USDA Egg Grades: How the Egg gets a Grade

Have you ever wondered what the little shield symbols on store-bought egg cartons mean? And maybe… more importantly, how those shields qualify those eggs to sold to the general public? In this article, I explain how eggs are graded as well as how the shields are used to qualify eggs for human consumption according to the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture)…

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Blood Stained Egg Shells

Blood-stained egg

Finding an egg in the nest box with blood on the shell can give any chicken keeper quite the scare… At least it did for me, my first time, a few years ago! Young hens and pullets coming into lay are most prone to laying blood-stained egg shells than older hens. However, it can happen at almost any age. So… how does it happen… and maybe more importantly, is it dangerous? Continue reading “Blood Stained Egg Shells”

Smashed-In Eggs & White Banded Eggs

Even healthy hens, primarily on there younger years, will occasionally lay a misshapen egg here there. However, defective eggs should not occur on frequent basis. In this post, I will explain the causes of two common egg shell quality problems: Smashed-in eggs (which are also called slab-Sided eggs) and White-banded eggs… Continue reading “Smashed-In Eggs & White Banded Eggs”

When Does a Hen Start Laying?

 

Above: 2 broody hens (Buff Orpington & Easter Egger)

The time it takes for a pullet to begin laying varies primarily on the breed and the time of year she was hatched. A hen will usually go ‘dormant’ in the coldest seasons. This means that chicks hatched in Fall or late summer will often hold off on laying until the following spring…  Continue reading “When Does a Hen Start Laying?”