Blood spots in eggs

There is absolutely nothing better than a fresh egg right from the chicken coop for breakfast. It is why we keep chickens isn't it?  Unfortunately sometimes things go wrong and when you crack open your fresh eggs for breakfast, something doesn't look right! The first time I saw a meat spot in a fresh egg I knew what it was and that sometimes that happens. No worries. The first time I saw blood in a fresh egg though, I just about panicked!

What causes blood spots in chickens eggs?

Blood spots in eggs are also one of those things that just happens sometimes. A glitch in  the system per se. However, many of us have had a lifetime of store bought eggs and have never seen things like blood spots in a fresh egg, or meat spots. We only rarely see double yolkers. These can come as quite a surprise the first time you see them. 

It's not that hens that lay those commercial eggs don't have the same problems, they definitely do! However, the eggs get candled before they're packaged and shipped out to that stuff never makes it through the process. It's a simple case of out of sight out of mind. We never see these little flaws in commercial eggs so we assume they don't happen. 

Do chickens need feed supplements?

I was at the feed store today to pick up a specific feed for an experiment I'm doing. Since I'm looking for an unfamiliar product this required me to actually...well, LOOK! As I gazed down the 2 full isles of chicken feed and feed supplements I couldn't help but think "do we really need all these feed supplements for chickens?" The answer is we do not. Most people will never need to feed their chickens vitamin supplements. 

Chicken feed supplements

Of course they wouldn't still be manufactured if people weren't buying and using them, so somebody is feeding them to their chickens. Should you? That one kind of depends on what your chickens diet regularly looks like. In some very specific conditions, some of these supplements might be good for your chickens. Let's talk about that...

Scoby for chickens

This week I gave my chickens a scoby and I put a short video on instagram of a few of the hens eating it. I got some comments and messages because apparently not many people know that you can feed chickens a scoby! So, let's talk about that. A scoby is the gelatinous cellulose-based biofilm that forms at the top of a batch of kombucha. Kombucha is fermented sweet tea full of probiotics and other healthy stuff.

Chickens eating a scoby for probiotics

It's one of those crunchy-mama, hippie superfoods that's so popular right now. A lot of people make it at home since it's so expensive in single serve bottles.

Every time you make a new batch of kombucha, a new scoby forms. Most of us store these extras all in a big jar called a scoby hotel. Well, when the hotel gets full something needs done with them and since they are loaded with probiotics you hate for them to go to waste. Some people eat them in different ways and they also give them to their dogs and livestock. Nope, I'm not the only one who does this!

How to decorate a blown egg

A few weeks ago we talked about how to blow out an egg so that you can keep it as a memento or decoration. Today I want to talk about decorating blown out eggs. Easter is coming up and I'm always scrambling for new ways to decorate farm fresh eggs. They're just not as easy to color as white eggs, especially the Marans eggs and I am not buying eggs from the store for this! lol This year I'm leaving the dyes alone and instead I'm adding decorations to the eggs.

How to decorate a blown egg for Easter

The great thing about decorating blown eggs is that they keep well for next year. Just store them the same way you'd store delicate ornaments...a little bubble wrap and they'll be fine. I really like this idea because I no longer have young kids that want to decorate Easter eggs each year! Plus, you can get a little fancier with more elaborate decorations since they'll be used more than once.

The art of egg decorating is practically as old as time. The oldest eggshells that were decorated were actually engraved with patterns. They date back to 60,000 years ago! Although, back then they only really only decorated emu and ostrich eggs. They're much larger and stronger than a tiny chicken egg, so it make a lot of sense. We're working on a much smaller scale here though, so instead of carving we simply blow out the eggs and decorate them.  

It's really simple to decorate hand blown eggs and only takes a few supplies. You'll need extra long needles, ribbon or twine for hangers and whatever beads or decorations you want to add.

How to trim a chickens beak

Chickens don't require a lot of grooming. The occasional nail trim is usually it...and most chickens keep their nails trimmed all on their own. However, some chickens can need a beak trim from time to time. Sometimes it's due to a deformity and other times the chicken is not scraping it properly to groom it herself. Whichever the reason, beak trimming is simple to do and painless for the chicken.

Chickens can sometimes need a beak trim, here's how to do it.

A properly shaped beak is important for a chicken. When the beak is shaped and aligned correctly it acts as a pincer enabling the chicken to pick up small seeds and bugs as they peck. Chickens can be very precise in only picking up the item they want. A beak that is not properly shaped will not line up correctly and the chicken will have a hard time eating, especially if they're foraging.