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Radio
04-26-2017, 07:31 PM
I case you've wondered where your beloved admin has been for the last few days... I have been building a hen house.

:giggle:

Sweet Wife decided she wanted to have fresh eggs in the back yard. My B-I-L is helping get us started with advise, brooding and other stuff. She asked him "What kind of hens should we get?" and I butted in and said "The kind that lay the big brown eggs!"

B-I-L has some that lay greenish eggs. Ahh, no thanks. I hear they taste the same but still, big brown eggs are THE way to go. So I have no idea what breed these things are but they make brown eggs. Suits me.

So here's a few pics of the work so far. although we did get the rest of the roof on today. It only took 20 minutes to do, but required 6 hands and today was the first not rainy day the 3 of us had time to work together.

It went back under a tarp. Gets painted next few days. Hens arrive next Saturday.

Radio
04-26-2017, 07:34 PM
I thought real serious about putting this under "The Funnies"

coupevillefish
04-26-2017, 08:16 PM
Green eggs and ham!

We have 3 bantees, OK, my wife does. We built the little chicken house to match our house. They strut around all day in their run and give us 2-3 Itty bitty eggs per day. They are good eggs, just need to double the recipe.

Now is the time to get the chicks but be forewarned. Our last bunch of 6 had 3 roosters that were given to friends with larger properties.

Have fun.

Radio
04-26-2017, 08:37 PM
My B-I-L is brooding our chicks and were pretty darn sure all we're getting is hens.

The local ordinances say we can only have 6 hens, no roosters. We have an acre outside city limits. This is our first attempt. We might try and squeeze 8 in there next time, but don't tell the sheriff. :drill:

electricflyer
04-26-2017, 10:01 PM
I was born and raised on a farm in SW Iowa. Our chickens were free range. We had Leghorns at one time but you had to get them out of the trees in the evening because that was where they liked to roost as they could fly a short distance. When we had Rhode Island Reds that wasn't a problem as there were too heavy too fly, they were easy to catch too, if you chased them they would just sit down and you could pick them up then. They lay brown eggs. When I was a young lad there was a rooster that chased me, my dad saw it and we had chicken for supper that night. Gathering the eggs wasn't much of a problem except when you tried to get an egg from under a cluck hen, she would peck the heck out of you. Most of the hens didn't bother when you reached under them for the eggs.
Next door neighbor had 6 hens for a while, he had a breed that doesn't make much noise, got a lot more eggs than they could eat, he gave me a dozen about every other week and his wife took them to where she worked. He could move his hen house and enclosure so the chickens had fresh dirt to scratch in for bugs and worms about every couple weeks. Don't forget to get oyster shell to mix with the feed to make the egg shells stronger. You may need a fan to keep them cool in the summer.

wa8yxm
04-27-2017, 08:47 AM
Have been watching a series of videos from GeoBeats called mastering your kitchen.

They have one episode on eggs and the comment is that the color of the shell depends on the diet the birds eat,, Feed them differently you get white, brown, or ____ eggs.

Do not know how true that is.. but that's what they claim.

Insert joke here about chicken farmers who are raising some special expermental chickens that are supposed to be better than regular chickens,, But they poop gray poop.

You can tell the expermental farmers because their jeans have gray poop on.

electricflyer
04-27-2017, 10:30 AM
Here is a rundown of the various chicken breeds. https://www.coopsandcages.com.au/blog/ultimate-list-chicken-breeds/
Here you have it, Leghorns and Rhode Island Reds are best for egg production. http://www.chickens101.com/chicken-breeds.html

Frank Purdue used to advertise that he fed his chickens Marigold petals to make the skin yellow, which it did, and it will also make the egg yoke more yellow. Yellow skin was desirable for broilers as it looked more appealing in the meat case. He didn't raise chickens for eggs but rather for the meat.

