Friday, August 29, 2014

The Eggington Post 33rd Edition

Can you believe it's the end of August?  The kids are going back to school and here we are at Labor Day weekend and the 33rd edition of The Eggington Post!  

We have a a winner for the delicious smelling Hog Wash Soaps this week. Agel Grant PM or email me your address so we can send your soaps out to you.

Hog Wash Soap

Agel Grant was so happy to see that first egg this week!




Chloe Burttschell had a double yoker this week.  Look at the size of the baby next
to a regular size egg.  

Debbie Drennon shows off her harvest for the day (above).
(Below) she has a new layer.  She thinks it's her BCM, Lilly.



Debbie Hoyle says this her "crop" of eggs.  I love that photo!

Eva Hargrave really knows how to set up a gorgeous egg photo.
Chicken basket & chicken canisters make such a great addition.

Jack said he has twelve hens and six are laying!  Pretty colors, too!

Kristen Guerrette took this pretty photo of her egg basket but Thistle her calf
wasn't too sure about it.
 
Michele Burns says new eggs from new layers still amaze her!  Me too!




Well that's it for this week.  Make sure to check back for next week's 34th Edition of The Eggington Post.  I'll have a special announcement you won't want to miss! Send in gorgeous eggs photos for next week so you can be entered to win a Chicken Fountain Mini!
The Chicken Fountain Mini

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Eggington Post 32nd Edition

Happy Weekend Everyone!  This is the 32nd Edition of The Eggington Post! Sit back grab a cuppa and enjoy all these beautiful and sometimes strange egg photos.





This week's winner of Resolve Sustainable Solutions Ultra Kibble, Hot Cake and Cackleberry Nuggets is Dawn Frederick!  Congrats Dawn, please email me your address! (Please note all winners are chosen by random.org)
Resolve Sustainable Solutions Chicken Treats


Dawn Frederick said production was down this week.  She heard an egg song
from an unusual place in the back yard and went to the source.  This is what she
found!  She did the egg float test, all were in good shape so she had two for lunch!

Angie Blake boiled up this pretty batch of eggs

Barbara Nichols got a little egg from a new five month old layer.
Love the mosaic, too!

Looks like Debbie Drennon had a terrific harvest last Saturday which also
included eggs!

Eva Hargrave said one of her hens had a bad day at the office on Monday.  I'll say!

Frank Hodges has the most beautiful variety of eggs, I love all these colors (above).
He also got an oddly shaped egg with bumps and ridges (below).
It must be the week for strange eggs, I got one like below and some rubber eggs, too!


Heidi Nye had some of her girls join the New Layers Club this week.

Kristen Guerrette has some pretty variety, too.

Leon Pringle said this is their first brown egg ever.  He's new to chicken keeping.
Welcome to the club, Leon, those first eggs never get old!

Lori Klimas found these two beauties in the egg box this week. (above) Below
she shows how big the top is at 9.1.  Ouch!



This handful of three small eggs were in Wendy Hernandez's nest box
Look at this little bitty egg Scott Parsons found this week.

One of my new layers needs a little more practice
My BCM, Violet laid her first egg Tuesday.  Love those chocolate
brown eggs, they are so gorgeous!
Thanks to everyone who participated in this week's 32nd Edition of the Eggington Post!  All your photos were most eggscellent!  

Join us next week for the 33rd Edition by sending your egg photos to gardensandchickensandworms@gmail.com.  Remember, give me some information of the eggs! By sending in photos for next week's Post you'll be entered to win Rural Revolution's Hogwash Soap!  







Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Ins and Outs of Molting

It's that time of year when your chicken coop and/or runs are FULL of feathers! Egg production slows and you could fill a whole Bed, Bath & Beyond store full of feather pillows.  
Silver is molting like crazy right now
Well, at least your coop looks like the girls had a pillow fight last night.  Once they lose all those feathers, they look so pitiful and some like my Pearl get a bit lethargic.  They don't want to be touched, picked up or snuggled.  While molting this time of year is seasonal there are other times when chickens and yes, chicks molt. What's best for your flock during molting?  Read further and find out how to keep everyone comfortable.


