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hilda-and-evadne

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All Knowing Superchicken

All Knowing Superchicken (4/19)

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  1. Some cockerels I have bred several from hatching eggs and learned that cockerels all appear to be "hard-wired" to fight anything - your legs, other cockerels. Only one would stand still very nicely and wait to be picked up, if I put a hand over his back. Like almost any animal, poultry can be trained to some extent.
  2. Your saying that made me go back and check - Sarah omits to say that one hand should then slide under the hen's body to support it and make her feel secure, with your fingers lightly around the hen's legs, and the other hand is on top of the hen holding one wing (the other wing is against your body). The hens have mixed corn as a treat mid-afternoon. They trust me because of everything I do for them, and it isn't - in my view - perceived by the hens as an ambush: they can see what I am trying to do - pick them up - and they go for the grain anyway.
  3. Came back to say: if, if as it seems, worming is an ordeal for both you and your hen, why not switch to Flubenvet and make it fun instead? A small tub of Flubenvet would last ages and ages. But if you do decide to do this, you might have to move fast and order it before the end of December because 94% of veterinary medicine used in the UK is made in Europe. I have no idea what is going to happen about that after the end of the transition period. I am not the one suggesting using a net, hook, pole or box to catch a chicken.
  4. If it's any help, I worm my hens by giving each a grape cut in half with the cut side dipped in Flubenvet (then the excess powder knocked off) every day for 7 days. I don't have to pick them up to give them the grape: they love grapes and, greedy things that they are, grab and eat their half-grape and try to eat the others' Flubenvet-ed grapes too.
  5. Ahem, I have ishooos with the advice in this blog by "Sarah from Omlet" "How to catch a chicken" entry in the Omlet blog 18 December 2020 First, as with any domesticated animal, it is easier - and nicer for both you and hen - to look after the hen if she has been accustomed to being handled. A hen is not a wild bird. Omlet's "customer base" is pretty well only people who keep domesticated, pet hens, isn't it? Second, ideally one should check the hen's crop every morning and evening. This will help to ensure that signs of something going wrong, eg impacted crop (by the morning, the hen's crop should be empty), are detected early. It is also a good idea to check regularly under the wings for signs of mites (and treat the hen for them), rather than wait until the hen actually becomes ill. Ditto, scaly leg mite. One can't do any of this without picking up the hen. Thirdly, the most astonishing thing about this blog entry is that, in the list of methods for catching a chicken, I can see no mention of just holding your hand over a laying hen's back so that she stands still and squats and can easily and quickly then be picked up. This made me wonder if "Sarah from Omlet" has ever kept hens ... Please try that, first, before getting out your pole, net or box. Anyway, I offer the above in good faith, written from my experience (about 10 years of learning from mistakes, too) of keeping back garden hens for their eggs, none of whom ever displayed any stress when being picked up. Some positively seemed to enjoy being carried. All my hens would sell their grandmothers for mixed corn and coming running when I offer this to them. Thank you for letting me get that off my chest! Hope everyone is managing to stay safe and well.
  6. Try putting a large plastic football in the laying area at night? The other thing I read somewhere: if the roosting bars are not higher than the laying area, the hens will sleep in the laying area.
  7. Thank you. Mine is a new run, and no - there is no square piece of mesh ... I have put slabs on the floor of the run, and I am pilling up stones all around the run on top of the "skirt". I'll insert a long bit of wood, too, in the way you suggest, but can't do that yet. Ah, yes, the tray clip - must check that. Having lost my first two hens - years ago (the two hens after which my ID on this forum is named) - to a very inventive fox, I don't want to experience that again!
  8. Sorry if this is a FAQ but I have tried to find the answer. I have set up a new Omlet run (attached to an Eglu Classic) for the first time (last time I was keeping hens I built a walk-in run) but the door of the run seems very insecure. What do other people do to stop the fox simply lifting the pin or forcing the door open? Thank you, in advance, for any advice.
  9. Alternatively, bricks. The floor of my WIR is laid - herringbone style - with house bricks, done on purpose to make it harder for rats as well as foxes to burrow in. Bricks are warm in winter and cool in summer.
  10. Fenton Blue? http://www.fentonpoultry.co.uk/fenton_blue.htm
  11. I am sorry your cockerel died so soon and despite all your care. I have two cuckoo marans cockerels I have to rehome; I'd be happy to give you one or both. They are both hatched (last summer) from eggs that were laid in the Orkneys, then raised here on organic feed, and are strong and alert and healthy and used to being handled.

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