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Old 09-22-2011, 09:10 PM   #41
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Thanks, Janet H for the referral to the web site about egg oddities. I didn't know there were so many. I had never before seen a fart egg, but the explanation makes sense.
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Old 09-23-2011, 09:21 AM   #42
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When I got my Rhode Island Reds, one was laying 2 eggs/day. She was young--about 6 months. After about 3 weeks, she settled down and is now only laying 1 egg/day. Chickens are only supposed to lay 1 each every 24 hours. This one was laying 2 within about 3-4 hours. She might have been the person's double-yolker, I don't know. Double-yolkers stop producing earlier than those that lay single-yolk eggs. And, the color of the chicken's ears determine the egg color, fwiw. The battery farms where most of the commercial eggs are produced will start with young hens (5-6 months) and only keep them until they are 12-18 months. Supposedly as chickens age, the eggs get larger. I have two more young laying hens arriving today...who knew having laying hens would be so much fun?
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Old 09-23-2011, 10:19 AM   #43
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When I got my Rhode Island Reds, one was laying 2 eggs/day. She was young--about 6 months. After about 3 weeks, she settled down and is now only laying 1 egg/day. Chickens are only supposed to lay 1 each every 24 hours. This one was laying 2 within about 3-4 hours. She might have been the person's double-yolker, I don't know. Double-yolkers stop producing earlier than those that lay single-yolk eggs. And, the color of the chicken's ears determine the egg color, fwiw. The battery farms where most of the commercial eggs are produced will start with young hens (5-6 months) and only keep them until they are 12-18 months. Supposedly as chickens age, the eggs get larger. I have two more young laying hens arriving today...who knew having laying hens would be so much fun?
I am going to have to start looking at their ears more carefully!
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Old 09-23-2011, 10:58 AM   #44
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This discussion has just been fascinating! Had no idea chickens were such cool little critters!
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Old 09-23-2011, 11:16 AM   #45
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Dawgluver--I had no idea chickens were so interesting to watch until I got Harriet and Myrtle in June. They are very entertaining and each have their own personalities. The girls are like little dogs--they follow me around, they come running when I come out into the yard, Myrtle perches on my shoulder when I'm out in the garden, and they are so proud of their eggs each morning--they strut to their box and make sure I see that they've produced the eggs. And, chickens can lay until they are 5-8 years old (depends on the breed). And, they can live to be in their teens. I know of one person who has housetrained her chicken...
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Old 09-23-2011, 11:22 AM   #46
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Dawgluver--I had no idea chickens were so interesting to watch until I got Harriet and Myrtle in June. They are very entertaining and each have their own personalities. The girls are like little dogs--they follow me around, they come running when I come out into the yard, Myrtle perches on my shoulder when I'm out in the garden, and they are so proud of their eggs each morning--they strut to their box and make sure I see that they've produced the eggs. And, chickens can lay until they are 5-8 years old (depends on the breed). And, they can live to be in their teens. I know of one person who has housetrained her chicken...
Love the names, CW! The girls sound adorable!
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Old 09-23-2011, 11:27 AM   #47
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Chickens are a lot easier to keep than we thought they'd be. I don't know why it took us so long to get chickens. Although, I must say, I'm finding that I feel a bit odd when I'm eating chicken now...it almost seems "wrong."
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Old 09-23-2011, 03:51 PM   #48
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Yes, the eggs get larger, but fewer in number, as the hens age.

That is an interesting story, CWS!

I see my hens & cocks as pets, not just as egg producers. I don't kill them, ever, nor do I eat "chicken".

I wish I could train my chickens. In any case, a backyard flock of heirloom variety chickens are interesting, fun and dare I say it - intelligent in their own way. They are not birdbrains.

In addition to a bunch of Delawares and Rhodies, we now have a mother hen and her one chick living in the garage. Even if a hen goes broody in the winter, I'll bring her and her eggs into the house till hatching is done and chix are large enough to go into the chicken house (heated somewhat).

