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Old 07-31-2013, 12:04 PM   #11
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Addie--I find chickens drink a surprising amount of water.
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Old 07-31-2013, 12:10 PM   #12
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I remember when we ordered our chicks some of them were a bit bigger than the others. Those were the first to start laying eggs. We had all Rhode Island reds.
Most of the breeds I have are supposed to start laying between 5 - 7 months of age. Our experience with ready-to-lay RIRs was that they actually were closer to the 7 month mark and that they took the longest to adjust of the hens we bought as ready-to-lay. The three chicks that were hatched mid-June are RIRs and a broody hen is sitting on 7 eggs (should hatch Sunday or Monday) that are also RIRs. Not sure what we'll do with these 10 chicks...still waiting to see if the three here are hens or roosters...RIRs also seem to be a bit more heat sensitive--production drops on the hot days. They also will slow down re: production if one of the flock is broody.

When I picked up Myrtle and Harriet, they had been laying for about 3 weeks. The guy told me that they probably wouldn't lay for 3-4 weeks because of the stress of moving. Myrtle laid 2 eggs the first 24 hours, and Harriet laid one. Those girls were so happy to be out of the 4 ft x 4 ft coop with 10 other hens they couldn't wait to start laying eggs .
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Old 07-31-2013, 01:21 PM   #13
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Addie--I find chickens drink a surprising amount of water.
I remember their water tanks took two bucket fills of water twice a day for the one outside. The inside one only needed filling in the morning. I hated carrying those dang buckets. We did have a hose but it didn't reach to the hen house. Once every two weeks, we cleaned the floor and washed it thoroughly. That is when we would take the garden hose and extend the water hose to the hen house. We had a really large stiff broom that scrubbed that floor 'til it would shine. The broom was bigger than me, so I got out of that job. But I did have to clean the nests and put in fresh straw every other day. I enjoyed taking care of the chickens. That is how I learned to talk chicken. Coo, coo.
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Old 07-31-2013, 01:25 PM   #14
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I enjoyed taking care of the chickens. That is how I learned to talk chicken. Coo, coo.
You would love to meet Miss Coo-coo. She's one of Rocky's hens I brought back from the farm. She follows me around and says "coo-coo" when I ask her what she is doing. She also waits for me on the deck so I can carry her to the coop in the evening. I don't know if she is laying eggs or not--but she sure is a nice addition to the flock.
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Old 07-31-2013, 03:18 PM   #15
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You would love to meet Miss Coo-coo. She's one of Rocky's hens I brought back from the farm. She follows me around and says "coo-coo" when I ask her what she is doing. She also waits for me on the deck so I can carry her to the coop in the evening. I don't know if she is laying eggs or not--but she sure is a nice addition to the flock.
In the morning when I was approaching their yard, I would start talking chicken very softly. They knew I was coming with food and would rush to the fence or right around the gate. They would follow me all around the yard as I was tossing the feed. When the were just babies, we used to have mash for them. Then we changed over to a more nutritious feed when they started laying. They weren't too happy for a day or two. But when they got hungry enough they decided to eat it. In the winter when their yard was covered with snow, I would toss the feed on top of the snow. Again they weren't too happy. So we had to put a feeder inside the coop. They did not like snow or the cold. I did have one that was a favorite. She started out being the runt. I used to feed her all by herself in one corner of the yard. She grew up to be a big girl.
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Old 08-01-2013, 12:37 PM   #16
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They don't control the size of the egg, they just put them in different cartons marked Large, Jumbo Etc.

Sizes do vary within a category. The large eggs I have in the fridge right now are much larger than the large eggs in had last week.

Like another poster said, large eggs are the biggest seller so it would be beneficial to the egg producers to control egg production so they would get more large eggs and fewer medium or x-tra large. I also notice that the brand name eggs I buy in the regular grocery store are smaller than the off-brand eggs I buy in Aldi's. According to the chart someone posted, they are to be sized by oz. Maybe when they get a lot more medium eggs they pass them off as large. I have been buying my eggs in Aldi's because they cost less and are bigger, but I don't want to continue to do that if I am getting an inferior product somehow.
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Old 08-02-2013, 02:20 AM   #17
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My folks raised a few laying hens for our own use. We had ''Rhode Island Reds'', ''Leghorns'' our best egg producers. We also had a couple of ''Americana's'' [Araucanian's originally from Chile]. These chickens layed ''Robins egg blue'' colored eggs. They tasted the same but were somewhat unusual. Kids in the neighborhood thought they were ''Cool''. Mysterychef
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Old 08-02-2013, 09:59 AM   #18
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My folks raised a few laying hens for our own use. We had ''Rhode Island Reds'', ''Leghorns'' our best egg producers. We also had a couple of ''Americana's'' [Araucanian's originally from Chile]. These chickens layed ''Robins egg blue'' colored eggs. They tasted the same but were somewhat unusual. Kids in the neighborhood thought they were ''Cool''. Mysterychef
I think everyone should have the opportunity at some point in life to have laying hens. It is too bad that so many municipalities ban backyard chickens. My grandparents raised RIRs. Having those hens helped feed the family during the depression.
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Old 08-02-2013, 10:23 AM   #19
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I like my chooks--and my grandbaby just loves them. We "check the chickens' every 10 minutes when she comes to visit.

Egg sizes really vary--once in a while, I will get one the size of a goose egg, and about as often, one the size of cherry tomato. The little ones usually don't have a yolk. Sometimes they have 'wrinkles' in the shell. A couple of times over the years I have found one without a shell--just the rubbery membrane holding things together.

These anomalies occur in commercial hen houses too, but those eggs are culled before you see them. They break them and then sell liquid eggs or dehydrated eggs for baking.
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Old 08-02-2013, 11:03 AM   #20
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Why are some eggs brown and others white, you ask? I was told that the color of the hen's ears determines the color of the egg. While others may say it is breed dependent, that may be true, but different breeds have different color of ears. Almost all of my girls have brown ears. The "yellow" girls lay pale eggs, but their eggs are not white. And, I disagree with those who think birds have no sense of smell. My girls will not touch things that smell of dog, bleach, or mold. They definitely have a sense of smell.
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