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Everything posted by Annabel

  1. I have 4 chickens (rooster and 3 hens) stuck in a 3m Eglu cube run but lucky had just bought a 2x3 walk in. Mine looked bored stiff- they spend all their time in the walk in run and don’t use the Eglu cube run much. So far to keep them entertained I have put some large logs and tree trunks in to make different height perches, an old toy chest filled with dirt for dust baths (undercover), I hang cabbage up on strings, throw meal worms in late morning and corn just before bed and also built an extra level in the Eglu run part (try and get you some photos). They have a hanging corn peck toy that keeps them busy which I fill twice a week. with regards hygiene, my walk in is on mud so they pop mostly there and it decomposes (they have logs they can stand on if too muddy) and the Eglu cube run is on concrete slabs with hardwood chips to I use ground sanitiser for that every so often. mine like yours, are used to free ranging all day so this is all very boring for them so I try to stagger treats throughout the day for something to look forward to and find I provide entertainment for them by gardening! i just opened the top door of the run to take these photos and you can see how desperate they are to get out- one flew at the open section!
  2. I have a cockerel in with my hens but only ever see him mate one hen (the other is not in lay at 21weeks and the other is a 2.5 year ex-caged hen). this morning I cracked the ex-caged hens eggs from 6/12 and today’s to look at the difference in yolk colour since they’ve been confined and wondered if this mornings one (paler one at the bottom) was fertile? what do you think?
  3. aaaaar poor thing. One of our hens was hiding and I thought she would be dead. After the third time round the garden calling for her, after being completely silent, she came out and as soon as she saw me she came running making so much noise in protest! Glad Duck made it. Did she regrow her feathers ok? No such luck with our fence bill I'm sure!
  4. Gosh that is awful! I was imaging how painful it must have been to have all the tail feathers pulled out as th ends are so thick! eeek. I'm glad the vet managed to save your other hen, poor girl. Yes I am bracing myself for the cost of this (annoying as their dog and their wall- but of course it won't bother them if the dog gets over so we need to sort it!). Heyho.
  5. Yes they are all locked up today with us working out what sort of wiring we will need for that section of the wall (luckily only a very small bit is low and the rest is over 10ft)... He is an amazing chap - I didn't know the National Symbol of France was the cockerel - but makes perfect sense. Yes he's had a lot of meal worms, corn, veggies and porridge today to boost him and he seems on the mend but very nervous. I've had a look at his back and it appears ok - not still bleeding or oozing so we'll see how he does. The neighbour's dogs are hunting dogs they take with them on shoots so she was doing what she is trained to do and the neighbours didn't seem too bothered about it, even telling me to expect the cockerel to die from shock if not the wounds (which I found a little annoying!) - and also said that it may not be a problem as their dog knows the chickens are there now. Anyhow, we won't be letting them out now until the fence is sorted and I'm not going to care much if they find it ugly! Daphne - your cockerel made me laugh! Perhaps he knew it was a losing battle and legged it! *may now be a problem as their dogs know the chickens are there
  6. Some of you may remember me hatching out two chicks in July (Merry and Pippin). We had found homes for any cockerels beforehand but decided to keep the only cockerel- Pippin. He is now 3.5 months and I was wondering whether in fact he had much use despite being gloriously beautiful (saddle feathers were coming in), whatever the case we were keeping him as he is part of the family. Yesterday (after me explaining to my 9 year old that nothing bad really happens on Friday 13th), our neighbour's dog jumped the dry stone wall and attacked the flock. First I heard was a hen's alarm call over by the coup. All the hens were there and then Pippin came running over too. All his tail feathers had been pulled out and he was bleeding from the rump. He was missing other feathers and where he was attacked, it looked like a feather pillow had been emptied onto the ground. I just want to say how proud I am of this boy and how wrong I was to be disappointed when I realised he was a cockerel. I am pretty sure he gave one hell of a fight and allowed the rest of the hens to get away. After the attack he was so weak he fell over trying to jump onto his low perch. I gave him Nutridrops and this enabled him to make it up to roost last night and this morning he is down with the rest of them, walking around eating and drinking just looking a sadder state with his missing feathers. What a fantastic, young little fella. The girls are lucky to have him.
  7. They are Black Copper Marans (mother) and Cream Legbar (dad). Merry when she was born was the bigger one and that stayed the same until week 2 when Pippin then had a massive growth spurt (but Merry was also ill). Pippin's legs are huge (almost as chunky as the adult hens) and Merry's are very dainty (at least half the width of Pippin's). They will be large fowl (my other four are too, so they'll be roughly all the same size) Pippin squirms terribly if you try to hold him and sends out alarm calls (but happy to sit on my shoulder strangely). Merry will happily be carried. They have been handled the same amount (which is a few times a day) since they were born.
  8. Hi, can anyone offer their opinions on my two chicks here (still only 3.5weeks but differences started showing up week 1). Certain I have a boy and a girl here but be interested to hear what others think too. thanks photos1-3 Pippin photos 4-6 Merry
  9. Update- finally after having the whole chicken family (which includes 2 large fowl mothers) in my utility room for 5 days (this was utterly disgusting as I am sure you could imagine!) so I could keep her warm and dry, hourly poo pick and disinfections and tempt her continuously with food or water, Merry seems to have decided to hold on in there and has gone out with the family all day today to hunt for bugs and enjoy the free range life. She’s still slow but her feathers aren’t dragging, her head is held a little higher and she seems happy. Thank you to everyone for their advice, well wishes, ideas and motivation. You’re an amazing community xxx
  10. From the above to this: the skinny one with the giraffe neck, turned into the one bottom left in the corner! Massive 70g+ jumbo eggs everyday.
