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Everything posted by Sandychick

  1. Don't get me started! The NHS are excellent at broken bones, emergency surgery, intensive care etc. For emergency stuff the NHS is first class and have saved my life a couple of times. The problem is, it's just not set up to deal with or diagnose a lot of things. If you turn up to your GP with 5 intolerable symptoms, they will pick 1 and send you to a specialist. There is no mechanism to join up the dots and find the common cause for all 5. This results in taking different medication to treat each symptom, then more medication to counteract the side effects and the vicious circle continues - and the cause is still not known. This is such an expensive way of dealing with chronic conditions, I'm not surprised they have to cut costs
  2. Mullethunter, I can sympathise having had a battle with my GP in the early stages and then a long waiting list for a Rheumatologist. I would really push for a referral to a specialist now as waiting lists are often long. I wouldn't take too much notice of the blood tests either. They seem quite erratic from the ones I've had. I've been hobbling in with really swollen joints and the tests came back as low inflamation. The worst test result I got was on a really good day! If joints are swollen and hurt, there is something wrong! Have you looked at the new research going on into gut microbes and the link with chronic diseases? It is interesting stuff.
  3. I am totally sure it is diet that causes inflammation. It might sound crazy to begin with, but I had very aggressive auto immune arthritis which started when I was 40. It affected my ankles, knees, wrists, fingers, elbows, neck and jaw. The pain was immense and life was impossible, especially living on my own trying to get normal stuff done. I tried all manner of aggressive drugs from my Rheumatologist, all made me vomit all day and made my symptoms worse! Figured this was not the magic solution and then tried to sift through the info out there to separate fiction and madness from fact (be warned, there is a lot of nonsense). It's a very long story that I won't bore everyone with, but after months of diet elimination and experimentation the transformation has been amazing. I'm cycling, playing tennis, can climb up ladders and all sorts of things that I thought would never be possible again. And no drugs! It's very complicated and there is no magic diet that works for everyone. It is definitely worth eating lots of fruit and veg, bio live yogurt and minimising processed foods. Home made cakes and desserts are fine. Have a look at the ingredients in packaged food - it can be alarming compared to home made versions! Avoid antibiotics unless essential. There are a few great science based books out there on the subject if anyone wants to know more. 'Missing microbes' by Martin Blaser & '10% Human' by Alanna Collen are a couple of good ones. Pain and inflammation shouldn't be considered 'normal' as we get older.....it really isn't. Sorry to witter on but it might help someone!!!
  4. I think you are right to take her to the vets sounds like she will probably need antibiotics. I hope she gets better soon
  5. I don't know much about it , but it's an imbalance of gut bacteria - too much of the wrong sort! I think this is a common problem with chickens. Here's a link with some info and how to treat bacterial diarrhoea. http://www.chickenvet.co.uk/health-and-common-diseases/diarrhoea/index.aspx#diarrhoea_in_backyard_poultry This info is bias to their own products, but I have found biostop to be very effective. I've not tried Beryl's bacteria, I give mine actimel instead! I've been on antibiotics for months so i already have a fridge full of it. It works anyway!
  6. Sure she's not sneaked out to the pub? I Think I've suffered a very simular wobble some Saturday nights I havent got any useful suggestions, but It does look like a balance problem It doesn't look like the classic Mareks symptoms to me........limping, paralysis and curled feet are more usual first symptoms. She does look otherwise happy and healthy
  7. The wet wood shavings do suggest some watery poo. That could also explain the weight loss, why she is not laying and a nutritional deficiency Try and get a look at what her fresh poo looks like in the day. Link here to a brilliant but rather graphic guide to what is normal / abnormal and why (not good viewing If you're eating your tea ) http://chat.allotment-garden.org/index.php?topic=17568.0
  8. It might be a feather eating problem. It's a problem I had with one of my hens earlier this year and it took me a while to figure out what was going on. She then started pulling feathers from the other hens too. Once they start it's a habit that seems impossible to stop. I put a bumpa bit on Molly and it worked and all feathers returned I'm thinking that if it was lice, your other hen would certainly have them too. Is she definitely pulling out her own feathers, or could the other hen be the culprit? ?
