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Tilly Bud

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About Tilly Bud

  • Birthday 05/16/1987

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Chicken Eggspert (2/19)

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  1. Hello lovely chicken-keepers, I haven't needed your advice in a long time, but I really do now! I haven't had an egg in months and I have four seemingly healthy hens . Of my four hens, two are two-years-old and the other two are around three-years-old. They are all brown hybrids who live in an Eglu Classic inside a walk in run. I have checked and all hens are free of mites, as is the Eglu. However, when I turned them upside down to give them a good once over, one hen has bright red skin on her belly and all four have a kind of sticky black stuff in amongst their belly feathers, nowhere else. It looks a little like poo, but doesn't seem dirty. It doesn't look like eggs of any sort and it's definitely not living (so not mites or the like). It's just flaky, black, sticky stuff. They don't mind me touching it but it's hard to pull off their feathers. The only eggs I get (maybe two eggs a week) are ones which are ALWAYS broken by the time I get there in the morning, they have thin shells and the insides have disappeared. All the hens have access to grit and crushed oyster shells. After nearly three months of no eggs, I have changed the layers pellets they are on in a bid to help them lay. I no longer give them dried corn with their food but give it as a treat instead and all other treats have been severely limited in a bid to get them to eat the layers pellets instead. Still no eggs. I change their water every two days so it's fresh as I was told this made a difference. They all look unbelievably healthy, went through the moult last winter and have beautiful feathers, combs and vents. DOES ANYONE HAVE AN IDEA WHY THEY HAVE STOPPED LAYING EGGS? Have they got too old? Or could the black sticky stuff be the reason? Why has one got red skin on her belly? She lets me touch it but it is very red. Any advice/help would be so much appreciated. Thank you.
  2. Hello lovely chicken-keepers, I haven't needed your advice in a long time, but I really do now! I haven't had an egg in months and I have four seemingly healthy hens . Of my four hens, two are two-years-old and the other two are around three-years-old. They are all brown hybrids who live in an Eglu Classic inside a walk in run. I have checked and all hens are free of mites, as is the Eglu. However, when I turned them upside down to give them a good once over, one hen has bright red skin on her belly and all four have a kind of sticky black stuff in amongst their belly feathers, nowhere else. It looks a little like poo, but doesn't seem dirty. It doesn't look like eggs of any sort and it's definitely not living (so not mites or the like). It's just flaky, black, sticky stuff. They don't mind me touching it but it's hard to pull off their feathers. The only eggs I get (maybe two eggs a week) are ones which are ALWAYS broken by the time I get there in the morning, they have thin shells and the insides have disappeared. All the hens have access to grit and crushed oyster shells. After nearly three months of no eggs, I have changed the layers pellets they are on in a bid to help them lay. I no longer give them dried corn with their food but give it as a treat instead and all other treats have been severely limited in a bid to get them to eat the layers pellets instead. Still no eggs. I change their water every two days so it's fresh as I was told this made a difference. They all look unbelievably healthy, went through the moult last winter and have beautiful feathers, combs and vents. DOES ANYONE HAVE AN IDEA WHY THEY HAVE STOPPED LAYING EGGS? Have they got too old? Or could the black sticky stuff be the reason? Why has one got red skin on her belly? She lets me touch it but it is very red. Any advice/help would be so much appreciated. Thank you.
  3. Hello lovely hen owners and forum users, I haven't posted for a while - my hens are all happy and healthy. I'm at my friend's house today though and her Warren isn't doing so well. Any advice you could give would be great. Her symptoms are: 1. Very blocked nostrils which seem to be making it hard for her to breathe - her neck puffs out sometimes and she opens her beak as if to get more oxygen. 2. A very droopy tail. 3. She sneezes a lot. 4. Slightly dirty feathers near her bum - her vent looks clean and not sore though. 5. She's not laying and never has, but she looks old enough to. Not sure of her exact age. 6. Taking a long time time go into the hen house at night. She was fine for a week, then developed the runny nose after a week, didn't get better or worse until a few days ago when she became much more quiet. She is eating and drinking and has been scratching around until a few days ago. She has been treated for mites and worms. I know the heat won't be helping but she does look very unhappy. Does anyone recognise any of these symptoms? Thank you.
