Tips: Behaviour

Broody Hen

Some hens become broody for a period of time during the Spring/ Summer months when they feel it's appropriate to hatch a clutch of egg - however we do hear of the odd confused hen that goes broody in the Winter!

A broody hen will sit on the nest and sometimes refuse to leave it, the hen will be less sociable and very protective over the nest.

Sometimes she will loose feathering on parts of the abdomen & breast. When a hen becomes broody for the first time and how frequently depends largely on the breed or age.

If you don't wish to hatch out any chicks, it is advisable to lift her off the nest and put her in a separate pen for a few day so she can't get to the nest. This will also minimise disruption to the other hens when they want to use the nest to lay a egg.

Dust Bath

Chickens love to dust bathe. If allowed outside in the summer they will often create their own dust bath in a dry patch of soil. However you can make your own dust bath for them by filling a box with white / play sand, the size will depend on the size of the bird but should be around 8" deep.

Dust bathing allows the hens to clean themselves and recover all their feathers with their natural oils.

For extra mite protection add Smite Powder to their dust baths.

Feather Plucking

Feather plucking can occur for many reasons, some of the main reasons are boredom and over population. If this is the case you are likely to find feathers around the run.

In those situations it is a good idea to increase the size of the run or downsize the flock.
You can also give the hens more things to do, such as hang up left over veg for them to peck at or fill an old feed bag with straw and make holes in it. The birds will then enjoy pulling out the individual bits of straw.

Another reason for feather pecking could be a efficiency of calcium or protein which feathers are rich in. If this is the case then the hen doing the pecking will eat the feathers. To help stop this there are sprays to put on the victim (Scarper). This will not harm the hens but create a fowl taste and therefore deter pecking.

However you need to tackle the source of the issue which will be diet related. Try changing to a better quality feed or add supplements like Keep Well, Poultry Spice or Poultry Zest these will help with the Vitamins and Minerals.

For Calcium try Davinova C or give them more Oystershell Grit.

For Protein give them Nutri-Sect Mix as a treat.


Tips: Caring For

Grit

Grit is an important part of a chicken’s diet as it helps with digestion and egg production.

When a chicken’s food reaches its gizzard, the bits of grit help to grind up the food in order for it to become more digestible.

Mixed Grit is good for both food digestion and egg-shell development. Grit should be provided in a separate bowl and should always be on offer as the hens will take it as and when they need it.

Flint Grit is good for aiding food digestion.
Oystershell Grit is good for providing the hen with Calcium for Feather, Shell and Bone development.
Mixed Grit is a ready mixture of Flint Grit and Oystershell Grit making it the more popular choice for back garden hens.

Muddy Chicken Run

If you are planning to keep your hens in a static run I strongly recommend putting a base down in it. If you don't then during the wet weather you will have a muddy, unhygienic area. The other problem caused by a bare run is boredom which can lead to all sorts of problems such as feather pecking.

There are lots of bases you can use, but I use a weed proof matting such as Teram and cover it with a thick layer of wood chips.
Bark chips are not suitable for hens as the whole point of bark chips is to retain moisture - exactly what you want to avoid! Aspergillus thrives on bark - this is the fungus which, if it gets into poultry lungs and airsacs, slowly kills them. It's dangerous as the spores can hide inside the airsacs where antibiotics have little effect.Wood chips are too hard for the aspergillus fungus to colonize and so are ideal for the run.

By putting the weed proof matting below the chippings you will prevent the wood chips slowly sinking into the mud below - the rain can drain through but the mud cannot come up through it. The wood chips will last for a very long time, and with a mat below they can easily be taken up if you want to change them. I regularly cover mine with a layer of powdered disinfectant such as Stalosan F to keep them hygienic, the rain then washes it through.

