Thursday, April 12, 2012
But I haven't! So naturally I want to share my wonder and amazement with my blog friends! Dork alert!
I let the ladies out and noticed that one had yellow all over her head. The little white and black one - the Yard Terrorist, as I've named her. Never a good sign, right? I instantly thought one of the other hens took a shit on her (one would ask: Jeez, Lindsey - you went right to that?) but then checked the coop and noticed that days eggs were all covered in, well, EGG.
Instantly I got fearful that one of the chickens was cannibalizing her own eggs. It can be a major pain to get chickens to stop eating their raw eggs when they start, and I just hate having to go down that road. I have read, since I have never had that happen to me, that the way to stop them from eating the raw eggs is to keep on top of the collection every day so they don't have a chance to ruminate on them. From the BYC forum, that seems to be the most effective. I have also heard of people spraying hen and egg with vinegar water, and then there's always the "I'll just live with a few lost eggs every week" bargain.
But no - just a soft egg that quietly exploded and left gunk all over the straw, the other 4 eggs, the wood and my gloves. Hooray.
I do not give my hens oyster shell. I have always just let them scratch around and sometimes I will bake egg shells at 200 degrees until they dry out, crush them up and lob them out into the back forty. If the girls go ape shit over them, then I know they are needing some calcium. I would not ever throw them egg shells that have some raw egg still in them, as that can start the whole "I'm gonna eat my egg" problem. Then I give them eggshells every day for a week or so. Seems like an odd closed feedback loop to me, though, since their bodies already generated the calcium and now I'm sending it right back to them - it feels like it wouldn't replenish anything. But then I remember that there is calcium and magnesium in the feed I give them and in the scraps they eat. Sometimes I give them whey, yogurt, or sour cream and they love it. Of course, I do this with just expired dairy products.
So I popped some egg shells in the oven today and they are drying out while I'm at my office. The coop is clean and sparkling fresh and the ladies have resumed their usual tearing up of the chicken run.
Does anyone else have problems in the egg department? (Outside of hens laying everywhere but the nesting box?)