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About AyeAyeMagpie

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    Freshly Laid Egg
  1. 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.
  2. 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?
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. Cleaning routine for cube

    Oh it's good to hear how other people do it. And yes, cleaning out a coop is novel at the moment, I'm sure I'll be less keen by winter, ha ha! The previous owners of my Mark 1 cube retrofitted a partition so that the nest box can be closed off at night. It's really simple, il take a pick and post later. Might be worth doing if you want to get your girls sleeping in the other side again?
  6. Cleaning routine for cube

    Hi, I'm new too, only two weeks in. So far I'm cleaning out once a week with a pressure washer. I probably should do the daily picking too, I'll start that from today!
  7. Our first chickens are home!

    Thank you all for the warnings about pecking. I'm utterly new to this and wouldn't have known otherwise. My eldest daughter and I bathed her white Silkie today (she'd gotten ever so slightly mucky and my daughter was desperate for an excuse) so I've now got her being careful not to put her face too close and be mindful of pecking. My youngest is too young to know any better so I'll just have to keep a close eye (pun intended ) on her when she's petting them. Chickenlover - I meant to say, your coop setup is incredible, it looks like a luxury lakeside holiday park for chickens P.S. Charlotte the Silkie loved being pampered, and didn't need to be held at all when blowing her dry!
  8. Our first chickens are home!

    Oh wow, I didn't know that! Thank you!
  9. Our first chickens are home!

    And here'sour first eggs! (Can you tell that I'm just a little bit excited?) The first is from Myrtle, the Blue Marans and the second, we guess, is from one of the Silkies. The breeder saud her white ones give blue eggs, which suggests a cross somewhere in their history, so maybe this is from Nora?
  10. Our first chickens are home!

    We picked up the rest of our flock on Sunday. We have a blue Marans (not the copper-blue I was hoping for) called Myrtle. She's a bit older than the others and has already given us a lovely big egg. Then there's our two Silkies, Charlotte (white) and Nora (black), which were primarily bought as pets for my children. I can't believe how docile they are, my youngest is not quite 2 and she can confidently pick up and hold Nora by herself.
  11. Our first chickens are home!

    Chicklover - You're going to have so many beautiful eggs! I hope you post a pic when they start laying. Mikegm - Your set up is so pretty! We've just put together a second hand cube as well. Second hand eglus tend to be in great condition. Cat tails - I realise that the way we're establishing our flock is not strictly best practice but we don't have the equipment to quarantine and phase their introduction. We're building a 6' x 9' walk in run today (not omlet, wooden framed) for extra space so they'll not be right on top of each other and the hens with a 24 hour head start in the coop won't be familiar with the run, so hopefully that will help.
  12. We went to pick up the first of our chickens today. From left to right they are Connie (Buff Orpington), Rosie (Wheaton Marans), and Tilda (Cream Legbar). They are all a couple of weeks away from laying. They were in the same pen together and very familiar with the breeder's border collie so we have an advantage in getting them to adapt to their new environment. We've kept them to their small eglu run today and they seemed quite settled but alert to all of the different noises of the neighbourhood. We'llbe going to visit another breeder tomorrow to pick up a few more. Hoping for a copper blue Maran and two large Silkies but who knows what will happen when we get there. More pics to follow!
  13. Breeder recommendations?

    Ooh good choices and good justification too. If it were solely my decision I'd mostly agree with you, with the exception of swapping out the silver lace Wyandotte for a copper blue Maran because I think they're so pretty. But I do think my daughter's would prefer a Silkie each so I think that's effecting my decision making. If Pekins were larger, I'd be very interested in them too! I think I'm beginning to understand how people get carried away with keeping chickens. There's so much variety and choice.
  14. Breeder recommendations?

    Ah, you see, now you've basically given me permission to get 6! One breeder has large silkies, which weren't on my list but now I'm thinking of getting one each for my two girls as I know they will adore them. I was looking to get one Marans but one breeder has Wheaton and the other has Copper Blue and Black, which are all such beautiful colours so now I'm thinking of getting 2 or 3. I'm definitely going to get a Cream Legbar, as that was my original favourite. Other options offered are Orpington, Wyandotte, and Welsummer. So between these two breeders I really am spoilt for choice. Can't have them all! What mix would you go for out of those options?
  15. Breeder recommendations?

    Thank you again for your advice. I've found two breeders fairly locally and I'm going to visit them this week. Each has some interesting breeds from my wishlist and a few unexpected wild cards. I'm really going to struggle to narrow down the selection! Do you think starting out with 6 birds would be too much for a beginner? Space isn't an issue. I'm struggling to whittle down the choice.