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Everything posted by Al

  1. Thought I'd link to a photo of the chickens' bedroom: http://www.utilitygirl.co.uk/gallery/v/Chicken+bedroom/IMG_0474edit.JPG.html I was very worried about my ferret hurting them but apart from drinking their water she doesn't seem interested in them at all. Even so, I have to closely supervise ferret free ranging now! The things we do for our pets....
  2. Thanks all for suggestions and sympathy. I will let you know how I get on once the chickens are back outside in their reinforced run.
  3. Hi, do you think the Foxwatch did deter foxes before the battery did run out? No I don't. When I saw a fox in the garden at night months before the attack the foxwatch was working. And since the attack I have replaced the battery and tested the foxwatch but our neighbour told us the fox still comes into our garden early every morning.
  4. Thanks for the advice Egluntyne, Tweety and Redwing. I have used lots and lots of thick cable ties to fasten the sections together more securely and we have also bought some small gap weld mesh to fasten over the run as well. Until I get some help to do that the chickens are spending their nights in my living room, in a dog cage with an old duvet cover over it to provide darkness. They have bars to perch on, a nestbox, food and water in the dog cage because they wake up before we do. They really love their indoor bedroom! I hope they don't think it's a permanent arrangement... A neighbour has just told us he's seen the fox 3 mornings in a row. Apparently it jumps over the fence into our garden at 5am. So it must come to check every morning even though the chickens have been sleeping indoors since the incident. No one has seen a fox during the day and it gets very busy with people and cars here so we're happy enough to let them free range supervised in the day.
  5. I've put all the the details in the fox attack facts thread but I'm posting here to see if anyone has any advice for me. My remaining hens are currently housed in a borrowed dog cage in my living room at night while they recover but at some point they will have to go back outdoors into their Eglu Classic and extended run to live. I really don't want them to be hurt again or, worse, lose another one. The attack happened when the Eglu door was open (but the run closed) between 3.30 and 10.30am on Sunday. I was thinking it might be safer if I could keep the hens asleep in the locked Eglu until there are people and cars about which the foxes around here seem to avoid. Has anyone had any luck keeping their chickens asleep in the Eglu after sunrise? If so, what did you use? Or, failing that, does anyone have any ideas to make the run itself unattractive to foxes? Thanks.
  6. We live in an urban area but across the road there is a playing field and small woodland where I have been told foxes live. Our back garden, where our chickens are kept in an Eglu Classic and extended run, is fenced off and surrounded by other back gardens and garages. My husband and I have spotted a fox in the garden at night on two separate occasions in the 6 months we've been here. The fox I saw easily jumped onto a 6 foot fence and walked along the top to make its escape. Since that sighting we always close the run door in the evening and pin it through then close the eglu door as soon as all the chickens are in it. My husband opened the eglu door (leaving the run door closed) at around 3.30 on Sunday morning, just before he went to bed as he works very late. He's been doing this daily for a couple of months now as it saves me from having to wake early to do it. When we went to let the chickens out of the run at about 10.30am we found lots of feathers in the run, the tarp covering the run shredded in several places and the hens were all in shock and cowering inside the eglu. There were also lots of scratches on the eglu and on closer inspection we found that two sections of the run had been pulled apart a little but not enough for the fox to actually get in. Two of the three chickens had a couple of puncture wounds each but the other had a large gash on her back. She was put out of her misery by the vet. The other two had a painkiller and are on a course of antibiotics. I cleaned up the feathers this morning and it looks as if all three hens were bitten through the run as there were three distinct piles of feathers just inside the run. We had no idea that a fox could attack chickens from outside the run and hurt them so badly. EDIT: Should have mentioned that we do have a Foxwatch but after the attack we discovered that the battery had run out. Also the eglu and run are on a large slabbed area.
  7. Hello chicken comrades, I have been searching for a good quality chicken ringtone to no avail. I'd like a natural sound such as an egg announcement or a cockerel's crow. Does anyone know where I can get my hands on one? I thought if anyone would know, it would be someone on this forum! Thanks, Al
  8. I had a problem with one chook who forgot to go to bed, then it got too late and she roosted in the hedge, unbeknownst to us. Of course when we went to do the usual headcount before closing the Eglu door for the night we were frantic and it took hours to find her What we started doing after that is, about 30 mins before it even starts to get dark, we throw corn into the run. They all go into the run to eat the corn and we shut the run door behind them. Then when we went to shut the Eglu door they would always be asleep in the correct location!
  9. Update: My husband went to visit the chickens and he inspected the alleged dry skin but he couldn't see anything unusual. Perhaps my mother in law was being too cautious but that's the best way to be if you're new to chickens. The chickens are being thoroughly spoilt by her Their most recent outrageous treat was leftover Christmas cake.
