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WingingIt

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About WingingIt

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  1. WingingIt

    At my wits end with bullies :-(

    I've tried again with the Omlet bumpa bits - soaking in boiling water first meant that a couple survived the process! The two worst offenders are now bitted and unlike last time so far they have not yet managed to snap them off. Is it true that I can only leave these on for 2 weeks? I can't see that being nearly long enough given how many relapses these girls have had on the feather picking front Does anyone know of anything similar that can be used longer term? Chicken peepers worked briefly but my chief bully worked out how to navigate without forward vision within the month... PS I disregarded the Omlet advice on space following the replies to my initial posts and the girls have had a very large area for over a month
  2. WingingIt

    At my wits end with bullies :-(

    UPDATE/FURTHER CRY FOR HELP: After a month or so of living in relative harmony in this newly large space, I went out this weekend to find that all the girls are missing feathers. The original bully is least scathed, the original picked on girl most so. No blood that I can see - YET - but they look a bloody mess with big bald patches. Bald legs, bald around tail, etc. My partner has been away all week and I only see them in semi darkness at either end of the day (long work hours) so I'm not sure how many days this has been going on. The weather has been terrible altho they have significant covered areas (the original run is almost entirely sheltered). We tried to fit a bumpa bit on the most pecky one a few weeks ago - we went through 4 before giving up. Either they snapped going on, or she snapped them herself within seconds. And yes, we watched the videos. The run is also filled with a frankly comic amount of 'enrichment' stuff to explore. I am back at my wits end, and totally baffled as to why keeping chickens is proving to be this stressful - we are not new to keeping animals and have 4 other pets inside the house who are incredibly low maintenance by comparison, despite being much more needy on paper. I have borrowed anti pecking spray from my neighbour and essentially drowned them all in it but this was not long before bedtime so effectiveness has yet to be ascertained. Anyone got a top tip for a good one? Or literally any tips at all beyond effectively renting a football pitch with round the clock entertainment to keep them on? I am all out of energy and ideas with these ladies.
  3. WingingIt

    At my wits end with bullies :-(

    'Blast' earlier was supposed to say blasé! Unfortunately there's still a bit of pecking going on from Dotty to Blue (Goldie just stays out of it) but it's less intense and hopefully the bumpa bits will arrive soon 🀞 There's no way we can stretch financially to the Omlet walk in run, particularly at that size (and having seen rats merrily skip through the Go Up wiring I would rather have something tighter wired!!) but we will think of something! It's nice to see them with so much room
  4. WingingIt

    At my wits end with bullies :-(

    The run is a Go Up with 2 additional 1m run extensions on the fitted Go Up run - I sent pics and measurements to the ex batt rescue and the place I got these girls and they were all very blast about me putting 3 hens in... I naively believed them! We have temporarily extended the space as you can see but we will save up for a more permanent solution - maybe just a better outer fence!! They already have x2 water and x2 feeding stations already but I will look into the tonic! Thanks for the tip 😊
  5. WingingIt

    At my wits end with bullies :-(

    Thanks everyone for the tips! As mentioned they can't be fully free range here - too many dangers including my lurcher and foxes. I appreciate the suggestions on smaller hens, but given that I've already got the girls I've got, that's what I'm having to work with πŸ˜• Maybe the next generation can be bantams! I've put chicken peepers on Dotty (have ordered bumper bits but needed something for the short term until they are delivered and that's all I could get locally). She was cross for a min or two but now seems totally relaxed and the pecking has stopped. Thanks for the offer of help Dogmother! Unfortunately we're over near Cambridge. Today we've fenced off a large area around the run with temporary garden fencing - not fox resistant but they seem happier and we will just have to try to manage the risks as best we can until we can afford a more permanent solution 😬 my neighbours cats are hunters too but I've no clue if a cat would go for my girls? They are quite stout ladies so I hope they will not be seen as cat-prey... 🀞 For now it's nice to have the situation vaguely in hand, chilled girls, and to be able to walk among them πŸ’“ we really love these fluffy monsters so I'm hoping we can make it work... PS excuse Blue's violet rump - she is a multi coloured lady at the min for her own good!
  6. WingingIt

    At my wits end with bullies :-(

    Thanks everyone. I'm definitely waking up to the fact that I've listened to the wrong advice which was foolish... altho in the short term I don't know where that leaves me! At the moment I have a clearly p*ssed off Dotty patrolling her own mini run and 2 confused girls in the main one. Options in the immediate future either seem to be to risk the foxes and allow some free ranging when I'm not here to supervise or to try to rehome one of the chickens (which I'm not sure how to do safely)... feels like a bit of a rock and a hard place! If I allow some free ranging then I'm also not sure how to safely handle Dot's interactions with Blue in the coming days as I'm assuming the bullying won't just stop immediately - I was considering a 'bumpa bit' or equivalent but I have no idea if those are a) cruel or b) effective. Anyone know? My dog is delighted as for once he is my best behaved pet πŸ˜‡
  7. WingingIt

