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Why Chickens Lay Eggs with Abnormal Shells

Misshapen Chicken 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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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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Cackle Hatchery’s Best Blue Egg Layers

Blue Eggshell from Chicken

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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Broody Chicken Hens as Foster Moms

Brahma Chicken Hen Fostering Baby Chicks

A setting hen doesn’t know (or doesn’t care) whether or not the eggs she hatches are her own. Under natural conditions her nest may consist of a collection of eggs from various hens in the flock. So, you might deliberately use your broody chicken hens as foster moms to hatch eggs laid by other hens, […]

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Why Chicks Peep Before Hatching

Hatching Chick

Chicks, ducklings, and babies of other barnyard birds are precocial, meaning they are able to feed themselves almost from the moment of hatch. Precociality is the reason why chicks peep before hatching. The word precocial comes from the Latin word praecox, meaning early to mature. A fancier word for precocial is nidifugous — from the […]

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15 Chicken Breeds that Lay Large Eggs

Jersey Giant Hen

All hens start out laying small eggs. As the birds mature, the egg size increases until it reaches the normal size for the breed. Many breeds will end up laying small or medium size eggs, while most baking recipes call for large eggs. Chicken keepers who do a lot of baking therefore prefer chicken breeds […]

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How to Candle Eggs for Hatching or Eating

Egg Candling

An egg’s internal qualities cannot be determined by looking at the outside of the egg. Detecting such things as blood spots, double yolks, hairline cracks, and thin shells requires candling the eggs. Candling means examining the contents of an egg by placing it against a bright light. It’s called candling because the bright light was […]

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Can a Rooster Lay an Egg?

Rooster laying an Egg

The earliest documented instance of a “rooster” laying an egg occurred in Basel, Switzerland, in 1474. The “rooster” was sentenced to death for the “unnatural crime of laying an egg.” A similar event took place, again in Switzerland, in 1730. In the United States, in 1922 a brown Leghorn “rooster” in Madison, Wisconsin, began laying […]

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