North Georgia was a major broiler production area for a long time, I think that has changed now. Arkansas is big in meat production as in Tyson foods. For egg production much of that is done in Ohio, Indiana and New York that I know of. There is a egg producer in Ohio that has over 11 million hens in egg production at one site. Rose Acres in Indiana has over 24 million birds in production but they are spread out over the state. Actually there are major egg producers throughout the US, one producer has over 35 million birds in production. Think about the number of eggs produced every day.

Don't know what you could feed a chicken to affect the color of an egg shell though. Now a Cream Legbar will lay blue, olive or green eggs. As for the color in chicken poop, we used to have fun with non farmers and ask them if they knew what the white was in chicken poop. When they couldn't answer we said "that's chicken poop too"

For a different breed of hen check out a Guinea Hen. Farmers used to keep a small flock of them around as watch dogs. If a stranger would come into the farmyard they would get excited and raise all kinds of noise to alert the farmer. They were good egg layers also but the eggs were smaller.

I am somewhat familiar with chicken production as I worked as a Regional Sales Manager for a major manufacturer of truck bodies/trailers used for feed transportation for 5 years. Many good stories about that.

Radio
04-27-2017, 04:05 PM
Have been watching a series of videos from GeoBeats called mastering your kitchen.

They have one episode on eggs and the comment is that the color of the shell depends on the diet the birds eat,, Feed them differently you get white, brown, or ____ eggs.

Do not know how true that is.. but that's what they claim.

You might could make a brown egg browner, or a green egg greener. But my B-I-L has three breeds of chickens. They lay white, light green and tan-almost-brown eggs, and they all eat the same feed.

NN5I
04-27-2017, 06:22 PM
You can tell the experimental farmers because their jeans have gray poop on.

No, no. Gray poop on is mouseturds, not chickenturds. You can get gray poop on mouseturds at any grocery store.

NN5I
04-27-2017, 06:55 PM
White chickens, Leghorns for example, lay white eggs no matter what they eat.

Dark chickens, Rhode Island Reds for example, lay brown eggs no matter what they eat. The yolks are sometimes a little darker too.

Some breeds lay bluish eggs. Some even lay mottled eggs. Wade says some lay greenish eggs, and I believe him. These breeds are less commonly bred commercially, perhaps because the eggs would be harder to sell.

What the chickens are fed can likely have a slight effect on the color of the eggs, but not enough to cause any confusion to anyone.

Wade, have you ever raised chickens before? Keep the henhouse as far away from the peoplehouse as you can, and make sure you have a separate chicken yard. Keep the chickens out of your back yard. Chickens smell.

electricflyer
04-27-2017, 07:23 PM
That chicken smell in semi-solid form is very good for the strawberry bed.

Radio
04-27-2017, 09:04 PM
Wade says some lay greenish eggs, and I believe him.

Wade, have you ever raised chickens before? Keep the henhouse as far away from the peoplehouse as you can, and make sure you have a separate chicken yard. Keep the chickens out of your back yard. Chickens smell.

Yes, B-I-L is proud of his green eggs. Not only are they oddly colored, but oddly shaped, being somewhat longish. I agree with Dr. Seuss and Sam-I-Am, I don't think I'd like them.

We haven't kept chickens before but we are getting plenty of coaching from locals who are doing it successfully. We are aware of risks from fox, raccoon, owl, hawk and neighbors.

Sweet Wife is after two things, eggs and organic fertilizer. Should have plenty of both. And with only 6 hens in the starter flock, the smell shouldn't be too bad. The coop is in the very back of the yard close to the garden. (and compost pile.

*****

This is like late night on 80 meters. You can talk about anything :beer:

NN5I
04-27-2017, 10:14 PM
On the phone a couple minutes ago a friend told me that the chickens that lay the funny-colored eggs are a South American breed. I think she said Araucanas, which I've never heard of. Haven't looked them up yet. Didn't have such a breed when I was a high-schooler in Kentucky. Only lived there one year anyhow.

electricflyer
04-28-2017, 09:22 AM
Araucana chickens were developed in Chile and lay blue eggs, no mention of them being elongated.

Radio
04-28-2017, 05:48 PM
Speaking of funny colors... the hen house got it's first coat of paint today.

