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Angela & Ken

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Chicken Eggspert (2/19)

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  1. Thank you, Beantree. We have looked for red mite (although they are notorious for not being detected easily). We've steamed the Eglus out, as always, and given them a good scrub and powder with Diatom. I hope your hen is fully recovered? We've taken Button inside with us and she's looking really awful, although some colour has come back into her comb now. We're giving her antibiotics, syringing her some baby chick food, as she wont eat, some electrolyte and we've also dosed her with Flubenvet and Coxoid. That all seems overload but we're desperate and she looked on her last legs yesterday. Seems less at death's door today but still very poorly. She fought us tonight, giving her her meds, so that's a good sign. I can't see any problem with the vent....doesn't look swollen or sore and doesn't look like it's red or straining. It's pale, in fact. At a loss so have sent Retford Poultry Partnership a poo sample this afternoon, so we'll see. Takes 3 days for the analysis to come back. If she dies, I'll send her for an autopsy, as I'm baffled by this illness. Poor love. Thanks again.
  2. Our gorgeous Barbu D'Uccle bantam, Button, who is about 18 months old or so, is unwell. She's been hunched, pale in the face and comb for the past day. She's not eating (although she ate some dried mealworms from our hand) and we're worried about her. Not sure how long this has been coming on. We kept her in overnight with us, to keep her warm. I'm attaching a photo or two of her poo this morning and I hope someone can help. She's not lost weight (but will do if not eating). Her crop is ok. I'm not sure if she was laying as our other bantam may also be the one who's started laying over the past 2 weeks. I can't see or feel any swellings, either by her vent, or anywhere else. We have antibiotics (not prescribed to her but another hen previously) which we gave her last night but do we continue or do we give her coxoid or flubenvet or something else? We live in London and the vets around here know less than we do about hens, so we'd rather go with our own experience. Bit stumped at the moment. All the other hens are well. Thanks in advance for your input. Ps trying to upload photos from photo bucket.com but can't, for some reason....it keeps coming out as code? Any help you can give, I'd be grateful. Perhaps it's me.
  3. We like to think she was and hopefully she had a great life. Really miss her. Can't bear to go out there to see our other hens....very sad.
  4. Thank you so much, both of you. Unfortunately, Bubble's huge lump burst on the other side as well and it looked like there was a bullet hole in her head. Lots of blood. We would have just let her be, but with this hole it was open to infection (although she was separated from our other hens, so wouldn't have been pecked.) My husband and I felt we ought to do right by her and put her to sleep before it became a miserable time for her. There was no way we could heal the wound by covering it or keeping it clean. It was just getting worse, so my husband did the right thing and put her to sleep, quietly and with love. So upset. She was a diamond hen and much loved. Thank you so much. I think it probably was cancer. Never seen anything like it before. Bless her.
  5. Our lovely old Maran, Bubble, who is around 7 or 8 years old, developed a very large, all encompassing lump on her comb last Sunday. We've been treating it with antibiotics and metacam for anti-inflammation but it got so large that it burst today, leaving a very large gape in the side of her comb. The other side seems to be going the same way. We live in London and our vet isn't a hen specialist, but we took Bubble there today and he said he thinks it's a cancerous tumour and to end her life. We decided we were going to take care of that ourselves, so brought her home to put her to sleep. However, she isn't distressed, she's foraging, eating and clearly not in pain. Of course, if we keep her alive, we have to deal with the possibility of infection, due to the open wound (she's in a separate run and has been for a week), although we have antibiotics to take care of that. If it is cancer, it can only get worse? Firstly, has anyone ever heard of this before? The lump was about a £2 coin size, if not slightly larger. Secondly, we don't want to prolong any suffering, but she doesn't seem to be suffering.......9 months ago she had a hard lump in her abdomen, the same vet suggested putting her to sleep, but we gave her tlc, warm baths, antibiotics, etc, and within a week she was as right as rain again. So......are we being premature? How awful is it to lose a hen, or have to think about it. Having said that, we've lost a few now and don't want her to suffer. Any help you can give is much appreciated. Thank you.
  6. Snaps, thanks, I will try the ice pack! I've had them out of the nesting box and I've been blowing on their undercarriages today, but it's not enough. I think they quite liked it!
