Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Egg questions  (Read 4187 times)

Dizzycow

  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Fife
  • .
Egg questions
« on: December 31, 2011, 02:04:56 pm »
I have three questions;
1. How can I find out which of my layers are or aren't laying? I was thinking perhaps there is a coloured powder or something which I could sprinkle on the nest so the layers would be identifiable.
2. I have an egg eater. Will a rubber egg in the nesting box help? How do you remove the inside of an egg to make a yukky tobasco one?
3. My ex-batts lay early, and this morning there were two eggs in the coop (they roost in the nesting boxes so they're disgusting) and they were very covered in poo. As eggs take on the odours from other food in the fridge and you're not supposed to wash them what is the best thing to do? (I washed them and ate them and I'm still alive and they didn't taste like poo!)
Answers on a postcard!
 :)

plumseverywhere

  • Joined Apr 2013
  • Worcestershire
    • Its Baaath Time
    • Facebook
Re: Egg questions
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2011, 02:23:24 pm »
Hello Dizzy cow  :wave:

I can't help with number 1 as all of mine lay different coloured eggs so I'm able to know who has laid and who's not pretty much but not heard of coloured powders?  I think they have reddened combs when they are laying an then when they go 'off lay' in moult etc the comb seems to be a bit paler.

2) I used very hard ceramic eggs and it stopped the problem pretty quickly. I did have a go at filling an egg with spicy chilli stuff, made a tiny hole and sucked it out with a syringe and then filled it back up. They LOVED it! have never seen so many hens eat a stonking chilli so quick before! so that failed which is why i got the pot egg.
3) depending on your set up can they have the nest boxes closed off at night so they can't roost in there (suppose not if you have very early layers  :-\  ) hmmm...not sure. someone else will have some ideas soon though I'm sure!
Smallholding in Worcestershire, making goats milk soap for www.itsbaaathtime.com and mum to 4 girls,  goats, sheep, chickens, dog, cat and garden snails...

robert waddell

  • Guest
Re: Egg questions
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2011, 02:25:32 pm »
1 the redness of the comb is the usuall indicator
2is it a hen that is eating the egg     you could trim there beaks      blowing an egg small hole in each end and blow the contents out then fill and seal
3just leave them in a bowl or basket     or clean out nest boxes daily          it is when you clean the crap of them then store them that they absorb the bugs that then create the nasties inside :farmer:

plumseverywhere

  • Joined Apr 2013
  • Worcestershire
    • Its Baaath Time
    • Facebook
Re: Egg questions
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2011, 02:32:21 pm »
    it is when you clean the crap of them then store them that they absorb the bugs that then create the nasties inside :farmer:
That's ringing bells for me, thanks RObert  :)  Isn't there some sort of layer on the outside that when you wash them it comes off and so germs can get in?
Smallholding in Worcestershire, making goats milk soap for www.itsbaaathtime.com and mum to 4 girls,  goats, sheep, chickens, dog, cat and garden snails...

robert waddell

  • Guest
Re: Egg questions
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2011, 02:50:21 pm »
the shell is porous  and has to do with temp outside and inside that is how the egg takes on the flavour/odour of other things :farmer:

darkbrowneggs

  • Joined Aug 2010
    • The World is My Lobster
Re: Egg questions
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2011, 02:57:51 pm »
First of all do have a mooch round my site as there is absolutely load of info about eggs and chickens..... but to answer briefly

1 - find the pin bones, if you can fit 2 or more fingers between they are probably in lay.  To find which hen is laying which I have heard you can put different food colouring on the bum feathers - wouldn't work with my dark egg layers anyway

2 Tabasco eggs (in my experience) don't work.  But you can remove egg contents by blowing - small hole made by pin in top, larger one in bottom.  Stir contents with skewer, blow from top, slowly and steadily, then refill with Ecover type washing up liquid, this sometimes works, and doesn't contain nasties

But better to try upping protein levels in food, and make sure they have limestone/oystershell grit, and good vitamin c levels.  Make sure laying boxes are dark.  Try roll away nest boxes if desperate

3 Laying mucky eggs is genetic.  Find out who's doing it and get rid of her.  Wash mucky eggs and use straight away.

But still check out the link, there is even more interesting stuff on there  ;D
To follow my travel journal see http://www.theworldismylobster.org.uk

For lots of info about Marans and how to breed and look after them see www.darkbrowneggs.info

Sylvia

  • Joined Aug 2009
Re: Egg questions
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2011, 03:21:29 pm »
Are you sure it's a hen eating the eggs? Magpies will go into the hen-house to find eggs.
To clean eggs, I wait 'til they're dry then rub them gently with a bit of green pan scrubber.
To stop roosting in the nest box, this may(or may not) work. Tack strips of sacking or similar over the nest box, slightly overlapping.