  4. Hello, I'm on the look out for a new hen and a friend of mine has recommended me Blue Laced Wyandottes. I don't know much about this breed, I was wondering if anyone has them/knows about them/has kept them and can give me any useful information on sizes/amount of eggs they lay/temperament etc. The internet's so vast I thought first hand tips might be more helpful! Thanks x
  5. I think I'm going to do exactly the same! It's my forst time introducing a newbie too. Managed to get 3 days off together so I'm going to get the newbie this Sunday, leave her and Harriet in the separated Eglu run for the 5 days I'm at work, letting them free range together when I get home, take the newbie out at night to sleep somewhere else, then after the 5 days I'll introduce them properly, staying with them for the longer periods while they're freeranging together. The only thing is - how does a hen sleep in a rabbit hutch ?! I have a spare one, but the hen could only be in one area or the other because she couldn't fit through the little door! Would you just put her in the bed bit area at night and leave her there? It's been good to talk to someone in the same position, thanks ! x
  6. Hello, I live in Bramhall, Cheshire and I'm in the process of looking for a new hen to go with my existing one (who's been left alone unfortunately). I don't really have anything suitable for the new one to sleep in for the first few weeks while they're separated and I'm looking to borrow an Eglu (and run if possible) for about 2 weeks. I'll take very good care of it and leave a deposit/something to prove I'll bring it back. If anyone can help, please get in touch, I'd be very grateful. x
  7. Due to some very sad circumstances I've been left with only one hen . How long can I leave my remaining hen alone? I'm trying to get a bit of time off work so when I introduce a new one I'm there for the first few days of the process. It could be a little while, though I'll try and push to get it sooner if Harriet'll be too unhappy by herself. Any advice would be hugely appreciated. Thanks x
  8. Would I use the same process introducing one or two hens to a flock as I would introducing one to another? Harriet's alone and I'll only be getting one more hen. Should I still use the same methods of separation (putting the new one in a hutch/run nearby) or is there a different way to do it? Thanks x
  9. Thank you all so much. I need to investigate how to properly introduce a new hen to another. It all seems to soon, I just want Beatrice to find her way home but I can't hope she will and I can't leave Harriet on her own for too long. I never introduced a new hen before though, it'll be a new experience .
  10. Hello, I've lost one of my hens, Beatrice. It's a long story but she's gone and I'm left with just Harriet. I'm absolutely heartbroken, she was the best, sweetest, silliest, stupidist and most wonderful hen I've ever had. I loved her so, so much, she'll be very sorely missed by everyone. But I need to know what to do with Harriet. She's on her own now and I know hens shouldn't be alone. Do I need to introduce a new hen? I know you're supposed to introduce more than one at a time but I only want to keep two. I need some advice, anything would be appreciated. Thank you.
  11. Thank you everyone, you've been so helpful I'm going to put some ideas into motion today and keep a close eye on her! x
  12. Hello everybody, I'd appreciate any advice you have, I've never had a broody hen before ! So Beatrice seems to have decided she'd like some babies (with or without a man) and she's been sitting on her eggs. I forgot to collect them one day and the next morning noticed she'd been an awful long time laying. When I went down to check on her she was sat on 4 eggs (2 from the previous day and 2 from the day I checked). I left her a while in case she was still laying and an hour later went down, she was still there. So I moved her off the eggs and took them away. She's normally a very quiet hen but she caused a good 10 minutes of noisy fuss as I took them. Today she's been out in her larger garden pen and I found her snuggled down among the bushes, sat on another egg. This may have been one she'd just laid or one I'd missed collecting (sometimes they lay them in the bushes and I can't find them). Shall I give her pretend eggs and take away the real ones so she can satisfy her broodiness or is that encouraging it? Should I just keep taking them away? I want to do the right thing because I love her very much and don't want her to be unhappy . Thanks everyone. Karen x
  13. Hello all! This icy cold weather isn't very good for hens, mine aren't impressed by the snow at all . What I wanted, was to be able to feed them some suitable treats to help fatten them up and keep them warm, but I'm not sure what's safe and what isn't. Is cheese okay for them, because mine love it! If anyone knows of any good treats for hens in the winter then please let me know, I'm willing to try them on anything ! Thanks!
  14. Thank you all so much. She seems better already, drinking a lot of water and starting to move about .
  15. Thank you so much for responding so quickly. I'm willing to try anything and my mum's here with me so we'll give it a go. She does have all the symptoms you just described. x

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