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Everything posted by Surfnirvana

  1. One of my , Louie, hasn't laid an egg for a week or so. She is just over 2 years and was a prolific layer initially, but has really slowed down over the last 4 months. This morning, in the "poo tray" there was a hard egg, but it was covered in a creamy coloured, soft tissue which then had a long stringy bit attached to it. Not very appetising, but I am worried something ghastly has happened to her insides She seems OK, but not as quick as the others, just taking things slowly. Has anyone had a similar experience? Should I be worried? Thanks
  2. Hiya, I had to give Baytril to my Rose recently, as she had peritonitis. The syringe worked a few times, but it was a bit of a struggle. In the end, i got a small piece of bread, squirted the right amount on to the bread with the syringe. Then got Rose on my lap and gave her the Baytril Bread, which she gulped down in a heartbeat. No probs! Naturally I had to give bits of "untreated" bread to the other three chooks otherwise they'd be extremely upset! Also, my vet advised us not to eat her eggs whilst she was on the Baytril. She perked up really quickly. Hope yours does too.
  3. My two Ginger nut Rangers seem to have stopped too. Although the 2 Miss Pepperpots are still going strong. All four of them are just over 2 years old now. I thought they had slowed down over the winter, but maybe that is it? Would be interested to hear if other people have had similar experiences with Chooks over the 2 year birthdays.
  4. Hi there Orignally my chooks all roosted on the bars for the first few weeks and layed their eggs in the nest box, but then one of them (Rose - top hen) realised that actually it was more comfy to sleep overnight in the nest box, swiftly followed by Doris and Louie. Betty still roosts on the bars ( but probably only because there is no more room for her in the nest box), but she does roost near to the others. I didn't try to move them and even though they do poo a bit in the straw nest box, at least when they get the urge to lay (and quite often it is early in the morning) they can do. I'm happy for them to stay in the nest box now. I would suggest you leave the next box free, and let them lay when they are ready. When you go and let them out in the morning, just pick out the poo from the next box area. If there is any poo on the eggs, just gently wipe it off with a cloth. Regarding the softees, if they are young hens and just started to lay, they are probably just getting all their gear together and a few softees is quite normal. Just keep an eye on them, reduce the treats so they eat their pellets, which supplies them with all the nutrients they need, and I'm sure they will be fine. Good luck with your exams! Lynne
  5. Brilliant! Love the picture - if only I was like Snow White!!
  6. When I go and let my chooks out into their run in the morning and give them their treats, other wildlife has now cottoned on to this and wait for their "treats" as well So now I have to leave some pellets on the top ofa goate post for the 2 robbins who now wait for me, throw some pellets / corn to Greebo the pheasant, and then Charles & Camilla the two wild mallards who have taken up residence on our small pond, come wandering down for their breakfast too! It's like Disney! There are another two Robbins waiting for me when I get to the Cube and open the door to the run. As the chooks come out, they fly in and take the pellets one by one from the Grub! I'm hoping it will be OK for them especially when there is flubinvet mixed in with them!! I love it!
  7. I spoke to my neighbour at the weekend who lives down our lane. He was turning over his compost heap and found 2 dead chickens buried in there (white sussex). He knew they weren't mine as I have 2 x and 2 X . We are pretty sure they had been burried their by a fox which he has seen in the back fields. We have an electric fence around our cube, which has so far worked in keeping out any unwanted predetors. However recently on more "spring-like" days I had been letting the "girls" out for half an hour or so of free ranging, whilst I've been in the house. I won't be doing that now until summertime unless I am in the garden at the same time. Unfortunately I don't know whose chickens they were, but will ask around.
