Gathering dirty eggs? Here's how I get clean eggs from the nest boxes

Last year I was having a real bad time with the eggs from one of my coops being dirty all the time. Nobody wants to collect dirty eggs each day and because of a certain hen, it was happening all too frequently around here. Up until then I had collected clean eggs daily from the nest boxes, so obviously I needed to fix something!

The problem had been hens sleeping in the nest boxes. Well, ok there was a rooster that was doing it too but Hei Hei is a totally different story. Let's just say he really takes after his namesake! Anyway, here is How I got my chickens to stop sleeping in the nest boxes. This is probably the number 1 factor in keeping my eggs clean! 

Other than that issue I rarely have a problem with dirty eggs and I attribute that to these practices.

Should you cull your flock in fall?

As fall approaches, hens that are 2 years old or older slow down on egg production. Many farmers and homesteaders chose to cull old or unproductive hens from their flock before winter. By culling the flock in fall, they cut their feed costs over the winter. This makes a lot of sense if your main reason for having chickens is to get farm fresh eggs.

However, not everyone runs their flock like a farmer. Many chicken keepers are perfectly happy letting their flock live out it's natural life. I have one chicken that's 9 & 1/2 years old, so I can certainly understand that sentiment! Chickens can live pretty long though, so if you don't intend to let them live out their natural lives, culling before winter may be a good idea for you.

chicken culling in fall

What is culling? 

To cull the flock means to reduce its population selectively, removing animals by choice. Remove does not always mean butcher or kill, but it can. Many people cull their flock by selling off chickens they decide they no longer need. I have posts about poultry swaps, poultry auctions and my ridiculously honest craigslist ads as these are all ways I have used to cull my flock.

Broody hens, how to care for them

Broody hens are the easiest way to add new chicks to your flock. A good broody will take care of the chick rearing and all you really have to do is provide food and water. That makes it so much easier than caring for a brooder full of chicks! 

A broody hen does require a little bit of care though. She'll need a safe place to sit on her eggs for 21 days, food and water. After her chicks hatch she'll need a safe place to raise them. She will take care of integrating the new chicks into the flock when the time comes.

Broody hen care

I've found that chicks raised by a broody hen are slightly less friendly with humans than those raised in a brooder. The fact that it's so much easier to just let a broody hen do all the work though, makes it worth the little extra coaxing it takes to get the chicks to be friendly when they're older!

How to hard boil farm fresh eggs

Obviously we eat a lot of farm fresh eggs around here or we wouldn't have a flock of chickens, right? Or maybe we eat so many eggs because we have chickens? Hmmm, either way I've had to become pretty skilled at cooking eggs, with easy peel hard boiled eggs being my favorite.

I sorta stumbled into my preferred method for cooking farm fresh hard boiled eggs, but unfortunately I've heard that it doesn't always work for everyone! (oh the horror!) So, I'm going to explain my method and tell you every hard boiled egg method that I know of. Sound good?

hard boiled and peeled farm fresh eggs

All my life I had always put the eggs into the water and shook some salt in there with them, then put them on the burner. I never had a problem with them peeling, but they were from the grocery store so that's not uncommon.

Treating coccidiosis in chicks

Coccidiosis is one of those diseases that strikes fear into the heart of even the most experienced chicken keeper. When contracted by chicks, coccidiosis can wipe out a whole brooder full in just a few days. Coccidiosis moves quickly and is deadly. Luckily, it's also easy to prevent and treat.

Coccidiosis medication is readily available and is water soluble, so it's simple to treat the whole flock at once. (which is absolutely necessary!) Treating coccidiosis in chicks is as simple as adding the medication to their drinking water for a few days and keeping their brooder clean.

chicks with coccidiosis can be treated easily with corid.

Before we get to the treatment of coccidiosis though, let's talk about what it is and what the symptoms are.

Coccidiosis is a parasitic disease of the intestinal tract of animals caused by coccidian protozoa. The disease spreads from one animal to another by contact with infected feces or ingestion of infected tissue. Site.