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Salop Chuck

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Everything posted by Salop Chuck

  1. So sorry to hear about your problem - you are quite right to remove the victim for the time being to allow her wound to start healing. Even if you removed the bully and left her with the other hens they may follow suit and start pecking the open wound. When her wound has healed over then that may be the time to remove the bully to keep her away from the others at least she has fallen off the top knotch and can be reintroduced lower down the pecking order. Then there is always fitting bumper bits which do help reduce the problem.
  2. I was tempted to let the bully (Bella) FR with the rest of the girls but because she was within sight of the others during the day I decided not too. I could see that Bella wanted to join them but I decided that decisive measures were necessary to curb her bad habit and she needed to learn that feather pecking would incur a spell in the 'clink'. All this happened nine months ago and I have not had to deal with this problem again YET. I call this method 'Cognitive Behaiour Therapy for hens'.
  3. Hi Sue I had a problem with feather pecking and I posted my experience on "Phoebe has lost her knickers" post as shown below:- The victim didn't have any open wounds so I was able to leave her with the rest of the flock while I separated the bully who slept in a spare eglu for the duration of her confinement. I am always on the lookout for the problem to recur but at least I have a strategy for dealing with it now.
  4. Sorry to hear about your loss of Doris - she had a good life right up to the end. You had the courage to make the right decision for her before she started to suffer. Hugs
  5. I had a problem with bullying and feather pecking last year and it was horrible to see it happening and very challenging to deal with. In the end I separated the bully from the rest of the flock to give the vicim of bullying a chance to recover. I have only a small garden so it took some lateral thinking to divide it up so that all the hens had enough space. I made sure the bully slept on her own (she hated that) and kept this regime up for nearly a fortnight. I really had to harden my heart to keep this up and it paid off in the end because when I reintroduced the bully back into the flock (lower down the pecking order) the bullying didn't start up again and peace has reigned for several months since then. If you haven't got an extra coop, you can substitute with large cat carrier with a cover over it and place it in a shed or garage for security overnight. Hope this helps. Good luck with resolving your problem.
  6. I still miss my three original omlet hens will never forget my time with them - so short . My heart goes out to you at this time. Hugs to you.
  7. Hi everyone Being a sucker for animal welfare appeals I received this one today about an anonymous tip that led to 50,000 laying hens in California that had been abandoned in their cramped cages to die of starvation just because the owner of the poultry business had 'run out of money' to feed them!! Having been without food or water for neary two weeks many of the hens had already died while others were in such a bad way that they had to be euthanized. The remaining hens have been re-homed and are now enjoying their new life in various animal sancturies. Here's the appeal addressed to Stanislaus County District Attorney to pursue the matter and prosecute the owner. http://www.thepetitionsite.com/4/get-justice-for-nearly-50000-abandoned-hens/ Thank you for reading this.
  8. Hi SilverC The answer is YES - hens can and do grieve for a lost companion. I had two omlet hens that were inseparable and when sadly one of them had to be euthanised because of a large tumour the remaining one, Saffie, was aboslutely bereft . She looked everywhere in the garden where they used to hang out together, spent hours moping under bushes barely eating or drinking and for a few days I had to bring her in and syringe feed her to keep her strength up. I did have other hens and bantams but she would have nothing to do with them. After 3-4 months she finally succumed to the same tumour and was PTS . It was very distressing watching her decline and while hindsight is a fine thing, I think it would have been kinder if she had gone at the same time as her friend. Having said all that each one is an individual and we have to try to do the best for our hens since we don't know how each one deals with loss. You did the right thing, therefore, getting another hen and I hope in time your sad hen will recover and learn to get on with her new companion. Hugs and good wishes
  9. I agree with you that some advice about keeping hens creates the impression that it is just a matter of giving feed and fresh water every day, cleaning out once a week and regularly collecting eggs. This can be a little misleading as it doesn't address the behaviour problems with may occur and an alarming array of illnesses and conditions that may beset hens during their lifetime. I have had to deal with Coccidiosis, bullying, feather pecking, egg peritonitis, tumours and cardiac deficiency to name a few. While dealing with these conditions is challenging it certainly doesn't put me off keeping chickens either now or in the future. The thing that keeps me going is this forum (the best there is ) where I have received oustanding and helpful support and advice during the last 3+ years of keeping chickens.
  10. Hi Jennym I buy hardwood wood chips from Flyte So Fancy http://www.flytesofancy.co.uk/cgi-bin/cm000001.pl and have done for a few years now. The quality is excellent and it will see you through the winter and beyond. I am afraid there is nothing cheap out there and you cannot avoid carriage costs (as we all appreciate the cost of fuel in our cars etc). It is much better than bark and doesn't become slushy or degrade after rain. A plastic sack holding 70 litres, weighing approx 18-20kg will cover approx 10 sq ft with a 3" depth. Hope this helps.
  11. Hi Sammiboo Sorry to hear about Agnes - I hope the medication improves her condition. I had a similar problem with a poorly Buff Rock bantam, Lottie, who had to be treated with antibiotics. Like you I separated her during her treatment partly because she was being bullied and becoming traumatized by it. When she started to recover I put her back with the other hens but placed the main bully in the isolation run for a week so that Lottie could find a place higher up the pecking order. This seemed to work because when the bully rejoined the flock Lottie was strong enough to stick up for herself and by and large the bullying stopped. This only works, however, if there is only one bully. I think the suggestion from another post in giving Agnes a companion is a very sound one and worth trying. Hope this helps and that Agnes is soon back to her old self.
  12. Hi essexhen Thanks for update - glad to hear that the introduction and integration of the new hens with your established flock went well for you without the dreaded bullying. Well done you.