  10. Yes, it could be the sun as I've only noticed it in spring and summer months. Will ask mother-in-law to moisturise and will suggest cod liver oil. Thanks for the replies
  11. Hello chicken lovers, My mother-in-law is looking after my chickens while we try to sort out our house and garden. She phoned last night to say that Liza had developed dry skin on her wattles. Is this anything to worry about? When Liza lived here I noticed that she did have dry wattles from time to time but I just used to put Vaseline on them (when she let me!) Anyone have any advice for me? Thanks, Al
  12. Ace photos and beautiful girls. I like the last one best; she looks very thoughtful.
  13. Thanks everyone for condolences, you're all so kind. I am dreading telling some of my friends because of the 'it's only a chicken' type of comment. It make a huge difference to have people understand how I feel. It's the first time I've lost a pet of any kind. More than a few tears have flowed, especially when I cleared away her temporary accommodation from the bathroom today. I shall try to remember all the good times and I have definitely learned something from this episode.
  14. The vet said she had a growth/tumor in her abdomen, probably caused by an infection of some sort. When he felt her he said she was very thin. He said there wasn't anything that could be done for her, so she was put to sleep. I feel quite guilty because she may have been ill for some time and perhaps I should have spotted it. She hadn't been laying eggs regularly for months and occasionally had a dirty bottom. On the other hand she's always been a bit slower than the others ever since we got her from Omlet. In fact that's why she was named Dozy. It was only in the past few days that she slowed down significantly. I knew that there was a possibility that I might lose her, but I am still more upset than I thought I would be. Thanks everyone for advice anyway.
  15. Egluntyne - no she hasn't been wormed. Yes, it's now clear that it's more than the moult. Since I've had her indoors I've noticed her poo is very watery and she's trying to make sounds but it's very quiet and 'ho"Ooops, word censored!"'. When I woke up this morning she had pooed all over the bathroom floor which shows she'd been moving about a bit. She looks perkier than yesterday and had a nice scrambled egg for breakfast, but still not like a happy, healthy chicken. Got an appointment for her at the vets, but it won't be easy driving in all this snow - what a nuisance! Thanks for all the help. Will let you know what the vet says.
  16. Thank you all so much for your advice and opinions. Dozy is looking a better this afternoon and eating like a trooper: I'm going to keep her indoors and keep an eye on her until tomorrow. There is a lot of snow here in Cambridge and still more is falling so I am reluctant to go to the vet today in these hazardous driving conditions. My husband still thinks it's a very bad moult. Dozy didn't moult last year so this is her first moult at the age of 2 and a half years. debier - we don't think she has an impacted crop because she's eating, drinking and pooing very well now. Jools - no she hasn't been laying much recently. When she does lay she has been laying softies, so she could have a softie on the way. Will keep you all posted, thanks again.
  17. Hello all, Dozy has been standing around hunched up for a few days now. She is moulting but could this have made her legs so weak that she can hardly stand up? This morning I found her in the run, just outside the eglu, with her legs collapsed beneath her, struggling to get up, poor thing. I immediately gathered her up and brought her indoors. She's now living in the bathroom next to a radiator and I'm going in to encourage her to eat at regular intervals. Is it just a moult or something more serious? I've taken a video of her, in which you can see how she is: As you can see, she is standing, but she's unsteady on her feet. I've examined her but can't see any other signs of illness. I don't know if it is linked but for months her laying has been irregular and when she does lay she's been laying softies. Thanks in advance for any comments. Al
  18. Sue, Thanks so much for the diatom powder. I used it as you directed and the girls seems much happier now. I ordered some more powder and some plastic roosting bars from Omlet and they arrived today. I also found out that Rectory Farm Shop in Milton stock diluted Poultry Shield so I'll be picking some of that up for when I next clean the Eglu. I can replace the powder I borrowed from you, just let me know when is a good time to drop it off. Thanks again, Al
  19. Hi Sue, I also found a few red mite in my eglu today I had been wondering why the chooks had recently seemed reluctant to go to bed. Their wattles and combs are all pale too Al
  20. I don't know anything about Lily Allen but, knowing I love all things hen-related, my sister excitedly sent me a link to her video with chickens in it I had to watch it on mute as my husband is working not 2 foot behind me, so I couldn't comment on the song but I'm quite happy to see chickens portrayed on TV in a positive light (rather than as figures of fun) for once. The other night I watched the film Borat, and I was a bit upset that the main character carried a chicken around in his bag. There was one part when his bag came open and the chicken was running around in a busy subway train. I'm sure no real harm came to the chicken but I still didn't like it.
  21. RIP Edna. So sorry for your losses - hope things will start to look up now.
  22. Happy 2nd henniversary! (I hope my own 2nd year will be as good as my 1st.)
  23. Lovely photo. I love it when they all pile in together

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