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Old 06-15-2011, 07:21 AM   #31
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Amazing what you can learn on this web site! I know next to nothing on the subject, but will say that a camp site we used to frequent in northern Florida had a flock of Muscovy ducks and one chicken (a cock). He used to herd the ducks and was, without a doubt, "cock of the roost" even though he was smaller than them. So I assume ducks and chickens can live together. But, then, maybe this was a demented flock.
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Old 06-15-2011, 08:21 AM   #32
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I know that people who live on sailboats preserve fresh eggs in salt. I've got a cookbook/food guide for those sail around here s/where and that is included. Getting fresh eggs is sometimes a challenge when you are out at sea <g>. If I remember, the eggs in the salt can keep for up to 12 months.
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Old 06-15-2011, 10:07 AM   #33
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You will NOT have any trouble getting rid of your eggs. I keep friends and family supplied from my 18 hens, and often have to tell folks that they have to wait for a couple of days for eggs.

Eggs last a long, long time--if you don't wash them. Washing eggs takes away a protective coating. If you do have to wash them, and sometimes they are really dirty, wash them in warmish water with just a drop of dish soap. (Cold water causes the shell to contract, and bacteria on the surface may be drawn into the egg.)

Store washed eggs in the fridge. Unwashed eggs keep just fine in a cool place. If you want to hardboil some of your eggs, use washed ones, and let them sit in the fridge for at LEAST 3 weeks. If you use them sooner, you will not be able to peel them.

If your older hens are already laying, they will probably continue to lay after you move them. I wouldn't worry too much about how to introduce them--they will probably sort things out themselves in a day or two, especially if they have room to get away from each other. If you notice serious fighting (blood, especially) separate them with a piece of chicken wire, so they can still see each other and try again in a couple of days. You could also put the 'ringleader' in a big wire dog crate for a while.
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Old 06-19-2011, 10:48 PM   #34
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I decided to pick up 2 Rhode Island Red laying hens (28 weeks old) yesterday. They are so tame. Lovely birds. I anticipated that it would be a couple of weeks before they adjusted to their new environment and laid eggs. One of them gave me an egg tonight! It was so cool to see the egg in the nesting box! Clean, perfectly shaped, and the size of a large egg. Wow! The shells are really porous when you take the eggs out of the nesting box. I knew that, but I didn't know the shell was that porous. I coddled that egg all the way back to the house (and probably had a grin from ear-to-ear--I was so proud of that hen and to be carrying that egg to the house).

The person I bought the hens from has had chickens for years. His brother works for one of the large egg producing facilities in the area. I was shocked when he told me that the eggs are sometimes held for 12 months in the warehouse before they are shipped to grocery stores. In our area, farm fresh eggs go for $2.50-3.00 / dozen. The last time I checked, eggs in the grocery store (not on special) were $2.87/dozen.

I'm hoping the other hen will start laying again soon. This having laying hens is fun.
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Old 06-19-2011, 11:32 PM   #35
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I decided to pick up 2 Rhode Island Red laying hens (28 weeks old) yesterday. They are so tame. Lovely birds. I anticipated that it would be a couple of weeks before they adjusted to their new environment and laid eggs. One of them gave me an egg tonight! It was so cool to see the egg in the nesting box! Clean, perfectly shaped, and the size of a large egg. Wow! The shells are really porous when you take the eggs out of the nesting box. I knew that, but I didn't know the shell was that porous. I coddled that egg all the way back to the house (and probably had a grin from ear-to-ear--I was so proud of that hen and to be carrying that egg to the house).

The person I bought the hens from has had chickens for years. His brother works for one of the large egg producing facilities in the area. I was shocked when he told me that the eggs are sometimes held for 12 months in the warehouse before they are shipped to grocery stores. In our area, farm fresh eggs go for $2.50-3.00 / dozen. The last time I checked, eggs in the grocery store (not on special) were $2.87/dozen.

I'm hoping the other hen will start laying again soon. This having laying hens is fun.
So...did you have an egg tonight?
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Old 06-20-2011, 06:49 AM   #36
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Wait until you get your first soft egg... it will freak you out. Very weird. It looks perfect sitting in the nestbox, but it's like handling a water balloon when you pick it up.
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Old 06-20-2011, 06:51 AM   #37
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And what is the cause of that? Not enough calcium in the diet?
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Old 06-20-2011, 06:55 AM   #38
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And what is the cause of that? Not enough calcium in the diet?
I don't know. Maybe. I've only seen two (in four years from five hens) and both times it was early Spring, so it was a first egg after their winter break from just one hen.
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Old 06-20-2011, 06:58 AM   #39
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Speaking of which, I probably best go let mine out of lock up <g>.
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Old 06-20-2011, 11:16 AM   #40
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My other little red hen laid an egg for me, so now I have two. I'm having an aspargus-mushroom-cheese omette made with FRESH eggs for lunch!!!! I also got a card for my camera, so maybe I'll take pictures of the eggs, and the omelette cooking...and when it's done...but probably start with a picture of the girls...
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