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Abbey Road Girl

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All Knowing Superchicken

All Knowing Superchicken (4/19)



  1. Thanks loads, Christian. I don't see any sign of moulting, but at least you've assured me that paleness sometimes happens. When I had Jack Russells, I noticed that the spots on their tummies disappeared in the wintertime and NEW spots appeared when the days grew longer. Ain't nature strange and wonderful?!
  2. Hello all, My Truffle seems active and normal except that her beak seems noticeably whiter and her comb also is somewhat paler than the combs of the others. Am I imagining all this or is there an explanation?
  3. Thanks Plum and Joegg! Am very relieved -- just when you think that there's nothing more to learn, you find out otherwise! Then the Omleteers ride to the rescue!
  4. When cleaning out the poo tray the other day I noticed some small white flakes. I was afraid it might be from scales on their legs, but looked them over and don't see any signs of that. What I did notice is that Sweetie seems to be going semi-bald and what feathers there are on the top and back of her head seem odd. Had to describe--the best I can do is to say that the feathering looked s"Ooops, word censored!"ed or even nibbled. No sign of any sort of infestation, though. While the others have all moulted in the past (and present ), she has hardly ever looked other than perfectly feathered. I am quite concerned, especially as her comb is less red than the others, though they all seem to redden up once they are free ranging. Sweetie is otherwise normal, which for her is being a bit timid, though she is a very big girl. Anybody here had experience of this sort of thing?
  5. Thanks, Plum. My son was a butcher for several years, so he has the necessary skills. Many middle class necessities (dental work, corrective lenses, boiler repair) have been put on hold, times have been that tough, so a vet might be financially impossible. Also, I was considering the trauma of taking them away from the only home they've had since the nice Omlet man delivered them when they were young. I suppose that the forum members who raise chickens for the table will not have the answer I was looking for because that answer doesn't exist. Euthanasia literally means "happy death" and there's a very good reason that chickens often shy away from us.
  6. I decided to leave both basic and detailed emergency chicken instructions for my son after downloading lasting power of attorney forms. If something happens to me, I want to make the decisions he may have to make as easy as possible, especially as there is not much money between the two of us at present and he has a demanding job. He should feel free to use his own judgment when it comes to deciding what to do with the chickens. There are many options including giving them away as per Omlet's instructions to offer them for sale at £0.00. However, there is the sad option of dispatching them. My son is a real softie and would never even want to discuss this (one reason why I'm leaving the written instructions). However, the situation may call for this as they have become less productive than they were in their best days and he lives a twenty minute drive away. If one or more of my chickens were terminally injured (dying from a fox attack, for example), my guess is that I would probably immediately wring their necks to end their suffering asap. But dispatching them (a euphemism for killing them) deliberately should rely on forethought. While I would never kill any animal still capable of enjoying life (I endured five years of my Jack Russell's blissful lack of bladder control), that's only my choice as long as I have the luxury of being able to support it. What is the most humane way to kill a chicken you cannot keep or find a home for?
  7. Oh, dear! Never thought of it that way before.... Should I worry?
  8. Having forgotten in April of last year that my garden not only backs up onto a rather noisy elevated road traffic bridge support but is also adjacent to Midsummer Common where fireworks go off for at least a month before the official Guy Fawkes Night show and for two or three months afterwards, it did eventually dawn on me that my lovely chooks might be upset by all the commotion. I also couldn't have predicted that only a few months after the Cube had been set up in my back garden that the sewers in the back passage would have collapsed and needed replacement which took almost a year of loud sounds and huge vibrations. I never tried to modify the situation as I felt (or at least hoped) that their Cube would give them the security that they needed. Frankly, I didn't see any indication that they suffered from fireworks or the relentless upheaval of the construction works. I would guess (and it's only a guess) that chickens who become used to noise and other goings on might be less traumatised by Bonfire Night than chooks who have never got used to such things earlier in their lives. I really don't like the idea that children and animals or any of the rest of us "are resiliant" and can easily cope with trauma, but I do think that as long as there is no individual impact on a critter, it may be able to cope. Though neither is desirable, there is a difference between being frightened and being harmed. Hope this helps.
  9. Actually, ANH, the ladies were roosting a bit further back on the roosting bars than they usually do. They surely outnumbered and outweighed the little grey youngster but were keeping their distance. All the same, it was tempting to think of adopting it! Was relieved this morning that there was no sign of it having been frightened to death. It's an amazing experience and a rare privilege to hold a wild bird. Chickens are indeed domesticated by comparison.
  10. When I went out to secure my four girlies in the Cube at near-dusk tonight, there was an unexpected frantic flutter of wings coming from the extra perches I'd installed near the front of the run. The four ladies had put themselves to bed (I'm surprised at how early they have been doing this), but the fluttering wings belonged to what I think was probably a collared dove. According to my bird book, they are attracted to chicken runs and they almost fit the description, though the bird seemed to have a divided tail like a swallow. (Obviously I wasn't going to distress the poor thing any further by taking down details!) However, a lovely little birdy it was, a soft grey critter. I wasn't unable to coax it out of the run with my torch. I spoke with it face to face in the hope that it would understand my best intentions and then went to work to dismantle the upper half of the front of the Cube to allow it to escape. The poor thing was unable to grasp the situation so I had to take it in my hand and set it outside and it flew away. I do hope that it was not too traumatised and will recover. I must confess that one of my first thoughts was to ask for help from the RSPCA, but as they are a law unto themselves (in addition to doing good work), I did not want to call them in. Tomorrow I will become more informed about the clips which hold the Cube together. Doing it in near darkness was not a really good idea. So be aware fellow hen wranglers, you may have to handle a similar situation. Best of luck! I'm glad it was all done and dusted before Eastenders came on.
  11. So sorry, Mostin, for your loss of much-loved May. Sounds like she gave you her heart in return for yours. ((( )))
  12. My ladies had a red mite infestation--horrible--but I think that you need to spray Poultry Shield on dry areas or it won't work. I think that it's also true that diatom is only effective when dry.
  13. Having had my lovely girls since April of last year, I find myself bemused that there have only been a very few poos in the nesting box--maybe one or two per hen for all that time. The common understanding is that hens poo at will wherever they are, so I am quite amazed at finding the nesting box so clean. Is this a weird experience or a more common one?
  14. My chickens notice if I'm in the upstairs window and come squarking the path for treats. You really need to be a discrete curtain twitcher or you'll be sussed.
  15. I was all set to plant an elderberry bush in my back garden for the lovely flowers and the berries, but then I came across something that said that elderberries were poisonous to chickens and that scuppered my plan. Since I can't quote the source of this information, don't take my word for it but do the research. Nice that you have an elderberry tree in your front garden though!

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