I thought it was a red-with-brown that would look barnish. It's actually a red-with-blue that looks, well, odd. Not going to rain so I can leave the tarp off to let it dry.

I just went out and had another look now that it's dried a bit. Looks less weird and more like a barn. Sweet Wife likes it.

And it's pretty good paint we got from the bad mix pile for $10. Can't complain.

electricflyer
04-28-2017, 09:15 PM
Got your fence up yet? A little late in the construction but did you make a door on the back so you can reach in to get the nests to get the eggs easy, just thought about that. Do you think the chickens will like the paint scheme or will it make them upset and not lay eggs.
It's funny to watch a chicken lay an egg, they roll their eyes back and grunt a little.

coupevillefish
04-28-2017, 09:31 PM
Got your fence up yet? A little late in the construction but did you make a door on the back so you can reach in to get the nests to get the eggs easy, just thought about that. Do you think the chickens will like the paint scheme or will it make them upset and not lay eggs.
It's funny to watch a chicken lay an egg, they roll their eyes back and grunt a little.

We created a nest with an access to get the eggs, but guess what. The chick's didn't get the message. A previous batch of hens layer in the nest but the current ones have picked a different area which requires reaching in through the door.

BTW, we have a lid that we can put down to keep the hens in the building when needed but do not use it often. They go in on their own at night. The run is covered with chicken wire to keep the eagles at bay.

Radio
04-28-2017, 10:49 PM
The nest boxes are in the little part that sticks out the back. The "roof" of the nest box comes totally off, rather than just hinged, and the middle dividers come completely out for when you want to do some spring cleaning.

Here's the inside and outside views.

electricflyer
04-29-2017, 03:51 PM
OK, I see it now. I thought that was a porch on the front to keep out the rain but that is the nest boxes in the back. Great, that works good. I don't know why I question your construction, I forgot you have your BIL to guide to through it.

Radio
04-29-2017, 04:20 PM
I don't know why I question your construction, I forgot you have your BIL to guide to through it.

I can think of two good reasons:

1. I know little of carpentry.
2. I know even less about chickens.

Sweet Wife found the plans on the internet. I think she had only 2 criterion:

1. It holds 6 hens
2. It's cute. :whistle:

Being cheap was an afterthought, but with only 5 sheets of plywood, it's not bad.

NN5I
04-30-2017, 01:31 PM
Being cheap was an afterthought, but with only 5 sheets of plywood, it's not bad.

Lessee -- probably 1/2" aircraft mahogany 7-ply 90-degree plywood, (https://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalog/wppages/domplywood.php) $325 per sheet -- $1625.00, not too bad.

Radio
04-30-2017, 03:44 PM
Lessee -- probably 1/2" aircraft mahogany 7-ply 90-degree plywood, (https://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalog/wppages/domplywood.php) $325 per sheet -- $1625.00, not too bad.

Naw, if she had wanted mahogany we'd have recycled the piano. :hands:

My daughter and I made the ramp and finished up the last of the door latches today. And she found a newly constructed paper wasp nest right beside the garage door.


:bounce:

Got pretty excited over that. Anyway, all that's needed is waterproof paint on the roof and ramp and it's done. (Aside from a trip to Tractor Supply for "Furniture" )

electricflyer
05-11-2017, 08:03 AM
Well, lets see some pictures of your flock. They should be scratching up the dirt looking for the bugs by now.

Radio
05-11-2017, 05:28 PM
They're not here yet. Sweet Wife needs to make a run to Tractor Supply to get feeders and waterers. Maybe that will happen this weekend, and then next week sometime we'll get the birds.

I've seen them. Don't recall what kind they are, but they looked like they'll grow up to be a good looking flock. As far as chickens go, anyway.

We've started work on the enclosure. Maybe that will get finished Memorial Day and then they can "free range" in about 200 sq. ft.

electricflyer
05-11-2017, 06:29 PM
Don't forget the straw for the nests, ground corn for the feed and the medicine to put in the water to keep them healthy.