Dizzycow

  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Fife
  • .
Re: Egg questions
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2011, 05:35:04 pm »
Thanks for all the advice.

So, I won't be trying the tobasco egg! Like the ecover idea, though, and will pop in a rubber egg. I'm certain it's not magpies, although I suppose it could be a rat?

I'll have a look at your site, Darkbrowneggs, thanks. I will give them grit, I haven't for a while so that might be the problem. Will also up protein.

All the combs seem red and the chooks are all in good health. I know it's that time of year, but I wondered how you know when a hen is past it and stops laying. Does the comb go paler?

I sell quite a lot of my eggs to our local shop, and find it a problem when there is even the slightest smear of poo on the egg, and have to remove it - people don't like that, funnily enough! Some of them I give a damn good scrub under running water and keep for ourselves. I am giving the chickens flubenvet so hopefully any mucky bums will clear up soon.

Thank you everyone!

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Egg questions
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2011, 05:48:07 pm »
Hi DC, In answer to your questions:-
1, Darkbrowneggs has explained checking the pelvis width. The red comb ones should be laying. The big poo ones should be laying (big poo first thing in the morning ones). Trap nesting is the only certain way -hen is trapped inside and you mark it and release. Or you watch them, catch them and mark them.
2, We cured all our egg eaters with a pot egg. They bash their little beak until they have a headache and give it up as a bad job. Filling an egg with horrid stuff doesn't work -they love mustard and the like. The only hen we failed with used to lay and eat her own egg immediately. Haven't tried our rubber eggs yet. If its a rat or Magpie it still works
3,Mucky eggs can be washed as long as the water is warmer than the egg, colder than the egg and you wash disease into it. Problem is you wash the film off as well which makes the egg porous and therefore it dries out quickly, so eat within a week, rather than the month. The film is created by the lubricant the hen produces to ease the laying, which then evaporates leaving a film covering. Root causes in your case are not removing the eggs soon enough before another hen with dirty feet goes in and letting them roost in the nest boxes, fouling them up. The latter is a habit that needs breaking, both because of dirty eggs and encouraging red mite/ lice in the nest boxes. Block the nest boxes off at night or pick them up onto the perch in the dark.

You are not allowed to sell washed eggs anyway, you can only scratch the worst poo off. If they are for resale they need date marking as well. The regs have changed recently so worth checking you comply.

The Woodsiders

  • Joined Aug 2011
  • Near Horley in Surrey
Re: Egg questions
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2011, 05:59:15 pm »
Thanks for all the info, having a problem with my layers as well, we give them what I presume to be quality feed, Humphreys layers pellets, we mix in a bit of grit as well and they have a handful of corn before closing up for the night. Will check their combs in the morning and have a look at your site DBE.

Thanks again and a Happy New Year to all.

Big Light

  • Joined Aug 2011
    • Facebook
Re: Egg questions
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2011, 09:12:54 pm »
Dizzy

Birds don't taste/get the heat effect from chili  ( which is why they use it for bird feed to keep squirrels / rats etc away) - although a self created chili egg could be a delicacy!!.

 All the hens could be laying ( if all are red combed) -  perhaps not all laying on the same day!

Oyster Shell grit to make the eggs shells hard - should really be add lib if you can (you get wee red covered pot for about a fiver)

To blow eggs make 2 small holes insert some thing to break up egg inside stir it round then blow it out with a straw - 2 theory's for finding / stopping egg breaker - fairy liquid for putting them off or  child's non toxic paint ( small amount) to mark who's responsible

Also daily fresh wood shavings tidy up pooh

Have a good new year when it comes
« Last Edit: December 31, 2011, 09:24:47 pm by Big Light »

chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Egg questions
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2011, 10:26:00 pm »
Few points from the last posts. Never heard of Humphreys layers, we use Alan and Page (Smallholder), Dobson and Horrell, would really like to be able to get Garvo, but no suppliers near us.

We have hens with bright red combs that are not laying. Our best layers are only doing 1 egg in two days because of reduced daytime -we are lucky to get them!

You shouldn't need Oyster shell grit if you are using good quality layers pellets. Too much Calcium can cause kidney problems apparently.

Because of the tendancy for condensation this time of year we switch from wood shavings to Aubiose. Keeps everything far dryer as it is dryer to start with and more water absorbent. Too dusty to use in Summer though.

 

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