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easter egg hunt
chicken coop
nesting boxes
hens
crack
nutrition
How To Keep A Chicken, The Inside Scoop On Chickens Laying Eggs
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How to Keep A Chicken, the Inside Scoop on Chickens Laying Eggs

Let's look at how to keep a chicken laying eggs in the winter, but first we need to look at chickens laying eggs in general.

A chicken will lay both fertile and infertile eggs. For most of her life she will lay about an egg a day. When you purchase your chickens pay attention to the laying habits of the particular breed you are getting. You do not need to have a rooster around to get your hens to lay. In most cities in fact you will find that if you have a rooster city officials will be paying you a visit. Most city folk do not like to wake up at the crack of dawn to some noisy rooster. If you do have a rooster then you may get a few fertilized eggs in the mix, not too worry though they are good eating. Some say they are better nutrition wise. You can also incubate the eggs as a home school project. Nothing is more fun that egg hatching day around here.

Most people think that you need to build a nesting box for your hens and you can go to the trouble of making nesting boxes and putting hay at the bottom of them, but my experience has been that if you put boards in the corners of your chicken coop with enough room for them to get in and out, make it nice and comfy, they will lay their eggs there. All of your chicken may use the same nest. Mine sometimes like to pile together to lay eggs, kind of bizarre for sure. We do have nice little laying boxes with a little perch just outside of it, but will they lay in those boxes? Oh, no, they prefer to lay in this one particular corner that I placed a board across.

Hens prefer laying eggs in a dark, warm place, rather than one that has a lot of light or is cooler. In the wild, they use a hollow on he ground and sometimes find corners of a farmyard. If you let your chickens forage, as we chose to do for awhile, you get to play "Easter Egg Hunt" everyday while you look for eggs. This might be fun for awhile, and the kids love it to be sure, but when you are needing eggs for baking or breakfast, you would like to be able to just run outside and get a few. This is why it is important to get good information on keeping a chicken.

When an egg is first laid by your hen it is wet and soft, but dries pretty quickly. One of the truly amazing things about keeping chickens is getting to witness the dropping of an egg. I have been privileged to witness this on a few occasions. When the days get longer, more of your hens will lay an eggs everyday. When the days start to get shorter you will find that you hens lay fewer and fewer eggs until they get down to none. Occasionally, if you have the right kind of chickens, they lay eggs all year round. In order to promote more consistent egg laying in the winter, put a red heat lamp in the coop. You can use a regular light bulb, though if you see signs of fighting or aggressive behavior between your hens, switch over to the red light. It seems to calm them.

It has also been said that if they stop laying that you might not give them laying pellets for a while. If you are keeping them in a coop you need to give them scratch and oyster shells and of course, water. I do this from time to time here living our homesteading life and it does seem to help.


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