NN5I
05-11-2017, 06:40 PM
Humph. Forget the medicine in the water. That's the kind of thing that causes the curse of antibiotic-resistant microbes.

As for the good-looking chickens, I never saw any. I have seen many good-looking chicks, though.

Radio
05-12-2017, 07:42 PM
We will have all natural, drug free chickens. And they may arrive tomorrow.

Sweet Wife has a flurry of activity planned with B-I-L to put the finishing touches on, some furnishings and the flock in, the coop.

Radio
05-12-2017, 09:11 PM
Don't forget the straw for the nests, ground corn for the feed and the medicine to put in the water to keep them healthy.

Sweet Wife was telling me about "magic water" which is just water with some apple cider vinegar and some other stuff in it. They're supposed to get that once a week.

Hope they like it.

Radio
05-27-2017, 06:48 PM
So, today is the day the flock arrives and there is a bunch of work to do.

First, make feeders from PVC pipe. The 3 short ones go inside of the coop. They hold about 3 pounds of food or oyster shell each. The taller one goes outside the coop with the feed opening actually under the coop to protect it from rain. It gets a coffee can set over the top to keep the rain out.

The red bucket (from Firehouse Subs, $2, smells strongly of pickles) is a homemade waterer. From Tractor Supply you get "nipples" which screw into 3/8" holes drilled in the bottom of the bucket. If you tap (or peck) the nipple it dribbles out a little water sort of like a hamster bottle.

We made 100 jokes about chicken nipples. None of which are worth posting here. :whistle:

But now the coop is ready for the girls to arrive. :cheer:

Radio
05-27-2017, 07:08 PM
When we got to B-I-L house there was some confusion over the "shipping container" the birds were to travel in. Sweet Wife understood we were borrowing a dog crate to haul them in. B-I-L had no clue, and come to find out loaned the dog crate out some time ago and had no idea where it was. So we rounded up some cardboard boxes, cut some air holes, shoved 4 chickens in one and 2 in the other and loaded them up in Sweet Wife's mini-van.

Amazingly they rode quietly, and didn't stink too much. Seems like as long as a chicken has a companion, they remain reasonably calm.

Got them home and dumped them over into the coop. They seemed fairly calm and happy to be out of the boxes. :jitter: They figured out the feeders right away. The waterer took a little longer as it is a different system than they were used to at B-I-L's brooding house. Sweet Wife proceeded to "teach" them how to use the nipple water system.

Chickens are good mimics. If one bird sees another doing something they'll do it too. Especially if it involves food or water. We checked on them a few hours after arrival and one was getting a drink, so we figure they'll all figure it out shortly.

BTW we have 3 New Hampshire Reds (not Rhode Island Reds) and 3 Barred Rocks. They're all supposed to lay brown eggs.

So here's the girls all tucked into their new home. And Sweet Wife teaching one of them to use the waterer.

electricflyer
05-27-2017, 10:40 PM
Be sure to have friends save the empty egg cartons because you will need them once they start laying 4-6 eggs a day unless you like large omelets. Looks like they need to put on a little weight. Who is going to gather the eggs every day and make sure they have feed and water and be sure to close up the hen house at night to keep the varmints at bay. You will soon know what it is like to grow up on the farm like I did and do your chores. LOL
Compost the manure and put it on the strawberry bed, you will have an abundant crop of berries as they like a "Hot" fertilizer.

NN5I
05-28-2017, 09:23 AM
We made 100 jokes about chicken nipples.

I have inspected many chicken breasts, and none had nipples. I wondered at this.

So, all those flocking chickens have to use their peckers on the nipples because their fingers have been cut off to be served as fast food. Now I understand.

Radio
05-28-2017, 10:09 PM
We have quite a collection of egg cartons since Sweet Wife uses them to start seedlings.

The girls are still young and growing. We won't be getting any eggs until September or October. They have figured out the feeder and waterer. I had some reservation about the height of the opening of the feeders but I guessed about right I think. The waterer height can be adjusted by adding/removing carabiners that hold it.

