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Everything posted by Surfnirvana

  1. We installed Chook cam too last year, and apart from recording loads and loads of rabbits running around, we now know there is a fox that trotts past our hedge (with the Omlet Cube the other side) every morning at 3.00 am. Their cube is surrounded by an electric fence which we keep on all the time and I'm pretty sure Mr Fox would have tried that a few times. Now it seems he ignores it, but it's always good to know what your "enemies" are doing!!
  2. My chooks have quite a large garden to roam around, have various spots to use as dustbaths, but Oh no - that's not good enough for them. They'd rather bathe in my pot of newly planted "love in the mist" seedlings! Ruined! Naughty girls! If you have a moment, take a quick peek at the evidence!
  3. [urlhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/tldare/7724355996/in/photostream][/url] Maybe this will work instead?
  4. I had just received my latest copy of Good Food magazine and thought I'd sit in the garden and spend a very self-indulgent half and hour or so flicking through it. Then Mary had other ideas and wanted to see what I was doing! This is the first time she's done this and settled herself on the back of the chair whilst I continued to read! Funny chicken. I have tried to download the photo - not sure it's worked or not......
  5. Polly my 18 month old White Star was feeling a little low last week, wasn't eating much and rather lethargic, but after feeding her some bokashi bran, yoghurt and garlic, she has really perked up & back to normal. However, I've noticed that since last week, she has also had a swollen right wattle under her beak. There is no other swelling around the eye or head. No obvious bite marks or cuts - it's just very swollen. She is back to her normal self apart from not laying and this wattle problem. Any ideas? Has anyone else had this problem with their chooks? I was hoping it would go down, but it has just remained the same - hasn't got any worse or better. It is a more of a paler pink rather than red. Would be grateful if you can give any advice. Cheerrs :0)
  6. Thanks everyone for your replies. I did take them to my vet who immediately diagnosed mycoplasma. He said we could treat them, but it might come back again as they are carriers. He like you guys suggested it might be better in the long run to return them. He, amazingly didn't charge me for his time! I took them straight back to the dealer who refunded me - I felt like Judas as I handed them back over, but I know it's the right thing to do. I've just disinfected the ground they were on with Virkon S - I hope that will do the trick. A sad day, but hopefully in the next month we will try again and the weather might not even be so wet too!
  7. I bought two new lovely speckaldy hens on Saturday from a well known local poultry dealer. He said they have been vaccinated and I checked them over before taking them home to meet my other 4 girls. I have kept them separate in their own eglu run whilst others are in their cube. This morning when I opened the door Milly didn't want to come out. I took her out of the pop hole and noticed her right eye was closed and she was very lethargic. I brought her in doors and wiped cotton wool over it dipped in salt water and then it opened. Her right nostril is also runny. I went and checked on the other newbie - Molly - and she also has a swollen area around her left eye and and runny nose. I phoned the dealer and he said that they has definitely been vaccinated for mycoplasma and I could bring them back. I'm rather attached to them now, so have made an appointment for my vet to see them today. In the meantime, I just wondered if anyone else has had a similar problem with their new Chooks? Any advice would be welcome. Thanks
  8. Hi there - I'm very excited as I've just picked up two POL Spedaldys on Saturday to add to my other 4 who are now 18 months old. Wanted to stagger the ages of my hens as my last 4 all died (of old age) within 3 months of each other, which was hard - so thought I would get a couple of younger ones. The Speckledys seem to be very friendly. I've put them in my spare eglu and run and the other 4 are in the Cube. They are all surrounded by an electric fence and when I let the others out in their fence area - what a comotion! Ivy and Polly my two White Stars, where clucking and making a right old fuss when they saw my newbies - who are Milly & Molly. They were giving the newbies the evils all afternoon. The went up to bed - still clucking, so I had to close their door in the end (I usually leave it open over night), to settle them down. They were better yesterday - thankfully. In the meantime, Milly & Molly are settling in really well and I'm hoping to introduce them all in about 10 days time, one evening when they are all a bit sleepy. Any advice is welcome! :0)
  9. Not sure we will have any bees left at this rate! We have two National hives - one of which was making queen cells, so knew that it was likely they were soon to swarm, but we couldn't do much about it due to timing and the weather conditions. Each swarm was collected by our local BBKA guy and taken away to be used elsewhere. I'm just pleased I was around to spot them all so they didin't die overnight in the cold (it's been 0 - 2 degrees where we are), or go off to relocate elsewhere. It is possible that one or more of the swarms have come from elsewhere, but unlikely. We will take a look at the hives later this week as the weather is due to get warmer and all will be revealed then! Our local apiary guys have said that the bees have'nt been "reading the books" and not doing what they are meant to for this time of year, probably due to the wet and cold weather! Strange times! Has anyone else experienced this?
