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Why Chickens Lay Eggs with Abnormal Shells

Misshaped Egg

Many things affect an egg’s shell color, texture, and strength. Among them are improper nutrition, environmental stress, age, and disease. Let’s look at some of the most common reasons why chickens lay eggs with abnormal shells. Poor Nutrition Improper nutrition can cause hens to lay eggs with soft shells or thin shells that crack easily. […]

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Hens Can Grow Spurs, Too

All chickens have spur buds. Roosters are well known for their spur buds developing into full-blown spurs. But hen’s can grow spurs, too. While some roosters — notably certain strains of Cubalaya — maintain only rudimentary spurs, some hens develop long rooster-like spurs. As with roosters, the longer the spur, the older the hen. Which […]

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How to Store Eggs in Lime Water

eggs in wire basket

To store fresh eggs for the long term without refrigeration, an alternative to the traditional method of submerging them in water glass (sodium silicate) is to use lime water (calcium hydroxide). Both are highly alkaline saturated solutions, with a pH of about 12.4. Both seal eggshell pores to prevent evaporation from within the egg, as […]

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How to Store Eggs in Water Glass

eggs in a basket

Before refrigeration became commonplace, submerging eggs in water glass was the preferred method of storage. Water glass, also known as sodium silicate, is a glassy solid (silicon dioxide) that dissolves in water. It has numerous industrial uses, including as a food preservative and a desiccant (silica gel pack) to protect delicate items from absorbing moisture. […]

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Why Chickens and Wild Birds Shouldn’t Mix

black bird in tree

Chickens and other poultry are birds, right? So logically you’d think it wouldn’t be a problem for your flock to mingle with wild birds. But here are three reasons why chickens and wild birds shouldn’t mix. Fowl Mites The northern fowl mite (Ornithonyssus sylviarum) is the most serious external parasite of chickens. It is the […]

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4 Functions of a Chicken Egg’s Bloom

brown eggs in nest

The final step of an egg’s formation inside a hen is the application of an invisible coating. We chicken keepers call it bloom, but technically it’s the cuticle. Bloom consists primarily of 80 to 95% proteins. It also contains polysaccharides (complex carbohydrates that dissolve into simple sugars) and lipids (insoluble oily or greasy compounds). Lubrication […]

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The Lethal Creeper Gene in Japanese Bantams

japanese bantams

Japanese bantams bred for exhibition must have short legs, according to the Standard of Perfection. Unfortunately this trait comes with a dominant lethal gene called creeper (Cp). The creeper gene causes embryos to die during incubation, resulting in a reduced hatch rate for Japanese bantam eggs. Here’s how the lethal creeper gene works: Creeper Genetics […]

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Cackle Hatchery’s Best Blue Egg Layers

Developing chickens to lay eggs with consistently blue shells requires careful consideration and attention to the breeding. Even though blue shell color is a dominant trait, developing the best blue egg layers is always a challenge. For the 2022 chick season here at Cackle Hatchery® we prepared a ranked list of the best blue colored […]

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