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Tillachooks's Achievements

Freshly Laid Egg

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  1. That’s a really good point we hadn’t thought of. Thank you! They hate perching in our current coop, but we have a new one coming next week. So hopefully this problem will be short lived. Yes everyone has a clean bum after today’s grooming session. Just one lady has a sore one! And very guilty chicken parents once we realised the extent of the problem Thanks so much
  2. Hi everyone We caught all the girls and gave them a check over and wing clip today. We could see one of the girls (ex battery unknown age) had a dirty bum for the last couple of weeks but thought it was just a normal bit of stubborn poop. When we flipped her to clean her, each individual feather was caked to the skin with poop and the skin under her vent and on the bottom of her belly is red raw. There are no areas of ulceration and not infected. Just looks sore. Her vent itself is normal. I thought it might be a vent gleet, but the actual cloaca is fine and looks healthy. No abnormal discharge. To add to our confusion we haven’t seen any abnormal poops around and have seen her now produce 2 entirely normal looking ones. We have gently clipped away the claggy feathers (mega yuck!) and will soak her bum in warm water tomorrow when weather looks better. Bit chilly today! She seems entirely normal. One of the more confident hens and seemed totally unbothered by us sorting out her nether-regions. These poor birds weren’t very well feathered when we got them last year and now they’ve had their first full year with us they are dramatically more fluffy. Is it possible for this to be ‘normal’ and just something we need to now keep on top of; or are we missing something? 🧐 I should add they are due worming now, but are not ‘overdue’. Would welcome any advice or thoughts! Thanks!
  3. I’d probably go with some xeno drops as more likely to be parasitic than anything else I’d have thought
  4. Hello! I can see many forum posts about rats so I’m sorry for posting another but we’re a bit stuck. We have 6 ex-batteries that free range in a smallish orchard at the end of our driveway. We have had them for a year. They have never hurt any of our chooks. We first saw a rat eating bird seed before we got the chickens and had suspected they were around before that even. Scuttling noises inside a large outbuilding/barn made us assume they were around. Since we have had the chickens they have set up home in multiple holes around the entire orchard. We never see them in the day, but at dusk we see 2-3 and dispatch them with an air rifle. We don’t have time to go out every night, but perhaps once a week we kill this many. The holes bother me and I worry that our neighbours may become anxious if they see them. We moved from a normal plastic feeder to a treadle feeder very early on in our chicken keeping. This reduced the amount of feed we were going through rapidly so I assume this stopped the rats accessing it. We store the feed away from the orchard in a rat proof bin. We can’t physically move anything out from the orchard - there is very little in there except the hen house (raised up) and various branches and boards for them to perch on. We do not want to lay traps in case we catch squirrels and hedgehogs. We have stopped feeding the birds, and we have stopped composting food waste as there was signs of rat activity at both these areas. I don’t know of any other food sources, and I’ve never seen evidence that they are eating our eggs. Do we just accept that they are there and keep shooting them...? Or can anyone think of a more solid solution? We don’t understand why they haven’t gone away now they can’t get to the food. We live in a very rural area so they have no access to food waste from shops etc. thanks in advance all! Happy to keep shooting but we are mystified about why they haven’t moved on!

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