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Everything posted by Barkisland

  1. Test post, sorry can’t work out how to delete it!
  2. Just back from the vets where, very sadly, I had to have my Light Sussex euthanased. Mary was originally my 'Top Chook', but was very prone to broodiness and went into a steep decline after she stopped laying. She had lost a lot of weight and would no longer eat - not even mealworms would tempt her any longer. The other two were also taking their chance to have a go at her, so it was time to let the poor girl go. Sweet dreams old girl.
  3. My brave little ex batt Agnes went to sleep last night, in a cat basket in front of the fire. Agnes was lame when she came to us last year, and towards the end of the year I had to separate her from the main flock as they were picking on her and she couldn't get away. Unfortunately they got at her twice through the net this week, and she did not survive the second set of injuries. RIP brave little girl.
  4. Interesting thread. My 4 pure breeds are just about 5 years old, only one (Barnevelder) is still laying. My Light Sussex has dementia, poor old soul. She was always a very broody hen, became profoundly depressed, and eventually stopped laying. Now I have to get her out to eat and drink, as she seems to have forgotten how to do it. She also has to live alone behind a net, because the others beat her up and she doesn't defend herself. The Cream Legbar only laid for 8 months, packed up for the winter in 2009 and never bothered again! My ex batts have mostly lasted to 3 or 4. I lost another yesterday
  5. My cream legbar laid blue eggs, but only for 10 months, then she gave up bothering - too posh to push, apparently. She is a very nervy and flighty hen too, not one for being handled - in fact, she runs a mile and squawks her head off if you even look at her!
  6. Aaah! my favourite little ex batty's called Agnes, she's lame and has to hop everywhere, but happy as a sandboy and still lays every day! Contrary Mary is named after my paternal Granny, as obstinate as the day is long, just like her namesake!
  7. My Light Sussex is perpetually broody and lays the least eggs of all my girls. She's broody now, and her comb has gone very pale and shrunk so much it's almost disappeared. Even if I break her broody spell in a cage she turns broody again almost immediately. I'll never have another.
  8. I had one like that last year and it wasn't even a double yolker. And unfortunately, Hilda, the poor ex batty who laid it developed a massive prolapse a couple of days later and had to be put to sleep
  9. I think you just have to accept that anyone else is not going to perform to your own exacting standards when looking after your girls. The first couple of times we went away I did worry a lot about what was happening at home. I'm extremely lucky to have willing neighbours who will look after mine for me, but they don't clean up the poo as efficiently as I do - and why would they? The main incentive for them is collecting the eggs, and they make no bones about it, but I am still very grateful, as without their help I could not go away at all. My girls are just as happy being a bit muckier for a couple of weeks. As long as they have food &water, and are locked safely away at night they will be ok. Once you have got your head around this, you'll be able to enjoy your holidays better. I used to worry about the cat too, but we found a really good cattery locally, (which is half the price of the one we used to use ), so now I feel totally relaxed and happy and barely give them a thought when I'm away!
  10. Bless him! He's smitten - he'll be getting a few of his own next, you watch!
  11. Sorry to hear of your troubles and hope things improve for you very soon (((hugs)))
  12. No idea about the lacing, but what pretty girls! (I've got a Barnevelder and she's a lovely hen with a temperament to match).
  13. Love Tracey Beaker, brilliant name! I've got a special needs batty too - Agnes can only use one leg, she holds her shrivelled leg up close to her body and will not put it to the floor (although the vet cannot find any reason for this). I have to keep Agnes netted off from my other girls, they just rugby tackle her given chance, and she can't defend herself. But she is my friendliest and most docile girl and I love her to bits!
  14. I cooked Nigella's gammon in coke today and sliced up the cooked skin for the birds. As I was putting it on the bird table I tossed a handful into the run and the girls went wild for the rubbery worm like morsels! Cue Keystone Kops routine
  15. I'm down to a couple of eggs a day from my 10 girls too, but they are getting a bit older now. I'd really hate to have to buy eggs again!
  16. Is she an ex batt? I had one that went like this. I brought her indoors and had her in a cat basket overnight, intending to take her to the vet in the morning, but sadly she died before I could get her there.
  17. I did say to OH on the way, I hope we don't have an accident or anything, 'cos this could take some explaining!
  18. Electrified netting would be my answer. It's quite an outlay, I know, but worth it for the peace of mind. I wouldn't let my girls out without it. You must have had a dreadful fright when you saw the fox, but thank God your hens were safe.
  19. im with you on that. more so that the mud in garden will be solid!! Yep! Nearly broke my neck sliding in a muddy run today
  20. We compost too, and what we can't use we take down to the In laws when we visit, as they grow loads of tomatoes and sell them at their garden gate - all proceeds to charity. Mother in Law is always when we arrive with a carload of poo! (We took 6 sacks for Christmas and put a bow on it ).
  21. There are lots of reasons I think. From a personal perspective, I think they are time consuming if you look after them properly, and more messy than I expected. Not everyone wants to spend every Saturday afternoon up to their oxters in chicken poo. We've also had a problem with rats recently. Then there's illness and infestations to learn about and cope with. I quickly succumbed to Morehens and ended up with a few too many. I currently have 10, but I would say 6 is the optimum number for me, and I wouldn't have more than that in future. My husband was helpful at first, but the novelty wore off quickly and he and regards them as very much mine. He couldn't be relied upon to care for them if something were to prevent me from doing so. My pure breeds have all stopped laying for the winter, and my ex batts are getting on a bit, so there aren't so many eggs at the moment, one or two a day from 10 hens is a poor return. My Cream Legbar only laid for one season and then gave up. She's been freeloading for 2 years now! It's not so easy to be spontaneous and go away for a few days here or there. The hens have always got to be planned for. We're planning a longish trip overseas next year, and I am concerned that our neighbours, who have previously been extremely obliging, might not want to do the full stretch of chicken sitting - it's a big ask. So I am not going to replace any girls that may pop their clogs between now and returning from our travels. Hopefully we'll still have some layers by the time we go, otherwise there will be no incentive for the neighbours to look after them. Longer term I do plan to carry on keeping a few girls, but no more than 6 in future for me.
  22. I've got 10 girls too. I'm down to one or two eggs a day at the moment. I can't tell who's laying them either. My Legbar only laid for one season and gave up, the other 3 pure breeds take it in turns to do either broody or moult, and I think most of the ex batts are now too old to lay regularly. I haven't had to buy any eggs yet, but at this rate it won't be long
  23. Am I understanding correctly that your 'friend' was sold a solitary hen?? What breeder would do such a thing? Good to hear that you have rescued the poor little thing, well done you

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