Chickens go into full blown molt once a year usually beginning at about 18 months old or many times in Fall.  When the days begin to shorten it signals to the hens body that winter is coming and it's time to molt and grow new feathers.  Some chickens, mine included decided to molt in December last
Mildred held on to one tail feather forever last fall.
year. Why do chickens go through a annual molt?  Some of the reasons for your flock to molt is a renewing of their feathers for winter warmth (although as I said, some still molt in winter and alarm their keepers), it gives their reproductive systems a rest and they can renew their body's stores of nutrients1.  Let's face it egg laying is hard work and taking a rest once a year is a good thing to keep your ladies and your roosters happy and healthy.


Some chickens occasionally start the yearly molt sooner than others.  There's no need for alarm provided you have checked them carefully and made sure mites and/or lice are not causing the problem.  You should also check to make sure that feather picking by other members of the flock is not occurring. Furthermore, if your hens happen to be the favorite of your rooster, you may see a loss of neck and back feathers due to the "treading" that roosters do to hold on and mate.

Additionally, if they a hen goes broody and hatches out chicks as did my Mabel last year you may see a good heavy molt.  They've been "cooped" up so long and haven't been eating properly, getting good nutrition and they are
Beneath Mabel in the corner is just the beginning
of her molt after brooded and hatched Alice
and Myrtie.
physically exhausted while brooding so it stands to reason that the ladies would shed all those feathers and grow in more.  They also have to re-grow their breast feathers where they picked them out to keep the eggs right against their bodies.  Incidentally, Mabel was only 10 months old when she went broody and therefore molted the first time at 11 months when her chicks, Alice & Myrtie had hatched and were a couple of weeks old.  She did not, however, molt again in late fall when her sisters, Mildred and Mabel molted.


My poor frizzle girl, Alice is looking a bit rough
right now.  She is going through a heavy molt.
One extra note on frizzled feathered chickens.  I noticed that Alice was beginning her molt this summer. Apparently, I am not alone.  I went on www.backyardchickens.com and looked up molting frizzles and found that many frizzles molt in summer.  They lose a lot of their feathers and look absolutely awful.  Don't be shocked, they will grow in full and beautiful before long and it's better that these beauties have all their feathers for winter because they have a harder time staying warm with their feathers curled forward.


Sarah & Charlotte, my Polish girls were molting
at 15 weeks.  You can see the feather under
the swing.
Finally, chicks molt, too.  Yes, chicks.  You may notice it more on some than others,  Of course, you'll see their downy new-hatch feather start to fall out when real feathers begin coming in usually 5-6 weeks of age1.  But did you know that chicks go through another two partial molts while growing?  This was news to me until I noticed that my bantam white-crested Polish hens (now deceased) were molting at about 15 weeks old1.  I also understand that chicks may have a partial molt again around 20-21 weeks when their real tail feathers are growing in1.  These timelines do vary according to breed and circumstances but if you see a lot of feathers in your grow up pen, don't be alarmed.  Check and make sure everyone is just growing into big girl (or boy) feathers.

What can you do to help your chickens when they molt? First and foremost, give them plenty of protein.  Some flock owners switch back to grower feed (Purina Flock Raiser 20% protein) from layer feed because the protein content is higher.  Other sources of protein are mealworms (live and dried), sunflower seeds, scrambled eggs and mashed up boiled eggs (shell and all) and several of the feed companies make supplements like "Omega Ultra Egg" from Omega Fields, "Nature Wise Feather Fixer" from Nutrena and "Omega Egg Maker" from MannaPro.  Notice that several ingredients are found that help not only a laying hen but also a molting hen (and molting roosters) mainly protein and Omega-3 fatty acids.  "Feathers are 85% protein"3 giving your flock many reasons to need a good supply of protein in their diet.  Second, don't handle
Mildred had pin feathers along time last year
your molting chickens. Their pin feathers are filled with blood and it actually hurts them when you touch them.  An interesting fact is "feathers will re-grow in the same sequence they were lost."2  If they seem grouchy, they probably are since they don't feel at their best during molting and regrowing feathers takes a lot energy2.  Limit treats like scratch, fresh or frozen corn and fruits.


