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chocolatedog

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Everything posted by chocolatedog

  1. Hi again! Just wanting advice on recommended breeders in Scotland. I found the old thread but wondered if anything had changed - I've dealt with Paula's Poultry before, and she's great and I'd thoroughly recommend her and her birds, but it's a long way from me. Macintyre of Ayrshire can deliver birds (we're still pretty far from him too!) - does he still come recommended? And the one downside is that I would probably have to rely on him to choose birds for me (hopefully to my specifications ie docile and easy to handle, not flighty.......). Has anyone else relied on a supplier to choose, or do most people go and choose for themselves? Plus he's got brown leghorns and buff barred (rocks, I presume?), as well as bluebelles, speckledys, Sussex stars etc etc. (My last 2 hens I got very locally but the breeder stopped trading earlier this year, which is now forcing me to have to ask all these questions!!!!! Sorry!!)
  2. Sorry - still thinking about new girls. Anyone any experience of these breeds? From what I can gather Bluebells can be mixed..... Sussex stars more popular. I spoke to a supplier and he also mentioned he's got these 2 breeds too - anyone know much about them? Thanks!
  3. Hi - having lost Spice II and knowing that Pepper II is a bit up and down at the moment, and dear old Ginger, still laying 3-4 eggs per week at age 5 1/2, is not likely to last forever (although all the signs are that she is thinking about it ) I was wanting to introduce 2 new hens. I don't really want another black rock type or Speckledy type (the former because they lay like mad for 18 months then seem to run out of steam health wise, and the latter because they're so greedy, and both Spices have had crop problems, and I don't want another repeat run!). I'm thinking of a Bluebell and a Sussex Star (light Sussex type hybrid.) Looking for pros and cons from anyone who has these 2 types! Thanks!
  4. Today, Monday, I took her back to the vet as I felt there was no improvement and that 3 days of starvation and massage should have started to make a difference. He told me the crop was more distended and saggy than last week, and, after he had done an ultra-sound, that there was no muscle movement at all. He felt to give her Baytril to stop infection setting in would just prolong her life, but without any chance of the muscles springing back into shape. Bless her - her crop was so distended that she'd lost all the feathers on that area because of rubbing on the perch while roosting...... I feel really upset that I hadn't spotted the extent of her impacted crop earlier (both she and Ginger had impacted crop about a month - 2 months ago). Ginger is back to normal, but Spice being a bigger, fluffier bird it was hard to spot that it wasn't fully sorted...... Anyway, we felt it was right for her to be PTS. RIP Spice II my beautiful girl........
  5. Hi everyone - not been around for a while, but just thought I'd share with you something that happened today. Spice mark II has got an enlarged crop (but empty) for which I'm dosing her with liquid paraffin and massaging her crop....but as I caught her today to repeat her treatment, she let out a squawk as she usually does (she doesn't like being touched!) and Pepper mark II flew at me and pecked my arm!! She had the decency to look shamefaced afterwards, but has anyone else ever come across one hen actively defending another?! It was actually quite sweet, I think, as I can't interpret it any other way.....
  6. Does anyone have any good photos of fox droppings? Or a really good accurate web photo? I've found some dropping son the path near our run and I'm not sure what they are. Plus the dogs are spending a lot of time sniffing around the outside of the chicken run....... I do have a lot of fallen apples near the run so maybe if it's a fox it's after the apples?
  7. Has anyone ever come across a chicken killing a garden bird? I've just found Pepper in the internal run eating a dunnock fledgling which was definitely still warm...... I wondered if it had gone in after the pellets and been attacked by her - I'm just surprised it couldn't fly away...... I'm really upset by it as I was watching one of the dunnock fledglings on my garden wall earlier today.....and it was really quite tame......
  8. I'm afraid my Speckled Star was very much like yours.....would feed out of my hand, but was extremely difficult to catch. And unfortunately not all chickens will squat in front of you when they come into lay - neither Spice nor Pepper did, and my new Pepper doesn't either....Ginger on the other hand has always been easy to catch. The best thing to do is invest in an omlet net and stretch it across the garden and drive the chickens into it - at least that's the only way we could ever catch our old Spice (until her last few months when she wasn't 100% well and then she tired easily and was easier to catch...!) Otherwise a large fishing net is apparently very useful.......
  9. We found Pepper 6 ft up a Rowan tree - turns out she hopped onto a low wall, then onto a higher fence and then finally flew the couple of feet up from there into the tree.........hmmmm. Foxed here by stretching netting along the wall/fence so she can't land on the lower bit to then make the next step - and so far it has worked......
  10. Could Barbara be a Buff Sussex? She certainly looks a bit like it anyway........ Tikka looks a bit like my Ginger at the moment - heavy moulting and gradually growing in her new glad rags......she looks so much smaller than normal! Just shows how thick and fluffy a hen's plumage is usually.......
  11. Yay! At last......an egg! From newbie Pepper - it's taken long enough!!! We've had the newbies since the middle of August and it's taken until now to get an egg! Goodness knows how old they are now - maybe they were slightly younger than the chap thought when I bought them, otherwise at a guess they must be between 27 and 29 weeks old, and Spice still doesn't look anywhere near laying yet.......plus my gorgeous Ginger is still mid-moult so no eggs there either just now...... Ah well......at least I've now got another layer..... Now just Spice to start!!