Sweet Wife understands that when construction has completed on this project, my involvement will become minimal. We'll have to move the compost pile a little closer to the coop!

NN5I
05-28-2017, 11:07 PM
Sweet Wife understands that when construction has completed on this project, my involvement will become minimal.

And we all understand that you think your involvement will become minimal.

electricflyer
05-30-2017, 07:20 PM
Wade, if you eat watermelons do not throw the rinds away in the garbage. Chickens love to peck out the meat (the white part) of a watermelon and will have it down to paper thin shell when they finish. They go nuts over it. With all this rain and continued rain are they scratching in the mud?

Radio
06-15-2017, 09:00 PM
With all this rain and continued rain are they scratching in the mud?

They're still "cooped up" :jitter:

We haven't yet finished the run enclosure so they still stay in the coop. We hope to finish the run enclosure in the nest few days. I'll put up some pics when that's done too.

They seem to be looking forward to stretching their legs a bit.

NN5I
06-16-2017, 12:21 AM
We hope to finish the run enclosure in the nest few days.

A uniquely apt typo. I salute.

Radio
06-16-2017, 07:41 PM
A uniquely apt typo. I salute.

It's either Freudian or Spellchecker, one or the other. :jitter:

Radio
06-16-2017, 08:03 PM
Update...

The run enclosure is taking shape. It's an old "insta-shade" frame that we're covering in 2x4 welded wire. We have almost all the wire up, just a little more to go.

Also made the "door panel" (for lack of a better term) and the door. It will fit between two legs of the insty-shade.

And there's a bunch of other little things like making another waterer for outside the coop and so on.

electricflyer
06-16-2017, 09:48 PM
I guess the pleasure of owning your own flock outweighs the expense of buying eggs at the grocery store LOL. Looks like the hawks are going to go without a meal also. Since you are a livestock owner you will be limited in the amount of time you leave on a vacation. Or, will BIL feed and water the hens and gather the eggs while you are gone? I guess the next pic will show a flock of contented cluckers scratching for bugs in the dirt and taking a dirt bath.
Whew, glad autocorrect didn't get that one.

Radio
06-17-2017, 08:16 AM
I have compared keeping chickens to having an aquarium hobby, where $400 worth of stuff is required to maintain $8 worth of fish.

I have a daughter who lives with us who has enough interest in the project to feed and water the birds while we go camping. She's on a vegan diet. Says she won't eat the eggs and was a bit negative towards the project for a while. But the real reason for her downer attitude slipped out the other day. She knows chickens have a "useful life" of "X" amount of time and then must be "retired" :( She is afraid she'll become attached to them.

I have a high school buddy down the street as well. I'm sure his thrifty wife would walk up here to check the feed and water just to get free organic eggs.

Sweet Wife worries about wild creatures, everything from snakes to owls, getting into the pen. I told her we'd do everything we could to keep them out, and then be sure to write that tithe check. :pray:

Radio
06-23-2017, 09:13 PM
The Chickeneering phase of the project has come to and end. The Eggonomic phase should begin about August 1st

Finally done with major construction, a photo report of the girls coming out to see the run enclosure.

Pic 1.

The run enclosure and the coop. The tarp gives shelter from the sun and rain. The open frame on the ground will become a greens garden for the birds. The cinder blocks and boards keep critters from digging in (hopefully) and the frame is completely wrapped in 2x4 welded wire fence.

Pic 2

Abigail, Beatrice and Charolette all confer about the outside world and how to navigate the ramp.

Pic 3

All the Barred Rocks are out of the coop and having a look around the enclosure. They are bolder and more curious than the New Hampshire Reds. The B. Rocks would always look out the coop "windows" and watch us as we finished work on the enclosure.

Pic 4

Finally, curiosity gets the best of the N.H. Reds, Daphnie, Edna and Frank all come out to see the outside world. Frank has gender issues, We don't have a rooster. (There's always one.)

