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Nature Chick

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About Nature Chick

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    Chicken Eggspert
  1. My husband and I have built the WIR!!!! We timed ourselves and finally attached the Eglu after 3 hours and 5 mins!!! Really glad we got the extension as otherwise it would be very small. The girls love it and have used the branch perches already! Looking forward to next month for roof installation and flooring so any suggestions for an alternative to concrete or slabs would be most appreciated!!!! Thanks S
  2. Hi I have taken delivery of some of my WIR (I won't start ranting about the missing box, broken boxes, rusted poles etc.) and will be putting it up tomorrow as long as the rest of it arrives that is!!! We are going to have to build it now and then make it better with proper flooring, roofing and branches etc in a few weeks when we can take some time off to take delivery of materials etc. as our new bantams are fliers and we are struggling to keep them safe! I am hesitating to order paving slabs as we can't buy them to fit within the run without trying to cut them and they are quite pricey (considering I have spent all our savings on the WIR itself!) My OH has suggested exterior OSB (stirling board) as it will be a bit cheaper - nice and flat, easy to clean etc. etc.. I panic any time I think of putting wood in the run because of mites but this should be easy to wash down (it is waterproof) and would be easy to get delivered and install. Has anyone tried this or have any thoughts on using this as a flooring? I doubt they will spend much time on it anyway as they prefer to be off the ground in the trees Thanks S
  3. Thank you for your reply! The area for the run is shaded by trees but I had thought about investing in some side protection for the winter! I am interested in your kickboards and garden screening - having switched to an eglu 5 years ago I am paranoid about having wood due to the risk of mites (although my new bantams brought red mite with them which I have just managed to eliminate ). I wonder if kickboards may be a more simple solution to keep the bedding in - would sealing them with something help with the risk of mites? Thanks S
  4. Hi everyone on the 17th September we will be taking delivery of our new wir I am beside myself - it took some persuading of OH and some trade-off to give him more vegetable growing space but it has finally happened! We opted for an Omlet wir for various reasons but really looking forward to personalising it. I have been looking at everyone's wir designs and have a few questions..... 1. I read somewhere that people have had problems with rain soaking the base of the run. We currently have our non-wir on garden weed-matting with linkaboard around the inside and filled with aubiose. The run has a polycarbonate roof and the base has never got wet. With the wir we had planned to lay paving slabs on sand and make a linkaboard surround (on the inside) and fill with aubiose. Are there any pit-falls we need to be aware of? I had looked at using stable matting instead of paving but it would be more expensive. I don't want to get pavers if they aren't the right thing. We had also planned on just having the paving inside the run (stopping at the run walls) so that we could still peg it down. 2. We had planned to use corrugated plastic sheets to make a roof with a decent overhang - some clever person here put guttering upside-down on the apex to stop water getting in so we were going to copy that! My OH also wants to put guttering on the roof so that we can have an extra water butt. Again - anything we need to think about here? 3. Dust bath!! I was going to buy a cheap plastic sand pit and put it in the centre of the run - has anyone else tried this?!! 4. Edging - We don't think linkaboard will be tall enough to stop the girls kicking the aubiose out of the run so we wondered if it would be possible to stack it so that it is double the height - any other ideas??!! Finally......plants! I would like to have plants in and around the run - some edible and some not! For plants not to be eaten I saw someone reccommended rosemary and ornamental grasses - is this okay for chickens? Thank you in advance for any tips - the run cost so much I don't want to spend money on the wrong bits when it comes to installation!!!! S
  5. Thanks for your replies It is definately not a tick - I am a Natural History curator and I had two of these parastic flies on a Sparrowhawk I was skinning and I had to key it out to identify it. They are flightless parastic flies - not nice!!! I will try the vets tonight as I agree that she is a pet hen and someone must be missing her! Thanks S
  6. So sorry to hear your news.....what a lovely retirement you have given her. It is always sad to lose one, particularly one of your first. I started with ex-batts and had Red for nearly four years, it was so sad when she died. Hugs S
  7. Hi everyone We are in Brantham, Suffolk and our neighbour has just rescued a hen from his hedge (luckily before his dogs found her ) She is a brown Goldline type hen with one clipped wing. We have tried everyone we know in our area with hens and knocked on a few doors but we haven't found her owner yet. We were going to bring her into our garden but I noticed she had a large bird mite on her so she is staying on the other side if the fence for now! She is in a well ventilated summerhouse and we have given her some pellets and water. If anyone knows anyone in our area who might be missing one of their flock, please let us know!!! If we don't manage to find her owner, does anyone have any ideas what to do for the best? Would the RSPCA take her? If not, can you vaccinate to get rid of the horrible mites (I don't want ours to get them!!!) (It was one of those large flat flightless flies that wild birds get) It is typical that this lady has shown up when our spare house is being used for Mildred while she gets used to the newbies!!!! Thanks S
