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RubyReckless

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  1. Would you believe my ghastly FIL went on and on about how we should eat her? He is such a (insert swearword of your choice). Because a) she's a pet b) she died of unknown causes c) she is a layer with nowt on her d)I don't eat meat and e) f) and g) SHE IS A PET Insensitive (insert second swearword)
  2. Thank you for all your advice and good wishes. I'm afraid Eleanor died overnight.
  3. Thanks guys. I kept her warm today and by the end of the day she was drinking a lot of water, so that's a step in the right direction. Had another feel of the crop and I am thinking possibly sour crop - the mass certainly moves about plenty if you squidge it. I am nervous, though - sour crop advice is hold her upside down and massage up, but if it's impacted crop that could choke her because the mass would be too big to move through her throat. Argh - what to do! Poor DP feels just rotten for leaving her out overnight - he was sure he'd counted 7 hens in the eglu.
  4. Help! Eleanor, my suffolk noir, is one poorly and miserable hen. She's always been very subdued and shy, bottom of the pecking order and rather harried by the others. She's been very miserable for over a week, but I was putting it down to the weather as all my hens loathe the snow. Yesterday, however, she was hunkered down in the snow with her eyes closed. i went to mover her and she perked up and went to the Cube. When DP put the hens to bed last night he thought he'd shut them all in but he missed her. Understandably - it was dark, she's a black hen and she was hunkered down by the black Cube wheel - I struggled to find her in daylight this morning. Still, the poor thing spent the night in the snow. I brought her in this morning. SHe's in a box in a sunny bit of the kitchen. I checked her over. Her comb is dark and sort of floppy - but she's my first Suffolk Noir and I don't know if that is normal or not. Her vent is clear of any obvious parasites but there is some squitty mess on some of the feathers below it like she had diarrhoea. She is skin and bones with a prominent crop - dunno if that is because she is so skinny or not. However, it was morning and the crop is supposed to be pretty empty by morning, isn't it? It is neither hard like the descriptions of impacted crop nor squishy like a water balloon as per the descriptions of sour crop. It is full ish, you can squidge it about with your fingers. I can't smell any bad breath. One website suggested bread soaked in olive oil as a way of getting a lubricant in to her, but she is not eating or drinking anything. Possibly she was just too cold and when she warms up she may try. SHe's just so sad and I am not sure how best to help her. Any suggestions, Omleteers?
  5. my Warren (nearly 2 years old) is going for a dramatic moult - feathers everwhere, she's more than half bald and covered in the dark, porcupine-like quills of feathers not properly come through. She looks truly appalling - she freaks visitors out ! I'm clinging to the thought that she'll be lovely when all those new feathers come through.
  6. It's an interesting topic, certainly. I wouldn't rear birds for the table because i don't eat meat (and I name e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g so no way I'd manage not to name meat birds, even if just in my head!). However, I've no moral problem with anyone else rearing meat birds nor despatching elderly layers if that's what works for them. The death doesn't bother me, it's the quality of life that I am concerned with. For me, our chooks are pets who provide eggs. Not family members, I'm not their "mummy" or anything. But i like them loads, treat them well, chat to them and play Chicken Olympics, take them out of the cube at night for a cuddle when they are too dopey to complain.
  7. True - they get enormous! Our 23 month old Warren (like a gingernut or ginger ranger) lays only 3 times a week but they are always between 75 and 125 grams. I think an ounce is 28g. something irritating like 28.349 grams exactly, but the roundings up and down are usually 1oz = 25g, 2oz = 50g, 3oz = 75g, 4oz = 125g. (I do a lot of baking, can you tell? )
  8. Triple!?!?!? Wow, I've only ever seen a double. Ida lays them a lot - i didn't even know triples were possible! Our older girls' eggs are always now 75g for a single and 95g plus for a double. I shudder to think what a triple would be...
  9. Oh poor you and poor hermione. I hope it's an infection and she's right as rain in a week or so. People can be total buttheads about chooks. Today 2 people asked me whether we'd be eating ours as soon as they stop laying. Again. No, cos I didn't eat the cat when he got old and I didn't batter and fry my fish when they were on their way out. Pets are pets, not future roast dinners. And chooks are lovely, funny, interesting, lovable pets. Rant away, babe, you've loads of people on your side.