After construction of the coop, the door and frame were the biggest carpentry project. I found out (or remembered) that preservative treated wood is bascily water-logged and darned heavy. I assembled the door/frame on the driveway and had to get B-I-L to come help us move it back to the enclosure - it hadn't dried out and was still really heavy. Thanks, Steve!

Pic 5

And my day is done. Almost all the chickeneering is done. Just one or two minor things to go. The eggonomics should start about August 1st. Fresh organic eggs. Big brown eggs. With any luck.

electricflyer
06-25-2017, 11:33 AM
All I can say is pretty fancy digs for 6 cluckers. Is there a limit on the number of chickens you can have? Looks like there will be room for more. Can you tell which hen is which and do they come when you call their name. My cousin had a pet chicken that would do that. He called it Penny and if there were a couple dozen hens out in the farmyard and he called it's name it would come running to him.

Radio
06-25-2017, 07:58 PM
The county says we can have up to 6 hens and no roosters on our 1 acre lot. Fortunately we are not within city limits. I think based on the space we have we might try 8 next time.

Just don't tell anybody :cop:

We keep a lot of straw in the coop. Even with 6 birds there is very little stink and they make no noise. They are still, however, determining the pecking order.

We named the Barred Rocks Abigail, Beatrice and Charlotte.
The NH Reds are Daphne, Edna and Frank. (we don't have a rooster. Frank has gender issues.)

I can't tell them apart visually but if you watch them awhile you can sort them out. There are marked personality differences. The Rocks are more curious and friendly. The Reds are more reserved and have greater common sense. Frank figured out yo can have your choice of best spot on the inside roosts if you come back in early (beat the crowd) in the evening.

Charlotte is the most curious and outgoing, but the Rocks have to be encouraged to go back in the coop at night or during a thunderstorm. They also don't object to being handled the way the Reds do.

But none of them will respond to a name.

Radio
06-25-2017, 08:05 PM
CABBAGE BALL SCORES: Reds vs Rocks 0 - 0.
And after a short season both teams are 0 - 12.
Post season my be cancelled due to lack of interest.


At a friends suggestion:

What you do is drill a hole through a cabbage (Interesting experience) run a cord through the hole and hang it so it swings free just above the ground. The chickens then attack/play with the cabbage with joyus abandon while consuming their rations of green fiber. Friend said it was great fun to watch a poultry version of tether ball or volleyball.

:cheer:

Nada, Nothing.

I guess they've never seen a cabbage before and aren't sure what to do with it. Maybe they'll figure it out. Charlotte was, of course, curious about it. But lost interest.

Oh well, all I have invested in it is a cabbage and some string.

electricflyer
06-25-2017, 08:19 PM
Yeh, what's the chances of all 8 hens being outside at the same time, just don't mix in another breed. The Reds are a heavier chicken and probably not as flighty as the Rocks. We had Rhode Island Reds and if you ran after one of them with your arm out they would just sit down and you could then pick it up. Do they have tell tale marking that you know which is which for names? or do they have name badges?

Like I mentioned before, get a watermelon and of course eat the good stuff yourself and give the hens the rind, they will go nuts over it, nothing left but a paper thin shell.

I assume you will compost the straw you take out of the coop. Put it on the strawberry bed in the fall after the berry harvest and the next spring you will have a great crop of berries.

Radio
08-11-2017, 09:22 PM
We're so proud... we have our first egg! Big and brownish and has poo all over it, just like on the farm. Sweet Wife was extra proud that it was in a nest box and not out in the run someplace.

:bigclap:

Radio
08-11-2017, 09:35 PM
To answer some of Marv's questions...

Sweet Wife can tell the B Rocks apart. One of the NH Reds has some pretty gold feathers on her front, that's Edna. But the other two NH Reds are so much alike they're identical.

We have been giving them watermelon and cantaloupe rinds, which they will pick clean.

The "compost" is getting mixed with wood chips from the chipper shredder, and that will be the beginnings of some raised beds in our revamped garden area.

electricflyer
08-11-2017, 11:28 PM
Congratulations on the new arrival. The reds came through. Yeah, the chicks love the watermelon, like you said, all that is left is the paper thin rind.