  8. Yes! She is so beautiful, I thought I should have got three all the same age (she is a couple of months older than the other two) but I was deperate for a buff and she was all they had! I will take a photo tonight and upload it!
  9. So sorry to hear about Spice. You have definately done the right thing, poor little Hattie had a similar problem a couple of years ago and she had surgery and medication and it ended the same way. Part of me feels guilty for putting her through the operation and that perhaps it would have been kinder to PTS earlier. We do what we think is right at the time. Hugs S
  10. Well, I needn't of worried, I got home yesterday and not only was Poppy stomping around the run but she was duffing up the other two girls! They are now trying to avoid her as much as possible. I was a bit upset last night as Poppy had gone to bed but wouldn't let the other two in the eglu with her! They were huddled together by the door. I am hoping that the three of them will settle down soon - just in time to introduce them to Mildred!!! I know introductions are stressful and that in a few months time everyone will be friends - I just want to get to that point as quickly as possible!! On a positive note, Poppy laid an egg yesterday! She is a few weeks older than the other two so we were expecting it but took it as a good sign! It was our first bantam egg and is as cute as they are! Looking forward to having it fried on toast for breakfast on Friday - just hope she lays another for my husband before then!!!!! S
  11. Hi everyone Having lost Daisy 2 weeks ago (peritonitis) we got Mildred three new 'friends' yesterday! We got a Buff Sussex Bantam (Poppy), a Light Sussex Bantam (Betty) and a Maran Bantam (Millie). These are our first bantams and they are absolutely gorgeous! I am a little worried about Poppy though, the other two came out of the house straight away to investigate the run but Poppy stayed inside. She was very hot after the journey so I cooled her with some water and she eventually went for some food and water in the run. This morning the other two had got up but Poppy was hiding in the house. I am sure it is probably the shock of the move but she looks so sad When we went to collect her she was duffing up a huge Niederheiner hen so I am sure she is healthy enough! I just want everything to be perfect but from her point of view it will have been a stressful 24 hours! I am working a half day today so I can check up on them all this afternoon...... This morning Mildred was perched on top of their run trying to get a good look, it will be a while before she is allowed anywhere near them!! S
  12. Sadly Lovely Lily died in the night. My husband and I had a good cry this morning, we are both devastated. We buried her near the others and will plant some spring bulbs on her grave tonight. I am so sad that we didn't catch it in time and I feel so guilty that I hadn't spotted it before, she hid it so well in those fluffy knickers of hers. Thanks again for all your messages. Rest in peace little Lily S x
  13. Thanks again for the replies. I was a bit upset to find Lily really down when I got home from work, just lying down and not interested in much. I brought her in a put her in her box and gave her some nutri-drops. I mixed some bokashi in with some mash and dry mealworms but she isn't interested. I have just syringed some water down her to keep her hydrated but I am not sure will make it through the night. One hopeful thing is that she doesn't seem to have a temperature - her comb is cool and her mouth isn't dry. She does seem swollen though so maybe there is more gunk to come out. I had a call today from the vet to say that he has done some research into the implant which we can discuss tomorrow (fingers crossed Lily is still with us then). They said they might call me this evening but it is getting late now. Thanks for the advice on the injection - I will write it down and take it with me tomorrow. And a reminder about the biotic powder - Hattie had some when she was poorly but I had completely forgotten about it. Appointment is 4.30pm tomorrow so I will let you know how we get on. Thanks again S x
  14. Thank you all so much for your replies - I really appreciate your support. Why is always the adorable ones that get sick?! I managed to persuade OH to give her a go (she is his favourite and once he saw how bright she was I think his heart melted!!!) I have emailed my vet about the implant so fingers crossed he looks into it before tomorrow's appointment. I think I would like to give the implant a go. In the mean time I will swap her onto corn as it sounds like that will help slow the egg production...... I have a fabulous chicken sitter, she loves the hens but isn't that experienced. We do though have friends in the next town who have had a crash course in chicken keeping after rescuing ex-batts last year!!! If we need to medicate while we are away I am sure they can manage between them (they happen to be friends as we all work together). We have decided that we will divide the eglu run and get Lily in our wooden house at one end - at least that way she will be easy to reach if need be (the house detaches easily from the run unlike the eglu). Lily was a bit down this morning but still up and about and eating my husbands cherry tomatoes I am putting that down to the antibiotics kicking in. I can't wait to go home and see her - I will keep you all posted to her progress Thanks again for your support - it means so much to hear from you all!!! S x

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