Chickens FAQs

Swedish Flower Hen Rooster
Russell the Red

People have lots of questions about raising chickens and ducks. We’ve tried to answer  a few for you here.

Q. Do you need a rooster to get eggs?

A. No. A hen will lay eggs with or without a rooster.

Q. Can your eggs hatch?

A. Not ours because we don’t have a rooster. If you have a rooster, you will get fertilized eggs that can be hatched. If you don’t have a rooster, you will get unfertilzied eggs that will not hatch.

Q. Can you eat fertilized eggs?

A. Yes! People have been eating fertilized eggs as long as we have been eating eggs.

Q. Do blue eggs have less cholesterol?

A. Nope. This is a myth. See our post about egg shell color.

Q. How do you treat sick chickens?

A. That answer varies wildly. There are many online sources you can read and forum you can join. Storey’s Guide to Chickens is a great resource.

Q. Will fertile eggs make you stronger?

A. Nope. Fertile eggs have the same nutritional value and energy than non-fertile eggs. Do not pay extra for this myth.

Q. Do chickens and ducks fly? How do you keep them from flying away?

A. Most chickens either cannot fly or just don’t want to. Ducks fly very well. Our experience has been that our poultry is happy and heathy and know that the backyard is a safe and happy home. They just don’t want to.

Q. What is wing clipping?

A. Clipping wings is the practice of snipping off the tips of the flight feathers of one wing to keep  birds from flying away or into danger or undesirable areas. When any of our birds shows signs of jumping into a neighbor’s yard, we will clip his or her wings. Usually, by the time the feathers grow back, the bird has lost interest.

You must know what you are doing when you clip wings. If you clip growing feathers, your bird can bleed to death. Learn all you can before taking this on.

Q. Can you eat your chickens?

A. Sure. Many people do. You know how your chickens have been raised, what they’ve been fed, and that happy lives you’ve given them. It’s probably the best chicken you’ll ever eat.

Q. Do you eat your chickens?

A. No. The folks in this house that are over 5 feet tall would be perfectly happy eating them. The elves and fairies in the house insist that we don’t.

Q. Why do you keep chickens?

A. Of course, they give us eggs. They also keep down pest insect populations (flies, roaches, grasshoppers, etc.), serve as efficient composters(keeping our food scraps out of the landfill), and the keep us in full supply of manure that we age and use in our gardens.

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