where you are has been scorching hot. The eggs you get in the grocery store can be months old and lots of people here leave their eggs out on the counter. I think the USA is one of the only countries that refrigerates eggs. In any case, eggs can stay good for a long time so I wouldn't worry about marking a date on them but go ahead if it makes you feel better. To end this BOOK, I would advise you to go to the Learning Pages on the home page and learn all you can about raising chickens as well as ask all the questions you want on here. It sounds like you have the perfect set up for a nice small flock of chickens and I guarantee you, they will entertain you, relax you when you're uptight or stressed and can be every bit as satisfying as a dog or cat. In fact, I like them BETTER than dogs and cats because they're easier to take care of and don't demand a lot of your attention. Best wishes and come back frequently! We LOVE it when a new person falls for [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  6. scbatz33

    scbatz33 No Vacancy, Belfry Full

    Jan 23, 2009
    South GA
    If the three of them get along well, I wouldn't get rid of the rooster; I'd get more hens!!!! A rooster should have a flock of at least 8 or so hens so one or two hens don't receive all of his amorous attention.

    Enabler!!! [​IMG]

    Watch out this place is crawling with people who want this disease to spread....We do have a 21 step program if you feel you have a problem.....1-800-htch-hlp [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  7. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 19, 2007
    Pennsylvania
    Eggs stay good outside of the fridge IF YOU DON'T WASH THEM. If you wash them, it takes off the "bloom" a thin film on the outside of the egg. If you wash them you can just put them in the fridge and they'll be fine.

    The other way to tell if eggs are fresh is to put them in a large bowl of water. If fresh, the egg will sink to the bottom. If a little old (say 2 weeks), they will be at the bottom, but one end will tilt up (still great to eat). If they are old, the whole egg will float to the top of the water (don't eat).
    The reason for this is that the liquid inside the egg slowly evaporates over time, leaving more and more air inside the egg. So the old egg with the big air bubble is the one that can float.

    Hope this helps. You will love having chickens!
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2009
  8. Lil Chickie Mama

    Lil Chickie Mama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 1, 2009
    California
    Quote:That is so cool! I never knew that!
     

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