Love your chicken stories.
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Old 09-23-2011, 04:07 PM   #49
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What do you do with older chickens? It would break my heart to cook a beloved pet. 8 years seems such a short time. Do they have an old age home for chickens?
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Old 09-23-2011, 05:20 PM   #50
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Well, most of my chickens just go grey on my watch (somewhat literally) and die of old age. Sometimes they get taken by a hawk or fox if they can't run to the coop on time. I do my best to protect them, but... This is God's will. To feed needy wildlife, sometimes, after a good life.
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Old 09-23-2011, 06:07 PM   #51
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I would have a really hard time with that. Would probably have the girls sleeping with me. DH would not approve.
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Old 09-23-2011, 08:49 PM   #52
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Mom always called eggs with a blood spot in them "fertilized" eggs. I think she threw them away (trust me, if we were going hungry she would not have done that). But she often bought eggs unrefridgerated, farm eggs that needed to be cleaned before cracking.
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Old 09-23-2011, 10:24 PM   #53
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I don't refrigerate my hens' eggs, but then I know how old they are! I am not sure that I would buy eggs from someone who claims they are fresh (though not refrigerated).
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Old 09-23-2011, 10:45 PM   #54
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You guys brought back a long buried memory for me. When I was in the second grade we moved to a new neighborhood and I went to a new school. I met a girl named Elizabeth who lived in my neighborhood. She told me where she lived and invited me over and when I got brave enough to go I noticed that her home was different from all of the others in the neighborhood, much smaller and older and surrounded by a funny looking old wire fence. I walked up to the gate and was about to go in when I spotted about a dozen chickens roaming around. Well as a city girl it's a wonder that I even knew that they were chickens. I stood at the gate looking in for what seemed like hours. I was so afraid that those animals would attack me if I ventured in. Eventually Elizabeth's mother came to the door and told me that I could come in, the chicken's wouldn't hurt me. I must have been desperate for the companionship of a friend because that walk from the gate to the door was like a walk on death row but I did it anyway. We were friends for many years but I never got completely used to entering their yard. And it was years later that I learned that they had to clip the chickens wings to keep them from roosting in the telephone lines. Then I laid awake for weeks hoping they never missed clipping a chickens wings. After all I only lived a block away. If they could fly, they could come after me!
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Old 09-24-2011, 01:30 PM   #55
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Well, that's a great tale for sure! I think we all remember stuff that happened as kids where we now can't understand why we were so darn terrified. We had a bull named Ferdinand and even tho he was behind a fence, I would walk 1/2 mile out of the way just to not have him looking at me as he paced the edge of his enclosure. Pure cold terror.
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Old 09-24-2011, 10:01 PM   #56
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Well, that's a great tale for sure! I think we all remember stuff that happened as kids where we now can't understand why we were so darn terrified. We had a bull named Ferdinand and even tho he was behind a fence, I would walk 1/2 mile out of the way just to not have him looking at me as he paced the edge of his enclosure. Pure cold terror.
We used to cut across a pasture when I was a kid. It was quite a short cut for us. The only thing was that there was a bull in the pasture, so you had to make sure that he wasn't too close, and then you had to run like heck to get across and back over the fence. He never caught us, but he came pretty close a time or two.
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Old 09-25-2011, 12:10 AM   #57
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Yes, it IS true about bulls: they run after people!
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Old 09-25-2011, 08:59 AM   #58
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Claire, a lot of people think that a blood spot means the egg is fertilized. And I think most folks toss them because it is not a normal egg--even though the little bit of blood is harmless. Jews who keep kosher definitely toss them--an egg is not kosher if it has a blood spot.

There can also be little brown specks in the egg--those are called 'meat spots' and also come from the hen's reproductive tract--they are a little bit of tissue that sloughed off and became incorporated into the egg.

About bulls--if I have to tell one more adult that horns do not mean that an animal is a bull, I am going to scream. Mama cows can have horns, too. Most cattle nowadays are 'polled' (hornless). If you want to know whether it is a bull or a cow, you have to look underneath, not on top of their heads.
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Old 09-25-2011, 09:28 AM   #59
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...If you want to know whether it is a bull or a cow, you have to look underneath, not on top of their heads.

If it has horns and is chasing me across a pasture, I'm not going to stop to "look underneath".
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Old 09-25-2011, 03:09 PM   #60
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If it has horns and is chasing me across a pasture, I'm not going to stop to "look underneath".
Well, we already knew it was a very BIG bull. We knew him well from our side of the fence! Growing up a farm girl, I knew how to look to see if was a bull. Some bulls you don't have to get real close to tell, if you know what I mean............it had a ring in his nose!!!! Lol!
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