  10. Thanks so much for your replys. I now have 4 bits to fit - hopefully that will work. I'll keep you posted! :0)
  11. Any other ideas please! I have 4 hens (Bess, Mary, Ivy & Polly) and up until a few months ago they were all fine. We went away on holiday for a week (we had someone else looking after them & house sitting), and came back and noticed 3 of them had bald bums ! So, by my deductions it was the 4th hen - Bess who was the cuprit. These are the things I have tried to stop her doing it:- 1. Hanging greens and pecker blockers up in their pen (which they have always had). 2. Letting them free range as much as possible, when we get back from work & weekends. 3. Feeding them only Layers Pellets - no corn or treats apart from "bribing" mealworms. 4. Spraying the "baldies" with Anti-pecking spray (worked for a bit, but not any more) 5. Spraying the "baldies" with Violet genetian purple spray (again worked for a while) 6. Put a bumper bit on Bess's beak - She has had it on for 3 weeks. Mary's feathers started to recover but not the other two - which led me to the conclusion that she (Mary) is also a pecker of the other two (Ivy & Polly)! 7. I therefore ordered another bumper bit and will fit that to Mary BUT Bess's beak started to look very flakey and unhealthy, so had to remove it yesterday (the bumper bit not the beak!). Over night she has picked out Mary's newly grown feathers have disappeard! ARghh. In the meantime I am now rubbing sudocrem on the baldies bums as they seemed to be getting rather red. I don't really want to separate Bess or Mary from the other two, so if there is anything else I could try, please let me know. Thanks so much
  12. How amazing! I found a link to the story plus a piccie for the sunglasses! http://www.fwi.co.uk/blogs/feathered-forager/2011/04/chicken-sunglasses.html
  13. We put one on Bess, after trying the anti pecking spray and violet spray. She was the only one out of the 4 of them with a full set of knicker feathers - so we presumed she was the culprit - She's also the bottom of the pecking order! Once on - it took about a day for her to get used to it, but she's now had it on for 2 weeks and seems quite unbothered by it now. Mary's feathers are starting to grow back, but my other two Ivy & Polly still seem to have the ready plucked plucked look. It seems I may still have to fit another bumper bit - but just not sure which chicken! Tricky!!
  14. Hi there, We were away the other week and had a friend come and house and hen sit for the week. On our return, I noticed that 3 of my 4 chooks all had very bare bottoms! The only one that didn't - Bess - is at the bottom of the pecking order, which is interesting. I wondered that our friend didn't let them out of their cube as early as they are used to and they may have got bored in their run all day - I usually hang things up for them to peck at and let them out for an hour or so to Free range etc, but he may not have done this. So for the past week, I have been spraying anti-pecking stuff on their bald patches and I am very pleased to report that all their feathers are starting to grow back again Might want to try the anti-pecking stuff - hopefully it will work! Good luck
  15. We were away on hols last week and had a friend come to house & hen sit. When we got back I noticed that 3 out of my 4 chooks had very bare bottoms and were rather raw. Bess, the lowest in the pecking order still has a lovely feathery bum! I'm wondering if they got bored last week as they weren't let out to free-range at all and our friend may have left them closed in their cube later than they are used to, so may have got fed up? I'm amazed the culprit seems to be Bess. I've never had this before with my other chooks and these ones are now a year old. I have put some anti-pecking spray on their bare bottoms to see if that works, and have hung up something for them to peck at in their cube run whilst I'm at work. Does the anti-pecking spray actually work? Has anyone had any good results with this? Is there anything else I should be doing? Don't really want to separate them if I can avoid it. Bye the way, I have double checked to make sure they have no lice infestation - they all look clear of that. Thanks for any advice
  16. I think you make a fair point. In ideal circumstances we would have taken the supers off and spun them as soon as possible. Unfortunately we left the frames too long (only 10 days) and they had already chrstalised! We are very close to many rape fields. This meant heating was the only way we were able to extract the honey. The taste is lovely - no complaints there, but heating does remove some of the raw floral flavours, but to us this is barely noticeable and are just so delighted we now have that liquid gold in jars!!
