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Everything posted by Surfnirvana

  1. I use play sand - which they love & eat too! I hope I have successfully loaded this piccie of them.
  2. Congratulations on such an easy introduction! Where there are "downs" with our chooks there are so many more "ups"!! We lost our last original last month and 2 weeks before she died we got 4 new chooks to keep her company. She got on with them quite well, but then "fell asleep" in her nest box. We were so sad, but it is really lovely to have some new young hens - I'd almost forgotten how quick they are and so much more active than my other lot who were really rather elderly and slow towards the end. Enjoy!
  3. Hiya My vet has always given me Baytril, either to put in the water or I have had to syringe it down their throats, when I had individual chooks who were poorly over the years. Baytril seems to work a treat! I've only had these 4 chooks for 5 weeks and the vet seemed to think they were probably already infected - even though I gave them a good look and feel over when I bought them from a reputable breeder. Sometimes you just can't see if they are carriers, you can only look out for the obvious. The vet also said it could be transmitted by other wild birds! It sounds like you are doing everything right. Just keep an eye on them and if they start to have difficulty in breathing, I would take one of them to the vet (rather than all of them). Do let us know how they get on.
  4. Hi there I had to take one of my new chooks to the vet as she had a limp and I also noticed on the day I took her that she was croaky and had a rattly chest. The vet diagnosed Laryngotracheitis which is a viral infection. He did give me antibiotics to put in the drinking water as it is very infectious and is bound to pass it on to the others, however that will only treat any bacterial infection. He said that Bess would have to fight off the viral one by herself. I gave her Metacam for her leg which is an anti-inflamatory and that seemed to help both her leg & her throat. My vet, said that he has seen a huge outbreak of this Laryngotracheitis recently round here and whole flocks are going down with it. Some hens get it severely, but others less so and recover quite well. Sometimes they are carriers and stressful situations can bring it out. Here's a link to some info:- http://www.ruleworks.co.uk/poultry/Laryngotracheitis.htm Bess is still croaky and has the occasional cough, but not as bad as it was a few weeks ago, so I'm hoping she is on the mend. My other three are a little croaky, but apart from that are behaving as normal chooks do and seem to be very happy. I hope yours start to get better very soon, if not, might be worth a phone call to your vet to see what he advices. Good luck,
  5. Thanks everyone I'm definitely going to be much more vigilent now - although I have always been careful. They have an electric fence which is kept on 24/7, but I won't be letting them free range unless I'm in the garden too. My husband has just spoken to the pest man, who is able to come and shoot the fox if that's what we wanted him to do. Over the past year, he has killed 300 and his collegue 200 foxes - he is convinced urban foxes are being set free in the countryside, as even he thinks that is a staggering number of them in one small area of Gloucestershire. I appreciate and love wild animals, but we just don't think foxes and my chooks living within 6 meters of each other is going to work I'll keep you posted.
  6. We burried our last original "Omlet" girl 4 weeks ago in the garden (3 ft deep with rocks on top). This morning I came outside to let out my new chooks and saw that something had dug Rose up! It had removed the rocks and there were Rose's feathers around the hole We live in a rural environment, but haven't seen a fox for 5-6 years! We have a CCTV camera up, so this morning before we left for work we looked at the footage and there it was at 4.00 am trotting around. Having looked at where it jumped into (a small wooded area), it looks it may have made it's den there - 6 meters away from my chickens!! The hole is small for a fox, but bigger than a rabbits. I don't want to have to get rid of the fox by using the Pest Control man as I'm sure there will be cubs around, but then I want to protect my chickens. What to do?..... Any suggestions?
  7. That really is an eye opener. I remember speaking to a lady near to us who had rescued some Waitrose "Free range hens" last year and she was quite shocked to see what a state they were in. She felt it was because the food is given at set times during the day on automatic feeders and you know what hen behaviour is like where food is concerned - each for their own! Perhaps that's one of the reasons why they look so awful? At least they do have access to the outside, they can dustbathe, jump and flap their wings, rather than being in a cage?
