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jomaxsmith

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About jomaxsmith

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    All Knowing Superchicken
  1. jomaxsmith

    Pigeon Attack - was it my Lemon?

    Mine attacked a fledgling magpie that wandered into their enclosure last summer. It was almost full sized yet they had managed to pin it down and were pecking at its wings (I assume the flapping stimulated them). I put the chick into the field behind our garden but I'm pretty sure its wings were broken and it would not have survived. Hens are horrible creatures, I've recently introduced two new hens and the nasty side of my ginger hen is awful to witness Jo
  2. Hi Snoxy, I'm over near Biggleswade. Are your girls from Thornes? http://www.thornespoultrycentre.co.uk/ Jo
  3. jomaxsmith

    Advice on filling Grubs please

    I tend to top up the food for a week then throw away the dregs and wash out the grub. It can get a bit wasteful otherwise. Jo
  4. jomaxsmith

    What breed?

    I would start off with the number of hens you eventually want as introducing new ones later is rather tricky (as I'm currently discovering!) Jo
  5. I'm in almost exactly the same situation - I bought two 17 week old POL hybrids yesterday to join my two freeloading non laying 3 year old girls. My set up is that my girls don't free range - they have an Eglu run with the extra 1 metre piece and a non-fox proof fenced chicken garden round the outside of it for daytime use. Yesterday I put the new girls in the Eglu and run, and the old girls in the outside area. They completely ignored each other all day but I misjudged how dark it was at bedtime and tried to close them up together too early leading to a bit of fisticuffs and chasing . I eventually rounded them all up and put them together in the Eglu. This morning I opened up at 7am and the new girls were very subdued and looked like they'd received minor pecks to the combs. It took them ages to come out of the Eglu after I'd taken the old girls into their area. I honestly thought they'd died of shock Tonight I don't know quite what to do - whether to put them in together again, keep riding the storm and hoping there's no major injury, or to pop the old girls in a box in the shed overnight. I might order some bumpa bits so that the old girls can't do any damage. I've often read on here about people taking months to do introductions and have thought 'don't be so soft, they've got to sort themselves out' but when you see your previously lovely tempered hen attacking a 'baby' without mercy it is horrible Hope your situation starts to get easier Jo
  6. jomaxsmith

    Could the end be near?

    I had to have Big Zee put to sleep. Her liver was failing and she was fading away. She was my best layer, but has had several 'near death' episodes of ill health in the 3 years we've had her. I'm thinking I might get a new pair of hybrids in a few weeks' time. Jo
  7. jomaxsmith

    Could the end be near?

    My hens are nearing 3 years old, none of them have laid regularly for the last year (in fact, I don't think has laid a single egg - freeloader ) Yesterday I noticed Big Zee 's comb had flopped over. She had a very daggy bum so I bathed it and noticed her undercarriage was very swollen (she hasn't laid in several weeks). This morning the end of her comb was blue and she has been very hunched up and miserable. She gets like this if she's due a softie, but I've never seen her comb change before. Could she be about to expire of old age? Jo
  8. jomaxsmith

    Can i cope with a puppy?