  9. Have you tried using Biostop? I've found it really good for firming up poo I used it for a week, then followed that with a small amount of actimel in mash for a few days. Worked for a couple of my hens that had runny poo for a while. Info on Biostop http://www.chickenvet.co.uk/shop/view/index.aspx/product/biostop-100ml-102
  10. Is it really only my hens that struggle with bumpa bits???? They have had nearly a week to get used to them and they absolutely definitely can't eat stuff off the ground. Can't understand why if other hens don't find it a problem. Feel really mean On a positive note, no more feathers have gone missing in the last week!
  11. I'm thinking that the missing feathers might be connected to the thin egg shells. She might be eating her own feathers, in which case it could indicate a dietary deficiency or not absorbing something as suggested. I have a hen with a bald bottom and underneath - it took me ages to figure out that she was doing this herself
  12. Omlet hens usually lay for at least 3 years, but not always - one of mine was still laying at over 4 years old the other stopped a year earlier. It might just be that they have been molting, but if there are still no eggs when they have all their feathers back it might well be something else. Have they been wormed with Flubenvet recently?? Worms can really have an effect on egg laying including soft or thin shelled eggs. Also, are they eating enough of the layers pellets? If they are free ranging a lot it could be that they are eating much tastier things, but not getting enough of the right stuff to produce eggs. As AlisonH said check their house for mites (usually have pale combs also) and have a good look at their feathers for lice etc. If you have already done these, I'm stuck for ideas! Good luck, hope you have some eggs on the way soon
  13. Hmmmm, that's a good point - they have been on mash recently to keep their beaks busy! Think I will switch back to pellets tomorrow, might be easier for them Good luck with your hens, fingers crossed for you
  14. Yes, I understand how the bumpa bit works to stop pecking - just the eating I'm concerned about. Guess my hens are just a bit dim then if others don't find any difficulty with them. Have to hope they will figure it out in the next few days.
  15. Thanks Beantree. Yes, definitely fitted properly. They were done by Cotswold Chickens yesterday. As the bumpa bit is longer than their beak, I'm not sure how they can get their beak to the ground to pick anything up?? I'm planning to downgrade to a beak bit in a few weeks, but just want to make sure they are having an ok time with these before that happens.
  16. I have just had to put bumpa bits on 2 of my hens - Matilda has been eating her own feathers at an alarming rate, and then started to have a peck at the others. Molly is starting to copy this so she has also had a bumpa bit fitted too. I'm hoping that someone who has used bumpa bits can help with this. The omlet shop info says that they can eat and drink normally with these, but that doesn't seem to be the reality? Apparently, they can't eat from the plastic hanging feeders / drinkers? They have a grub and glug, so that should be ok for them, but are they able to eat food from the ground with bumpa bits? Mine don't seem able to pick up a mealworm Will they figure out how to do it, or is it not possible?? It also says that bumpa bits shouldn't be left in for more that 2 weeks, but I've been given conflicting advice to say that they can be left for as long as needed?? Bit confused......
  17. Thanks for replys -I'll order some Ivermactin now I know what to do with it! I did consider it might be feather pecking, but the hen which is worst effected is top of the pecking order - it would be a brave chicken that pulled her feathers out The 2 that haven't lost any feathers are the lowest hens in the group so it doesn't seem very likely. As they have only lost feathers from their vent, and one also under her wings it seems more likely that it is lice or mites causing the problem (even though I can't find any ). I'll try the Ivermactin and hope that works - won't be a bad thing anyway. Does anyone know what the recommended egg withdrawal time is?
