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Everything posted by Surfnirvana

  1. My lovely Bess who is almost 4 years old, has gone off her food, quite thin now and I noticed yesterday has a real gurgle in her chest when I picked her up. Her abdomen is also quite swollen. Apart from this she looks reasonably well, she is still pecking at the grass, moving around, full red comb and bright eyes. I've put some Tylan antibiotics in her water and have been feeding her some plain yoghurt and dried mealworms, which she has gulped up. Am thinking I might need to take her to the vets for stronger antibiotics (Baytril), but if anyone has any other suggestions I'd be grateful. Thank you
  2. Love this new advert from Mercedes. The chooks seem rather unimpressed by it all!! What do you think?
  3. Thank you Daphne & Lydia for your comments. They are really helpful and I think that we will have to monitor how he is over the coming days / weeks, but also knowing that the inevitable decision could soon be upon us. He has been such a character and great friend to us over all these years - this is the harsh reality of loving our pets so much, in that we know at some point they will be leaving us. So we will savour and appreciate every moment we have left with him.
  4. Hi there, I have a lovely ginger elderly cat called Harry who is about 20 years old. He's obviously been slowing down in his retirement, but over the past 2 months, he's developed really bad breathing difficulties, but only when he starts to purr. He has to breath through his mouth and he rasps. It is such a shame as he is a real lap cat and loves cuddles, but he can't do that any more. He'll jump up to sit on my lap, start to purr but then has too move away to a quiet place and it takes about 5-10 minutes for him to get back to normal. He's eating and drinking well. I have obviously taken him to the vet. He's had an x-ray which was fine and blood tests - all within the normal range for an old cat with dodgey kidneys. He does have an enlarged thyroid, but his thyroid tablets now seem to have improved that. He's also on diuretics and has had a 2 week course of antibiotics. Poor chap he's positively rattling! I was just wondering if anyone else has had this with their cat? I know we are drawing closer to making a decision, but at the moment he doesn't seem in much pain - only when he starts to purr. Thanks for your help.
  5. Thanks so much for your replies - that's certainly put my mind at rest.
  6. My lovely brown - Columbian Black tail - Bess seems to have developed a spur on one of her legs. Just wondering if this is normal. Has this happened to anyone else's hens? Would be very interested to hear your comments. Perhaps this happens in older hens?
  7. Hi all Well we had a look at both of our hives last night. Hive one with the most activity outside it looks in really good shape. No obvious signs of disease and it seems like they are running out of space as they had started to build comb and store honey in between the two walls of the WBC hive. Hive 2 seemed to have some activity, but on opening up it looks like hive 1 are just robbing wax etc from it. Anyway, we phoned our local bee legend Roger Houldey and he arrived this morning and took away the hive intact to put in the Newent club apiary - so they have gone to a good home! And our builders now won't need to worry going past them several times a day!! We are looking forward to starting them up again next Spring, but this was a lovely interlude considering we weren't expecting to get our bee outfits on at all this year!!
  8. Thank you everyone for your advice and comments. We are going to have a look at them tomorrow and will check through them all. :0)
  9. We have had 2 hives (1 WBC & 1 national) for the past 3 years which have been relatively successful - a few hiccups with swarming etc, but have had some lovely honey off of them. However, both hives didn't survive the wet, cold Spring - which was really sad. They were alive in January, but by March their numbers had dwindled to a fatal number. We were really disappointed, but decided not to get another nucleus as we were due to start a building project on our house, which would involve diggers and dumper trucks passing quiet close to the hives and decided we would start again next year. However, this weekend I noticed rather a lot of activity round one of them. I took a quick careful peak at the front and sure enough there were lots of bees going in an out of the hive! Amazing! I have to say, that we didn't clear away the frames (or the dead bees) when we first realised they had died, it was something we were going to do later on in the year, so I'm assuming the smell from those old frames lured some scout bees in? Typically all our bee stuff and suits have been put into storage whilst we have the building work, so we have plans to get them out this weekend and see what is going on in the hive!! Cant wait!! I know we won't get any honey off of them this year, but hopefully if we manage them well, they will be OK through to next year. Has this happened to anyone else?
  10. 4 weeks ago I took Polly to the vets as she had become very slow, lethargic and not eating much. Her crop was very full too. He gave her some antibiotics which I continued with for the next week and she seemed to perk up. However, over the weekend, she went back down hill and didn't even bother coming out of the hen house (that was a first!). We are lucky to have a vets in our village who know about chickens and are open on Sunday mornings. He diagnosed egg peritonitis. Her abdomen was very swollen and heart rate was racing, and had lost a lot of weight. She was just under 3 years old and had stopped laying about 9 months ago. We agreed it was time to say goodbye and I stayed with her while he put her to sleep - all very calm and quick. We will really miss Polly as she was such a lovely friendly chicken, who would quite often happily sit next to me on the garden bench whilst I enjoyed a cup of tea.
  11. Thank you! I went down to let the girls out for a quick freerange and 10 minutes later I'd made my snow chicken as well! It's now had another dump of snow on it today and as well as looking fuzzy round the edges is also subsequently sporting a rather sinister eyebrow on her forehead (looks interesting!)
