A Myth is a Myth- Chickens- Part 1

I’ve heard a lot of things over years that most people think are correct. I also read some pretty crazy comments in various places made by some pretty strange people.Without further ado, here’s part one!

This guy was sold about 2 years ago.

This guy was sold about 2 years ago.

Hens won’t lay eggs without a rooster. Not true. My flock of seven hens lay just fine without a rooster around. In fact, I haven’t had rooster with them in about two years. You do need a rooster to have fertile eggs.

Shipped eggs I got a few years ago.

Shipped eggs I got a few years ago.

Won’t the eggs hatch while they’re in the mail? I’m not sure where people keep getting this idea. It takes 21 days (depending upon breed and species) for eggs to hatch. It’s possible for them to start developing in transit if the temps are high enough, but unless you’re having them shipped during the hottest part of the year it’s not likely.

Taken several years ago. I took this when I was getting their waterer.

Taken several years ago. I took this when I was getting their waterer and feeder out.

You can’t ship day old chicks! They need food and miss their mother! That’s cruel! Personally, I like having the choice of getting breeds that aren’t readily available to me otherwise. Most people don’t seem to understand that incubators remove the need to wait for a hen to brood. None of the chicks being shipped know what a grown chicken looks like. Chicks don’t need food or water for the first 48- 72 hours after hatching since they absorbed the rest of their yolk before hatching.

One of my new Buckeye pairs. Incredibly sweet birds.

One of my new Buckeye pairs. Incredibly sweet birds.

Such and such is a better breed than any other. We all have our favorite breed, but telling people that it’s the best breed in the whole world is wrong. It hurts conservation efforts for endangered breeds and it could even cause someone new to chickens to give up on raising them. I’ve raised a number of different breeds and I don’t really have a favorite. I like American Gamefowl for the beautiful colors of the roosters and the great care the hens take as mothers. I like hatchery Rhode Island Red hens for their productiveness. I like Black Australorps for their friendly personalities and heat tolerance. I like Dominiques for being great layers and cold hearty. Buckeyes and Chanteclers are new to the Acre, but so far they’ve been very friendly.

Each breed I’ve named has their own downsides. American Gamefowl are ornamental and the roosters can be very aggressive if you aren’t careful. Hatchery Rhode Island Red roosters are extremely aggressive, something I don’t tolerate. Black Australorps can be aggressive towards less aggressive breeds. Dominiques are not very friendly and can have problems with the heat. I don’t know my new breeds well enough to tell you their downsides.

IMG_0008

Brown, green, blue, and white eggs in my incubator.

Brown eggs are better for you than white eggs. The correct things to say is that store bought eggs are all the same. The yolk is a pale yellow and they don’t taste very good. Store bought eggs are not a good idea for people that are allergic to most antibiotics since they get fed it whether or not they’re sick. Eggs from backyard flock and small farms tend to have a richer taste and higher amounts of vitamins and minerals with the added benefit of lower cholesterol.

Quail eggs on the counter in the kitchen.

Quail eggs on the counter in the kitchen.

All eggs need to be refrigerated to keep them from going bad. Not entirely true. Did you know that in many places in Europe you won’t find eggs in the refrigerator section? There’s a film on the outside of eggs called bloom that protects the eggs from bacteria. So long as the bloom isn’t washed off it’s perfectly fine to leave the eggs out. Eggs from the store need to be kept cold since the bloom is washed off. Once eggs are refrigerated they should remain that way, bloom or no bloom!

My husband and his shoulder chicken, Bob the Black Australorp/ Rhode Island Red. We lost him to a dog attack latter on.

My husband and his shoulder chicken, Bob the Black Australorp/ Rhode Island Red. We lost him to a dog attack latter on.

Chickens only need a vegetarian diet. Not true and I’m not sure where this idea is coming from. What is it with people not wanting omnivores to eat what they eat? They need a balanced diet of plant and animal protein. Chickens can also be cannibals and they’ll eat their own eggs if given the chance. I’ve seen chickens eat mice (a favored treat of the American Gamefowl I used to raise) and small snakes.

Call Duck and Coturnix Eggs. Shipped to me several years ago.

Call Duck and Coturnix Eggs. Shipped to me several years ago.

You can trust what you read on egg cartons. Unless you are buying directly from a farm that has their own egg carton labels, no you can’t trust carton labels. The rules involved in carton labeling are pretty lax. There are very small requirements for being labeled as ‘cage-free’, ‘free range’, and ‘organic’- to name a few.  Do a little research before you buy into what your carton is selling.

And that’s it for now. I’ve got plenty of other things to say, but this post has taken long enough to get done. Remember, if you have anything you’d like to see me talk about, feel free to ask and I’ll make sure to get to it!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s