Give the chipper a workout.

I just got an email from a ham club member. His sister has a cabin on Lake Hartwell and he said he will be out on a pontoon boat. I told him to come by and pick us up during the eclipse. He gave me the freq for the Hartwell repeater. 146.895- 100pl. and told me to give him a call. His name is Doug Foos, KT4XF (a real life hobo!)
Do you have an HT? Program that into it and bring it along. I don't have a working one, just my mobil.

electricflyer
09-15-2017, 09:10 PM
I don't know if you read the Atlanta Urinal but last sundays edition had an ad flyer from Tractor Supply and they had a enclosed chicken coop similar to what you built but bolt together with a screened in yard, coop, nesting boxes all for $450.00. Looked pretty good.
https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/innovation-pet-extra-large-green-walk-in-coop-up-to-15-chickens
or for $150.00 more
https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/rugged-ranch-pueblo-grande-chicken-coop?cm_vc=IOPDP1
or for a first class operation.
https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/producers-pride-defender-chicken-coop

NN5I
09-16-2017, 10:28 AM
You could just put an old junked 2-door car out back and raise chickens in it. You would call it a chicken coupe.

electricflyer
09-29-2017, 08:06 PM
How may poultry embryos are you getting now. You should be getting at least 5 a day/no less than 4.

Radio
10-01-2017, 08:14 PM
Sometimes as low as two. As many as five. Average 4. Today we got 3.

I had to re-engineer the latch on the door to the run area. That's been the most I have been involved in the project in the last few weeks. Sweet Wife runs it all by herself now, as was the plan from the beginning.

electricflyer
10-01-2017, 08:48 PM
Sweet Wife runs it all by herself now, as was the plan from the beginning.

Sounds like a plan, step out of the way and let Kathy take command.

Radio
10-09-2017, 08:11 PM
I took some eggs to work today and sold them. Got $13. That will buy organic feed from Tractor Supply for a month. I'll never re-coup ( :giggle: ) the initial outlay but at least they are now self sustaining.

electricflyer
10-13-2017, 11:55 PM
You of course now have a business license don't you. Could be a good tax write off. Would be pretty hard to make a profit with all the overhead you have. Lights, food, maintenance, bed straw, water, 24hour site protection, fuel to market your product and of course salaries, insurance, etc. But you have to be careful that your production coop is not in a restricted area. If you are in a residential area you can't have customers coming to your business.

electricflyer
11-05-2017, 02:24 PM
What's the latest on egg production? Frig full yet? What is there for meals, fried eggs in the morning, egg sandwich for lunch, scrambled eggs for supper, deviled eggs for evening snack, boiled eggs in the lunch box for between meals?

Radio
11-07-2017, 05:25 PM
A funny thing happen at work...

This guy, Mike, buys a dozen eggs and puts them in the break room fridge. He forgets about them for a few days. Then the shop decides to have a sausage and pancake breakfast. Mike remembers his eggs.

"Hey, fry me up a couple of these." and shared the rest with who ever wanted eggs.

Got rave reviews and about 10 people on a "customer list" including a guy that walked up out of the blue today and asked when I'd have more eggs. Well, I'll have two dozen tomorrow.

We make enough money to pay for our feed, scratch and oyster shell, so we break even,

:) I didn't think that would happen but the girls work pretty hard. And we found that eggs this fresh will keep 90 days if refrigerated. We also learned that very fresh eggs, when boiled, are difficult to peel. If you want deviled eggs you have to let them age for a little while.

electricflyer
11-07-2017, 07:04 PM
Eggs will keep a long time, some over 90 days. The only downside to eggs that have be kept in the Frig that long is they will evaporate through the shell and the air sac will be larger but still good enough to eat (I you want them). Anyone remember powdered eggs? I think there is a secret way to boil fresh eggs so the shell comes off easy, vinegar in the water comes to mind, don't hold me to that. Do a Google search on the subject.