  12. I love this photo - it looks like Bess has just finished making the Snow chicken and then looked at me as if to say - "What do you think?"
  13. Thanks Suebee She seems to be a lot better now and her foot doesn't seem to be bothering her anymore. I've given her some tonic so hopefully that's given her a boost. Ill keep an eye on her. Many thanks for replying.
  14. Hi there, One of my white sussex Polly, is occasionally holding her right foot up and then looking and pecking at it. I picked her up and examined both her feet yeesterday and today. No swelling, the right foot was slightly warmer (poss sign of infection), but nothing broken and all working normally. When she does put it down she doesn't limp at all. I've also noticed she's not eating as much and she is a lot slower - doesn't really run for worms any more. She is coming up for 2 years old and hasn't laid an egg for months. She dozes with her neck in whilst the others are out in their run pecking at the grass. I'm currently worming them this week with flubenvet, but I don't think that would be why she is slightly off colour would it? She has just got over a cold, but doesn't have a runny nose anymore and her chest sounds clear. Any ideas? Thanks :0)
  15. Thanks for your comments. I am pleased to report that, after two nights below freezing, it has performed perfectly. The glug was frozen but the waterer on the heater was fine. Lots of brownie points for my OH!
  16. I asked my OH to make a water heater to stop the water freezing during winter. I thought you may like to see how he did it. I must admit, I was quite impressed myself!
  17. Thanks everyone - really appreciate all your kind words. IMG_1216[1] [imgIMG_1233[1]][/img]
  18. My favourite Columbian Blacktail - Mary was freeranging with her 5 other friends in the garden yesterday afternoon. I go and check on them every hour or so, but when I went out to collect the eggs from the Cube, I noticed that Mary was standing on 1 leg, and balancing with her wing. I picked her up carefully. She couldn't grip with her toes and moving it was painful for her. I had some metacam left over, so quickly gave some orally to ease the pain and made an appointment at the vets. He examined her and instantly confirmed my fear that she had broken her leg (the top thigh bone) which is why she couldn't put any weight on it at all. He did say that if we kept her isolated, it could possibly mend over about 6 weeks! However, as she was still in lay, that would cause a problem as she needs to have the use of both legs to balance and push the egg out. If she couldn't do that, she would become egg-bound. The end result is that she was put to sleep . I gave her 2 of her favourite grapes just before, which she gulped down and then she fell asleep. So sad, but the vet was very kind and I feel I made the right decision. I just have no idea how she did it! She was a real jumper, so maybe she knocked it somehow. I'm feeding them all layers pellets with the odd bit of brocoli or greens if they are in their run all day, so I don't think they would have any calcium deficiency. We will probably never know I suppose. She was my "hawk Chicken" and would sit on my arm or shoulder as I walked around the garden - so friendly. I can't believe how upset we are loosing her - I think it's because she wasn't that old (under 2 years) and apart from the leg she was in really rude health!
  19. I was wandering around the garden with my ladies and thought that Ivy was making a right old constant clucking & chattering to herself. Then I realised that it was the noise of her breathing!!! She is well apart from what sounds like laryngitis or croup. No rattles in her chest. Can chickens get croup? I think it may be a quick visit to the vet for some more baytril or tylan tomorrow. None of the others have anything similar yet, but I did notice one of them sneezing earlier! I'll try some criticidal in the water in the meantime. Has anyone else experienced this? Thanks
  20. Thank you - that's good advice. I've started them on Flubinvet now and will monitor how they get on.
  21. I have had my three new girls for over a week now (to supplement my ageing flock of 4 ladies). I have kept them separate and are just starting to introduce them to each other this week. The youngest of my new girls-Amber (barred Rock) seems to be drinking a lot of water and also doing some very watery poos! The poo is clear - ie not white, with some normal looking green stuff ( sorry for anyone who is now feeling queasy!) She is quite quiet, but is happy to be picked up and seems to be eating her pellets ok. Is this normal for a young bird? Her comb hasn't really developed yet and she hasn't filled out - quite skinny. I think it will be a good few weeks before she comes into lay. I got them all from a reputable breeder who says they have been wormed and vaccinated. I'd be interested to hear your thoughts. Thanks so much
  22. Ooooo - very eggcited now! Thanks for your replies - looks like we might be getting 3 new ladies then as we do have the eglu extended run and they will only be in it for a couple of weeks, as I'd like to take the introductions slowly.
  23. Hi there, I already have 4 lovely girls in my Cube who are now 18 months old and I want to add some more younger chooks to the flock. The main reason is that I want to have a continuous supply of eggs. With my original flock of 4 omlet girls - they all stopped laying at more or less the same time and then about 6 months later all died of old age within about 3 months of each other. So, I have bought a 2nd hand Eglu and am ready to buy some new chooks. My question is - how many can I comfortably house in the eglu for a few weeks during the introductory stage? I was thinking 2, but could I get away with 3? Thanks
  24. Congrats on your successful introductions - they look very happy. I'm planning on getting a couple more chooks in the next few weeks to add to my flock of 4. Fingers crossed it will be a painless as yours!

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