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Would anyone have some insight into which eggs to eat & which ones we can anticipate hatching?  We have a hen & rooster & would like both.  Thank you in advance.  C.R.


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I used to clip my wings... and the chickens got used to not being able to fly. Now they don't really even try. Handy for shorter fences to keep them out of my flower beds!! lol I don't really have anywhere they can't go now, but when we first got them set up, I didn't have an enclosed run, just a fenced run with open top. My hubs works swing a lot, and on those days, I don't let them out to free range until the middle of the day. That way hubby can sleep without the Rooster crowing under our bedroom window. lol Anyway. I'll probably clip the new chicks wings when the time comes, but only so they don't ever really figure out the can do it. By the time their wings will have grown out long enough to fly, they'll be heavier.

 

The decision to butcher my own was hard. It's not for everyone, but I've watched enough you tube videos of commercial slaughtering to realize (and find it easier) that I wanted to be more involved with my food, and that meant either being able to do it myself, find a small farmer that did things the way I wanted, or not eat meat. My hubby wouldn't have liked the last choice, and it seemed easier in my area to just do the first.

Have you ever butchered yours b/f?   I had a great-grandmother who lived on a farm, raised & ate her own chickens.  I was very young but can remember her catching the one she wanted for our dinner, swinging it around by the head until the body flew off & ran away.  It was awful.  I'm sure you must use a more humane method:/   We had a couple cherry tomatoes growing & this a.m. they were gone!  I didn't realize chkns would eat them.  lol

I have my garden fenced off from the girls!! Even if they don't eat a plant, they scratch around them so much they sometimes up root things. I have a "special" flowerbed fenced off from them too! lol

 

I have butchered. I use a killing cone. It keeps everything contained, and the bird is calm the whole time. It also makes it so they don't bleed all over the place and make you look like a mass murderer. lol

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63S3gLIeQCA ::GRAFIC VIDEO:: This is what a killing cone butcher looks like. Joel Salatin explains to learning farmers how the cone butchering works. The chickens are moving out of nerve reaction... if you watch closely, they don't start to move until they've bled for a bit. That's their body shutting down.

Good Morning,  EEK!  I tried to watch the video on killing cone butchering but couldn't get signed in...forgot my pswd & ran out of time.  However, there was a still shot of the chkns in the cones about to get it!  I will try again as soon as I get the chance.  

The rooster started up at 4a. (I still woke up b/f him:) but for the sake of the rest of my family & neighbors, I took a king-sized bed sheet out there & put it over the opening to their enclosure.  It was  a perfect fit & seems to be keeping him quieted down for now:)

Yesterday afternoon my daughter (5 yrs.) & I were sitting out by our new pets & although I missed it, she witnessed chickens mating for the first time.  I wasn't expecting to be explaining all of that to her so spontaneously!  LOL    We (I) had an awkward talk & she took it very coolly.  Very matter-of-fact.  I figured to be discussing "the birds & the bees" w/ her a few more years down the road! 

Last night, when we were tucking our chickens in, we noticed the rooster lying on the ground right beside the hen in her nest.  Does he need a crate w/ straw for a bed, too?  Or is he ok as is, w/ just straw on the ground?

Bye now, C.R.  PS Oh, dear,  the sheet trick didn't work for long!

I'm surprised the sheet worked at all!! My rooster crows inside their dark house each morning!! lol Do you have a roost in your hen house? That's where they sleep at night. Not in the nests. If they are sleeping in the nests, it's most likely because they are still young, and/or because you don't have a roost.
Hi  Rachel, how's the chicken-keeping going?  Since we last communicated, we have increased our flock by adding eleven chicks of varying ages & breeds.  My daughter's friend's family are also chicken keepers & presented her w/ an basket of six day old Orpingtons & Marans!   I took my step-daughter to our local feed store & bought her a beautiful R.I.R. cockerel she named Scooby:)  We are busy & having a blast but still no eggs:(  I've changed the food for the adults to a laying feed w/ oyster shells & adding diatomaceous  earth.  The hen has laid two soft eggs (shells soft, yolk broken).  Bye now,  C.R. 

rachel whetzel said:

I used to clip my wings... and the chickens got used to not being able to fly. Now they don't really even try. Handy for shorter fences to keep them out of my flower beds!! lol I don't really have anywhere they can't go now, but when we first got them set up, I didn't have an enclosed run, just a fenced run with open top. My hubs works swing a lot, and on those days, I don't let them out to free range until the middle of the day. That way hubby can sleep without the Rooster crowing under our bedroom window. lol Anyway. I'll probably clip the new chicks wings when the time comes, but only so they don't ever really figure out the can do it. By the time their wings will have grown out long enough to fly, they'll be heavier.

 

The decision to butcher my own was hard. It's not for everyone, but I've watched enough you tube videos of commercial slaughtering to realize (and find it easier) that I wanted to be more involved with my food, and that meant either being able to do it myself, find a small farmer that did things the way I wanted, or not eat meat. My hubby wouldn't have liked the last choice, and it seemed easier in my area to just do the first.

Soft shells are usually from young hens just starting! If you're not sure of your hen's age, that's a good indication she's under a year old. A few of my older hens lay soft shells when the oyster shells run out, but they also lay hard shelled eggs too. The soft shells should get harder in the next month or so. I call the soft ones "practice" eggs. lol Congrats on your Marans!!

 

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