Some years back in another life I was a Regional Sales Manager for a major manufacturer of truck bodies to haul feed and grain for livestock and poultry. One of my customers up in the far NE part of Pennsylvania had a egg production facility. He needed a semi-trailer to haul feed to his plant in a hurry, we had one that was built for a west coast customer who backed out on the deal. (Depending on local and state weight laws rear axle position and spread would allow to legal hauling). I sold him the west coast set up semi-trailer but told him he would not be able to fill the rearmost bin with feed or he will be overweight in PA. He said no problem (yeah right).

Anyway I was inside the building where the eggs came down a conveyor into a washing station, then a candleing statin, then mechanically packed in to 30 dozen egg crates and off to NYC. Quite an operation. There is also a egg production facility located in Ohio, north of Columbus, owned by a German manufacturer of poultry equipment and had 14 million birds in the facility, talk about refrigerator space.

Here in the south most of the poultry production is for the meat, as well as Delmarva area (Perdue), Indiana (Rose Acres) and Arkansas (Tyson). Actually poultry production is in just about every state in varying degrees. Another of my customers in NC was a big turkey raiser.

NN5I
11-08-2017, 09:12 AM
In America we refrigerate eggs. In Europe they typically don't. It's because in America eggs usually are washed before being marketed; in Europe, not. Washing removes a protective natural coating that, on unwashed eggs, prevents the entry of bacteria and retards evaporation.

So, if you wash'em, or if you buy'em at Publix, keep'em in the fridge.

To make eggs easy to peel after hard-boiling, place them in the water after bringing the water to a nice vigorous boil. Before I learned this, I used to put the eggs in cold water, then put the pan on the stove so the eggs and the water both heated up slowly. Nowadays I get the water boiling, then take the eggs out of the fridge and put'em in the water, then time exactly 15 minutes (I can't cook without a stopwatch) and take the pan off the stove and run cold water into it to cool the eggs off quickly, which keeps the edges of the yolks from turning green. You can then peel them immediately, or put them back in the fridge and peel them next week. Either way, they'll be very easy to peel. I was amazed at the difference it makes!

Also, as Marv mentioned, week-old (or older) eggs usually peel a little easier than very fresh ones do; but the difference isn't nearly as great as the difference between starting them in cold water and starting them in already-boiling water.

Try it -- it's astonishing.

Radio
01-02-2018, 06:36 PM
We have added a layer of Quality Control:

For Christmas our son Matt got Kathy an "egg candler" -- which is a device used to inspect the inside of an egg for defects. Our flock has laid about 700 eggs with only 2 defective eggs. Not bad. Now we can check them and weed out the rare "bad eggs" before they make it to the kitchen. Neat.

We had one egg with no yolk and one "egg inside an egg" like those little Russian dolls.

*****

Carl - Kathy says she will try your "pre-boiling water" technique. She has made one batch of deviled eggs and the filling was the best I have ever tasted. They were really difficult to peel, though. Hopefully your method will yield more deviled eggs around here.

electricflyer
01-02-2018, 06:51 PM
Candeling is automated in the big egg plants, occasionally you may get a double yoke also.

Radio
01-02-2018, 07:49 PM
BTW, chickens are tough. Went down to 15 F and we still have all our birds. The cold doesn't seem to bother them. We have some issues keeping fresh water from freezing.

Sweet Wife's brilliant idea was to put a submersible aquarium heater in the waterer bucket and that seems to do the trick. :)

electricflyer
01-02-2018, 08:08 PM
Did you hang a 100W bulb (non LED) in the coop. We were down to 5 degees last night. They were still cold, just didn't complain. Not that many of them, you should have put them in your garage for the night Then go for an egg hunt in the morning LOL.

NN5I
01-03-2018, 07:20 AM
Carl - Kathy says she will try your "pre-boiling water" technique.

Lemme know how it works for you.


BTW, chickens are tough. Went down to 15 F and we still have all our birds.

Yeah, they raise'em in the cold frozen Northern Wastelands, in desolation surrounded by snowstorms and Yankees (which is half a word). Fifteen degrees ain't nothin' up there.