  8. Hello Just to let you know that my chook developed a limp overnight. I'm sure it was when they all fly out of the cube in the morning and one of the bigger chooks landed on top of her. Her left leg felt a lot hotter than her right. She was putting weight on it, and it seemed to be better in the mornings, but worse by the evening, so was having to lift her up to the cube each evening!! I left her for a week, but she wasn't getting any better, so took her to the vets on Monday. He had a good feel around and said that it wasn't broken just badly sprained. He gave me Metacam to syringe down her beak once a day (it is an anti-inflamatory). Well, within 30 minutes of giving it to her back at home, she had improved dramatically. Day 3 and you can barely notice a limp now! See how yours gets on, but you may need a trip to the vet if she doesn't improve. Good luck
  9. After struggling on with collapsing legs for the past few weeks, Rose sadly died last Friday overnight in the nest box. I had had a long cuddel with her in the evening sunshine the day before and gave her her favourite grapes. Her friend Doris had to be PTS a few days previously and I know she was missing her. She was the last of my original Omlet foursome. They all bought me and my husband so much joy and laughter as well as lovely eggs. Rose was the top hen, flycatching ginger nut ranger. As soon as she was let out of her pen to free-range she would always do 2 jumps with flapping wings whilst racing up to the garden. We will really miss her.
  10. RIP Doris. PTS this morning after being very poorly for a while. You tried so hard to get better, but unfortunately it wasn't to be this time. Sleep well, little one - we will miss you so much. xx
  11. One more sleep to go! Enjoy getting your new ladies - you won't regret it! Have fun and get a garden chair ready so that you can sit down and spend hours watching them! Have fun!
  12. I'm delighted to share with you that I now have 4 new lovely chooks, who arrived on Sunday! 2 x Columbian Black Tails (Bess & Mary - very friendly) and 2 x Sussex Stars (Polly (Top Hen) & Ivy - rather flighty) They are gorgeous! As soon as I have worked out how to up load piccies I will! However...... I originally wanted to have some Buff Orpingtons and I found a "hobbyist" breeder not far from me, who had Buff and Blue Orps available at £25 each! I went to have a look at them last Friday. They were in a large area with about 100 other chooks of all sizes and shapes. The hen houses looked reasonably clean but the breeder said they were due to clean them out that day. The Orps, were bright eyed and seemed really well so I agreed to collect them the following evening. When we went to collect them, I picked them up and had a good look over them. They were covered in lice!! The breeder seemed shocked too, poor little things, but this obviously meant the rest of the flock was infested too. I decided to back away from taking them, which the breeder understood. It was all very disppointing, but the next day we went to another reputable breeder, who had some lovely hybrids in and we took home 4 of them. Had our first egg yesterday! My current older lady chooks are utterly disgusted at the new arrivals. I am keeping them apart at the moment as I have been lucky enough to borrow my friend's spare eglu which has been very handy. I am going to attempt putting them together tonight at dark in the cube and keep my fingers crossed. Rose is so frail now that if Polly picks on her I'm worried she will get flattened. (I'm having to lift Rose up into the cube every night now as she tumbled down the steps yesterday - love her). I'll keep you posted!
  13. Just an update - the brick steps up to the Cube ladder worked last night. She managed to gently work her way up and settled happily down to roost for the night Bless her.
  14. Thanks for all your advice. I have checked her over and although quite thin, she seems ok. She has been free ranging all afternoon quite happily - just a little slower. I have put some zolcal in her water in case it is a calcium deficiency and in their other water is poultry tonic. I have found some bricks and have made some shallow steps up to the ladder. Here's hoping that may work!
  15. It is a small wood stump from our log pile, which she used to be able to get up to, but I think my OH will be building a small ramp for her later this evening!