Predator Grid

PredatorEatsCluesMost RiskHow to protect
HumanAdults, Chicks, EggsMany birds missing with no trace. Birds missing from secure areas (i.e open gates, etc.)24 HoursPadlocks, motion sensing lights, guard dog, basic burglar-proofing, etc.
DogAdults, ChicksMany birds mauled, few/no signs of birds actually eaten.24 HoursExclusion fencing.
FoxAdults, ChicksOne to many birds missing or killed. Often piles of feathers left behind. Birds not taken will have broken necks and/or feathers missing from neck.Night/early AMExclusion fencing. Foxes are notorious for digging under wire fences, so bury fence around 1.5 feet into ground.
BadgerAdults, ChicksIncredibly strong and if they are hungry, they have been known to tear off wooden panels of chicken houses that aren’t secure and tear open pop holes to get to chickens. They will usually kill and take one bird but might come back for a second.Night/early AMExclusion fencing with consideration of electric fencing as badgers can tear through wire
CatChicks, rarely AdultsChicks missing, adults may have feathers missing, but rarely killed except by aggressive/feral cats. Birds rarely eaten by house pets. Strays may consume chicks.NightExclusion fencing.
Mink/ WeaselAdults, Chicks, EggsMany birds killed by small bites on body. Carcasses may be piled, some heads may be eaten.NightExclusion fencing (tight weave)
Birds Of preyAdults, ChicksOne bird killed/missing. Head eaten, birds huddled and hiding under overhead cover.Mainly Day however Owls may attack at nightExclusion fencing (tight weave), with overhead cover (wire or nylon netting)

Tips: Getting Started

Choosing Hens

There are lots of different types of chickens out there, but which breeds are right for you?
If you are just starting out as hen keepers then you’re more likely to want hardy, docile and easy to keep hens. As a general rule for this Hybrids are the most suited and are available widely across the UK.

If you are after very productive hens, hybrids generally lay more eggs. My personal favourite has to be between a Rhode Rock or Amber Rock, as they both lay gorgeous eggs!

Finally for those who are after something a bit different and high egg production isn’t a priority, it’s worth considering Pure Breeds or Bantams. These are a great addition to any flock, the only catch being that we often find these breeds take a bit more “TLC” than Hybrids.

When purchasing hens check they are in good health and try to source them when fully vaccinated – “Are you hens healthy?”

Fencing

Chicken Wire
• Traditional chicken wire fencing has small hexagonal openings and is available in half inch, 1 inch or 2 inches.
• It can be found in different gauges – The smallest gauge being the strongest.
• While this type of fence will keep chickens in, it does not necessarily keep predators out.
• Digging the wire at least a foot into the ground can prevent badgers and foxes getting in.
• In time chicken wire becomes weak and rusty, making it hard to work with.
• However, his type of setup is ideal where you have unsupervised children, as it poses minimal risk.

Electric
• The most effective fences, particularly to keep foxes out, are a very tall or an electric fence.
• We recommend either a 6-foot- high fence that slopes outwards, to keep the foxes from climbing in, or a fence that is electrified at the fox's sniffing height.
• Electrified netting is available in kits. Although not very strong, it deters predators with an electric shock.

Considerations:
When setting up and installing fencing for your coop, you need to take into account where you are putting it in relation to hedges or trees, as predators can use these to help them get into the run.

To see all our fencing solutionsclick here.

Glossary Of Common Chicken Terms

To help you find your way through all this chicken talk we have put together a list of chicken terms your likely to come across!

Point Of Lay (P.O.L) - Birds of approximately 16 weeks old. Although they don’t generally lay until at least 20 weeks, so this can be a little misleading.

Pullets - Female chickens under 1 year old, some people class hens as pullets until they commence laying. Over 1 year old they become 'hens'.

Pure Breeds - 'Pedigree' hens who will always breed true (the chicks will resemble the parents).

Hybrids - Birds of mixed parents and/or grandparents selected for their productivity from the best strains.

Bantam - Small size hens and cockerels!

Broody – When a hen sits on a nest in the hope of hatching some eggs.

Cockerel - Male bird.

Candle - Method of shining a strong light through an egg to determine if it is developing into a chick.

Fertile Eggs - Eggs from hens that have been with a cockerel!

Moult - Annual event when the feathers are shed and re-grown, this usually occurs in the autumn.

Roost - Hens at rest or sleeping - usually they should 'perch' on their roosts.

Nest egg - artificial eggs that are placed in a nest to encourage hens to lay in that spot.

Dust bath - the habit of chickens to splash around in soft soil to clean their feathers and discourage external parasites.

Flock - a group of birds (chickens) living together.

Pecking order - the social rank of individuals within a flock.

Scales - the small, hard, overlapping plates covering a chicken's shanks and toes.

Comb - The serrated pink/red fleshy part on the top of the hens or cockerels head. This is much larger on cockerels.

Crop - First section of the gullet - A 'pouch' where the food is stored at the base of the neck.
This can be felt in the evening when full with food.

