Sunday, January 18, 2015

Alice and the Dirty Egg

The past couple months the nesting boxes have been empty on the big girls' side. Lack of daylight, cold weather, molt. Each day I'd check to find nothing. I finally gave up and had decided to wait until Spring before any more daily checks. Then, a couple days ago, I gave a look. Hey! All Alice. She has started her production again. 

Alice is our best layer. Best in quantity. We get 4 - 6 eggs from her a week. However, there's a problem brewing. The quality is suffering. It began late summer, last year. Small specks of blood or foreign matter in the albumin or resting on the yolk. At first, no problem picking it out and using as needed. She's laid a total of 4 eggs for us this year. The 2 I've used have bloody matter in them. Not just the small speck but, a collection of trash. Too much to have to clean out. Her job is clean eggs.
In addition to poor quality eggs, she's a big bully to Goose. In her defense, she has settled down since first arriving Out Yonder but, if any food is available, Goose gets all her wrath. Chasing, pecking, bullying. I know the chicken pecking order can be cruel and I can accept it. Goose has. But, if she isn't holding her own with quality eggs, what usefulness is she doing us? She gets the same food, treat, calcium and water treatments as the others. Yet, poor egg quality. Five other birds lay good, clean eggs.
So, here's the deal. I'm putting her on egg quality probation. I know her attitude will never change, and I can accept that, IF she can clean up her egg quality. If not...
We won't butcher. But, the name of the game is eggs. Yeah, pets too, but she also doesn't play well with others and disrupts the peaceful existence of the flock. It's all in her hands now. Lay clean eggs or it's off the the Flock Swap.


3 comments:

  1. Oh Alice...get with the program girl or someone's going to eat you somewhere down the line! Also, you could scramble the eggs for the animals. They'll eat them up.

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  2. I get blood spots sometimes and the meat (trash) but not all the time from the same hen. Often, I am tempted to leave hen in the yard at night who is mean. No, not really, but I am annoyed.

    A really mean hen that gave me eggs I could not eat might find herself in a new home.

    Blood spots can be from the hen receiving a great fright. Of course, is she is acting up so, maybe she is disrupting herself. The meat just happens to some hens, no reason as far as I know.

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