  17. Hi Olly The heat extracter is like a large metal oblong box with a slanting shelf in it. You poor hot water into the bottom section of the box, then on the shelf you place the cut out, uncapped, full Combes. The water & Combes don't mix at all. The heat from the water below, heats the metal shelf above which in turn slowly & gently melts the Combes & honey together . The liquid (honey & wax only) then drains through a hole into a waiting bucket. The wax floats to the top and when it cools down it hardens and can be taken off the top of the honey. The up side is that you can extract honey that has been crystallised or set, but the down side is that you can't use the wax foundation s again as they have been melted. We really enjoyed doing it, and are delighted with the results. We got our extracter from Maisemore Apiaries in Gloucestershire - they have a great website www.bees-online.co.uk. We are really lucky to live about a mile away from them - they have been very helpful with advice over the past few years!
  18. I bought my huband a metal uncapping tray for Christmas which he was thrilled with . On New Year's day we finally managed to extract the honey from our supers we took off in May last year! There is so much rape around us that it chrystalised very quickly in the frames and we weren't quick enough to spin it off. With this uncapping tray we just poured hot water in the bottom section, plugged it in to heat the water up even more and then uncapped and cut out the wax combes from the wooden frames and placed it all on the tray. It all melts - wax & honey - and then it pours out of a hole at the end into a waiting bucket. The wax floats to the top which we took off in one go when it had all cooled down. Our local apiary will buy the wax back from us too which is great! So, after sieving the honey, we were delighted with 52 jars of the golden stuff!! It is our second year of beekeeping and now have 2 hives. Fingers crossed we will get a bumper crop this year!
  19. Hi there When my Miss Pepperpot - Doris - was going through her last moult (she was 2 years old then), she put on some very strange walking behaviour. Lots of head weaving and side stepping. I though she'd had a stroke and it was rather distressing to see. Not sure what causes it, but it last just over a week and as soon as her feather started to grow back, she was back to her normal feisty self again. Hopefully that is what your chook is going through at the moment?
  20. Hi, my chook Bess (Columbian Black tail) was walking down the cube ladder when Polly (a much larger White Star) did the same thing, barged her way through and ended landing on top of her. Bess subsequently had a limp for the rest of the day. After 2 days I took her to the vets who checked her over. Nothing broken, but there was a slight swelling at the top joint. He gave me some anti-inflamatory to syringe down her beak once a day for a week. This really helped. Her limp improved, but not completely gone, and seemed to get slightly worse at the end of the day, especially if she'd been out roaming around with the others. I was in the same dilema as you, should we PTS, as I hate seeing her in pain, but OH said to give her some more time as she is quite young. She was laying and the limp really didn't seem to be giving her too much problem apart from making her a little slower. I have to say after 4-5 weeks she was much better and and no longer limping. I am really pleased I waited. However, that was back in September, and I noticed the other day she was starting to limp again only very slightly, so I think this is going to be a recurring problem as one leg is probably going to have a weakness. If I were you and you have a good chicken vet, take her there and see if you can get some anti-inflamatories to aid the healing and also make sure nothing's broken. Then I'd give her a few more weeks and hopefully she will gradually improve. I have to say Bess is definitely at the bottom of the pecking order now! Good luck!
  21. Sounds like an interesting research topic! No I haven't played any form of music to my chooks yet..... I do remember the cattery I used to send my cat to always had Classic FM on to passify them!
  22. Hi Witzend I leave it out all the time, so any rain can drain through. Otherwise it would be one sandy puddle after a while. Only small holes so that the sand doesn't go through them.
  23. Hiya luvachicken I saw it hanging in my Mum-in-laws garage unused, and asked if she wouldn't mind if I drilled a few holes in the bottom and used it for my chooks sand bath. Luckily she was more than happy to donate it to such a useful and worthy cause! It is a great little tin bath - but not sure where she got it from I'm afraid.

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