Spur -The nail like growths on the inside lower part of a cockerels legs.

Wattles - The red fleshy parts hanging below the birds chin/beak – This again is much larger on cockerels than hens.

Wing clipping - a procedure in which the primary wing feathers of one wing are cut to prevent flight.

Handling Hens

Handling Hens

When holding your hens, you need to support them underneath their body, making sure you keep your thumbs over their wings so you have full grip of them.

Apply slight pressure to prevent your hen trying to get away, but try not to squeeze to hard as you may hurt her.

Stroke from head to tail, going with the feathers rather than against.

Taming the hens

Corn is a good way to encourage hens to trust you and become a friendly pet. However, in the first few days your hens will be settling in and getting used to their new surroundings, so it’s best to leave them alone in this period.

Chickens are prey animals by nature, so loud noises or sudden movements will scare them and may make them wary of humans. We recommend that until they recognise you try to be quiet and don’t move to quickly around them.

House Hunting

When it comes to buying a house, the saying “you only get what you pay for” springs to mind!

A pressure treated timber house such as our Deluxe Houses will always out last a wooden flat pack. However, in recent years the technology involved in plastic housing has come on leaps and bounds. Widely available, this can be an option to keep the costs down, but also last longer than the cheaper coops mentioned.

The Budget hen houses are great for those who want to keep hens but don’t want a huge capital investment. These, however, do require much more looking after and should be treated with wood preserver at least once a year.

They are so many different hen houses available on the market, but If you keep an eye out for the features bellow you will find an ideal home for your hens!

  • What’s the roof made of? - Avoid felt roofing. Felt provides a haven for mites and if they do get under the felt can be extremely difficult to get rid of.
  • Ventilation - 
Good ventilation prevents humidity or ammonia building up, but not too drafty, as the hens won’t like this.
  • Nest box - 
Is the nest box easy for you to access? 
It should be lockable to make it predator proof.
  • Are there a lot of cracks?
 - Lots of cracks and crevices in a coop can make it hard to clean and also provides a good hiding place for mites. Plastic houses are a good solution with few cracks for them to hide in.
  • The Wood itself 
- Should be a minimum of 10mm thick and treated to ensure its waterproof.
  • Raised off the ground
 - A raised coop is a great way to discourage vermin from living underneath.
  • Droppings Tray - 
Droppings’ trays make cleaning out your hens a much easier task!
  • Pop Hole - 
11” sq is ideal for an average sized hen.
 It also needs to be lockable to keep predators out.
  • As a general rule - 4 hens per nest box

  • Be cautious when buying a house, often the recommended berth of a house/run provides less space than most people feel satisfied with. Here at Poultry People, we take a realistic and generous view when recommending the number of hens our houses will accommodate.

  • The nest box should be in the darkest part of the coop for the hens to relax when laying their eggs.

  • Always read the specifications carefully, just because a coop looks the same doesn’t means it is - pictures can often be misleading
.

Tips: Health

Bumble Foot

Bumble Foot is a term used to refer to an infection of a chickens foot. Often when a wound on the foot has healed superficially yet there is still infection under the wound.

The main symptom is limping and on closer inspection a scab brown or black in colour with surrounding area swollen.

It’s caused by bacteria getting in to the food because of Injuries which can result from a splintered roost or repetitive, heavy landings from heights, particularly in heavy breeds.

If you suspect bumble foot it may be worth contacting your local vet as the infection could spread to other parts on the chicken.

If it is minor and you are an experienced chicken keeper then you may be able to clean it yourself and spray with Gentian Violet to minimise the chance of infection.

Coccidiosis

Coccidiosis is caused by a tiny single celled organism called coccidiae, which affects the chickens’ intestine. A chicken can be infected with a small number of coccidiae without any effects; however different factors can stimulate an outbreak, causing the number of coccidiae to increase which causes coccidiosis. Factors that can cause an outbreak include; damp conditions, poor hygiene, lack of ventilation or sudden hot weather.

Symptoms vary widely as some birds ay not show any whilst others may have several symptoms showing at the same time. Symptoms can include; being hunched up with ruffled feathers, decline or complete stop in laying, bloody diarrhoea, yawning, and becoming generally weak.

Coccidiosis is spread through droppings so necessary bio-security measures between infected and non-infected areas should be taken. The infected house and run should be fully cleaned and disinfected; Stalosan is a good disinfectant for outside areas such as wood chip and gravel. If you think you have an infected bird it is advisable to get veterinary advice.

