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chocolatedog

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Everything posted by chocolatedog

  1. I did a thorough inspection earlier and I can't find any evidence of droppings or any chewing at all - and there is wood planking round the eglu to stop hemcore being kicked out, and obviously plastic (eglu) and our compost bins are home-made out of timber planking too, and there is no evidence of chewing there either.......I don't think there's any tunnelling - I think I'm the one responsible for trampling the hemcore down myself when I open/shut the eglu door in the mornings/evenings. So if pellets contain an antidote to rat poison, how do you kill them??!!
  2. Fried eggs??!! Very appropriate for an omlet forum!! Chickens are taking over the world! (Why didn't she poach them?)..........
  3. My 3 girls are still busy laying away!! they don't seem to understand the concept of stopping laying for winter (but then they are hybrids......) so I suppose that will be why they are eating more to keep their strength up as they're still laying through the cold...... I definitely have never left the food out overnight, but I will go and do a thorough inspect later today - especially also under the nearby shed etc, in case there is such a rodent getting in to eat any food the girls have spilled, although they do seem to have incredibly good eyesight for picking up fragments of meal worms, bits of grain so I expect there won't be much left behind for foragers anyway......in any case, should there be a resident rodent somewhere, there are pub bins overflowing nearby, compost heaps, folk who feed wild birds, fallen apples, people with rabbits out in hutches (and food containers sometimes left with no lids on underneath, so at least no one could point a finger of blame at the girls - I hope! (*crosses fingers nervously*)
  4. So I possibly may not have a rat? Do you think hens are hungrier when the weather is colder? They certainly seem to get through their food far more on the days I'm out at work from 8.30 to 4.30, so I suppose that may just account for it? There doesn't seem to be any sign of the plastic being chewed at all......I've just inspected the grub thoroughly......
  5. Do they get in during the day as well? As I never leave food in the run overnight - I always bring in the glugs/grubs/grit bowls every evening after putting the girls to bed - but I had noticed they seemed to be hungrier than before - I just assumed that was because the weather is colder..........and there are several neighbourhood cats too......
  6. Forgive my ignorance, but how can you tell if you've got a rat? (Apart from actually seeing one, that is?)
  7. I once remember hubby telling me that he had to get up at 4 in the morning to start a long journey, and he heard the supermarket alarm going off, so he looked out of the window and saw 2 guys running up the alley and across the road and down the lane bby our house, so he rang the police and was able to give them a running commentary (from the back of the house as the guys got into a car and drove round the back road and up the main street....so the police put up a roadblock in the next village along and caught them........ (I was away at the time and missed all the excitement!!!)
  8. I see what you mean about them loving porridge!!! Mine were a bit suspicious of the bowl at first but then when I dipped my finger in the porridge they nearly took my finger off!!!! The only question I've got is, how much should you give them? I just made up a very small amount to see if they took to it or not. Would you give them a whole Oatso Simple packet (ie a human cereal bowl) between 3, or would you make far less? I used what was left at the bottom of a porridge sachet (I'd used the rest in some recipe or other way back) - so more of a taster really....... Pepper got nice and messy - but it was quite touching how gentle Ginger was when pecking porridge bits off her feathers... Oh, and another question - when they "clean" each other, does it encourage feather eating? Or does it never lead to those kinds of problems? Do they stay messy if they don't clean each other? Do they need a bath at all after eating porridge? Is there any way you can avoid them getting messy? (Sorry about all these questions!!!
  9. Especially the huge sloppy ones they seem to do first thing in the morning after laying!!
  10. Glam???????!!!!!! When shoveling chicken poo???!!!
  11. The only time my girls are noisy is if they hear/see me coming up the garden towards their run, and then they shout at me for treats or to be let out to free-range (or both!!) It's a shout for attention more than anything else I think..... Or they gently burble away to me when they're out and foraging and I'm talking to them - a very gentle contented kind of noise........
  12. Our Bovans Nera is slightly larger than our Rhode Star, but our Speckled Star is the biggest, even though she's younger than the other 2 by about 5-6 weeks.....she took a long time to develop her comb, but she really started to look "red' just before starting to lay, although she never squatted (and still doesn't!! )
  13. I have 3 with a single run converter - 3 with the normal run was just too many especially with the bit of bullying going on. Now they've got the converter panel as the extra length it allows them much better space so I'm less worried about them being in the run all day if they really have to be......I would say (although I'm not an expert by any means) that yes, 5 in the eglu might be OK but you might find pecking going on through overcrowding in the run.....I suppose it all depends on the size of the chickens - bantams would be fine but from own experience I would say for hybrids and up you need more run space..... If they're all cosy and buddy-buddy then it might be OK
  14. Well the blackbirds must be feeling the approach of winter - every single apple I had left lying on the ground has vanished......... and on occasion I was counting upwards of 10 blackbirds down on the ground or in the shrubs in my garden....... The girls quite liked the apples too so I guess that every time I check my apple store if I find any apples developing bruises I'll put them out for the blackbirds instead of composting them!
  15. I think there's also one in Durham, although I can't remember where I read that.....
  16. I have an extended run with a summer and a winter shade on - but these between them don't quite cover the entire run length.........
  17. Slugs and slugs and creepy crawly things hidden under decaying leaves etc........(and more slugs....) - I love watching them chase each other round to try to steal the slugs off each other - and the one who's running away with the slug dangling from her beak..... They can't eat worms here - we don't really have any as unfortunately New Zealand Flatworm has arrived in my garden and taken hold..... (Wonder if the girls will eat them....... Although having said that, apparently no birds will as they have a foul-tasting mucus which is irritating to human skin also ....... I once also saw Pepper smash and eat a snail like a thrush would, but she doesn't seem to have done that since......
  18. How on earth do you stop free ranging chickens from being in contact with wild birds? I've seen sparrows and blackbirds hopping merrily around with my girls eating the fallen apples and looking for flies and bugs......
  19. Hey! The Golden Girls!!! I remember them - brilliant comedy programme!!!
  20. Spice is laying a mid-brown colour at the moment......I was expecting them to be a lot darker......
  21. Pepper helps me by turning over and scratching all my nicely raked leaves back around the lawn again - "just to make sure they're bug-free, mummy...." and she and Pepper have both helped me with the weeding - well, again "helped" might not be the appropriate word - they get underneath my fork or trowel into the freshly dug earth, and almost get speared in the process......
  22. Argh!!!!! just opened the fridge door and it caught my egg box so that it fell out!!! And 3 beautiful eggs were smashed on the kitchen floor - including Spice's first ever egg!! Oh well, at least the dog will enjoy them so I suppose it's not a total waste but I was really looking forward to tasting Spice's first egg..........
  23. Yay!! I have a Ginger and a Pepper too!!! (And a Spice....!!)
  24. The other reason dog insurance is a good idea is not so much if they injure themselves, but they may of course cause a nasty accident/injure someone - eg if they knock someone over, or run out in a road and cause a car crash etc......that's why I keep my dog covered just in case.

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