  10. Lovely news, Andrew! Sounds like it is really going well. I'm envious of the eggs! Seven chickens and I'm having to buy eggs in. 5 too young, 2 in moult and a bit older to boot, so I'm trying to remain patient.
  11. My understanding is that yes, she'll be pretty unhappy on her own. As a flocking animal, chickens need to be kept with others. if you got 2 more you'd avoid the same situation happening again. Which is tricky of your OH is opposed. So sorry to hear one of your remaining ex-batts is poorly.
  12. To be honest, I would rather choose my own pets. I'm sure they would cope with moves - it might send them off lay for a few days (happens anyway at this time of year for a lot of chooks) but they'd soon be right as rain. Why she is getting rid is important - if they are a bit too noisy or fight a lot or are pecky she might not say so directly. Also, how tame? if you want very tame pet hens it is best to handle them a lot when they are younger so older birds might not be so amenable. I think you'd probably be doing a nice thing, taking her birds on, but i have to admit if it were me I'd prefer to get hens for myself when I was ready for them.
  13. I agree, Tara. I became veggie when i was very, very broke. I'd rather not eat meat at all than eat cheap meat. When i could afford meat again, i'd just gone off the texture and didn't bother. Now we buy meat for DP and the kids from time to time, but only free range organic meat (pork, beef or chicken). I'm happier to do more cheap veggie meals (lentil chilli, pasta sauces etc) to fund ethically reared meat than to serve meat daily but have it come from factory farms. I am utterly delighted Hellmans now use only free range eggs in their mayo - Now don't have to walk the mile to M&S to get mayo when we run out! You choose where your moral and ethical boundaries lie, and live within them, I think. If something is important enough to you, you make the effort. (for example, i know people who claim they don't have tiome to read, yet have time to watch soaps. I, on the other hand, don't have time to iron but do have time to piddle away on the internet... )
  14. I've had broody hybrids too - it's the luck of the draw!
  15. I find a good bit of free ranging sorts out longer beaks. I'd leave it be.
  16. I'm so sorry to hear your news. You did all you could.
  17. Can anyone guess the theme? Bluebelle is Rita Amber Star is Prudence Light Sussex is Lucy Suffolk Noir is Eleanor Daisybelle is Penny, which is a bit of a cheat really. It was going to be Bonnie, but that's my daughter's name. Madonna was another possible, but would be misconstrued.
  18. I went for one yesterday and came back with a spare. My Plan To Have 5 Chickens is now, erm, 7.
  19. I do think it depends on the time of year and whether you want an eglu or cube. I waited for 7 weeks for my Cube. But it was worth it.
  20. We have moved from having 3 pet hens to having a flock. We have seven chickens - hurray!!!!! The Light Sussex and the Daisybelle are a gorgeous pair - one is black with a white collar, one is black with white at the throat. The blue is just lovely and the Suffolk Noir is like a black rock, only more brick red rather than gold on the head and throat. The Amber is a teeny wee thing.
  21. Bantams lay only aobut 200 eggs a year, if i remember correctly. So with 365 days a year, eggs every other day at this time of year sounds about right.
  22. I don't think Omlet misled you, really - the chooks are supplied POL, and typically start laying within 4 to 6 weeks. For some people that is a mere 3 days (we were very lucky with one hen!) and for others it can be 10 weeks plus (we had a lazy hen, too ). Depending on demand for chooks and eglus, the birds supplied might be a week or two young, or a week or two old - better Omlet supply the eglu and chooks at 17 weeks than not deliver til they were 18 weeks, presumably! The weather makes a difference - the darker and dimmer it is, the less likely they are to lay, and we did have a grim start to September as i recall - certainly our older, established chooks all slowed down dramatically. The other thing Omlet stress is that they supply pet hens with free egg supplies, not an egg production system. It's frustrating waiting for the first egg, but that's not the only reason to have hens in the garden. They are ace pets, and make a garden a lively, engaging, interesting place. Hope you get an egg sooner rather than later, but even if its a while yet there's still lots to enjoy with your hens.
  23. oh dear! Your poor son and poor you!

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