We’ve been raising chickens for over 5 years now. We started with two adult chickens, to now having 13 chickens and 2 ducks! If you ask me if I want to get more, I’d probably say, “of course!!!” Doug’s been trying to cut me off for a while now, but then again, he also said that when we just had 2. Probably one of the most amazing things about having our birds, is seeing our kids interact with them. They love watching them grow from a little baby chick to full-size chickens, and they love holding and cuddling the chickens. Today I’m sharing with you about Raising Chickens for Beginners and the frequently asked questions I get about them!
If you’re not convinced yet, here are a few more fun facts about chickens and eggs.
The eggshell color the chicken lays indicates the hens’ breed. (I used to think you can tell the egg color by the ear lobe but that was just a myth. ) The color of the yolk also indicates the chicken’s diet. If the food contains corn, alfalfa, and marigolds it will make the egg yolk more orange.
How to tell if the egg is fresh or not? Once you crack the egg, if the egg white is thick and gloopy. As the egg ages, the egg white starts to thin out and becomes runnier.
Fresh eggs can be left out at room temperature. A fresh egg contains a natural bloom on the outside of the eggshell. Right before the hen lays an egg, the bloom is the last protective coat to the shell. That bloom helps keep air and bacteria out.
Fresh eggs could be left unrefrigerated if the bloom is still on, for up to 2 weeks. But once you wash the bloom off the eggs, you’ll need to refrigerate them. We only wash the eggs right before using them. Refrigerated eggs will last 6 times longer than fresh eggs.
The egg yolk contains most of the nutrients such as vitamins and minerals, unsaturated fats, lutein, and plenty of antioxidants, plus Omega-3s.
P.S. The myth about not eating your yolk because it causes high cholesterol is bs. Stop ordering egg white scrambled eggs or omelets because you’re just throwing all the nutrients away! Especially when raising chickens for beginners, you will be eating ALOT of eggs!
This is my favorite fact. A double yolk happens only one in every thousand eggs. In the five years of raising chickens, we have had only about 20 double yolks, so you can understand why we are so ecstatic when it happens! Generally speaking, an hour after a chicken has laid an egg, the next yolk is released, but because of hormonal changes, sometimes the ovary can release the yolk too early and cause a double yolk!
HOW OFTEN DO THEY LAY THEIR EGGS?
Chickens lay less in the winter, but ducks lay consistently every day. Hens do not need a rooster in order to lay eggs.
CHICKENS & DUCKS FAQ
What do chickens and ducks eat? Chickens and ducks love food scraps. They love everything from leafy greens to rice to fish. Especially our kids’ leftovers!! We don’t like wasting food, so this is a cool way to recycle! Yay!
Can chickens fly? They’re not endurance fliers but they can fly high enough to roost on trees. But one of my chickens, named Belle, can fly twelve feet high and she’s the only bird that can fly in and out of the coop.
What is roosting? A roost is an elevated branch or bar that the chicken perch on to sleep.
Why does a chicken need to roost? It’s a natural instinct for a bird to roost high on a tree branch to protect themselves from predators. They feel safe and protected.
What’s a pecking order? The pecking order is real! When we first introduced new birds to our existing birds they’ll bully the new birds to show them who are the higher-ranked birds in the flock. There’s a hierarchy ladder in the flock: higher-ranked birds will get the best food, water, and roosts while the lower placed birds will get the leftovers.
Why do chickens roost at night? Chickens like to perch on a branch (off the ground usually on a branch or stick) when they sleep to feel safe from predators.
How long does a chicken live? About 5-10 years
How long does it take them to start laying eggs? 5 months to 6 months old
Do chickens lay every day? Spring & summer, they lay 5-7 eggs a week. In the winter, production slows down.
Want to learn more about chickens and ducks? Do you want to learn more about the maintenance or building a coop? Hope you found this post, Raising Chickens for Beginners useful! Drop a comment below! Drop a comment below!