    Just to add my opinion - not all rescue dogs are adults. Boots, our lurcher (whippet x greyhound x bitsa) was 5 months old when he came to us so although we didn't know a lot about his early months, he hadn't been mistreated (aside from general neglect) and he had been well assessed and socialised in a foster home. He even arrived crate- and toilet trained and sleeping through the night - bonus My husband desperately wanted a dog, and I didn't because I knew I would end up doing all the work and, frankly, I couldn't be bothered. Three months on and I'm doing all the work. My husband walks him at weekends. My friends have joked that I may as well have had another baby as I am now so tied to not leaving him alone for more than a couple of hours. I'm resentful that it has cramped my style, so to speak - with my children finally both at school I was starting to enjoy some free time and do some interesting projects. I love my dog and wouldn't get rid of him, but I wish I'd thought a bit more about how it would impact on my life. Jo
  9. Thank goodness for this thread! Before we got Boots his fosterer told us in stern terms not to let him drink from puddles in the garden that might have chicken poo in because he would get campylobacter and die an 'orrible death. He's unlikely to drink poo dissolved in water as the chooks haven't free ranged in a while but he does try to get at the poo soaked bark that he can reach through the fence of the chicken's area. If your pooches are all still fit and healthy I shall worry a bit less about it! Jo
  10. We adopted Boots from Lurcher Link just before Christmas. Lurcher Link's available dogs are at http://www.lurcherlink.org/llink/forum/viewforum.php?f=4 I have to admit I was railroaded into getting a dog by my husband (and to a lesser extent the children) and had my reservations. I still have reservations about dog ownership, although I love my dog hugely! Boots is a greyhound/whippet/other bits cross and is 6 months old. Lurchers like off lead, free running exercise but in between walks will sleep. Boots is the calmest dog I've ever met, especially considering his age. He likes a cuddle but is not in your face, greets everyone warmly but then goes off and lies down, doesn't mind being left etc. He seems quite bright and is learning quickly. My main reservations were the time and effort needed and I do resent that I have to plan my day round being home for the dog. Tomorrow we are taking my youngest out for a birthday treat and I have had to arrange for a friend to feed Boots and let him out at lunchtime. I also didn't want another emotional attachment, and reading Ruby's story has brought that home to me - I'm now wholely responsible for another creature. He is a darling boy though, and when he falls asleep with his head on my lap it is lovely! I also wanted my children to grow up with a dog, my eldest has always been very wary of dogs but is enjoying Boots. Having a reason to have to go out walking will also hopefully improve our health and fitness. Someone above said about not knowing a rescue dog's background but with a puppy they are unlikely to have been abused. Boots and his littermates were handed to the rescue because they weren't the right colour He was in a foster home until we were approved to adopt him, the fosterers are usually experienced dog owners who can assess the dog and make sure they are placed in the right home. We originally wanted a whippet but thought since we didn't want a show dog a pedigree would be a bit of a waste of money, plus generally I believe cross breeds/mongrels to have fewer health issues. Adopting Boots cost us £80, plus the commitment to paying to have him neutered when he is mature. A Labradoodle puppy, I believe, may cost in the region of £1500 I hope this has added to your food for thought. Having a dog is lovely, but is a big responsibility. As I anticipated, I'm the one doing all the early morning wake up calls and walks during the week! Still, it's better than getting a job which was the alternative Jo PS. forgot to add, he has a very short smooth coat which doesn't shed much (although some lurchers are shaggy). I also forgot to say that he has been absolutely fine with my hens and has shown no interest in getting at them. In fact, a few days ago one of them escaped and landed on the lawn about 10 feet in front of him and Boots completely ignored it! I went out to catch the hen and the daft dog went on a mad run round the garden in the opposite direction!
  11. Our new (and first!) dog arrived with us on Thursday. Boots is approx 20 weeks old and was initially thought to be a greyhound x whippet/Bull Terrier/saluki although we've since been told maybe just greyhound/whippet. Either way, he's very thin and very fast! After his litter were given up to Lurcher Link he contracted Parvo about a month ago and then just before I was due to collect him he managed to somehow knock himself senseless and currently has a lump on his head that is apparently a harmless haematoma. He stayed in his foster home for an extra 10 days because of the head injury but the vet is convinced the lump should disperse on its own. So far it's all gone really well - he is a really laid back chap and has a brief burst of energy between meals coupled with long stretches of lazing about (often upside down on the sofa!) although I'm sure this is partly him settling in, I'm sure once he's confident he'll be much more lively! He is going in his crate nicely at night, usually waking once for a poo in the early hours. He does seem to be pooing a lot but they're solid so I hope that's just the settling in. Due to the snow and the school holidays, we're home a lot at the moment but we are trying to give him periods alone in his crate to make sure separation anxiety doesn't kick in. He needs to put on some weight (he's only 12 kilos and 22" high to his shoulder) plus he's not finished his vaccinations yet so we're trying not to let him do too much. He also has excessively long back legs that he's not fully in control of! He doesn't seem bothered by the hens - interested but not bothered or aggressive thankfully. Here are a few pics - but being a very fast black dog he's quite hard to photograph! Jo
  12. jomaxsmith

    breeders near St Albans?

    Thornes is probably under 45 mins from you, straight up to A1. http://www.thornespoultrycentre.co.uk/how-to-find-us.html Their hens are very well cared for and the staff at very knowledgeable. Jo
  13. jomaxsmith

    Do you own an Idiot Hound?

    Argh! What am I doing - I might be a new adoptive mum to a lurcher soon! You lot are almost (almost!) putting me off! Jo
  14. *Update* I've contacted Lurcher Link and a lady is coming to homecheck us this weekend. She's bringing with her a 4 month old greyhound cross who might become our dog if we all like each other It's all moved from abstract to real very quickly! This little guy has had a tough few weeks since being rescued and fostered - he was full of worms and succumbed to Parvo, his brother sadly died from it. He's on the mend now and the lady who is fostering him tells me he's gorgeous, very friendly and she can only bear to part with him because she needs the space for more desperate cases I've got a feeling that life as we know it is about to make a dramatic change! Thanks for all the words of advice! Jo
  15. Thanks for all the info guys, I'm not sure fostering/a trial run would be possible as I can't imagine how heartbroken my boys would be if I decided I didn't want to go through with it after having a dog to stay. I need to be 100% sure before a canine crosses the threshold. He likes the look of them (I know that's shallow, sorry ), the size is good - we've seen rescue greyhounds and they are enormous but whippets are not small enough to be a 'toy' dog. He's also read that while they like a good run, once exercised they are happy enough to snooze for the rest of the day and also that they are not keen in going out in bad weather (which would suit oh very well ) Also, of course, they seem to be good family dogs, not bred for aggression etc. The breed doesn't seem to have too many breed defects either. The short coat is good for me (not too much hair to clear up). Jo

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