  7. Thanks so much for all your advice. The eggs went to day 25 and when hatched them ourselves they were all yolks, so that was terribly disappointing. However, we've learnt a lot about broodies and fertilised eggs! No, we didn't have anywhere for the cockerels to go should we have had them and we wouldn't have wanted to dispatch them either. It's worth remembering for a possible next time. We now have the problem of still having 4 broody hens! We've dunked them in freezing water and had to do that a few times but one of our bantams when into shock. I had to sit her on my knee, wrapped up for 2 hours before she came to life again. I will never do that again. It was horrible. And.......they are still broody!! We locked them out (although this was after dunking and they were far less concerned than they had been previously should we have done that) but they're back in there tonight, all 4, brooding. I don't know what to do now. Perhaps a wire cage. We know next time. Separate them as soon as they get broody, before it spreads and before they get too used to it. Put in wire cage, that's the plan, or separate and put eggs underneath one sole hen at a time! Thanks so much for all your help and advice!
  8. Hello. I have 4 broody hens (!!) which include 2 bantams. I bought some fertilised eggs off Ebay but today was their 25th day with the eggs underneath them so we hatched them and found nothing but yolk inside. Very disappointed for our girls. They've been sitting there for nearly 2 weeks before we got the eggs as well. It was like a disease - one went broody, out of the 8, then the others followed. I then had to separate the remaining 4 as I could see them going the same way. Anyway, on another thread I asked about what I should do and someone said to dunk them in cold water. We did this today, a few times each. However, one of the bantams seemed to go into shock. I was so upset. I had to sit with her for 2 hours, wrapped on my knee. She was shaking and falling asleep. I thought I'd killed her. She seems fine now. However, all the broodies are back in their nesting box. We tried keeping them out of it all day but they're back in there. I wouldn't dunk them again, ever. I thought it was really horrid to see them like that - not so much the bigger girls but the 2 bantams - it was horrid. Now I don't know what to do. Good luck with yours!
  9. Thank you so much, Shirl! Funny, my husband suggested the same thing tonight but didn't mention how to get the others out of the broody state. I hope it works! I feel so bad for them. I feel I should let the original hen be the mummy, the mottle Pekin. She's so tame too. Thanks again.
  10. We have a mottled Pekin bantam (Dolly) who went broody, bless. We felt so sorry for her, and she just wouldn't come off that nest, that we sent away for 6 blue Pekin bantam eggs. We've not done this before, as you will deduct very shortly! Our bantam Barbu D'Uccle (Button) then plucked out her undercarriage feathers and joined Dolly in the nesting box. Over the next 2 days our gold-laced wynadotte (Rosie) and our Barnavelder (Pickle) joined them, undercarriages plucked bare! "There's a pattern going on" we suddenly thought! So we moved the other 4 hens, non-broodies, to another Eglu. Phew! Just the 4 to deal with then. However, those babies are due any moment and we've now realised we have no idea what we're doing and those 4 hens are all tucked into the nesting box together, sharing those eggs. Oh my word. What happens when and if they hatch? Will they fight over them? Should I move them? Will the bigger hens (the Barnevelder in particular) squash or kill the chicks? I think we have 2 days maximum before they might arrive. Do we need a lamp? Should we move them to separate houses? Bring them inside? How do we share out the babies? It's just suddenly dawned on me.....don't know what I thought was going to happen! I won't sleep tonight! Thanks for any advice you might give me!
  11. So sorry to hear this too. It's so sad when we have to let them go. We once had just one lone hen after her pal died but she pined and pined so we got 2 more (and haven't stopped since!) Our lovely Dotty had to be put to sleep too. We didn't know what was wrong with her - we were horrified as well as upset to think it might be Marek's or Avian Flu but none of the others have had anything at all so we think it was a weakness, possibly neurological, and when we think of it the seller did say "no, I'll give you another hen which is older than that" but we loved her at first sight so took her. Perhaps she wasn't strong enough and she was on the point of lay when she died, poor love. Good luck in the future.
  12. Thanks so much, Loumabel. Unfortunately my husband despatched her and took care of the remains. Normally we bury our girls but felt we had too many pets here - 4 hens, 2 dogs, so he didn't want to bury her and I didn't think of the freezer, but perhaps, if were really unlucky, next time. We have had some years without heartache, actually, so I suppose we're doing something right. We spent the whole day bleaching, disinfectanting, scolding, scrubbing, etc. We do that every other week with a good clean every week and in the summer every 2 to 3 days, but this time we bleached and sterilised EVERYTHING from the footpath to the soil, flower pots to the polytunnel, patio, even the compost bins. My hands are sore and dry, even though we used our gloves (I kept washing my hands and our shoes. We've sterilised our foot ware, the wired bars on the eglus, the kitchen and its floor (do this often anyway), run covers, I've gone bonkers infact. My poor hens. Having said that....they are fine. Even the one I thought was limping (my husband said she's just fat and short, a bantam) and she's not now. They were fighting each other, as normal, and today two of them "mounted" two others, which I've never seen before. Crossed fingers. Thanks so much for your support.

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