  8. Rose was still hunched over this morning, and didn't look very happy. We have a fantastic vet - Jason at Woods Vetinary Group in Gloucester, who is especially brilliant with chickens and he was able to see us this afternoon. He checked her over thoroughly. She had a slightly raised temperature and is underweight. From what I told him he diagnosed her with peritonitis. It is nothing to do with her calcium levels, but more likely she had a virus of some sort that has led to this. She is now on antibiotics - twice a day for the next 3 weeks! I gave her the first dose in a syringe and she has already perked up! I fed her some scrambled egg too, which she loved, to help build her up a bit. I have my fingers crossed that it has been caught in time, so that she can make a good recovery. xxxxxxx
  9. Yes they have oyster shell in their run, poultry spice most days mixed with their food, they also have an old tin bath which I put some play sand in for them mixed with compost for their dust bath, but they seem to eat most of it! They have just finished the "great moult" so I think that has taken it out of them a bit. I did use some ZolcalD at the back end of last year to help them, so I'll get some more of that. Rose is still under the weather - all hunched up and at the back of her run. She did have some food this morning and water, but have had to go to work and leave them today. I've phoned the vets and he's going to give me a ring back - hopefully he might be able to fit me in later or tomorrow morning. Thanks for your advice - I'll keep you posted. L x
  10. Thanks Plum I will check her out again tomorrow and if she is still under the weather, I'll give her a bit more of a lubricated investivation. Will get some more ZolcalD, and also limestone flour. They already have cod liver oil and I'll cut down on their "treats" to see if that helps (they wont be happy about that though!) Thanks again and I'll let you know how she gets on - fingers crossed..
  11. Hi there Last week I noticed some egg white coming out of Rose's vent. I picked her up and took her into the kitchen for a better look. I saw some soft egg shell coming out of her vent, so gently pulled it - it was quite long. Then I stuck her in a washing up bowl of warm water and washed her bottom feathers (which were rather goey). I then gave her a blow dry with the hairdryer (she seemed to like this!) and put her back in her pen, looking beautiful, she was so much happier. However, today, when I was doing the daily poo clear from their trays, I noticed a broken egg with only half of the shel,l which was soft, in the tray. I looked at Rose and she was all hunched over. So I did the same thing and brought her into the kitchen. I retrieved a small piece of shel from her ventl, but couldn't feel anything else. After a gentle "wash and blow dry" I put her back. She's been quiet all day, although has been eating and drinking, and before she went to bed she did another watery poo and then jumped up the ladder to bed. I'm worried that there is still eggshell inside her that she can't expel, which is making her strain all the time and feel under the weather. Is there anything else I can do, as I don't want it to become infected? I would be grateful for any advice. Thanks so much.
  12. I noticed that one of my Gingernuts - Rose, had a very mucky feathers all around her vent on Friday. I picked her up to have more of a look and noticed what looked like egg white comine out of her vent. I quickly decided to bring her into the house (my cat Harry was eyeing her up as I took her though the lounge into the kitchen!) After putting newspaper everywhere and filled up the washing up bowl with warm water I put her on the work surface and took another look. She was so well behaved and I noticed some soft eggshell coming out of her vent now. I gently pulled it and a long piece came out. Didn't seem to be anything else, so then I put her into the warm water. Well, I thought there would be feathers flying and lots of screams of protests, but as soon as I put her in the water - she completely relaxed and absolutely loved it!! I gently washed her back feathers for 10 minutes then dried her off with a towl. I noticed the time and I was due to leave the house in 10 minutes to collect OH from the train station, Rose was still wet - I couldn't take her back outside as there was still snow everywhere! I decided to try it, so got my hairdryer and put her on the kitchen side and started to Blow dry my chicken!!! She loved it!! All that lovely warm air around her knickers and tummy. I have to say she looked much better, beautiful knickers - all clean and fluffy. I took her back to the others, and I swear I caught them checking her out with envy!! She has been much more lively over the weekend. Thanks to this forum, I knew what to do after reading your other posts, and now I won't be worried about washing my chooks if I need to do it again.!! Hurray!!