  12. Hi folks - I'm actually writing this for a friend of mine who recently bought 2 chickens - Lohmann or Warrens I think they might be.....she too me today that one or other (or both) started laying last week and since then she's had 4 rather large-ish eggs but they've all been covered in blood..... She thinks it might just be one of the 2 that is laying (she never sees as she works during the day) as one has got a much redder comb than the other. She's checked the vent but she said she thinks it's OK and the chicken is eating and seems pretty normal apart from this.......anyone any ideas? Thanks....... BTW my newbies still haven't started laying (I got them in mid-August) - anyone know how to kick-start them??!! I had to go and buy eggs from the supermarket (shock!horror! ) for the first time in 3 years (Ginger is moulting so she's not laying either......) Help!
  13. Ukadex is good for deterring pecking - you spray it on the chicken that is being bullied and the smell and taste are so disgusting that the other chickens won't peck it....only make sure you're covered head to toe yourself in old clothes as if you get the spray on you it stinks!!!!! I used it on Ginger a few times, but she got wise and when she saw me coming with the yellow rubber gloves and waterproofs she tried to do a runner!!!
  14. Sorry, should have added your black rock certainly looks like a bovans nera (but then again she's also like my new black rock too, who I'm pretty sure is a genuine black rock.....) so could be either.......
  15. Check out the photo link on my signature - they're very like my original 3 girls, and my 2 newbies have more or less replaced the bovans nera and speckled star. My Ginger one is definitely a Rhode Star and she's always been a real sweetie (except to the newbies - she's really been exerting her authority recently!!!) and she looks like yours. They make a lovely looking trio colour wise, which is partly why I chose the original 3... Great mind think alike!!
  16. I'm not sure if the cats would be affecting the chickens if they haven't come into lay yet. I have 2 newbies roughly the same age as yours and they haven't started laying yet either. (And we haven't got a cat!) I know chickens can come into lay between 24-28 weeks old I think, and it may be older for pure breeds, but I'm not sure. Plus the weather is starting to turn and the days are getting shorter so that may also be delaying the start of the laying - I'm not an expert, so someone will correct me if I'm wrong, hopefully! The cats may not be helping, but I don't think they're necessarily to blame here either.......
  17. Has anyone ever unscrewed the 2 screws holding on the front of the eglu (with the door assembly etc?) once all the removable parts of the eglu have been taken off, that is? The reason I'm asking is because it seems to be the only bit of the eglu that has a crack that never seems to wash out quite properly.......having said that,we've has the eglu for 3 years and never has a mite problem, but neither have I ever taken the front off to clean out that gap. For anyone who has done it, how easy is it to reassemble afterwards? I'm a bit scared of little bits of internal workings falling out or something, and not being able to get it all back together again!!
  18. Hi all - just to let you know that today I had a little flock of 3 hens roaming the garden.......now that the littlies are a few weeks older and out and free-ranging (as of today - slightly unplanned! Spice escaped from the netted area so I gave up and let Pepper out too.....!) Ginger seemed to really enjoy being part of a flock again which was great to see So I'm a happy chicken mummy (even though I had entertained vague hopes of keeping them more restricted so I could reclaim part of my garden for proper garden again!!! In my dreams, eh?!)
  19. I have no idea when or whether we'll ever break even but one thing I do know is the eggs are scrummy and the girls are such characters too!
  20. So sorry about your news - it must be awful to lose them so close together.....we lost our Pepper at New Year and Spice just 3 weeks ago, and that's been sad enough....Ginger is still going strong but I got her 2 new girls to keep her company as I thought she would struggle too much having lost both her previous companions...... Sending you hugs.
  21. I'm afraid I never clipped my girls' wings as they never showed any signs of trying to escape over the fence....had they ever tried it, I would have done so, but I felt they were safer unclipped in case a dog or fox got into the garden and they needed to escape...... But I was also too worried to do it in case I accidentally made them bleed......
  22. Well it's finally finished! Can't post a photo just yet, but we're dead chuffed with it, and the girls seem to like it - we've put the eglu on a table so they have the full floor space....Ginger got the hang of the ladder ramp up to the eglu to sleep but the newbies didn't so when I went to check on them and tuck them up, they were quite upset and trying to perch on the glug to roost.......awww! Still, I was able to go into the run and pick them up and put them in the eglu......just hope in the morning, when I let them out that they don't panic and miss the ladder and get hurt in some way...... I guess I'll just have to be very careful the first few mornings.......
  23. The other day we let the 2 newbies out into the netted area to free range for the first time.... Ginger was dreadfully concerned and worried and obviously thought they weren't meant to be out as she gently herded them back to the run and once they were through the door walked off as if she'd done her duty.... Bless her, she did this every time they popped out of the run uttering little worried noises...... Would a mother hen herd her chicks or lead them? It was almost as if she was being a bit maternal!!! But she's still showing them who's boss.....!
  24. Of course they talk!! There's a whole range of phrases including "I've just laid an egg!" "There's an intruder in the garden!" "Yes of course I'm happy ooh yummy corn yummy yummy yummy" "Let me out!!!!!" And more beside.......

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