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About Columbian

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    Chicken Eggspert

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  1. I cannot find any references to an end date for the AF restrictions, so depressing. I do hope that it will be soon. Mine have been in lay for some weeks now and seem to lay an egg every-other day. They are certainly keener to get outside as the weather is improving. I’ve built a little extension and netted it so that they can be on grass otherwise I was cutting some turf every day for them to demolish. I can see that in a couple of weeks the grass will be no longer and I haven’t many options for positioning the new fenced area. I had one force its way out but it quickly went back in when I lifted some of the netting; now all pegged down. The chicken at the bottom of the pecking order is getting very nervous as she is picked on by everyone. I feel so sorry for her. One of the bullies waits at the top of the steps when they go to bed and attacks her as she tries to go in. I think that this behaviour has been exacerbated by their confinement for so long. It really annoys me when the chicken at the bottom of the pecking order just lowers her head and waits to be pecked, all submissive. This being shut in is not good for them. I’ve had the feather-pecker confined to a separate part of the run since mid December but she is now in with the others since they can go outside a bit. I’m hoping that she has forgotten her nasty habit; I saw one demonstration of this on two of the others but it was half-hearted and I’ve not seen it since. Time will tell - as will bare heads.
  2. OH b****r! I hadn’t spotted that. No wonder I couldn’t find anything else about the end of Avian Flu restrictions. Let’s hope that it will be soon.
  3. I haven’t been able to find any information about lifting restrictions other than that quoted in Vet Times; has anyone seen an announcement or can provide a link? Thank you.
  4. Thank you, ellasflock. Best wishes.
  5. Thank you for posting this, ellasflock. This is indeed good news. How would we know if we are in a high risk area? Does this mean an area where there has been an outbreak? Apologies for the questions. I’ll give the girls the good news in the morning.
  6. Oh dear, that is not good news, Patricia W. I will have to re-think the size of the run and positioning. This could mean having them shut in for longer than they are free-range; not what I wanted for the chicken. As some of the poultry I see unconfined are visible from the road I’m surprised that the LA hasn’t been on the case already.
  7. I do get a bit wild when I see so many flocks of chicken running around in gardens when mine are confined and not enjoying the experience. Keeping them in makes a lot more work as well. The good thing one can say about the craters, Mullethunter, is that the ground will be well fertilised when you do re-seed. Mine dig really deep holes in their run and I often wonder if they are making a Great Escape bid. Keeping their bedding dry is a challenge with all this wet weather. Let’s hope that the restrictions are lifted soon.
  8. Oh dear, Beantree; how worrying for you. I’d just been thinking about the status of the Avian Flu here but hadn’t looked to see if there are any updates in the UK. I was so hoping that it was getting less of a threat but your news seems to negate that, particularly with the laid-back approach in your area. Good luck.
  9. Mine haven’t, thus far, made too much mess, although I do pick them up when they get onto the raised flower beds and start hooking things out. When we got them the herbaceous border was a jungle and they didn’t penetrate past the front plants; I swept the soil back from the path on a daily basis. I understand that bantams are less destructive. The patio gets a bit of mess on it and the lawn is quite large so it doesn’t show much. It will be interesting to see what damage they do when they are let back out. I can imagine that the vegetable beds will need netting. I miss seeing them running around as they are so funny to watch.
  10. Oh no. When the days get longer it will be harder on the chicken to be kept confined. Let’s hope that it’s over by February; I think I can tolerate the thought for that long but will struggle for longer. Whatever.
  11. Mine are showing always looking to come out of their run and one has become a bully. They have enough room but they are used to free-ranging. My feather-pecker is in a small part of the run shut off from the rest and has been there since the 18th December when she reverted to her bad behaviour. Maybe a long period of enforced separation will do the trick where nothing else has. I don’t like keeping them in as they obviously get stressed; they are also a lot more work. As it is the law I will comply, although I notice that quite a few people are not doing so. I echo your sentiments, Annabel.
  12. Thank you, that’s interesting. Two went through the moult and grew white feathers but this one is definitely cream. It is not from the litter in the run. I understood that the chicken were hatched at the beginning of the year so I’m not sure that they would change feather colour at this young age; or would they? Or have I been sold birds which are older than stated? Anyway, with the cold weather at least she is getting most of her feathers back. The dynamics are interesting as, since the feather-pecker and bully has been removed, the pecking order has changed around. Sadly the one at the bottom who was getting pecked most is still picked on by the others. Sometimes the second-in-command stands at the top of the steps and stops her from going to bed at night. For how long do you think that I might exclude the ‘naughty’ one? She is in a part of the run shut off from the rest but able to see them and be next to them but separated by wire mesh. Her part of the run is not very large but I hope is sufficient as it is 2m x 1m x 1m high (difficult to access). The other three are in a run 3m x 2m x 2m with a Go up tunnel added. I was thinking of keeping the pecker apart for the whole time that we have to keep them confined because of bird flu but perhaps this isn’t very kind. I really don’t want to reintroduce her too early and have the feather pulling start again. I’ve tried blinkers (they work but she starts again the minute they are removed) and a bumpa bit, which had the same effect. I isolated her in a dog crate for 4 days and she started again when let out. This is my last try before re-homing. One gets so fond of them as they are such characters.
  13. We have four Columbian Wyandotte bantams, and very pretty they are too. One has been moulting and her feathers are coming back cream rather than white, has anyone else had this happen. I bought them earlier in the year at 8 months and they were the same clutch. Unfortunately one was/is a feather-pecker and nothing has cured her. At the moment, because they are all confined, the naughty one is in a separate part of the run and will remain there until they can be let out to free range again, or until the weather turns really, really cold and she would be better with the others overnight rather than a cat carrier with insulation taped around it. I’ve rambled...my question was really about the cream-coloured feathers. Wishing all a Happy and Healthy 2021.
  14. Definitely don’t allow lemon curd, or any curd, to boil - you will have lemon scrambled eggs. I remember judging with my mother and there was actually a scrambled egg/lemon jar submitted to the class; we didn’t try it. My/my mother’s recipe uses whole eggs but I know that some recipes use egg yolks only. I love lemon curd but it needs a lot of butter and I have to make this as my husband is lactose intolerant and I cannot buy lactose free butter. Mmm, I’m just thinking about lemon curd; yum.
  15. They’re impressive tunnels, Mullethunter. We’ve been beavering away at extending our Omlet WIR slightly which on sloping ground is difficult especially if we wish to maintain security; almost finished.

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