How to Get Best-of-Show Eggs

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 Hens like to hide their nests.


Getting twelve eggs to enter in a show or fair is difficult.  The eggs should be uniform, and of the same color and size.  One of our best laying hens always eats or claws up the eggs she lays.  Some of the others hide their nests.  If you are in this situation, the only way to get a good dozen eggs is to start saving them at least a month before you need them (the only way to do this is to refrigerate the eggs.

By the time over a month has passed, the eggs may not be good to eat.  But that doesn’t matter, since at most fairs the eggs are judged on appearance, not taste (there may be exceptions).  Just be careful that you don’t break any of them, or the smell may not be pleasant.

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Some hens will eat their own eggs.


 

To get the eggs looking good, we have found that it works best to was the eggs the day before.  We take a paper towel soaked in soapy water and scrub them off.  Usually you can scrub calcium deposits off the egg if you want to.

Once you have saved and cleaned the eggs, you need to sort them to pick out the best ones.  Usually it takes a lot of eggs to get a dozen good ones.


What to Do If Your Pet Chicken Dissapears

 

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Don’t immediately worry if your chicken doesn’t come back to the coop one night.


Are you an expert on chicken colors?  Click on the green flag to start the quiz.


Last night, a chicken named Panther didn’t come back to the coop.  Maybe she was scared of the neighbors’ fireworks, which were being set off right next to the coop.  Or else she got eaten by an owl.  We searched all over and couldn’t find her–there are a lot of places that chickens can hide in.   All the others were in the coop asleep.  It was dark outside, so it was hard to look for her. Eventually, after a lot of worrying, we locked the coop and decided that Panther had either been eaten by a predator or was hiding somewhere.

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 The chicken could be hiding somewhere.


The next morning, she still hadn’t come back. She didn’t even show up for the chickens’ favorite treat, which is scratch. There were no feathers anywhere, or signs that a chicken had gotten eaten.

Then we looked at the chickens eating scratch next to the coop, and Panther was eating scratch with them. She looked perfectly fine. She was covered in dirt, though, which makes me think that she was either in the chickens’ favorite dust bath all night, or else hiding somewhere dirty.   Sometimes, chickens decide not to go back to the coop for no apparent reason.

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 Chickens can decide not to come back to the coop for no apparent reason.


Or sometimes, chickens go broody and hide their nest somewhere where you can’t find it.  When they do that, you can only hope that a predator can’t find the nest either.  The nest can be so well-hidden that you don’t find it until you step on it.  When that happens, the smell of broken rotting eggs can be enough to keep you from going by the nest.  The hens don’t seem to mind.

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If you can’t find your chicken, the bird may be broody.


If the chicken can’t get back to the coop for some reason, it may roost in a tree.  Or else, the bird might have gotten trapped somewhere, like a storage shed.  Then, when you open the door to the building, the chicken will come running out.  One time a pullet got trapped under a cardboard box in her pen.  Anything can happen.  So if your bird goes missing, and you can’t find any feathers, don’t worry.  Your chicken will probably come back within the next few days.

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 Panther, the chicken who came back.


BigThingsCoop

–BigThingsCooop


Why You Should Lock Your Chickens in Every Night

 

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Predators like to eat chickens.  And chickens are not so smart when hiding from them.  Given a choice, they may roost in trees or sit on a nest where something could eat them.  Locking all doors to the coop will keep predators out.  Ideally, the door should be closed each night and opened the next morning.  While this is time-consuming, it will prevent your flock from being eaten.

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Broody hens will sit on their nest, regardless of if it is safe from predators.

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The more doors your coop has, the more you will have to remember to lock.

Owly with Her Friend Snowball

Keep your chickens in a secure pen, too.