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AyeAyeMagpie last won the day on October 23

AyeAyeMagpie had the most liked content!

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About AyeAyeMagpie

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    Chicken Eggspert
  1. Coop bedding?

    An update from cleaning out the coop today: The Dengie Freshbed is the best bedding I've tried so far. It stays fresh and dry after a week of use. It's soft and generally just very pleasant. I think my chickens prefer it as well, as Charlotte has started laying again so maybe she was put off by the wood pellets in the nesting box. PS. So, so, sooo glad that I opted for an Eglu. Today was my first day of cleaning out the coop in torrential rain and I have to say it was pretty painless. Much easier than when I used to clean out wooden hutches when I kept rabbits.
  2. No eggs for a couple of weeks - normal?

    We've got a nice dynamic in the coop right now, they've settled in together well. I wouldn't want to risk messing that up. Weirdly, one of the Silkies has been acting broody the last 2 days yet she's never laid an egg before. Silly bird.
  3. No eggs for a couple of weeks - normal?

    Ha ha! I like your conclusion! My eldest daughter has suggested the same thing.
  4. No eggs for a couple of weeks - normal?

    I'm not sure of their precise age. They were sold as POL and estimated at being a few weeks off laying, and that was 31st August. They've visibly grown and matured since we've had them and most showing the squat behaviour that's associated with laying hens.
  5. I've only had my chickens since the beginning of September and of the 6 only two were laying but now they've stopped. We've not had any eggs for a couple of weeks even though they were laying well before. Also, the other 4 chickens are mature enough to start laying now. Is it just because of the time of year? Have your chickens stopped laying for the year now?
  6. Coop bedding?

    Interesting to read different experiences. By chance I bought the Dengie Freshbed stuff today from a farmstore. It smells nice and yet doesn't aggravate my asthma (a big consideration for allergen triggered asthma) and feels soft. Looks like it'll last sges as well, so better value than the other beddingsI've tried. It's only day 1 so it's too early to pass judgement. I'll check tomorrow to see if any hens take an interest in eating it. The farmstore also stock a bedding made from rapeseed, which apparently some chicken keepers are using but I know nothing of its merits.
  7. Is free-ranging enough?

    Surely if the area your in is suffering a 'rat plague'then the responsible thing to do would be to do your bit to reduce the problem. Saying there's too many rats as a reason not to deal with the rats seems counterintuitive to me. If that's the prevailing attitude of the area you live it then it's not a wonder that there's a rat problem.

    Definitely get a professional to deal with it. We had them in the wall cavities of our first apartment (converted old church with uncapped pipes in the foundations). When i saw one on the bathroom mat, that was it for me. Our landlord didn't deal with it properly so we moved out, that was our solution! Fingers crossed you nip it in the bud quickly.
  9. Coop bedding?

    Inspired by a tangent in another thread, what bedding do you use in the nest box and under the roosting bars? As mentioned elsewhere, I'm trying out different bedding materials and I'm interested in what more experienced chicken keepers use.
  10. Eglu Modifications

    It's just wood pellets. We're trying out different bedding materials to see what works bestfor us. Tried Carefresh pet bedding first (which was great but super expensive for the volume I used), now trying this and yet to pass judgement. Trying to get hold of hempbedding locally to give that a try next, I've heard good things but don't want to pay delivery from online orders.
  11. Eglu Modifications

    I thought it might be a good idea to have a thread of modifications that have been made to Eglus. I have the Mark 1 Cube and its previous owners retrofitted a partition to stop chickens sleeping in the next box. I'll take some picks and add later today. My own improvement to my cube has been to solve the issue of losing bedding down the big, gaping drainage hole in the nest box. I bought a set of silicon placemats off Amazon, they were really cheap. They were sold as a set of 4, I only needed one but I'm sure I'll put the others to good use elsewhere. The mat fits really neatly to the bottom of the nest box and acts like a seal over the hole. It's super easy to remove, clean and dry. It's also colour coordinated with the Cube so almost looks like it's part of the kit.
  12. Thank you, I think I'm more concerned about the risk of rats than foxes. My plan is to roll out a width of wire mesh an inch below ground level on the outside perimeter of the run before covering with weed suppressing membrane topped with pea shingle and stepping stone slabs. It's a work in progress but you're definitely motivating me to get it completed sooner rather than later.
  13. Do they do a version without bark? I've read that bark mulches down quickly so it won't last long. Can you get woodchip only?
  14. I'm super new at this do I'm not sure how useful my experience will be for you. My wir is on bare earth with a thick layer of woodchip which my chickens already love to scratch, dig and dustbathe in. I haven't poo picked in it yet, I've not felt the need to. My intention is to rake it over and hose it down occasionally, and replace the woodchip annually. This seems to be the advice of Flyte So Fancy's 'Ask Phil' YouTube videos. Perhaps the care is different for woodchip on hard landscaping? I found hardwood woodchip to be extortionate when supplied by retailers and found a local tree surgeon who does a big dumpy bag for £45 inc delivery. It's worth checking out local tree surgeons.
  15. Cleaning routine for cube

    I used getting a cube as an excuse to buy a pressure washer. I want to make it as easy as possible!