|All egg cartons should look this pretty.|
Broken eggs have been a problem ever since I started keeping chickens many years ago. Whether they are accidentally stepped on or deliberately pecked doesn't matter much when the result is messy goo that looks like a bunch of junior high school kids decided to "egg" your chicken coop. Not easy to clean up in junior high, ditto for now.
I've had my share of egg-pecking hens over the years, but unless you catch them in the act it's difficult to pinpoint which hen is to blame. I know our pigeon Floyd is also fond of rolling eggs and breaking them, although it seems to be more for entertainment purposes rather than wanting to eat the yolks. Floyd does this because he is a gangster/hoodlum in a pigeon suit, as I believe I have stated before.
But broken eggs are not just messy, they're also not sanitary as far as the nesting boxes go, because obviously broken eggs attract bacteria, unless you sanitize thoroughly each time it happens. And let's not even get started on the second nesting box issue most of us face -- eggs which are laid and cared for properly, but which end up smeared with feces by either the laying hen or whomever comes into the box after her.
|We now have an In n' Out AND a Tractor Supply!|
With that in mind, Big Ag and I drove down to the brand new Tractor Supply store in Junction City, Oregon, to buy a nesting box system with a slanted bottom and egg catchment box. Tractor Supply stores are a staple in California, but have only recently made their way up to Oregon. Back in Paso Robles, we had a Farm Supply store, which was locally owned -- but more expensive -- and a Tractor Supply Store, which was corporate-owned, but which had better prices. We tried to split our time and money between the two; both were needed in our little town, and we knew if one decided to leave or go out of business, the other would probably immediately raise their prices, knowing they were now the "only game in town."
But I digress. We had a nice drive down south, seeing about 500 swans parked in a field of grass, and two bald eagles (wish I'd gotten some pics but we were going 65 mph at the time). Those sights alone made the drive worthwhile. We picked up our nesting boxes, bought some rhubarb crowns, some asparagus crowns, two grape varieties (table, not wine) and some seed potatoes and Big Ag installed the boxes in the coop yesterday afternoon, after the day's laying was done.
|Looks good...but does it work?|
I'm hoping this allows us more freedom to be off the property, since one of my (self-appointed) tasks has become being home during morning laying hours so I can grab eggs before they become a yolky mess on the bottom of the nesting boxes. This will also keep them free of fecal matter, which means less eggs discarded due to being impossible to clean, so just a more hygienic endeavor all the way around.
|Yes! It does!|