Every week at Community Chickens, we get dozens of questions from people across the world, hoping to find someone who has shared a similar experience. We try to answer them all, and forward them on to experts where we can. But many of the questions are unique, and because of this, we realize that sometimes the best people to answer the questions are precisely the people who are or have been in your shoes. This is why we often ask our guest bloggers to tackle questions - and they do such a great job!
So here's what we're asking, "What would you do ..." if you were in some of the following situations? What would you tell our readers? What is your best advice?
YOU might be the best person in the world to answer someone's question ... and we want to provide you with that ability. So, go for it!
If you'd like to respond to a question, leave a comment, and be sure to indicate to which question you're responding: (e.g., Q1: This is what you should do ...)
Q1: Curt and Marcia Stowell write: I have a hen with a very large crop all the time, even 1st thing in the morning.It does not receed at all over nignt.She is a polish top hat about 14 months old. she has acsess to both size 1 & 2 granite grit. is there any thing that I can do for her?
Q2: Beth writes: After gathering fresh eggs and refrigerating them, I
noticed that when hard boiled, the white of the egg sticks to the
shell and it is very difficult to peel. This does not happen to store
bought eggs. I am wondering if refrigerating the eggs is the reason
because I hard boiled one that I had not refrigerated and it hard
boiled fine and was easy to peel. I have given eggs away to family who
have mentioned that they also are unable to peel the cooked eggs. How
long can eggs remain unrefrigerated and would this have any effect on
peeling cooked eggs?
Q3: Shery McHorne writes: I'm a complete newbie to chicken raising and have a cockerel that NOBODY wants. (I'd keep him but our zoning prohibits it.) I have concluded that this rooster needs to become a roaster, but I don't want/know how to do the deed myself. I have read other folks talking about taking chickens to a processor. Who are these processors and how do you find them?
Also, how does one caponize a rooster? Is it a job for a vet? And, how will that change his temperament (e.g., will he lose his aggressive instincts?) Most importantly, will it mean that he no longer crows? Our cockerel hasn't started crowing yet, so we're still under the
radar. If caponizing would prevent him from crowing, I could still keep him.
Q4: Theresa Porterfield writes: I think my chicken has fowl pox. are the other 4 going to
get it? if there are eggs are they ok to eat? Will I have to "cull"
her? Will I have to start over with the flock? they are 1 year last
April. They are free range in my urban back yard. I have 2 dogs as
well. is it catching. Can I do anything about the others? Is there
prevention. I am trying to have them be organic with the feed ect.
THey got the Mereks shot before I got them from My Pet Chicken.
Thank you for your help.
Q5: Jill Eaton writes: More than half of my flock of egg-layers has lost the feathers on
their head and about 1/4" down from the comb. Funny thing is it has
only affected my Red Stars and my Black Stars. My larger all-purpose
chickens and my barred rock and two Auracanas have not been affected.
Also, I have two Red Stars that have molted all the feathers off their
backs and have been naked for 4-6 months now. No sign of new
They get clean water every day, layer feed, oyster shell and lots of
vegetable matter from my organic garden.
Q6: Gina Burns writes: I live in Oklahoma and we are in the midst of a heat wave.
108 today with no end in sight. We have 11 hens and we are finding
rotten eggs in our yard. We know they are recent because we walk the
yard all day and they won't be there one minute and then the next
there will be four sitting around. Although our chickens have the run
of the yard they have never laid anywhere but their coop. We know it
is not that they go rotten in the heat because they might only be
sitting there maybe 30 minutes before we find it. The chickens have
access at all times to water and shade. Can a chicken lay a rotten
egg? They are light and slosh around when you shake them. Has anyone
ever heard of this? Any suggestions? Thanks
Q7: Barb Donahue writes: I purchased my chi in February 2011. My first purchase was 6
white pulleys and 3 weeks later I purchased 5 red chix. I have been
getting eggs for about a month. Usually four to five a day. All white
but one brown egg. I only ever see the white chix in the nesting
boxes. When can I expect the red ones to start laying or why aren't
they laying. I am a new chix farmer also. Please help...
Q8: Cindy Fonzi writes: I have one chicken who has no feathers on her bottom. It
is also very red. I've tried dusting more and spraying with the blue
medication. Still she is not getting any feathers. Could this be the
lst chicken in the pecking order?
Q9: David writes: Do I have to have a rooster? If I had a rooster I would
not know how to tell which eggs were usable or which had chicks.
Q10: Kenneth Cole writes: The problem I'm having is that all of my hens are losing
their feathers in the saddle area of their backs. They are 14 months
old. I have 14 hens and one rooster. They have appropriate food, fresh
water, and space. I see no picking of each other or other
irregularaties except that the rooster is a proficient breeder. Could
he be the problem? The flock has never been in contact with other
poultry and the coop is new. Egg production is down 50 to 60 percent
of what it was during the winter months. This started occuring in
april when they started to moult and they never grew back their
feathers. They still have voracious appetites and generally are calm
and gentle. They are buff orpingtons.
Q11: Deanna Osborne writes: We've had our chickens since May. My husband built our
coop. It has the nesting boxes in the back with a wire floor in front
and two doors that swing out that has a ramp they can go up to the
that part from the ground. But they can also get under the
nesting/wire floor area and seem to want to make their nest there and
we can't seem to keep the straw in the nesting boxes. Any suggestions?
Q12: Robin Meares writes: My 4
month old Barred Rock has been making the LOUDEST noises at 6:15 am - 9am. The only neighbor to complain is my own 19-year-old daughter whose bedroom is above the coop.
I tried adding a bowl of scratch inside the coop (they have food and
water at all times)last night and the noise did not start until 7:15
am this morning. I need more suggestions. My daughter is beyond upset
to be woken at this hour during her summer vacation. HELP!
Q13: Vianna Engel writes: My adult chickens seem to have a "cold",
they cough some and have a slight discharge from their eyes and nasals
at times. I have had them on Tetracylcine powder for a week now, and
they are much better but just don;t seem quite their perky selves. I
have also been putting vitamin and electrolite powder in their water
too. Any suggestions?
Q14: Zsaneen writes: Hello, we are just getting into the chicken thing, and
think that two of our young hens might be roosters. We have gone
online to compare pictures of young roosters and are wondering when
young roosters get their spurs, because ours haven't yet. They are a
few months old now and making some weird noises and we don't want to
make any close neighbors mad, as we live in town and our chickens are
in the backyard. Thank you!
Q15: Judy writes: At what age should I start switching my bantam chicks from
starter to grower feed?
Have a question of your own? Post it in our forum - or shoot it over to firstname.lastname@example.org