How to tell if hens eggs are fertilized

Hens do not need a rooster to lay eggs. In fact, almost every egg on the grocery store shelves was laid by a hen that did not have access to a rooster! It just doesn't make financial sense for commercial egg laying flocks to have a rooster since they're usually all caged.

egg yolks of fertilized eggs

However, many homestead flocks, breeding flocks or commercial flocks that sell fertile eggs have roosters! And of course the roosters job is to fertilize said eggs. 

Well, he actually fertilizes the hen and she stores the sperm in storage tubules until she needs it. One egg is produced by a hen per day, so she basically uses the sperm throughout the next few weeks.

When a rooster mates a hen, she can produce fertile eggs for up to 3 weeks later. So if you have a rooster with your hens, how do you know if her eggs are fertile or not? Well unfortunately no matter what anybody says online... and I've read some doozies... you cannot tell if an egg is fertile unless you crack it open, or attempt to incubate it.

Do guinea fowl need a coop?

I was recently chatting with some people about guinea fowl and one of them mentioned that she was thinking about getting guineas instead of chickens because they don't need a coop. This is the first I had ever heard of Guinea's not having a coop to live in.

Guinea fowl in their coop

Obviously we had a discussion about it and I pointed out that yes Guinea fowl actually do need a coop to live in. I started looking into it a little bit after that though and found out that there are a lot of people that believe that guineas do not need a chicken coop to live in. Guinea coop if you will.  There are a lot of reasons why that's wrong and I'd like to talk about those today.

How to decorate rhinestone Easter Eggs!

This year I wanted to do another Easter egg decorating craft with brown eggs. The majority of egg laying hens in private homes throughout the country are brown egg layers. That coupled with the new popularity/availability of brown eggs and grocery stores means that a lot of us might be trying to decorate brown eggs for the first time this year.

Brown eggs decorated with rhinestone stickers

So real quick I'll recap some of the other things I've done to decorate brown eggs like when I decorated a blown egg. If you ever wanted to keep an eggshell indefinitely, you can remove the contents by poking a hole in each end and basically blowing the egg white and yolk out of the shell. That's why they're called blown eggs. They can then be dried and decorated anyway you want.

Another way I decorated brown eggs is with gold and silver spray food paint. I bought it at the party store. You can also buy it in many large grocery stores in the cake decorating section. Walmart has it etc. It comes in lots of colors but I chose the gold and silver which were slightly metallic.

This year I'm going to decorate brown eggs with rhinestones! I thought it would be cute to try to replicate this blingy egg design I saw (it wasn't a real egg though) but I'm going to recreate it with some stick on jewels from the dollar store.

Easter eggs decorated with rhinestones

Polish chickens: Should you raise them?

When I started raising chickens one of the first breeds I picked was the Polish chicken. I had decided to hatch the eggs myself and found a breeder online that shipped eggs. I hatched a few pure Polish and a few mixed with something else. I had those chickens for about a year before I completely gave up on that breed! Not gonna lie, they were kinda crazy!

I personally found this whole breed to be very flighty. I spend a lot of time socializing chicks when they're little and take time to visit them everyday and bring treats...I just never could get the polish to warm up to me! If you have a different experience I'd love to hear it down below in comments! 

Polish chickens and their crazy hair

I wanted to raise Polish chickens because they are so cool looking! The boys look crazy with their wild crests that flop around as they run and the girls just look so fancy to me! 

When chicken keeping goes wrong

Have you ever had a period of time when everything seems to go wrong with your flock of chickens and you just can't seem to fix it? That was my whole summer! It started with predators but many of the things that went wrong were just weird flukes! Sometimes even when you do everything right, things still go wrong.

Injured chicken, what to do when you have problems raising chickens

Against my friends and families advice I have decided to share with you all the chicken keeping problems I've had this year. Why? Because it's not always all sunshine and roses in the backyard coop and if you found this post through a search, you're probably hoping you're not alone.

I normally I wouldn't talk about this, at least not in this sort of way but I think it's important that new chicken keepers realize that stuff like this can still happen to the old timer chicken keepers! So, here we go. Welcome to my recap of every problem I had with my chickens in 2022! It started with...