  11. We started off with 3 rescues in Feb and then a few days later added two more pure breeds (mainly because we wanted more chickens and the rescues were so poorly feathered that I didn't feel they could be kept warm enough in Feb temperatures so chose two fully feathered ones to snuggle up with. I agree with the above - the rescued ones are very dominant in my group. I personally love their characters, and have had lovely eggs from them. One of mine did suddenly die for no apparent reason after 5 months (even laid an egg that morning) and with no signs of sickness or lethargy. I have young children and they will squat and be picked up and actually sit across their laps and be stroked. I have found having them very rewarding. They sunbathe together, dig and genuinely enjoy each other's company and their freedom. It's a lovely thing to give a second chance to them if you can and makes you feel proud when they fight their way to the top of the pecking order when they have had so little opportunities to actually be a chicken.
  12. Still hunched with feathers dropping but a good appetite this morning and competing with her brother for meal worms! Thank god for that! Fingers crossed now .
  13. UPDATE - this evening we appear to have turned a corner. Merry ate some tuna (thank you Dogmother!) mixed with a little greek yogurt on a foil plate and ate a fair bit. Then this evening, for the first time in days she went after the meal worms I offered and ate quite a few. Her crop has felt empty for days and this evening, was slightly firmer. I think we may be on the mend!
  14. Here she is today. Not looking much better. Dogmother- I don’t have sardines but have tuna or crab paste (will either do or is sardines the best for her?)
  15. Thank you. I will try that. I let them out late yesterday afternoon with the mums who were so happy to be out. She plodded after them slowly (often left behind) and whenever the mums found a bug and called she would speed up but get there too slow. So this morning I took them out again but this time caught and crushed bugs up for her and she ate 3 earwigs and 5 woodlouse but very slowly (I was glad I killed them first poor things!). She then reluctantly had a small amount of wet crumbs with Greek yogurt and water mixed. She is still very droopy winged, hunched and it looks like she breathing more heavily than the other chick. Going to try the sardines now.x
  16. Can't find exactly what I had read now on a chick reviver article. But this is generally what I seem to keep reading: It is believed by some dairy feeding chicken farmers that dairy products which don’t contain milk sugars, like yogurt or cottage cheese, are fine to give your chickens. Interestingly, yogurt does contain milk sugars when first produced, but the live organisms present in the stuff consume the milk sugars by the time it’s ready to be eaten! Also as an interesting aside there was a study which found that chickens only consumed a minimal amount of dairy products of their own accord when allowed free reign to eat as much as they liked (and had to be force fed to increase their lactose intake). Guess they know what they need and don't. Whatever the case, she ate so little that I expect it won't make any difference to her overall outcome.
  17. oh no, I had read this mixed with water and her chick crumbs was good for a chick failing to eat. I hope I've not made it worse now.
  18. Merry seems a little better than this morning. She is still hunched and mostly sleeping but did eat some egg yolk and greek yogurt this evening so hoping she may show some improvement tomorrow.
  19. Luckily she is alright at taking water. If I place her buy it she sometimes has around 3-4 sips then when she is finished if I tilt her head down towards the water she will have another 2 sips. So I am doing that every hour and half at the moment. Not eating but did manage to get her to have about 3 sips of egg yolk (again by putting her beak in - feels like it is more of a reflex than an actual decision by her to eat it). She won't eat any meal worms crushed, or wet crumbs at all. I was going to try some watermelon as I give that to the adults on hot days but I am worried that she may not drink as much of the medicated water if she feels hydrated by that. Will see how it goes. I think the other chick now has some flecks of blood in his poo (which I'm guessing is very likely) but luckily he is still eating loads, drinking plenty of the medicated water and very active. I've treated the whole flock and cleaned out absolutely everything and disinfected.
  20. Whilst she peeled up slightly at the sight of my foraging collection, she only pecked at one fly and let it drop from her beak. She then pecked at a tiny spider but didn’t eat it
  21. Well Merry is still alive but no real improvement from yesterday (though it does say 24hrs are required to see an improvement). She is still choosing to sit under mum most of the time but will drink a little when I take her out and place her near the water. She hasn’t eaten anything in 24hours(yesterday morning she had a little egg white and yolk but refused meal worms)- today she refused egg yolk as well. Im thinking I might try and look for some dead flies in our conservatory or the odd dead spider and offer those as the chicks think it’s a real treat. she is still hunched, walking very slowly if she has to and basically falling asleep all over the place. Come on Coxoid!
  22. we all have everything crossed here in this house! Going to be very scared going in in the morning but I will know I did the best I could.
  23. Thank you very much. I've seta two hour interval to take her for a drink. The mums aren't protesting when I remove her and disturb them, I feel they know she is ill and perhaps understand I am trying to help. Will let you all know in the morning.
  24. Hi all, I've had one hell of an afternoon. I phoned round all the vets that were still open in this area and got told to try and get an apt at a 24hour vets. Most didn't deal with chickens so that made it quite hard so I ended up booking a virtual vet apt- however they said they didn't have the coxoid available. I then phoned round various poultry stockists (thank you Lewis!) who also didn't have any until I found one an hour and a half away that had an out of date one (my husband is a chemist so looked at the active ingredient and said it would still be active) - so drove there and then at the back of the shelf I found one in date one! The lady said she thinks there is a countrywide shortage as she has no restocking date from suppliers which is unusual and 6 customers on the waiting list. So I've just treated the water and she drank a very little (maybe 3 sips of it) and then went to bed with the others (still very lethargic and chirping a bit more continuously than when I left her 3 hours ago). I plan to pull her out from under mum in a few hours to have more of it (should I do this or leave her be?). Thank you everyone who answered and offered advice. Really hoping I don't wake up to a dead chick in the morning. We would find that devastating. Fingers crossed.

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