Monthly Archives: March 2013

Figuring out which hen is eating the eggs

I was collecting the eggs and I saw evidence of a broken egg…some yoke but, no egg shell.   I was feeding the chickens and one chicken started clucking and I knew I had another egg but before I could get to the nest, a chicken  ran out with part of a shell and all the other chickens were following behind her trying to steal the egg shell.

I immediately grabbed by net and took that hen out of the yard but suspected another hen, too since she kept looking into the empty nests like she was looking for eggs to eat.  I took her out of the yard, too.

I suspected one other hen so I took a hard boiled egg out of the refrigerator and laid it in plain sight (on the ground near the nests) so I could keep an eye on the egg, too.  One chicken immediately started pecking at the egg so I scooped her up and took her out of the yard.  My culprit was found.

I then took the hen who was carrying the egg shell and put her back in to test her ability to ignore the egg.  She came near it and then looked into the nest (uh, oh) but settled in to lay an egg.  She gets to keep her freedom.

Then I tried the other hen I had taken out.  Unfortunately, Sadie saw the egg from across the chicken yard and ran to peck on it.  Freedom is lost to her, darn it.  I really like her.

I guess I should put them in a pot and cook them but I haven’t done it yet so why start now.  I will just keep them caged for awhile and see if they change their ways.  If not, I will build a special yard for them.

I may have made a mistake by feeding the chickens their egg shells but I crumbled them up really good and let them dry out so I wouldn’t think they could tell they were egg shells.  I guess I will go fill up their feeder and add some oyster shells just to make sure they aren’t missing something in their diet.

Leg Mites and Vegetable Oil

I had a terrible time last year with my chickens getting those mites that get on their legs and feet and burrow in and they actually lose toes.  So I noticed I had two Silkie chickens that seemed to be walking funny.  Like they had a sore foot.  That’s how it started last year.  Darn it.

Well, I got the Seven dust in a round container that I bought at the Feed Store…though they do sell it at Walmart cheaper.  I was already there getting feed so driving extra miles didn’t make sense to save a dollar.

I raked the chicken houses real good and put the dust down and put fresh hay on the floor.  Then I took the Seven dust (not granules because the chickens can eat those) and sprinkled in the laying nests, too.

I had read that you put vaseline on the chickens feet and legs and it will smother the mites and I tried that last year.  Vaseline (petroleum jelly) is such a pain in the butt to get off your hands and then you pick the next chicken up and you the jelly on the chicken feathers.  It is definitely a two person job that way.

Well, I also read that you can use vegetable oil and dip the chickens feet in it.  I had some leftover oil from making homemade french fries and I poured it into a big margarine tub.   I caught one chicken and dunked it’s feet and legs into the oil and held it there for about two minutes and swished it around some, too.  I wanted to make sure it was getting up in between the toes.  I did this to three chickens since they were the ones that looked like they were walking with sore feet.

It has been a couple days now and I am astonished how much better the chickens are walking.  I am assuming the oil smothered the mites.  Then putting down the Seven dust didn’t hurt either.

Hope this helps if you have that problem.  If you notice a barnacle look on your chicken’s feet or they are walking funny, try the dipping in oil.  My husband teased me that the chickens will think you want to fry them in oil next.  I don’t eat my chickens EVER.   We killed some roosters on our farm in Missouri (different husband) and that was a horrible experience and I will never do that again.  Odor was awful, too.

UPDATE:  Chickens appear to be walking funny again.  It has been about a week so maybe you have to dip the chicken feet/legs more than once.  Will try again tomorrow.