  13. This is the first time this has happened! We went out for a bit of a Christmas celebration at early afternoon on Saturday. I put the girls in their pen with some porridge and left them to it. We had a great evening and got back home about 12.30am battling through the snow. As soon as our car drove onto the drive, the lights came on and the chooks started to come down their ladder! They've never done this before - they always stay inside and then we go and close their Eglu door, to keep them warm & safe. My OH waited in the snow hoping they would go back up once the light had turned off (whilst I staggered up to the house). 3 of them did go back in, but Rose was obviously a little disorientated and couldn't see properly, so she hunkered down under the cube. It was freezing, so my OH came and got me. Now, after a reasonable amount of "christmas Spirit" that evening, I was ready to pass out! However, I donned my "chicken scruffy" clothes over my PJs and staggered out to cube at the bottom of our now very snowy garden. I had to crawl into the pen, pick Rose up and rather ungraciously put her inside the cube with the others! It was now about 1.30 am and I have to say I was sobering up fast, what with the snow, cold and effort!! But I couldn't have left her.... The things we do for our lovely ladies!!
  14. Thanks everyone for your replies. Greebo the pheseant was lurking near the gate when I went to feed the chickens on Saturday morning. He once again attached me, scratching my legs. It did look quite comical with me running up the garden with this wild, psycho bird chasing me like I owed him money!! I ran into the house, and had trouble closing the front door, as he had wedged his head round the side!! I gave him a shove and slammed the door, and went upstairs. I could see Greebo pacing round the front of the house and then he spotted me at the bedroom window grinning. He was insenced and flew up onto our conservatory roof and started pecking at our window!! I was starting to get paranoid at this point!! 5 minutes later, my OH went outside fully kitted up with wellies & gloves (well marigolds) and as soon as Greebo spotted him, he jumped down and started attacking my OH. OH stood up to Greebo, waving his arms and shouting. After many attempts to wound my OH, he backed down and flew off into the neighbouring field. The good thing is that so far, this seems to have down the trick! Greebo hasn't bothered us at all yesterday or today. He had been seen lurking around, but hasn't actually come into our garden. Hopefully, he has learnt not to tackle us any more................. We shall see!!!
  15. Thanks Stephen for your very kind offer - having someone to bounce ideas off and getting some experienced advice would be extremley helpful. Watch this space - here's to a more sucessful bee year 2010! Lynne
  16. After going on a 2 day course and got all the kit, our bees arrived in May and we put them successfully into our National Beehive. They settled in really well and we enjoyed having them in our garden. In July we hadn't seen the queen for 3 weeks, and they had started to make some new queen cells, so we assumed that the old queen had died or was no longer viable. After 4 weeks we found the original queen outside the back of the hive still alive. We put her back in but we found her dead the next week. We hadn't seen any new queens and any new larvae we saw were haphazzard and noticed a lot more drones and much smaller workers on the frames. We concluded that we must have a laying worker. After getting some more advice, we bought another queen. Then we took our hive down to the other end of the garden (which is a reasonable distance) then tipped all of the bees out onto the grass. We then reaasembled the hive back in it's original place hoping that the laying worker woudln't be able to find her way back. We put the new queen in and hoped for the best. However, we found her dead a week later, and there were more laying worker larvae. It is October now and over the past month, the bees have dwindled in number and have been subject to wasp attacks. The hives are empty now. It has certainly been a sad ending to such a promising beginning. However we did harvest 15 jars of honey at the end of August, which is delicious (calculated they cost around £60 a jar though - but worth it!) We haven't been put off and we have met some really very friendly and helpful people locally who have given us lots of advice. Our next nucleous is on order to collect in April / May and we are hoping that we will have a better year in 2010!
  17. Mmm - I can't say that Delia's "braised pheasant in Brandy sauce" hasn't crossed my mind! I will wait for OH to come home as he has been away for a few days and perhaps if he still continues to be such a menace (the pheasant not my OH! ), firmer action may be what's needed!!