    At my wits end with bullies :-(

    We followed guidance on the Omlet site, and from ex batt rescue, on space per chicken in a run. Seems we were misled, which is an extra blow. We have space for 2 rather than three by the sounds of it.
  8. Hello, Desperate cry for help here. Having dreamed of having chickens for years , reading every book and blog post and trying to be prepared, we finally moved to a place with a bigger garden and were able to take on 3 ex batts in a Go up with double extended run. We can't have free range due to daytime foxes (among other factors) - all chickens in the area are penned in as many neighbours have had flocks wiped out. The first trio of ex batts fatally wounded one of their number during one day when we were at work, after a few weeks of no issues, then the dominant bird turned on the next remaining one in line and we had to separate them - the rescue asked us to bring them back for rehoming in a larger flock and sent us home with a new trio. Then the second trio attacked one of their number a couple of weeks in. We managed to separate in time. The rescue asked us to bring them all back... and we very miserably gave up on making ex batts happy. Having stared at the empty run for a while, and taken some more independent advice, a few weeks ago we took on 3 POL girls - a bluebelle, speckledy and nera. Having lived in docile harmony for the past month the speckledy (Dotty) has now turned on the bluebelle (Blue). The pecking is relentless and savage - Blue has a bare bleeding back and the violet spray hasnt helped much. I have separated Dotty in a little day run that we sometimes put them in at the weekend, leaving just Blue and the nera (Goldie) in the run, but I am genuinely at my wits end. I am not naive about pets being easy - we are big on animal rescue and have fostered and adopted multiple challenging animals, but I'm new to chickens and have been totally flabbergasted by these levels of bullying. Not to put too fine a point on it I am ready to give up - it is so bloody upsetting and stressful (for the birds and the humans!). We have a 10yo boy who is gutted about the whole thing which is a killer too. For context the run is full of enrichment and we swap new things in and out all the time. Multiple feeding and water stations, dust bath, spinning CD mirrors, peck toys, fresh and dry food, perches. The pecking today was going on even as they were investigating new things. We had been considering building a bigger run before all this started but we can't afford that this month and to be honest I dont want to invest time and money in this dream structure only to have to tear it down again if it all fails anyway. Does anyone have any suggestions? I am half thinking of trying to rehome Dotty and just keeping Blue and Goldie, but I'm not sure if that is a good idea for Dotty OR the other two. Has this happened to anyone else?? I feel like we and our chickens are cursed! Really hoping someone can help - when I read the forums I hear people being fed up about poo and cleaning out etc but I love all the chicken care stuff! It's just the fighting that's finishing me off Thank you
  9. WingingIt

    Messy eaters!

    Thank you, that's really helpful i think you're right that they are digging for their favourite bits!
  10. WingingIt

    Messy eaters!

    Hello! Anyone got any tips for the type of feeder I can use for messy eaters? We've always kept a tray (normal plastic house tray!) under the feeder to make the evening clean up easier when we take the food away, but with our 3 new mucky pups it's working overtime! I've never seen anything like the amount of spillage πŸ™ˆ it fills the tray and goes over the sides... perhaps I should start out with less food so they have to eat rather than spread?! This morning I thought I'd switch out the Grub feeder for the original water trough that came with the run (a go up) to see if an open top helped. The Bluebell hopped straight onto the side of it and settled in to feast - my kind of girl, she is food mad 🀣 with any luck this could be a temporary fix but thought I'd ask the experts nonetheless! They seem to love their food and 'help' to clear up the spillage when I take the feeder away so I don't think it's a dislike issue, but I am worried as we have fought a battle against rats in the past so I don't like food hanging around on the floor...
  11. WingingIt

    Rescues refusing to home to Omlet hutches

    Thank you!! I had never heard of them but will give them a google
  12. WingingIt

    Rescues refusing to home to Omlet hutches

    Unfortunately while my local rescue doesn't do home checks for rabbits and guinea pigs they do request pictures... they also request a 5ft hutch for 2 guinea pigs (!!) which rules out Omlet too! It's quite frustrating when my only options seem to be a) lie or b) don't rescue πŸ˜” It's a very large rescue centre which I think often leads to a certain level of inflexibility... perhaps I can track down a smaller and less prescriptive place! I'm in South Cambs if anyone knows of anywhere
  13. Hello, We have an Eglu for our chickens and I live the ease of cleaning... I had hoped to get another to house some rescue guinea pigs or rabbits but my local rescue has a strict policy of not rehoming to 'plastic pod hutches' (so basically Omlet homes). Has anyone had this problem when dealing with rescues and Eglus? And has anyone else found a rescue that doesnt mind?! Thanks 😊

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