  16. I've been thinking about getting some new chooks as my remaining two are rather elderly and I don't want them to be lonely should one of them pop off the mortal perch soon. I have been tempted with some buff orpingtons and I have found a hobby breeder who currently has some available, but she has said they haven't been vaccinated for anything , whereas her hybrids have been as they have been bought in by a large supplier. Should I avoid getting non vaccinated chooks at all? Would appreciate your thoughts. Thanks
  17. My little Rose has been getting increasingly frail recently. She is 3 years old, still bright eyed, eating & drinking, but has just slowed down quite a lot. The last few nights, I have found her underneath the cube going to sleep, so I've been picking her up and popping her straight into the cube - she heads to the nesting box where Doris is and settles straight down, all very happy. I watched her last night and even though I have put a wooden step infront of the steps, she tried to jump up, flapped her wings, but just couldn't make it up, bless her. Has anyone else had this when they have elderly chooks? She is such a sweetheart, & I don't mind lifting her to bed overnight..... Do they make Stanner chair lifts for chickens??
  18. Oh my - you lucky thing! Rose just looks adorable! I think she will settle in just fine!
  19. Congratulations on your new arrivals! So pleased for you all and great names you have for your girls. I hope you have cleared your diary for a few weeks as chicken watching becomes a bit of an obsession and everything else fades away! Enjoy your chooks - do post some piccies up very soon.
  20. Thanks everyone. Doris was a little quieter today but hopefully the Baytrill will be kicking in soon - fingers crossed! The two chooks are definitely missing Betty - seems so strange just the two of them now. Will keep you posted! Xx
  21. I came down to let the girls out of their run on Sunday morning. All three were weaving to and fro, wanting to come out, which I was so pleased about as Doris had been showing signs of Sour crop and had been very quiete & weak. As soon as I opened the door they all ran out to see what treats I had for them. I put down the dish of a small amount of rice, and as soon as Betty put her head down, clear, yellow liquid came out of her beak and she started to cough & splutter. She couldn't get her breath and there was a terrible rattling sound coming from her chest. She died in my arms a minute later! I couldn't believe it! I know she was in her golden years, but Betty had been a really healthy chicken - no problems with her at all. It was a real shock. I think she must have had a chest infection (but hidden it from me) and then a heart attack. Then yesterday, Doris started going down hill with this sour crop. I had been gently emptying it and then feeding her live yogurt, but she was very lethargic and not her normal bossy self. I decided to take her to the vets (Jason at Woods Vet Group, Gloucester is excellent). He examined her thoroughly and gave me some baytril to syringe down her beak and I have to inject her twice a day with something that stimulates her crop. Good news - this morning Doris is like a compeletly different chook! Back to her old self and doing normal chickenny things. I'm continuing with the injections and baytril for the next week. So that was definitely money well spent at the vets! Both chooks are a little quiet and I'm sure they are missing Betty. So sad that Betty has died, and it seems very odd only having 2 chooks now in the cube - it looks rather empty! I'm considering getting some buff orpingtons as I don't want Rose or Doris to be the last chicken standing if one of them goes.
  22. For the past 6 years we have had a pair of mallards visit our small pond from March to September. We've called them Charles & Camilla andon Saturday we were delighted to see they have arrived again this year ( a few weeks earlier than normal). They are definately the same ones, as when I call for my 3 chooks to come back in from free-ranging round the garden, they come as well in the hope of some food. They are also there in the mornings, waiting for some corn or layers pellets which they gobble up quickley, when I let the chooks out. I just want to ask if there is any harm in me giving them mixed corn or layers pellets, or if indeed I should be feeding them something else? I've gone and bought them a duck nesting box from Wiggly Wrigglers - whether they will use it or not I don't know. (I'm such a softee) She did lay a clutch of eggs a few years ago by our pond but something must have spooked her as she left them there. In the last few years I think she has laid her clutch elsewhere and arrives for an hour or so for a spash in our pond. Any advice would be welcome. Thanks
  23. I was delighted to see our bees out on Saturday too - very busy bringing back pollen / nectar. We have a few large hazel trees in our garden and there were many bees visiting the catkins there. It was shortlived though as Sunday was just atrocious! Still, Spring is just around the corner - not long now and we are looking forward to getting a nucleus for our second hive at the end of April - Can't wait!!
  24. I had a left over half of one too and wondered if my girls would like it. After a few wary pecks, they weren't interested at all? Even Betty who is a real "fruit monster" chicken! Hope yours like it though.
  25. Thank you so much for such a detailed and informative reply - I appreciate it.

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