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Everything posted by chocolatedog

  1. Not sure if anyone else is having the same problems getting hold of hemcore at the moment? The place I get mine from said they can't get hold of it - something about the factory or whatever having closed temporarily due to contamination (or I think that's what the guy said). he suggested Easibed instead (and also mentioned Easichick). Question is - can I use Easibed out in the covered run? (Covered by Omlet shades.......) I used to use Hemcore out in the run - is Easibed the same kind of thing? (And another question - how many times a year can a hen go broody???? Spice had been broody for a week now - her 2nd time in 5 months!!!! AARRGGHH)
  2. Could she have suddenly become unable to process the calcium? She's been laying perfectly good eggs since the end of August and then suddenly 2 weeks ago started this strange softie cycle....... Some of the harder eggs are very pale shells with a funny pinky-brown 'crown' to them....... mystifying.....
  3. I know there are a lot of threads on this problem, but I thought I'd start a new one as it's happening to Pepper, who has been my most reliable layer since August.....not sure why it's happening.....they have an extra grit pot in the run, but as the weather is getting better and the days are getting longer I suppose they're out for more free-ranging. When it's wet I keep them in the run, but the softies still happen, about one every 4 or 5 eggs. Inbetween the softies, we get a good egg or two, then some really pale shell, thinner ones, then a softie, and then back to semi-decent again. Could it be because she's out of the run more? (But so are all 3 of them - unless they go back and forth more than she does.....)Or might it be because the most recent lot of pellets was a different brand?(Except that the other 2 are fine........) Or is it something to do with the fact she'll be coming up to a year old fairly soon, and are softies a sign of an oncoming moult? She's older than the others so I guess she'll start to moult slightly earlier than them..... Not quite sure what's happening here....... (She seems pretty fine in herself though..... )
  4. What takes me so long about an entire monthly cleanout is actually the run - cleaning all the gungey hemcore out and replacing it with fresh, as I have to attack the eglu run from each end (and it's an extended run so I need to really stretch!!!!) The eglu itself is straightforward..........
  5. Usually the two go hand-in-hand, unless you have a very tame chicken. My Speckledy didn't like being touched when she wasn't in lay, so the only time I got to pet her was when she crouched for me. It's an instinctive action that they do when they are in breeding condition, so if her comb is turning red she should start doing quite soon - expect eggs about a week later My speckled star (and the other 2) are all in lay - but it's only Ginger who crouches for me - the other 2 run a mile......the only time I've ever been able to handle Spice (Speckled Star) is when she was broody in January and I was constantly having to lift her out of the nesting box to let the other 2 in!!! Since then she's returned to her old habits of dodging my hands........ Occasionally I can catch Pepper but she's not keen either......
  6. My Bovans Nera is very similar to the Pepperpot and Marans Cuivre too......
  7. Mine were out free-ranging in the snow and wind - having said that, they had taken shelter under a shrub and were scratching and pecking away quite happily......... In fact, they seem generally very happy - back up to full production now Spice is now longer broody - and her first egg back (we think it was hers.....) was a huge double-yolker!!
  8. I went down to the eglu first thing yesterday morning to find no eggs too!! And then we went to friends for the day....when I got back I found a soft-shelled egg lying out in the run.....for the first time ever..... Maybe they were in a huff because they were in the run all Christmas Day!!!!
  9. And I just love it when he gets angry and becomes the avenger - he's wonderful!
  10. Noooooo. got to be purple Yay!! I've got a purple eglu! Purple is good - purple is cool...........
  11. I was just looking at your album - the dates on the most recent photos read 01/01/70....!!!! Your girls are looking good for 37 year-olds!!!!
  12. It happens to me too - but I get round it as I learned the codes for several of the emoticons a while back so if you enter the code instead of clicking on the actual emoticon it will enter it at the cursor instead of at the end....... e.g. :*roll*: (except remove the stars) for etc
  13. I saw that one too! - and immediately rushed through into the other room to show hubby - who has an audi quattro which he likes very much...........
  14. We've had our girls for 3 months and we never clipped their wings - our fences/walls are only 4 ft high max, but they've never yet attempted to get out. To be honest I'd rather keep their wings intact in case they ever needed to escape from anything in the garden, like a stray dog, or a cat or fox, for example (though so far, none of the above have ever been spotted in the garden......touch wood...). If they ever show signs of trying to go exploring I may have to rethink, but so far, so good. I think they probably must find enough to keep them busy and occupied in our garden without them having to look elsewhere - so I keep piles of leaves around for them to play in, etc and brush up everything for them to dig up again the next day!!!
  15. Christmas is too commercial these days and has completely lost its meaning - there was something I read recently where it says the majority of people these days have no idea what Christmas is meant to celebrate..........and only 1 in 5 schools is putting on a Nativity play...........And it's NOT Santa's birthday!!!!!
  16. I have a fan-assisted oven and I always cover my cakes with foil, which I then remove about 20 minutes before the end of baking time......I learned the hard way a long time back - a cake which should have taken 1 1/2 hours was burned on top after 45 minutes!! Needless to say, I've been careful ever since.....
  17. Very sad news......Thinking of you - sorry I can't help with any advice, but sending a virtual hug your way............(wish there was a hug smilie.......)
  18. Where do you get them from? They're so good!
  19. Ah - I didn't know that - unfortunately we have to weigh the edges down as the ground isn't quite flat so the skirt doesn't sit totally flush to the ground and I reckoned that foxes would be more likely to be able to get under if the skirt was lifting than if it was weighed down at various points. The reason for the ground not being totally flat is that we have a lot of trees in our garden and the tree roots mean that the ground level isn't flat......mind you, foxes would probably have difficulty digging through tree roots!! (I hope...... )
  20. I'd put broken glass or razor wire across the hole they're crawling through Sorry - this kind of thing brings out the worst in me!
  21. I use a few drops of Poultry Tonic every day in the water pot - although the girls aren't over keen on this they seem to be pretty healthy birds.... (they seemed to like citricidal when I used that a while back!). I think I read somewhere you have to be careful not to overdo the ACV as they won't like the taste and it can put young birds off drinking..... But I can't remember where I read that.
  22. Ah OK - I wouldn't be putting one of those down anyway, because of the dog and girls etc. Poor robin I once had to put one down inside years back to catch a mouse in the dog food cupboard and I cried when I eventually caught it. So if I even needed to catch a rat, the bait boxes should be safe?
  23. I thought I'd remembered something about a robin.... - it makes me nervous thinking about putting one down......so I don't really want to put one down unless I really do have rats.
  24. Are the bait/poison boxes totally safe from allowing wild birds in to them, for example? I thought I once saw a post which said that a robin or something had eaten rat poison from a bait box? Or am I confused? (Well, that goes without saying...... ) And is it worth getting a man from the council to just come out and check for evidence in case I've missed it myself? I don't think I've got them, and I do take in the food every night, but I wouldn't want to be the cause of any problems if I've missed the evidence through just not being experienced enough to spot it.......

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