The Scoop on Rhode Island Red Chickens

Looking to add crazy-good egg production to your flock? Then Rhode Island Reds are the gals you’ve been searching for! This breed produces large, brown eggs, with roughly 260 eggs produced annually! With all of these great attributes, this popular breed is sure to keep your coop happy.

Wrap up Some Love, with Holiday Egg Cartons

The best gift of all is giving…eggs! Check out these festive egg cartons for the holidays! With a quick trip to the dollar store and $10 in my pocket, I got all I needed to create this simple gift from the heart.

Option 1: Tissue Paper & Tulle

Start with one piece of tissue paper and fold it in half. I placed the egg carton upside down and a few inches from the end of the tissue paper. Then start rolling the tissue paper around the egg carton. After the egg carton is fully wrapped, I finished it off with wrapping a piece of red tulle around the tissue paper.

Option 2: Wrapping Paper

We all have extra holiday wrapping paper sitting around the house! I purchased this plaid wrapping paper from the dollar store for $1.
Lay the egg carton a few inches from the end of the wrapping paper (as seen in picture). Cut the other end a few inches from the egg carton. Once again place the egg carton a few inches from the end of the wrapping paper and start rolling. Use tape to secure the wrapping paper on the bottom of the egg carton. Then top it off with a bow or ribbon!

Option 3: Gift Bag & Ribbon

I purchased two different kinds of gift bags (one brown bag and one holiday bag) to use for wrapping the egg cartons. I cut the gift bag in half and carefully ripped off the handles.

Like shown in the third image, I once again rolled the egg carton in the gift bag. After tapping the bottom of the gift bag, I added a bow with green burlap ribbon and to top it off, I stuck a bundle of cranberries to add a festive accent.

These three options only took me about 30 minutes to complete. So, spread some holiday cheer and give the gift of fresh eggs!

6 Egg Myths Solved!

With so many variations and slight differences that affect our eggs, it’s easy to see how myths around what is good and bad in an egg can pop up. We’ve identified some common myths and explained the real story here:

Do Roosters = Eggs?
This is one of the most common questions and myths that exist in the poultry world. Simply put, the answer is no. You do not need a rooster to have eggs – your hen will lay eggs whether or not a rooster is present. However, if you want to have eggs that can be hatched, you will need a rooster to make the eggs fertile.

Shell color
Brown eggs are nutritionally equivalent to other eggs of different colors. The breed of the chicken will primarily determine egg color. Often, the color of the earlobe of the chicken will indicate the color of her eggs – a red earlobe typically means a brown egg while a white ear lobe means the hen will lay a white egg. egg cartonsRemember, to keep eggshells nice and strong, be sure to always provide oyster shell free choice in a separate container for birds 16 weeks and older.

Yolk color
Yolk color does not affect nutritional value. Vibrant yolk color comes from outdoor plants consumed and/or quality layer feeds that contain marigold extract or other cartenoids. Home-produced eggs have yolks that are bright yellow to deep orange in color and an albumen (egg white) that stands up a bit in the frying pan. Grocery store eggs will often have pale yolks and runny albumen.

Fertilized vs. Non Fertilized
Fertilization of the egg does not affect the nutritional value. Some people will claim that a fertilized egg tastes slightly different than a non-fertilized egg, however others cannot distinguish between the two.

Blood Spots
Blood spots are not harmful and the egg can still be consumed. Blood spots can indicate a rupture in some of the tiny blood vessels within the egg itself. This is seen more frequently in older or very young hens and can also be hereditary.

Egg Size
Lastly, don’t forget to pay attention to the quantity of feed your hens are getting. Low body weight will most likely equate to a drop in egg size. The average laying hen should be consuming approximately 1.5 lbs. of feed per week. By keeping hens well-fed and happy, they’ll keep producing nutritious eggs just as nature intended.

Winter Lighting in the Chicken Coop

Do you wonder why your chickens stop laying eggs in winter?  And is there anything you can do about it?  Good news, friends!  Watch this video from Nutrena Poultry Specialist Twain Lockhart for everything you need to know about lighting your chicken coop to keep the girls laying eggs!

Leave comments below, or questions if you’ve got some!

Eggs – To Wash or Not To Wash?

Everything is better when it’s clean, right? Your hands, your house, your kid’s face…but what about your eggs?

When you buy eggs from the store, you’ll notice they are pristine and clean. If you collect your own eggs, you know they don’t naturally come that way!

It is interesting to note that as a chicken lays an egg, it gets a nearly imperceptible coating that is called “bloom”. Bloom acts as a natural barrier and prevents germs and bacteria from getting to the egg through the shell. By leaving your eggs unwashed, the natural barrier remains intact. Commercial egg producers are regulated and required to wash all eggs before shipment, which is why the eggs you buy in the supermarket are so tidy.

If you are producing your own eggs for your household, you have more control over how your eggs are handled. Wiping eggs off with a dry cloth will knock off the feathers and dirt. And if you get the occasional “messy” egg? Go ahead and wash it – then store it in the refrigerator and try to use it before you use your other, unwashed eggs.

Eggs are most often stored in the refrigerator to slow decomposition and refrigerating your eggs is a common practice in the U.S. In many other countries, however, eggs are stored at room temperature and never refrigerated. Whatever your preference for storage, you may want to consider foregoing absolute cleanliness – at least when it comes to your eggs!