Preventive measure can be put in place to help prevent an out break, such as cider vinegar being added to the drinking water which helps keep the digestive tract in good working order. Regular cleaning of the house and if possible it is advisable to move the run regularly to prevent a build up of coccidiae in one place.

Coxoid is another way of treating Coccidiosis.

Egg Bound

This condition is easy to recognise. It is caused by an egg which is too large for the hen and becomes stuck in the oviduct and she is unable to lay it.

The symptoms for this often include hen looking miserable, dragging her bottom along the floor or walking like a penguin as I like to describe it! As well as repeated trips to and from the nestbox with no success of laying an egg…

From experience I have found this to be the most effective cure… Apply Vaseline or liquid paraffin around the vent to aid lubrication, and then get a bowl of warm water so that the water comes half way up her body. Hold her in there for a 5 minutes at a time, then put her in the nestbox for 20 minutes – the idea being that the warm water should relax the muscles and help pass the egg. This method rarely lets me down but if it doesn’t work and the egg can be seen it is possible to puncture the egg and cautiously pull it out with your fingers but great care must be taken.

It may be necessary to separate the hen from the flock to prevent pecking from others.

Lice

Lice are a common parasite which are golden in colour and are approximately 1-3mm in length. These lice are relatively fast moving, they lay their eggs which are white (often in clusters). Both the eggs and the lice can normally be found around the vent, under the wings or at the base of their feathers.

Chickens with lice will be very itchy and will obviously be scrathing/ pecking themselves, severe infestations will result in restlessness, weight loss and a reduction in the number of eggs laid.

However lice can be easily treated with powders and sprays that can be directly applied to the chickens and the housing completely cleaned out and treated with disinfectant and insecticide.

Recommended products - Smite Powder, Lice Powder or Manna Pro Poultry Protector.

Moulting

Moulting is completely normal and happens every year, usually in the Autumm. The chickens shed all their feathers and re-grow new ones; this can take up to a month (from experience it can take longer in older birds). During this time it’s essential that they are feed correctly as growing new feathers takes a lot of energy, calcium and protein. It’s quite common that they stop laying whilst moulting.

At the end of the moult you will have glossy and sleek looking chickens again with some egg production - it’s not normally until spring (and return of the sun) before the egg production goes back to what it was before the moult.

To help them through the moult we recommend adding supplements like Keep Well, Poultry Spice or Poultry Zest these will help with the Vitamins and Minerals.

For Calcium try Davinova C or give them more Oystershell Grit.

For Protein give them Nutri-Sect Mix as a treat.

Pecking Order

Like many animals, chickens will have a hierarchy, otherwise known as ‘pecking order’. The bird that ranks the highest will often peck at, or chase lower ranking birds off food ect. The lowest ranking bird may be subject to bullying from the rest of the flock but once the hierarchy is sorted (usually within a few days) this will rarely result in injury. When introducing a new bird to the flock it’s a good idea to introduce more than one so the single bird does not get singled out by the rest of the flock.

Red Mite

What are they?

Red Mites (Dermanyssus gallinae) has 8 legs, is an arachnoid and therefore related to spiders. They are about ½ mm in length so are visible to the naked eye. The tiny mite vary in appearance, depending on when they last fed – a mite is only red when it has consumed blood recently and changes colour again through black to grey as the interval between feeds increases.

Heavy mite infestations in chickens lead to high levels of stress and result in anaemia, reduced egg production and, eventually if not treated, death. Additionally, mite can transmit diseases, such as the chicken pox virus, Newcastle Disease, fowl typhoid and salmonella as well as causing dermatitis and mange. When disturbed, they will also bite interfering humans and can cause a type of dermatitis.

Spotting the signs of Red Mite Infestation

• Pale, ‘jaundiced’ faces and wattles, through anaemia
• Depressed birds, lacking vitality
• Emaciation – or even weight gain!
• Decreased egg production
• Increase in feed intake coupled with decreased egg production
• Dark dots and speckles on normally plain eggs – they may be blood spots or on closer inspection you may see the speckles move!
• In extreme cases, feather loss and signs of dermatitis
• Whitish-grey ‘ash’ (mite faeces) around the edges of crevices and in trails along and under perches.
• Active red mite on housing which glow in the light of a torch at night. (Underneath the roofing felt is a favourite place for mite to hide!)
• Hens may avoid a nesting box which is particularly badly infected.

