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chocolatedog's Achievements

Frequent Layer

Frequent Layer (3/19)



  1. RIP Molly - my 5/6 year old re-home hen. A beautiful gentle girl who was my son's favourite as he loved hand feeding her corn (she had a slightly blunted beak so didn't hurt him if she accidentally pecked him). She had just started a moult but seemed perfectly normal when I let them out into the outer run this morning - I think she was first through the door! When we got back from town this afternoon I found her dead - it looked as though she had just literally keeled over where she had been standing at the time. Sadly missed……. At least I know she had a good 18 months with us and our other girls. (Ironically enough I was expecting I might lose either dear old Ginger (now over 7 1/2!!!) or Bluebell, as she has lost weight and got scaly leg mite - the vet was a bit concerned by her weight loss….., so losing Molly was a bit of a shock... )
  2. Hi all - not been on here for a while - can't believe I've still got Ginger (one of my 3 originals - now 7)! Although not sure for how much longer. She has rather mucky bum feathers, seems to be losing her balance a bit and wobbling, more in the hem core in the internal run than outside - her tail seems to lean towards the left more than I would have said is usual, and she has a pretty enlarged right nostril. Not sure what that is although I have googled it, and sinus canker seems to be a possibility. In herself though, she's just fine - burbles away happily (constantly talking!) and eating like a horse (well, a chicken, but you know what I mean!) Do you think the losing balance is a sign of old age, or something else? There's no discharge from the nostril, but the mucky bum feathers obviously suggest something's not quite right with her. Any ideas?
  3. So far, things are going pretty well.... They survived their first night together in the Eglu, having been kept separate all day with a brief merging spell before bedtime. Of course, Ginger and Molly, both being dominant, had a bit of a set-to, but I was on hand to wade in and deal with it. Today, whenever I've been out, I've left them in separate runs, but when I've been around and pottering in and out of the garden, I've left all the internal doors open - no more squabbling, but they did tend to avoid each other. No problems at bedtime. I'm hopeful that they'll be well settled by the the time I go away next Monday....... Molly seems to have been going through a mini-moult - would this be a genuine mini-moult at this time of year, or would it be lack of condition due to being on her own, and lonely? Or just lack of condition for an ISA aged 4? She's cute though - fed happily from my hand today, tried out the nesting box for size (without producing an egg) and is very happy to be near me generally....... Awwww
  4. Ginger - one of my 3 original girls - is now 6 and is still laying, although it seems to take her longer and longer to recover from her pretty extensive annual autumn moult...... She's laying between 3 and 5 eggs a week just at the moment. How old is/was your oldest hen, and what's the oldest your girls were still laying? (I'm not necessarily expecting that Ginger is a record-breaker, but I'm just interested to know, as none of my other girls have lasted anywhere near as long.......
  5. Hi folks - haven't been on here in a while. Hope everyone is well. Title says it all really. A friend has a single chicken left after her other one died and she has decided to give up keeping chickens. She asked me if I would rehome the lonely hen (about 3 ish?). I have a small "flock" of 2 hens - Ginger, my old original (yes, she's still going strong at the age of 6 - and still laying 3-4 eggs a week, but has frequent weeks off!), and Bluebell, one of the new ones I introduced last summer. Snowdrop sadly died young..... Anyway, I know it's generally not a god idea to introduce a single hen to an established flock, but would a single hen to 2 others be OK, especially as she's a mature girl and not a young POL? I still have the omlet run set up inside the large outer run, so could use that, but have no other sleeping quarters other than the eglu....... Any thought please?
  6. Just gone up to shut the girls up in their inner run and just found Snowdrop dead in the outer run. Hubby said she was OK when he went up the garden just before tea, just lying down with the other 2 girls - but she was dead less than an hour later.......when I picked her up her legs are just tucked under her like she's still lying there - no signs of struggle/kicking etc. Must have been very quick - instant probably...... Can chickens die of heart attacks? She'd also laid an egg earlier today. Had actually wondered if she was OK as her bum was a little bit mucky, and her comb slightly paler than normal, but she'd been laying most days without fail. There was also one slightly non-normal poo in the outer run, but no more....... Any ideas, folks? So Ginger, my beautiful matriarch is now nearly 6 and I am going to have to start looking for a new girl or 2! Generation 4!!!!
  7. I have a 5 1/2 year old hybrid who is still laying....... Having said that, she is currently going through her annual moult and is looking dreadful! (And she has stopped laying because of it......) I don't restrict their feed - just fill up the Grub and they take as much as they need. Plus then they get a cup of mixed corn as their afternoon treat, and nothing else. (Apart from a very occasional other treat; but I', now trying to be very careful, having lost a girl in summer to severely impacted crop.......
