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Mrs Kettle

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About Mrs Kettle

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    Chicken Eggspert
  1. Hi all, I'm hoping to get some more chickens (I hope: not necessarily the best time of the year) after a chicken-free couple of years (we lived abroad) and was wondering who you'd recommend within striking distance of Birmingham? In particular, I drove past a sign for Warwickshire Chicken Coop today - http://www.warwickshirechickencoop.com/ - any existing customers on the forum? Not too fussed whether hybrid or pure breed. Many thanks for any advice. Mrs K
  2. Having seen a cockerel in action bossing around his flock I'd love to get one in the future (not where we live now though). I'm curious though: those of you who have cockerels did you primarily get them so you could hatch your own chickens?
  3. I've been keeping chickens for 3 years now, and have been a member of the Omlet forum for most of that time. Since getting my chickens, I've started an MA at Aston University in Social Research and Social Change, and for my dissertation I'm writing about why more people in cities are choosing to keep chickens in their back gardens. As part of my research, I'd like to interview fellow urban chicken-keepers, preferably Birmingham-based (as it's close to home). If you're interested in being interviewed, please PM me off list and I can provide more details. Mrs Kettle
  4. We have 3 chickens. Prepare yourself for lots of poo, some of which will look and smell like curry sauce, but cheer yourself with the thought that it can all go in the compost heap. Essentials: I'd say pellets, grit, diatom (powder which can be put in bedding and which helps protect against lice and other beasties), wormer (I use Flubenvet) on a three monthly basis. Others will have more suggestions, but I'd say start small and then buy what you find you need. Rats: we live very close to the high street and there are lots of rats around. We have our own rat exterminator in the shape of a very effective tabby cat, but even he can't keep the population down on his own, so I tend to take action if there is visible sign of rats (droppings, holes, sightings of actual rats!) around the chicken coop and run. By which I mean that I put poison down in areas where I'm sure our chickens and cat can't reach (under the eglu, behind the compost bins) but I'm sure that rats go. You should always take food in at night to discourage rats, and clear up spillages. Good luck! - you won't regret it.
  5. Our rabbits and chickens co-exist peacefully, apart from me having to turf the chickens out of the hutch to stop them pooing there (though HUGE chicken consternation the other day when one of the rabbits went into the eglu...) But I digress. My concern is: the rabbits have just started helping themselves to the layers pellets. Should I worry? The rabbits are fed hay (always available), rabbit food, and the occasional carrot/apple, so I don't think they're hungry.
  6. The owners have claimed it! Thanks so much for offering to take it, Laura - the only consolation is that you'll still have lots of fun choosing new chickens this weekend. The owners had only had the chickens a few days, and live over the road from my friend. For those of you who know Moseley, crossing Wake Green Road is not something a chicken should undertake lightly!
  7. That sounds like a good solution, Laura - I'll suggest it to my friend who has the chicken now and get back to you tomorrow. The only problem I can foresee is if she's already become too attached - happens quickly!
  8. In Wake Green Road in Moseley. Looks like a Pepperpot, and very tame. PM me if you think it might be yours.
  9. We're considering getting rabbits (ie my daughter has worn me down). Ideally, I want the hutch to be permanently on our (slabbed patio), but they would be let out daily onto the grass (supervised as I work/study at home). So: 1. Will they be warm enough? I'd cover the hutch in winter as required, and would also consider bringing them in to porch-type area in the house if really cold. 2. I also have chickens (in separate enclosed area) and they free range on the grass in the afternoon, so would plan for rabbits to free-range in the morning - is there an optimum time for rabbit free-ranging? 3. We have a cat who is a ratter. He ignores the chickens; will he also ignore the rabbits? Many thanks for all, and any, advice.
  10. Crumbs under the table? Oh no, we never have those. One of the reasons we shoo them out is the reproachful looks our cat casts at us (he's a bit scared of them) - 'but you promised they wouldn't come in'. He's never forgiven me for the day Buffy started eating his biscuits...
  11. As I hung out the washing this lunchtime, I distinctly saw two black tails disappearing into the kitchen, with my Sussex on sentry duty. Naturally, they feigned ignorance when confronted. 'So you mean we're not allowed in the kitchen? Oh, and this is the kitchen? What an embarrassing error' etc. They are now sitting unrepentently on the back step. When there is grass and all other manner of goodies to trash actually in the garden.
  12. Nothing will snap her out of being broody like the arrival of more chickens! Lily was broody for weeeeeeks last year. Then Glory and Angel arrived and she was too busy explaining the pecking order to remember that she'd planned to spend the day in the nest box.
  13. I took Buffy into my daughter's yr 2 classroom. She was quite calm, let them stroke her, stalked around and pooed on the carpet! (Have baby wipes handy!) A successful trip all round!
  14. My cat tried to 'hunt' them when they arrived too. One swift peck on the nose and now they feign ignorance of each others' existence and they free-range happily in the garden together. If any other cat comes into the garden, the girls shriek blue murder until it beats a hasty retreat. So don't worry!

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