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 Egg Shell

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! However, they are not always dangerousBloody eggs generally come from young hens and pullets coming into lay. However, it can happen at almost any age. So… how does it happen… and maybe more importantly, when is it dangerous? Continue reading “Blood Stained Egg Shells”

Smashed-In Eggs & White Banded Eggs


Healthy hens, primarily on there younger years, will occasionally lay a misshapen egg here and there but not on a frequent basis. In this post, I will explain some of the causes of 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 & Brahma cross)

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?”