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Chuckov

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  1. I was about to say could it be a bad egg? Because sometimes they'll boot out the eggs that they know are 'bad'
  2. We hatched for the first time after our broody went broody a second time and we felt cruel denying her the chance to be a mum So we took the plunge and bought some eggs off Ebay - we chose cream legbars (blue eggs) because you can tell from a day old whether they are male or female. We bought 6 (all were fertile), put them under our hen and 4 hatched, leaving us 2 girls and two boys! I tried to rehome the boys, but after a week and a half we decided to despatch them instead, as the only person who replied to one of my many adverts for free male chicks to a good home only wanted one of the two and lived bang in the middle of a rather dodgy area - so we decided that rather than condemn the boys to an uncertain fate we'd rather despatch them ourselves. My hubby did the deed after studying on the internet on how to do chicks but won't talk about it - we both found it rather upsetting (at one stage I snatched them out of his hands and ran up the garden!) although we knew when we started hatching that we might have to do it. I know Omlet doesn't allow you to rehome on the forums - but it'd be really helpful to have some kind of 'resource' or rehoming checklist, local chicken sanctuaries etc! Then both the girls were injured - one got caught under her mum's feet and had a leg sliced open, the other got her head stuck through the Eglu bars having dug underneath the flat bits (the Small Bird Converter Kit includes panels for the sides, but not the flat 'skirt') and was pecked and pulled at by our hen outside the run. Thankfully I was in the garden at the time and managed to save her before her eyes were pecked out Both recovered very well with a little help from Nurse Chuckov but if I hadn't been able to put them back with their mum, who chivvied them round the run getting them to behave 'normally' I think we would have lost them from shock. There have been lots of plus points - the excitement of seeing them peck through the shells, their cuteness, the satisfaction of seeing something grow, the educational perspective for our two girls, and we're looking forward to seeing them mature and start to lay themselves and knowing 'we did that' Red, our broody, has been a truly amazing mum - couldn't have asked for better! I think we might think about hatching again next year, but I think we will stick to breed that auto sex as couldn't let a boy get to the stage where we had to wait for him to crow before we could despatch
  3. Thanks Tasha, good plan - will do the first thing you suggested. My broody will probably appreciate being able to stretch her legs a bit after a couple of months consigned to the run with the chickadees
  4. Could I just run my plans for the chicks past a few more experienced people please? We originally had 4 chicks (Cream Legbars), 2 boys, 2 girls - boys were despatched in about week 2. The girls are doing well and are still in with 'mum' (RIR/Sussex hybrid), and whilst she has not been mean to them (and screams like a banshee if our other adult hen goes anywhere near), I notice that the chicks appear pretty much independent during the day and wander off on their own, eat on their own, do all the things adult chickens do - and when they go into the nesting box at night, they are sat next to her but no longer tuck themselves under her presumably as they're too big. Is it time to move them out? Or should I wait until she is visibly fed up of them? If it's time for them to move out, could use some suggestions/ advice! Mum and the chicks are currently in the Eglu + run, and our other adult hen free ranges around the outside of the Eglu in the penned off area - and sleeps in a rabbit hutch at night (she is not impressed ). The rabbit hutch actually works very well. My plan was, to move the chicks into the rabbit hutch, putting a hot water bottle in the nesting box part at night for warmth, and to put both the adult hens in the Eglu so they would be separate from the chicks. This would mean that the chicks free-ranged during the day - are they too young for that - vulnerable to cats, crows etc? Does anyone have any alternative suggestions for living arrangements? any ideas gratefully received!
  5. Unfortunately, yes! They don't poo in the nest, instead saving it up for their rare trips outside! I always had a little shovel handy to remove the offending deposit to somewhere it could fester quietly
  6. Well done Lin, that's great news! You do feel a bit like you should have a badge or something to fix on your bee suit a bit like swimming badges when you were little! So, will we be seeing you at a General Husbandry exam in a couple of years? I have to say my beekeeping exam career starts and ends at the Basic! (BTW it was Bob that did mine. I met Celia at the Branch Christmas do and was on her team for the quiz. She certainly knows her bees )
  7. Well, we managed the hatch inside the Eglu pretty well...this is how we did it in case anyone else thinking of doing it in the future! Was mostly concerned about how slippy the converter kit base is - it's not designed for very young chicks, so we needed to make some modifications. On top of the Eglu Converter Kit, we also purchased the following (from the Pound Shop) 2 x rectangular non-slip shower mats 1 x big car washing sponge First, we cut the non slip shower mats to size so that they covered the flat areas created by installing the converter kit, and then stuck them on sucker-side down. We were left with a square bit of shower mat. Then we put the sponge into the nesting box part, cutting it into a round shape so that it fitted snugly. This has the effect of making the nesting box less deep. We then put the remaining bit of shower mat over the top of the sponge, and then filled the whole lot with wood shavings. We let the broody hatch the chicks out in the shallow nesting box, and because it's shallow they can get in and out easily. We then stood a chick feeder and water thing inside the Eglu and had the ideal hatching box! The only problem is that when you have the converter kit installed you can't actually shut the door properly - it's open a crack and the chicks keep getting in and out! If I were to feed anything back to Eglu it would be that it needs to be just a few mm shorter. Also, if the converter kit could be rubberized on one side then it'd probably be suitable from birth onwards.
  8. Fingers crossed - it's so exciting isn't it!! Just try not to poke the eggs about too much - there were a few trips outside after dark at ours with a big torch to see if we could 'see' anything... Hatch day was amazing! Good luck!
  9. Thanks for the advice - have got some Steristrips, will stick one of those on to hold things together. Wound overnight looks nice and dry, and she seems to be moving about just like the other chicks (and is eating and drinking) so all appears well for now, although she is hanging back slightly I've noticed, whereas the others are right in there under their mum's beak! Maybe she's just figured out that you get hurt if you get in the way! Will watch closely for any signs that she's got an infection, am guessing it will be obvious quite quickly as the little ones will have very little resistance. Poor little thing! The hubby is prepared to do the deed if necessary Thanks guys!
  10. Help!! 3 of my 3 day old chicks have injuries....they are all running around outside now in the Eglu run when mum goes outside and I think they are getting a bit too close to mum when she is scratching around in the bark chippings and pecking bits of dirt...I have seen her fling one of them in the air when it got caught behind her leg. The two boys both have grazes (1 on the foot, the other on the top of beak) which I have washed with warm water and puffed wound powder on. One of the girls has a more serious injury and has a flap of skin hanging off the back of her leg, looks like it's been sliced downwards with something (a claw?) and looks potentially quite nasty - the spur is hanging off by a thread...I have washed and treated with wound powder but should I cover it with anything? If so what? Should I get it stitched? Please help! Any other advice on keeping them out of harm's way? What can you do, if anything?
  11. Wow are they 4 weeks old already!! Very interested in your pics, just hatching some cream legbars right now - nice to see what they'll look like in a month!
  12. Here our first little chick is, a bit bedraggled! I think there will be three more by morning....
  13. Oooh the first one's nearly out! While I was stood there watching (as you do), my broody was eating the bits of eggshell as they were coming away - is this normal behaviour during hatching, or is she feeling calcium deprived!!
  14. Well, very excited - the chicks are hatching, a day early! Out of the original six, 2 were duds in the end (by day 13/14 it all became clear which were which) and I have 4 cheeping away, 2 of the shells are being pipped through right now!! Will post some pics later....
  15. It's eggciting, isn't it? I am enjoying transferring my own broodiness onto an entirely different species. Good luck!

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