  8. I had a phone call yesterday from the vet who put Pepper to sleep. He'd done an autopsy as well as sending off faecal samples to check she hadn't died from anything that could infect my other girls, and it revealed that she died from egg yolk peritonitis - it certainly explained why she hadn't been laying since May, and now in hindsight, I think it's what caused Pepper I's death too. Poor girls.......
  9. This evening when putting the girls to bed I found a condom wrapper in their outer run - IT WAS NOT MINE! Goodness knows how it got there - but the worrying thing is, it looks as though it had been pecked and the contents extracted. I'e tried every which way of looking at it and hoping that it was already empty, but a human opening it would have opened it in a completely different way...... So now the question: if in the morning light I cannot find any trace of the condom, I will have to assume one or more of my chickens ate it - either in it's entirety, or shredded...... Would they be able to pass it through, and would they come to any harm? As I say, I have no idea how it got there as the run is not right by a gate or road/path - it makes my skin crawl thinking that someone has potentially been in my garden at some point today......
  10. Had to have Pepper II PTS this morning (see chicken memorials.....) - which means that dear old Ginger (the only one left of my original 3 ladies) has not only outlived the rest of her generation, but also both of the second generation girls as well! At 5 1/2 though I doubt she'll pull off the same stunt with the third generation pair, but you never know! I don't think I'll replace Pepper (she wasn't laying anyway) as with 3 girls in total now, I haven't got room in the eglu for another pair, plus from what I've read on the forums, introducing a single newbie to an existing flock (even a small one) doesn't seem to be as easy as introducing a new pair....... Or can anyone prove me wrong?! (I've still got my eye on the Buff Barred which I resisted last time!! )
  11. RIP Pepper II - had to have her PTS this morning at the vets..... She'd been on treatment for suspected parasitic problem (sulphur yellow runny poos) but hadn't really picked up at all, and in fact became weaker and more depressed and lethargic, and although she ate warm mashed pellets last night she refused to eat this morning. I decided that prolonging treatment and trying to keep her going over the weekend to see if she would recover would be futile and hopefully did the kindest thing. The vet was super - he thought she might have kidney problems too, but wanted to do an autopsy and tests just to check if it was anything that might threaten the health of the other 3 girls. So now Ginger has outlived both of the 2nd generation girls! She was a feisty wee girl, but a character - didn't like to be handled, or caught (so I knew she wasn't well by the fact I caught her easily and she seemed to enjoy being stroked!!!) She also paced up and down the internal run whenever she saw me coming to let them out in the outer run......... Beautiful markings, and super eggs. Sadly missed. X
  12. OK - puzzle time. Pepper is now 2 1/2 years old; a Black Rock who laid brilliantly for the first 18 months or so, then had slight niggly symptoms similar to Pepper I who died, so I whizzed her to the vet who gave her Baytril. She's now recovered, although slightly scraggy plumage wise, and an occasional slightly mucky backside....... Her comb is still bright red, as are her wattles. She's healthy and happy in herself, verbalising normally, but here's the strange thing. She visits the nesting box nearly every day, but has not produced a single egg in over 3 months. Is it possible for a chook to look like she's in lay (ie bright red comb) but yet be sterile??? Or if she was sterile, would her comb be pale? The eggs in my nesting box are definitely from the other 3 girls (unless Pepper's have suddenly changed colour, shape and size!!) Anyone else had a chicken like this?
  13. Hate to say this but I have just lost a girl due to crop problems - she'd had impacted crop but unfortunately even with 3 day starvation, massage etc. her muscles just didn't return to shape and her crop area was bald - caused by rubbing on the perches as they roost, and the vet said sour crop would set in and therefore we made the decision to put her to sleep..... Unfortunately if your girlie has had this enlarged crop for 3 months it doesn't sound too good, but I would suggest a vet visit. He would be able to tell you whether she will recover or not. In Spice's case, her muscles had gone too far and there was no muscle movement at all anywhere in her digestive system (did ultrasound scan to look for blockages etc.) even after muscle stimulatory injections...... My previous Speckledy too had sour crop in her last couple of months, but in fact she had to be PTS for a massive abdominal tumour - if she hadn't had this, I expect she would have had further crop problems..... Sorry I can't give you much encouragement - wish I could......
  14. Of my 3 original girls - all hybrids, Pepper laid like mad for 12 months then tailed of a bit but died quite young - 2 1/2; Spice laid pretty well, but died aged 3 1/2, and dear old Ginger aged 5 1/2 is still laying 3-4 a week, although these are much smaller...... Of the 2nd generation, Spice was laying ok ish until recently but ha to be PTS with crop problems, aged 2 1/2, but Pepper is still alive, but hasn't laid in 2-3 months, although her comb is still vibrant red! She still visits the nesting box but produces nothing........ Strange, eh?!

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