Treating Red Mite

Red mites are very prolific external parasite of birds which can be very difficult to eradicate – partly because the mite can survive for up to eight months between feeds.

Red Mite, in common with lice and other arachnids (spider-type creatures with eight legs) have a waxy exoskeleton (hard outer covering), without which they rapidly dry out (desiccate) and die. One of the best methods of attacking Red Mite therefore is to use a strong degreasant compound which dissolves the exoskeleton and rapidly kills the mite by desiccation. This method has the advantage that it is impossible for the mite to build resistance, a growing problem with many pesticides, and means that the same treatment can be applied repeatedly to keep the infestation under control.

We recommend Smite Professional as a specially selected, super-strength degreasant, disinfectant cleaner which has been proven highly effective at eliminating Red Mite in poultry housing. It is pleasant to use, for both the operator and the birds, is economical and contains no pesticides.

As for protecting your hens, we would choose Smite Organic. Its a naturally-mined, mineral product made up of fossilized remains of diatoms, a type of hard-shelled algae. When crushed to a fine powder it feels similar to chalk powder to the touch, but when viewed under a microscope the fine particles resemble shards of broken glass! It is this ‘broken glass’ effect which is deadly to any insect, but harmless to animals, fish, fowl, food and humans.

Scaley Leg

Scaley Leg is caused by a mite that burrows under the scales of chickens. When a chicken has Scaley Leg , the leg becomes inflamed and the scales often become raised and crusty in apperance – hence Scaley Leg!

It takes a few months for the scales to become raised and you are unlikely to visibly see the mite with the naked eye, as they are only 0.3mm long. The mites pass from bird to bird via direct contact.

If left untreated it could have a severe and debilitating effect on the chickens.

The best way to treat Scaley Leg is with a Scaley Leg Spray. Even if all the mites are removed after treatment it can take at least 12 months for the scales to completely heal and regenerate – so be patient. Smothering the legs in Vasaline will help soften the scales and speed up the recovery.

Soft Eggs or Shell- Less Eggs

‘Soft-shelled eggs’ are defined as an egg that is laid which has a membrane but no shell. This can occur with the first laid egg or the last laid egg at the end of the laying period – these are not to be worried about!

However, if it is a regular occurrence or is laid by a hen during regular egg production it can be a result of poor nutrition or calcium deficiency.

An effective treatment for this is providing extra grit (Oystershell Grit is rich in calcium), adding a calcium supplement (Davinova C) to their water and ensuring that they are on the correct diet suitable for layers.

It is also important that they get Vitamin D as is is needed to help absorb the calcium, for this reason I recommend the liquid calcium tonic as it contains both Vitamin D and Calcium.

What plants are poisonous to hens?

American Coffee Berry Tree see Kentucky Coffee Tree

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis L.)

Bouncing Bet (Saponaria officinalis L.)

Bull Nettle (Solanum carolinense L.)

Bracken or Brake Fern (Pteridium aquilinum L.)

Burning Bush see Fireweed

Buttercup (Ranunculus spp.)

Carelessweed see Pigweed

Castor Bean (Ricinus communis L.)

Clover, Alsike & Other Clovers (Trifolium hybridum L. & other species)

Cocklebur (Xanthium strumarium L.)

Creeping Charlie see Ground Ivy

Crown of Thorns (Euphorbia milii)

Curly Dock (Rumex crispus L.)

Daffodil (Narcissus spp.)

Delphinium (Delphinium spp.)

Devil's Trumpet see Jimson Weed

Dogbane (Apocynum spp.)

Dutchman's Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria (L.) Bernh.)

Elderberry (Sambucus canadensis L.)

English Ivy (Hedera helix L.)

Ergot (Claviceps purpurea (Fr.) Tul.)

Fern, Bracken (Pteridium aquilinum L.)

Fireweed (Kochia scoparia L.)

Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea L.)

Ground Ivy (Glecoma hederacea L.)

Hemlock Poison (Conium maculatum L.)

Water (Cicuta maculata L.)

Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.)

Horse Chestnut, Buckeyes (Aesculus hippocastanum L.)

Horse Nettle (Solanum carolinense L.)

Horsetails (Equisetum arvense L. & other species)

Hyacinth (Hyacinth orientalis)

Hydrangea (Hydrangea spp.)

Ivy English (Hedera helix L.)

