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drawlins

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About drawlins

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    Freshly Laid Egg
  1. Thanks again everyone. I had a phone appointment with the vet today and he agreed that the prognosis is generally poor when torticollis gets to that stage. He says it could be any of a number of virus diseases or possibly lead/zinc poisoning - but without a post mortem there’s no way of telling for sure. It’s unlikely to be poisoning as they are in a very controlled garden environment. It was good to hear from a vet that it was the right thing to do at the time. He says keep a close eye on the other two, which I will definitely be doing!
  2. Thank you everyone for your replies, it's good to hear that. I'm also glad in a way that it doesnt sound like Mareks, perhaps one less infectious disease that could affect the others. We certainly don't rely on VermX for protection against worms - we use twice yearly Flubenvet treatments for that. we also have Ivermectin as an anti-mite/louse where needed. VermX liquid just seems like a blend of potent vegetables/spices and I just think it gives them some variety and cant be a bad thing. They do really gulp the water down, even when it's in low concentrations so they must like the taste! Beyond that though, I can't see it really having much medicinal or protective value. I use the (probably overpriced!) VermX pellets because they seem to be good quality and have a full nutritional/trace vitamin report - many farm suppliers foods etc only have the basics.
  3. Thank you for your help everyone. Just wanted to give an update with some sad news Over the weekend I’ve slept next to Victoria while she was in the kitchen. Her head flailing got progressively worse and more violent until about 7am Sunday morning when it was literally continuous except when I held her head still - it would have continued until complete exhaustion. I had her laid next to me on my makeshift bed all night, and she was also breathing very heavily with open mouth. I couldn’t bear to see her suffer this much and decided that it was the right thing to do to put her to sleep. It was the hardest thing I've ever had to do, but at least she is not suffering anymore; we buried her in the garden near the coop where her sisters can be nearby. I will never forgive myself if we've done something to cause this. I had started her on LifeGuard seaweed, mixed with tuna for selenium. I hand-fed this over a few hours with a tiny spoon as she wasnt voluntarily eating in the last 24 hours. The local poultry suppliers didn't have nutridrops or similar in stock and tried the local supermarkets but they are out of stock of vit E for humans too, maybe because of coronavirus. We feed a mixture of pellets and a small amount of "nice bits"- but for pellets which form the biggest bulk of general food we use VermX layers pellets - these say they are fortified with all the main vitamins including E. Overall I don't know if she was broody long enough to get deficient? - about 10 days I worked out. We make sure to get broodies out and about once a day to stimulate eating/drinking and going to the loo etc. In the water they have a couple of days of apple cider vinegar a week, and vermX liquid three days a month.Outside of that just fresh water every day. I’ve looked at a lot of wry neck videos online and it doesn't feel like it was the same in some ways. I’m worried she might have had Mareks or Newcastle disease - when she had an episode her feet would curl, wings outstretched and she'd make noises in distress. It was so hearbreaking, I feel like I've failed her when she depended on me most. RIP Victoria xx
  4. EDIT - Firstly my apologies - I just realised I posted this in the wrong forum but I don't know how to move it to the clinic, I'm really worried about one of our three buff orpingtons. She has been broody for about a couple of weeks, all normal - but tonight when cleaning the coop I noticed her sitting in the nest box and whirling her head in a circular motion. At first I thought she was clearing an irritation either inside or out, but then it became obvious she's not well. When I got her out the nest box, her balance is quite poor and shes doing a lot of visual orientation if you like - looking all over the place as if to get a reference point on which way is up. I think she might have really bad vertigo. When I turned out the coop light after cleaning then monitored on a camera we have in there - she started whirling again, flapping wings and generally panicking. I can't tell if it's a seizure or if she's simply really dizzy. She occasionally turns her head completely upside down, which seems to trigger the episode - if I then steady her and calm her down it seems to help a bit. She's isolated in a dog cage in our kitchen, with the lights on dim - and seems to have settled down a bit. Interest in food, water and being broody seems normal as far as a broody is concerned- she is trying to behave normally. But she has trouble aiming her pecks - if I try and give her a raisin, it takes a few attempts before she gets it out of my hand. I've done a lot of reading posts but it seems 50% of all illnesses can cause wry neck etc. I've checked her ears - they look fine, her crop is about 1/3 full (till she ate some more), and her abdomen feels fine. Her comb is upright, with a very light purple tinge, probably not enough to be called cyanosis. Any help would be really appreciated as I'm pretty worried. Thank you
  5. Sure! It's this cam from Argos - £40 and easy to set up. I also got a wifi extender to allow wifi to reach into the garden. Links: https://www.argos.co.uk/product/9302998 https://www.argos.co.uk/product/6207735 The cam works well in the dark as well as day, and has a free app so no ongoing fees. Hope this helps! Thanks for the advice. I used 2x4 because the buffs have large feet and I was told by several posts that the roost bars are better too large than too small. In terms of roundness, I agree they look sharp from the photo - but they have the edges rounded off with a router, so I don't think they are uncomfortable.
  6. Hi Beantree, Thank you for the advice. I've had similar feedback from others - so will be moving the roost bar to be lower down and narroways across the back. We have a 5 metre covered run so can put the food out there - at the time this photo was taken they were held in the coop for a few days to get settled. Amazing story regarding the roosters - I do have more success with picking these girls up if I stop restraining legs. Simply letting them dangle and focussing on holding the wings and body seems OK. They still don't love it, but so long as those wings are kept closed they stop struggling. Regarding bum feathers - I have read stories of people trimming them to one third length - have you ever heard of/tried this? Good to know it's not just mine! They seem happy enough.
  7. Hello Everyone, A week ago we got our first chickens - three 10-month old Orpingtons. I've set up a 6x4 shed as the coop and have a nice outside run with an automated chicken guard on the pop-hole. So much effort has gone into planning layouts etc etc... including a two-level roost made with 2x4, wide side up. However... the buffs simply don't want to roost on the bar. I'd like them to, as it's cleaner and just seems...right. One roost bar is 8 inches from the floor, and the other is 24 inches - I know they don't like roosting too high being so heavy. Tonight, I went in shortly after they started to settle down for the night, and practiced picking them up (with raisins as bribery) and putting them on the roost bar. Two things happened: They hate being picked up. Using the legs-between-finger technique and keeping their wings closed, I bring them to my body securely and in one third of attempts manage to succeed. The other two thirds result in a tantrum and a hovering 7-pound chicken!! When placed on the lower roost bar, they stay there for a few seconds, and hop off, again and again! Could anyone offer any advice - should I just persevere or do I simply have chooks that aren't so touchy feely? Attached is a night time snap from the cam I set up in there:

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