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About Vallot

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    Freshly Laid Egg
  1. Thanks for the advice both. 111 referred me to an urgent treatment centre - currently sat in the waiting room... ...As soon as my neighbour heard all the commotion she said "that must be Toby the Crow" - turns out he's a semi-tamed, local celebrity who gets fed by customers at a local Asda. We looked him up and it's definitely him - same pattern of grey feather With fewer customers at Asda, I'm guessing he's ranging further than usual to find a meal and picked a fight with my hens when he realised he couldn't get into the run and knick their food. We kept an eye on Lucy for about 20 minutes and the other ladies were leaving her alone - I'm keeping my fingers crossed that her status as top hen will mean that they'll think twice about pecking her, but will keep a very close eye on her when I get back. Was planning on feeding her some of the Chicken Vet's Friendly Bacteria tomorrow for the stress.
  2. A crow just came into my garden and started a fight with my top hen, Lucy, through the bars of my walk-in run... It managed to get hold of her comb and has drawn blood. It attacked me too and bit through my finger, but at least I can call 111 about it! I dabbed the blood away from Lucy's comb - we tried to get some purple wound spray on it too, but she's not having any of it. Am I okay to just leave her to recover, do you think?
  3. Utterly ridiculous isn't it, Patricia W - my ladies are ex-batts and don't even lay that many eggs any more! My grandfather used to tell me about how his neighbours would steal one another's chickens when times were properly hard in WWII - I never thought I'd have to worry about this sort of nonsense in 2020. Our back garden backs onto a private lane - somebody could scale the fence and get to our ladies if they really wanted to. Sadly, unlike The Dogmother, I don't have a trusty lurcher to fall back on! I'm wondering whether a motion sensor that makes a noise might be the way to go? My other half thinks that the ladies would make enough noise to wake us up... In my experience though (and I'd love to hear others' thoughts on this!), they seem to be quite quiet if woken up at night - it seems to take an awful lot to properly rouse them from slumber.
  4. Did anybody else receive an email from British Hen Welfare Trust this morning, reporting that they've stopped taking orders from newbies due to concern for chicken welfare, and warning us all to be vigilant again chicken thefts? "As interest in hens has surged and our phones have almost crashed due to demand from those suddenly wanting fresh eggs, we have taken the decision to stop taking any reservations from anyone unless they are on our database already, so we can be sure the girls are going to good homes... ...Finally, we want to draw your attention to the security of your hens, please be aware that in these strange times they may be more vulnerable to theft than would normally be the case. Think about ways in which you can protect them, especially at night and/or if you are away from home during the day (as a key worker perhaps)." Panic-buying - and/or stealing - animals is absolutely disgraceful behaviour. But looking beyond and above this, I wondered if we could share some tips on how to keep our girls safe? Mine live at the bottom of my garden in an Eglu Classic and walk-in run - although the Eglu Classic is an ideal home for them 99% of the time, I'm wracking my brains trying to work out how I could possibly stick a lock on it! Of course, if this issue has already been discussed in the past in another thread, I'd be very grateful for directions!
  5. I'm in agreement with The Dogmother - wood chip is the way to go! I use one bag of Flyte So Fancy's woodchip per metre squared and it works a treat - a bit on the pricey side but it lasts around 3-6 months in my experience, if you take good care of it. I think dealing with mud is one of the only things I really don't enjoy about having chickens, so I hope you find a solution that works for you!
  6. Thanks very much everyone! In that case, I think I'll keep a good thing going and let our lonely lady enjoy her mirror for as long as she likes 😊
  7. Hi everybody - I have a mirror-related question for you all... I've been struggling with a very lonely ex-batt chicken who lost her pal last Thursday. She's on her own until we get two new ex-batts on Saturday. She's been very anxious and has been crying a lot over the past few days - the only time she stops is if you literally go down and sit with her to keep her company, which sadly isn't sustainable for long periods of time. I read that a mirror can work as a good stop-gap for lonely chickens waiting for new pals, so I put one in the run - it seems to have had a miraculous effect on her, but perhaps a little too miraculous! She's now spending hours looking at and interacting with the chicken she thinks is in the mirror. I'm planning to take it down as soon as the new ladies arrive on Saturday, as it will no longer be needed. But for the time being, what do you guys think about it? Is it a comforting stop-gap or is it likely to cause problems down the line if she becomes too attached to it, or if it warps her behaviour towards other chickens? Any thoughts gratefully received!
  8. Fun ideas required for a lonely hen!

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