Ground (Glecoma hederacea L.)

Poison (Toxicodendron radicans (L.) Kuntze)

Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema spp.)

Jamestown Weed see Jimson Weed

Japanese Yew (Taxus cuspidata Sieb. & Zucc.)

Jerusalem Cherry (Solanum pseudocapsicum L.)

Jimson Weed (Datura stramonium L.)

Kentucky Coffee Tree (Gymnocladus dioica (L.) K. Koch)

Kentucky Mahagony Tree see Kentucky Coffee Tree

Klamath Weed see St. Johnswort

Lamb's Quarters (Chenopodium album L.)

Lantana (Lantana camara L.)

Larkspur (Delphinium spp.)

Lily-of-the-Valley (Convallaria majalis)

Lupine (Lupinus spp.)

Mad Apple see Jimson Weed

Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum L.)

Milkweed, Common (Asclepias syriaca L.)

Mint, Purple (Perilla frutescens)

Nicker Tree see Kentucky Coffee Tree

Nightshade (Solanum spp.)

Oleander (Nerium oleander L.)

Ohio Buckeye (Aesculus glabra Willd.)

Philodendron (Philodendron spp.)

Pigweed (Amaranthus spp.)

Poison Hemlock (Conium maculatum L.)

Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans (L.) Kuntze)

Poke (Phytolacca americana L.)

Purple Mint (Perilla frutescens)

Redroot see Pigweed

Rhododendron (Rhododendron spp.)

Rhubarb (Rheum rhaponticum L.)

Squirrelcorn (Dicentra canadensis (Goldie) Walp.) see Dutchman's Breeches

Staggerweed (Dicentra spp.) see Dutchman's Breeches

St. Johnswort (Hypericum perforatum L.)

Stink Weed see Jimson Weed

Stump Tree see Kentucky Coffee Tree

Sudan Grass (Sorghum vulgare var. sudanense Hitchc.)

Summer Cypress see Fireweed

Thorn Apple see Jimson Weed

Tulip (Tulipa spp.)

Water Hemlock (Cicuta maculata L.)

White Snakeroot (Eupatorium rugosum Hout.)Wild Onion (Allium spp.)Yellow Sage see Lantana

Worms

A chicken with worms may not show any obvious sudden signs however it may be the cause of reduced egg production, pro-longed moult, anemic looking combs & wattles, scruffy feathers and loss of weight.

To help prevent your hens from getting worms, regularly move the run to new land as giving the soil a 'resting period' breaks the life cycle of the worm. If you can't move the run the disinfect the ground with Stalosan F as it will kill any worm eggs.

The most common type of worms are Roundworm, Tapeworm and Gapeworm.

These can be treated with regular worming treatment, Verm-X is popular with poultry keepers as it has no egg or meat withdrawal period.


Tips: Other

Interesting Info About Eggs

Colour of the yolk

Yolk colour is dependent on the diet of the hen; if the diet contains yellow/orange plant pigments known as xanthophylls, then they are deposited in the yolk, colouring it. A colourless diet can produce an almost colourless yolk. Farmers may enhance yolk colour with artificial pigments, or with natural supplements rich in lutein (marigold petals are a popular choice), but in most locations, this activity is forbidden.

Colour of the shell
Egg shell colour is caused by pigment deposition during egg formation in the oviduct and can vary according to species and breed, from the more common white or brown to pink or speckled blue-green. In general, chicken breeds with white ear lobes lay white eggs, whereas chickens with red ear lobes lay brown eggs.

Although there is no significant link between shell colour and nutritional value, there is often a cultural preference for one colour over another. For example, in most regions of the United States, chicken eggs are generally white; while in the northeast of that country, and in countries as diverse as Costa Rica, Ireland, and the United Kingdom, they are generally light-brown. In Brazil and Poland, white chicken eggs are generally regarded as industrial, and brown or reddish ones are preferred.

How to tell if an egg is fresh

Place the egg into a bowl of cold water.
The water level should be deeper than the egg's length.
Observe what the egg does.
Fresh eggs will sink to the bottom of the bowl and lie on their sides.
Slightly older eggs (about one week) will lie on the bottom but bob slightly.
If the egg balances on its smallest end, with the large end reaching for the sky, it's probably around three weeks old.
Please keep in mind that this can change depending on temperature stored and refrigeration.
Eggs can be kept for over a month outside and over 3 months refrigerated.

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