  18. At first we thought this was rather endearing. Greebo (the name we've given this pheasant) stalked us whilst we were in the garden. He would follow us around, stop when we stopped, run after us if we moved away quickly, but he did have a bit of an evil glint in his eye. Yesterday, however, he attacked my neighbour, drawing blood! He chased after me when I fed the chickens (I gave him some corn but he's not interested) and the postman calls him Psycho!! As soon as I get into my car in the mornings, he runs after it - all I can see is his little head & big evil eyes in my mirror trying to keep up! When I arrive back home after work, he jumps out in our lane and chases the car again then tries to jump up and attack when I get out!! He's had a couple of fights with my chickens, but then runs off. I think he must be over zealous in guarding his territory, but if anyone has an idea (apart from dispatching him), to stop him being quite so aggressive, I'd be very grateful. Cheers xxx
  19. Gosh, well it seems there are a number of us out there that have this problem with our chooks, but I don't know if anyone has an answer or suggestions? If anyone can recommend what we can do to help, that would be really useful Thanks so much
  20. Hi there, All 4 of my chooks over the past 4 months have very gradually been loosing feathers either side of their breast bone. The skin there is now bald with no indication of new feathers growing back. Betty and Louie's skin is now getting to be rather red and flakey. I've checked them over for mites and can't see a thing. I've dusted them anyway and their cube. I was advised to put some sudocrem on the inflamed skin which hasn't really done much - they just bend down and pick it off! I wondered if they may be allergic to the Aubiose that they have on top of the concrete base where their pen is, so I changed it to wood chip - no difference. I do use straw in their nesting box where Doris and Rose sleep overnight and of course all of them lay their eggs their - could they be allergic to that? Today, I noticed that Rose - who is also going through a malt and has arther bald patch on her neck - has rather pinky legs as if they are irritated too. The other three chooks seem to be OK on the leg front. Apart from all this, they are all very well, eating, drinking, laying and doing normal chickeney things. If anyone has had a similar experience and could perhaps point me in the right direction I would be very grateful. Many thanks
  21. When I go to work, I give them a couple of "cat Treat Balls". I fill them with corn and mealworms and chuck them in the cage. They love them and it's a bit like chicken football . Here's a link for them:- http://www.petstuffgalore.co.uk/keywords/cat-treat-balls/ I did have just the one, but top hen Doris was nasty to lowest hen Louie and wasn't letting her near it, so I got another one and all is happy now!
  22. Hi there, Mine love Ready Brek and poridge. In fact yesterday my OH knew exactly where he came in our house's "pecking order" when I yelled up to him " Darling, I'm making some porridge for the chickens - would you like some too?"" I do only make it with water and add some poultry spice or a bit of powdered garlic -mmmmmm! Occaisionally I give them one weetabix between the 4 of them with water and some bokashi bran. Oh they are sooooo spoilt, but I love them!
  23. Hi there - I can reccommend a Vet called Jason at Woods Vetinary Group, based in Longlevns and Quedgely in Gloucester. Tel: 01452 527303 Good luck
  24. Thank you Eglutine, for your advice I have ordered some this morning so hopefully that will work. xx
  25. Hi there Looking for some advice please. I have had my 4 Omlet chooks for a year to the day! yeah! They are all doing well, apart from Louie the Gingernut Ranger. Last few months she has been laying quite a few soft shelled eggs. She has layed normal eggs inbetween, but the shells are certainly on the thinner side. Last weekend she became really quiet and hid in the bushes in the garden. After about an hour she layed a softee. When this has happened before, she perks up very quickly. This time, she was still not quite right and an hour later layed another softee. She has been laying all week, but yesterday, the same thing happened again. 2 softees in 1 day! I'm assuming that one egg is getting stuck somewhere, whilst the other one is forming? She is eating well - lots of pellets, oyster shell and grit. I've stopped the "treats" in case that was causing it - apart from dried corn (use it as a bribe to get them all in to their run). Apart from this she seems really well. I'm just concerned that if this goes on she could become egg bound? Is there anything else I could be doing? Thanks very much.

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