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About Columbian

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    Freshly Laid Egg

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  1. Sadly I already have an issue with feather-pecking and they free-range all day. My question was how can one confine chicken that are not used to being confined which causes welfare issues? Does the welfare come first or not? My WIR is big enough for the bantams but not big enough to keep them from getting bored. They don’t eat cabbage or play with toys, what they like is running full pelt up and down the garden, pecking grass and scratching the soil. When we first got them they had to stay in the run for more than a week and they were going up and down the wire constantly desperate to get out. So, must they be locked in the run even if it causes distress to the birds and exacerbates the feather-pecking problem?
  2. To add...I have read the government guidelines and there appears to be a conflict between poultry welfare and confining chicken; if chicken are confined they may indulge in feather-pecking and aggressive behaviour leading to cannibalism - how can one confine chicken if this may happen? I have just confined a feather-pecker to try and break the habit and locking up free-rangers will not help this problem. Is someone able to interpret the restrictions, please? Should all chicken be shut in a run with a roof even if this may cause welfare issues, even can abolish? I am confused.
  3. I’m in the New Forest and have 4 bantams free-ranging on an acre or so; do they have to be confined to a run now? Having not kept poultry for over 30 years I’m a bit hazy on this. The run is covered on the roof but has gaps in the sides. The chicken would not take kindly to being shut in the run all day, every day.
  4. My late father had an old aluminium egg cup with a large size at one end and a smaller one at t’other; it was great for bantam eggs. We couldn’t find any egg cups for our bantam eggs so bought some modelling clay and made a couple. As the clay air-dries it has to be sealed afterwards to stop it absorbing water and going soft again - pva is good and can be mixed with acrylic paint. When my kiln is up and running again I may make some ‘proper’ ones.
  5. Thank you for your responses; hinging the back panel sounds good as does a long-handled rake. We shall see. Does anyone else feel that this could have been designed better for easier cleaning? Everything else seems ok, although the waterproof covers and bungees drip water all around the edge of the run and make it very wet underfoot; I’m a little uncertain of the safety of the door catch as it seems easy to not click it fully shut and it would only take a couple of scrabbles to turn the knob. Otherwise, the set-up is really good and the GO very practical. Stay safe.
  6. Does anyone else’s chicken eat corrugated cardboard? Ours make a beeline for empty boxes and rip them to shreds; can’t be very nutritional.
  7. Thank you for your reply, Cat tails. Do you climb in? How do you reach from the back of the UP stand to the tunnel? I am unable to bend much and certainly could not climb inside nor go down on my knees; surely there must be something I’m missing for easy access as other things are well-designed. There I was thinking that the UP would make life easier with a bad back. Maybe I’ll have to make a panel removable to reach in. Am I the only one with disabilities/advancing age?
  8. Thank you, Beantree. They free range and only spend about an hour in their WIR in the morning before being let out so I cannot think that it is boredom. (We have a 1/2 acre garden and several acres of land attached into which they can run.). We put a bumpa bit on the new feather-pecker but she didn’t seem to know how to eat so after a couple of days had to take it off; I’ve just seen her nibble the feathers of two others and so we will have to do something, perhaps the blinkers would be better. The chicken are starting to get a little nervous of me as we are seemingly always putting attachments on them.
  9. I am about to install an UP to my GO and WIR; how does one access the space underneath the GO? I am not flexible enough to bed double; is there an access hatch? Thank you.
  10. Hello all. The drafted feather-pecking problem has started again. We have 4 Columbian Wyandotte bantams, all sisters, and when they came to us (8 months old) one was feather-pecking the others, they all had bald heads and one had a bare neck. We put blinkers on the feather-pecker, which had to be replaced once as as soon as we removed them after 2 weeks she started again immediately. After the next 2-week stint she seemed to stop for several weeks but then started again on the most-pecked chicken. She is now wearing a bumpa bit and we will see how we go. However, today we noticed that one of the others is now feather-pecking the pecker - can’t believe it. (Why does the one being pecked just stand there and let it happen?). This will mean another bumpa bit. My question is, why is this happening and will it go through all the chicken. They have good quality feed and free range during the day; they are let into their WIR at first light and I let them out at about 8 a.m. Should I increase the protein? About every week they have a boiled egg and sunflower seeds every day. They have a treat of mixed corn during the day and twice a week mealworms. Now and again they have tinned sardines. It is many decades since I left the farm where we had chicken but I cannot remember this problem. Any help is appreciated. (I’ve obviously looked at many sites online about this.) Thank you. Stay safe.

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