  13. Hi All Early in March I thought I would lose my Buff Rock Bantam, Lottie. Following a visit to a 'Chicken vet' and a course of Baytril and Baycox she perked up, started to eat and drink and steadily gained in confidence. I then made the decision to separate the bully, Bella, for a week. This gave Lottie a chance to reintegrate with the other 3 hens. When Bella rejoined the flock the bullying stopped and all was sweetness and light (well most of the time!). This has highlighted the importance of having a vet with experience and knowledge to treat poultry. Unfortunately my local vet does not have this knowledge base. Had I not found a suitable vet to treat her I am sure she would not have survived. I am now happy to make a half hour car journey to have my hens treated by a suitable vet when they fall sick.
  14. Hi essexhen No reason at all as long as you have separate systems for your hybrids and new POL pure-breds for a few weeks. They need to be able to see each other and perhaps your resident hybrids free-range around the coop/run housing where your new hens are. I introduced 3 pure breeds to 2 resident hybrids and made sure integration was slow, well managed and supervised. While hybrids can be sweet natured on their own they can become very territorial and viscious if any new girls are brought into the flock. There will always be a sorting out of pecking order initially but eventually things generally settle down with the help of plenty of extra feeding containers, pecka-blocks and greens hung up to peck at for distraction. Good luck with your plan and keep us posted. We all learn from each other. No doubt there are others out there with helpful advice you can draw on.
  15. Hi Thanks SteveC for your reply. I have used bumper bits in the past and it does help but I live on my own and fitting them on the bullies would be too stressful for me and them!! Unfortunteately, Wernlas at Onibury, (3 miles away) is now closed so Shaun and Sue wouldn't be available to help fitting them as they have in the past. I like your idea Alli, of putting the 2 Buffs together - that just might work. I'll give it a try tomorrow and keep you posted.
  16. Hi Thanks for your reply, Alli, outlining a few suggestions to resolve this problem. When I took Lottie to an expert chicken vet he seem to think that she had suffered a trauma from the bullying that had resulted in minor brain damage (the strange noises she make would certainly bear this out). I think the dominent, bossy hens have picked up on this so as you say there is no easy answer. The main bully (Bella) has been in her own separate eglu and run with a small enclosure for nearly 3 days. She is obviously stressed by being separate from the other hens but I want to keep her there long enough to change the pecking order - perhaps a week or so and then review the situation. I did initially separate Lottie but she became very distressed being apart from the other girls, even though they gave her a hard time. Ultimately, if Lottie's life becomes unsustainable with the rest of the flock it may be more merciful to take her to the vet for euthanasia, especially as her brain damage is hampering her survival. I have not run out of options just yet. I am very attached to her and want her to have more time to heal and gain confidence.
  17. Hi I have been struggling with a feather pecking problem for about 3 months now which started for no apparent reason (that I could make out). One of my bantams, Lottie, appeared to be loosing feathers round her neck and to cut the the chase it turned out to be night-time feather-pecking by 2 of the other hens which then moved on to day time bullying activities while they free-ranged involving keeping her away from all the food stations I put out and repetitive nasty pecks at her neck and body which must have been painful because I could hear her cry out and run away for a short while. A month ago, Lottie became very traumatised by the bullying and needed to be separated to recover and feed herself up. I have now put Bella, the main bully, in a separate eglu and run (which she hates and shouts in protest). She has been there for only 2 days and already, Lottie is relaxing and eating and behaving normally with the other 2 hens without any problems. During the day everything is fine and I thought I'd cracked it but tonight I witnessed the top hen (the other bully) twice attacking and chasing Lottie out of the eglucube coop at dusk so she couldn't settle down for the night in the safety of the coop. I had to put Lottie in a cat carrier inside the coop to keep her safe. Sorry this is so long but it is quite complex and any advice on managing this situation would be most welcome. I do have anti-pecking spray but am reluctant to use it on an already traumatised hen who's struggling to grow her missing feathers back.
  18. Hi snaps, I can see why my idea wouldn't work very well for you Perhaps covering the eglu with a blackout (at least on the side where the sun rises) to make the inside of the eglu darker so Lupin cannot see the eggs to eat. Anything is worth a try. Getting up really early every morning would be quite demanding on you especially if you go out to work.
  19. A possible solution to your egg eating problem might be to put Lupin at bed time into a straw lined cat carrier and place this in the Eglucube coop with the other hens. She is with the other hens so she is not lonely but she cannot get to any eggs laid overnight. I used this technique to solve another problem ie feather pecking at night (or in the morning before the hens are let out into the run). One of my bantams was being picked on and this stopped the night time bullying. Hope this helps. I sure other people will be able to give a much more plausible solution. It would be a shame to cull her especially as she gets along fine with the other hens and they form a contented group. She is a great age though.
  20. I took my bantam to the vet yesterday with the same 'single shut eye' problem. Unfortuntately my vet's not very experienced in dealing with back yard hens. She gave me Tylan ointment to put in her affected eye but within a day her eye was fully open and looked normal again. I thought she had probably been pecked in the eye by the top hen and it was just a matter of time before it healed on its own. Hope your hen recovers soon and is back to her normal self. They are a worry though
  21. Hi Chickat - thanks for your response. Because some spare parts are not in the Omlet catalogue I just phoned the Omlet Customer Service number and spoke to an advisor explaining what I wanted. She was very positive and helpful and after making enquiries from the manufacturers came back with a price for the eglucube dropping trays. I notice you live the USA so I'm assuming you will have a Customer Service number there or perhaps you could send Omlet an email explaining what you want. I found the spare pair of clean, dry dropping trays and bars especially useful in the winter period when it is more difficult not only to wash soiled ones but to dry them properly before putting them back in the coop. Good luck with your quest.

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