Chickens that lay white eggs

A few years back I was helping Brinsea incubators with their displays and demonstrations at the Mother Earth News fair when it was in Pennsylvania. I had the eggs all ready to hatch but the one problem was that most of them were brown! When demonstrating candling eggs and incubation equipment you can see inside the egg most easily if it's white or cream colored. The darker the shell the harder it is to see inside.

White eggs, breeds that raise them

I had brown and white partially incubated eggs with me, but the white ones were from the silkies, so they were rather small white eggs since silkies are bantam sized. This sent me on a quest to find a standard sized white egg laying breed. I found several! 

Lots of people that raise chickens for eggs like to pick and choose their chicken breeds so that they have different colored eggs. It's often referred to as 'a pretty egg basket' or 'a rainbow egg basket'. 

Chicken eggs come in many colors the most common are blue, green, brown and white. Admittedly, most people are only familiar with white and brown eggs and many people don't even realize you can own chickens that lay white eggs! 

I was once told that only egg farms are allowed to have them. lol I should probably add that to the post I wrote about things non chicken keepers believe...but for now lets move on to the white egg layers!

There are several breeds that lay white eggs and they are all readily available from hatcheries and private breeders alike. Just like brown eggs come in various shades though, white eggs come in both pure white and off white or cream colored. 

How to hatch duck eggs

Ducklings are one of the cutest baby animals in existence! I have been raising ducks since 2009 and have had both standard size, large and bantamn ducks! I started hatching duck eggs as soon as I got my first incubator. Actually my first duck was a pekin egg that was added into my marans eggs shipment as a surprise extra egg. I named him Quackers!

incubated duck eggs with baby duckling

The first time I incubated duck eggs I just popped the eggs in my incubator along with the chicken eggs and used all the same settings as I do for chicks. It worked and he hatched, but I would quickly find out that I needed to change a few things to have every hatch go perfectly.

Other than the longer incubation period, duck eggs and chicken eggs are quite similar in incubation procedure. With a few tweaks though, I started to get a better hatch rate and I was hooked on hatching my own ducklings.

Of course the easiest method is always to have a hen hatch the eggs if you have a broody hen. Either a chicken hen or duck hen will work, they both can hatch duck eggs just fine. It gets a little funny when the baby ducks try to swim in the water container though as chickens don't understand that behavior!

If you don't have a broody hen though, you'll have to chose and use an incubator.

Protecting chickens from stray dogs

I've been raising chickens here since 2010 and we've only had 2 major predator attacks and they were both dogs. Yes, we've had our share of persistent foxes or raccoons over the years, but dogs take the prize for the sheer amount of casualties they cause in one go.

Dog trying to get into chicken coop

The worst part about dogs, is that they run chickens down for fun! I can at least understand a fox or coyote that has to eat, but dogs just chase chickens for sport and somehow that's twice as devastating! 

The first time it happened was about 7 years ago. It was 3 dogs that someone had brought with them to visit one of our 'neighbors' and they just let them run every morning. Their excuse was that the dogs never get to run off leash in the city and they didn't think they could get into any trouble, it's just woods. *sigh* 

Except farmers live in between those stretches of woods and homesteaders actually live on acreage in the woods! They never even considered that some of us have farm animals and the dogs had never seen them before so they would be curious. Spoiler alert...if your dog chases cats and bunnies in the city, they're chasing livestock in the country when they get the chance! 

Frozen yogurt fruit treats for chickens

I was browsing Pinterest a few months back and saw a 'recipe' for Summer frozen yogurt treats for kids. I was intrigued so I read the whole post and it sounded exactly like something my chickens would love! They act like little kids most of the time so I'm pretty sure they'll like kid snacks!

How to make frozen yogurt treats for chickens

After all, they do like yogurt & fruit, plus it's mighty warm here in the I decided to make some for my chickens and I was right, they loved it!

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.