  18. Three of my hens have been losing feathers around their vents really quickly over the last couple of weeks. Matilda is the worst and has all her fluffy bottom feathers missing and bare skin instead I was thinking that it might be a feather pecking problem as 2 of them seem fine. After taking the eglu apart today, I've found quite a lot of red mite hiding away in there. The eglu has been jet washed and I put red mite powder on the bars and in all the corners. The hens have also been dusted with with red mite powder. I'm not sure if this is the cause of the feather loss though? Everything I reads seems to suggest that this is more likely to be mites or lice that live on the hen rather than red mite? I've checked a couple of hens for lice and I can't see anything. I'm thinking that I should try Ivermectin to cover all possibilities, but I've got a few questions. Does anyone know how many drops to use on a chicken (1 for a pigeon apparently!). Does it actually work? Also what is the egg withdrawal time when using this? I'm feeling quite bad about this as the eglu is usually jet washed every 2 weeks and I would have noticed it sooner. It hasn't been done for weeks because my garden has been such a swamp with all this rain it hasn't been practical to do it. They are still laying great eggs though and seem as happy as ever.
  19. I've done worse A few years ago I shut my hens in the run for the night and then went away for the weekend thinking they were all in the eglu. I got back 3 days later at night and checked the eglu to make sure they were ok........and one was missing After a frantic search of the garden with a torch, I found her roosting high up in a tree. Had to get a ladder to get her down. She was ok, and avoided the fox thanks to her amazing flying / tree climbing talents. Lesson learnt!!!
  20. Novelty of eggs hasn't worn off with me either - Just got the first egg from my pure breeds. They were 12 weeks old when I got them last August, so it's been a 6 month wait for this egg Hoping the other 2 join in soon.......can't wait for my first blue egg from Tinkerbell
  21. Just caught up with this post. So sorry, I know from bitter experience how awful this is. I lost all my hens a year ago when I didn't shut the door properly one night. I then left it 4 months before getting more hens and within 2 weeks, the fox was back, dug an impressive tunnel under the eglu run, through the netting in the base, and I lost all my hens for a second time. After making the runs as fox proof as humanly possible my 5 hens have all been safe and well since August. My main advice would be to expect the fox to be back any time and take no risks. I wouldn't rule out a visit in the day either. I had never seen the fox out in the day before, until it attacked my hens in broad daylight one summer morning - luckily I was in the garden and no real damage was done. A few years ago my hens used to free range all day while I was at work, so there have been some big changes to adapt to this. On a positive note, it is possible to keep hens safe even with the most determined fox. An electric fence was a good suggestion. I have also put up a wildlife camera so I can keep track of how often the fox is visiting and any attempts it makes to get into the run. It really helps to know what is going on out there while I'm fast asleep! I've also had great success with playing radio 4 at night near the chicken run. It's not a deterrent to rely on, but the sound of human voices just makes the fox uncomfortable - very few visits and doesn't hang around more than a minute which is a big improvement on the constant harassment my girls used to get. Sorry to waffle on, but I really feel for you - it's an awful thing to happen.
  22. Definitely keep the house - it's beautiful Is it possible that the water is getting in through the joins in the wood. Might be solved by running some silicon sealant along all the joins that the rain can get to? It would need a dry day to get that done though
  23. It's not good weather for chickens at the moment A few things might help though. Do they have a dust bath? If not that might explain the feather condition. It might be worth putting down a fresh layer of bark to combat the mud (or hardwood chips would be better in this weather). Also do they have anywhere to perch off the ground? It's quite nice for them to be able to get their feet out of the mud for a while! It would be worth checking that there isn't any other cause. I would give them a good check over for lice etc, and check the eglu for any sign of red mite too. Lets hope the rain stops soon - I think all our hens and muddy chicken runs would appreciate a few sunny days
  24. I think she is probably just busy growing back her moulted feathers - their eggs do tend to suffer then especially at this time of year with so little daylight. As long as she seems happy and healthy, I would just wait until she has grown back all her feathers, and hopefully she will be back to doing eggs with shells again soon
  25. Mine have a cat litter tray with a hood. Hens love it and all the stuff in it stays dry and where is should be. I use a mix of play sand, compost and fire ash. I think they probably prefer the dust bath they have dug themselves outside the run (as it can fit all 5 of them in), but as they only free range at weekends in the winter, the dust bath in the run gets a lot of use.

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