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Useful hints and tips

PROBLEM CAUSE  CURE
Soft shelled eggs Stress or sudden shock, change in weather, pests, beginning or end of lay in older hens, calcium deficiency  Check the bird's environment, provide suitable shelter & the correct nutrients 
Rough or slab sided eggs  Possible disease Take advice from your Vet
Floor laid eggs Unattractive, inhospitable or not enough nest boxes Provide suitable nest boxes
Reluctance to go into poultry house Humidity, cold, red mite Treat house appropriately, increase ventilation
Egg eating Lack of water / food, heat, infrequent egg collection Ensure enough food & fresh water is provided.  Collect eggs daily
Prolapse Force feeding for production of larger eggs Ensure you follow a natural, healthy, balanced diet
Soft ended, distorted eggs Possible infection if occasionally occurring Take advice from your Vet
Blood smear on eggs Straining from producing too large an egg Feed your birds less intensively
Loss of egg shell colour Too much sunshine on hens, reduced feed intake, lack of cool, fresh water, possible infection or red mite infestation Provide shade & shelter outdoors as well as indoors, cool, fresh water, daily.  Ensure feeding conditions are suitable for your bird's daily intake, treat where required for red mite & take advice from your Vet
Less eggs being laid Cold weather conditions, moulting, fright, lack of water, age of hen Keep the henhouse warm & free from draughts, although allowing correct ventilation.  Chickens will focus on feather reproduction rather than just laying when moulting - just leave her be.  Keep shut away during the evening & around bonfire night. Always provide fresh water. 
Aggression & / or feather pecking Flock size too large (max 50 / flock), not enough nutrients in diet, boredom  Don't exceed your recommended flock size, ensure the birds are getting a balanced diet 
Central banded eggs Temperature caused due to shock or stress, halt in passage of egg through oviduct Provide your birds with a stress free environment

 

 

 

 

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Coat your chickens comb and wattles in Vaseline during the winter, to prevent frost bite.

By law you are required to register with DEFRA if you are responsible for or own poultry of 50 or more birds.  Although not yet required by Law, 50 birds or less, you are not obliged to register with DEFRA but keepers are encouraged to do so of their own accord.

When selling your eggs on, at the "farmgate" for example, your eggs must  be clean, but not washed.  Damaged or cracked shells should be kept for your own use, rather than sold on and used as quickly as possible.

You must display a Best Before Date, to comply with the Law.  Eggs are usually expected to last up to approximately 4 weeks from the date of lay.