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sheik

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  1. Depends on the breed! I'm building a fence at the moment and have quite a small sablepoot bantam - I roughly measured her and decided a fence post gap of 9cm would stop her getting through - so she's probably about 10cm wide. Our silkie bantam is about twize the size of her in mass though, not sure about width . /\dam
  2. Speckledys lay dark(ish) brown, lightly speckled eggs - at least Flumpy did! Silkies lay cream eggs, almost white. /\dam
  3. Aha, another reason for using straw - it won't fall out of the hole /\dam
  4. We use straw (don't use hay, it's dangerous to the chickens). It's relatively cheap, good for compost, means we don't need to store any aubiose (we just buy a bale and empty the whole lot into the run), very light to move around and has a certain traditional charm . Also, we like seeing our broody silkie pick up pieces of straw and put them on her back. We tried shredded paper but it was too much hassle to make (especially as our shredder is rubbish). /\dam
  5. I'll do the same for your pics . But, please don't post on here if you work it out, I prefer to keep that semi-confidential, especially as I am active on the St Neots website . /\dam
  6. Glad you liked the pics. I'm supposed to be working but got distracted by the Omlet forums . If you are thinking of getting a speckledy, please see this thread I started about ours: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=44880 I only mention it as it seems to be a rare problem, but particular to this breed. I should add that our speckledy is our most curious chicken, and follows us all round the garden. So even though she doesn't lay, she's still a much loved pet! /\dam
  7. Related thread: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=44880 /\dam
  8. This thread was inspired by JennyHenny's "Who has the smallest garden" thread. It is for pictures showing how your garden has changed since you got your chickens. I'm not necessarily talking about destruction, but the changes you've made since your flock arrived. Here's mine: Not very interesting when we moved in... Added a patio, slate and an eglu! Decided we needed a walk in run, so wanted to make more room... Walk in run gets added, as well as a compost bin for chicken poo! (made using the recycled planks of the old fence I should add!) Also note the area in front of the run is a Chicken Adventure Playground - their territory is expanding! After a series of unfortunate vegetable raids, my wife demands a greenhouse gets added. These chickens are costing me a fortune! More seriously, we didn't really care about our garden when we first moved in, but our chickens have made a huge difference. We couldn't actually imagine having a garden without them scratching about in it now. So a big thanks to Omlet, without whom we'd never have even thought of the idea. So, how have your chickens dramatically altered the landscape with their telepathic powers of garden domination?! /\dam
  9. We have two hybrids, one silkie and one (tiny) sablepoot bantam. They all get on wonderfully and are a very happy flock. Our white silkie is apparently typical for the breed, and her quirky personality provides us with lots of entertainment. Meet Pootle! For example, when she is broody, she will occasionally go completely manic, dashing off to dustbathe, then leaping out to flap her wings, eat food, complain to the other chickens and then return to the nest, all within the space of a few minutes! Most of the time she is very docile, and she was the first of my flock to integrate and protect our newest addition. You can read that epic story here: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=31574 She is also completely dopey, not helped by her hair which makes her rather u"Ooops, word censored!"servant. It's hard work giving her mealworms or grapes, as she is blithely unaware of them even if thrown just past her head - she only realises she's missed out when a hybrid whips past her like a starving raptor. So, if you are soft, you need to go to a bit more effort distributing treats in an equitable fashion . Note that silkies have slightly different physiology to other chickens. Many of their feathers are not technically feathers, they are hair. This means they are less water resistant and harder for them to clean themselves. White silkies will get dirty, so you may have to bath them! Their skin is jet black underneath their hair/ feathers, which means they need mineral supplements (magnesium I think) in their water once per month (we use Battles poultry tonic, which is good for all our other chickens too) Not really relevant, this photo just makes me smile! In terms of weight and "poo" production (sorry, but that is a valid concern!) I class my two hybrids as "normal", our silkie as "half" a chicken and our sablepoot bantam as a "quarter" size. For example, our sablepoot is just over a pound in weight, and our fat speckledly hen is about five pounds. We've never weighed our silkie but she feels about two pounds. These ratios are also true of the eggs that are laid - but sadly is *not* the same for the noise they can make. Our silkie squawks with the best of them when it comes to announcing she has laid... Some photos that show size comparisons: Bear in mind silkies are just bundles of fluff, so they are actually smaller than they look. Two silkies here, the lavender one turned out to be a rooster so we had to rehome him . The main breed characteristic is that they go broody at the drop of a hat. Expect 2-3 weeks of broodiness every few months. We used to dunk her in cold water to snap her out of it but this didn't seem to have any notable effects and I've heard a few people debunking that theory as a myth. So, nowadays, we just let her get on with it, as she does seem to love zoning out on the nest bless her. Here you can see a smaller bantam can be completely covered by a broody silkie! Hope that is helpful information, it should be pretty obvious that we are very fond of our silkie! /\dam
  10. Nice to see some fellow St Neotians on here. There are various chicken keeping threads on our town website. We've bought feed from Ibbets in Great Paxton but use Thorne's now as our chickens weren't keen on it. We got our chickens from Thorne's, it's about a 20 minute drive from town : http://www.thornespoultrycentre.co.uk/ We also use Frontier Pet Supplies on the A1 to get aubiose for their run (horse bedding). It's on the way to Thorne's so we tend to do both in a single trip (with an occasional stop off at the Chinese supermarket also on that stretch of the A1 for roast duck ). /\dam
  11. We pay around £10 for organic feed from Thorne's. I think it is made by "Marriages". A bit pricier than others we've tried, but the only one our girls seem to actually enjoy, rather than just grudgingly eating it because they're hungry! I should add, one sack lasts us ages, so it doesn't actually work out as much extra per week. /\dam
  12. I can understand felt roofing being risky on the coop, but surely on the walk in run roof that would be too far away to be cause for concern? How far can redmite travel to get to the chickens? /\dam
  13. Sounds just like a soft shelled egg to me too. Be on the look out and once she lays it she should be right as rain within an hour or so. Until then, all you can do (that I know of) is make sure she is in the shade, near some water in case she needs it. It's horrible to see for the first time - we did as you did and sought advice from this forum. Best of luck, /\dam

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