So there you have it.  Now you can understand what causes molting and what to do and not do during molt.  Make sure your flock has everything they need in their feed, even adding in additional supplements to aid in feather regrowth. Treat them with care and kindness and you'll soon be getting eggs again when molting season is over. Many hens slow down on egg laying in winter because of shorter days so if they don't go back at it full tilt, that's okay, they will when spring arrives.  

1. The Poultry Site; Moulting - A Natural Process; retrieved August 2014 from http://www.thepoultrysite.com/articles/217/moulting-a-natural-process

2. NutrenaWorld.com; The Molting Process; retrieved July 2014 fromhttp://www.nutrenaworld.com/knowledge-center/poultry/the-molting-process/index.jsp

3. Damerow, Gail; The Chicken Health Handbook p.27; North Adams, MA; Storey Publishing, 1994


Friday, August 15, 2014

The Eggington Post 31st Edition

Welcome Everyone and Good Friday Morning to you! We have some beautiful egg photos this week in spite of all the pesky molting that starts at this time of year. But seriously, our ladies do need this time to loose old feathers and grow new ones.  Make sure your ladies are getting plenty of protein and calcium.  And try not to pick them up or touch them when their pin feathers began to come back in as that is painful for them to be handled.  Watch for my next blog post on molting next week!

With that said, CONGRATULTIONS go out to Lara Mastro, this week's winner of a pair of Fowl Stuff Nest Boxes!  (All winners are chosen by random.org)
Fowl Stuff Nest Boxes

Lara Mastro, this week's winner, from Ned Hens got this tiny little wind egg this week
Angie Blake got her first duck egg this week!

Christine Armbrust caught her Beatrice in the act!  That's a freshly laid egg!

Debbie Drennon says this is her 25 cent bargain basket.  I think she's getting her money's worth out it!

Eva Hargrave tells many of her gals are molting but she shared these few on that adorable table runner with Ball jars from Tracey's Place on Facebook!  That little egg cup is adorable, too!

Imelda Torres is showing us her "eggs & maters" fresh from the garden & coop
(above & below)


Jane Boone joined the New Layers Club this week with these three beauties from her ladies!

Look at this basket!  I love the color palette of these eggs. Such a pretty picture
 from Kristen Guerrette

Now there's trick and it happened on the same day!  A two for double yoker and a yolkless all at once from Sandy Scofield.

I think Stefanie Robinson has Fall Fever, look at how those "gifts from her girls" and the
Fall flowers look so pretty together!

Vicki Lacey couldn't find her egg photos but says she found this one which is an end result of eggs. Look at those pretty little chicks!
To all of you who participated in this week's 31st edition of the Eggington Post, thank you!  I know we get "slim-pickin's" this time of year with eggs when molt begins.  Hopefully, we'll have enough new layers from spring chicks that we can still get our weekly egg fix here in the Post.  

I also got some "new eggs" this week when I got three new grown hens and a duck!  Silver laid a beautiful, huge mint green egg (below) yesterday and Contessa laid a pinkish brown for me and both on their first day here!


Silver's first egg for me


Next week's giveaway winner will receive Hot Cake, Cackleberry Nuggets & a Forage Cake, all from Resolve Sustainable Solutions!  Yummy, healthy treats for your flock to enjoy!  My flock loves them.  AND... if you take photos of your flock enjoying these treats and send them to me they will be used for advertising by RSS!  Make sure to tune in next week for 32 edition of The Eggington Post!
Chicken treats from Resolve Sustainable Solutions

Have a great week!