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Everything posted by bigmommasally

  1. http://www.lightningmaps.org/#y=51.5487;x=0.5861;z=11;t=2;m=sat;r=0;s=200;o=0;b=0.00;n=0;d=2;dl=2;dc=0; Not sure if this has been shared on here before, but it's new to me and tonight we Had an evening of thunder and lightening - it was great geeky fun seeing the lightening out the window and then pop up on the map
  2. I know I've not been in here for ages, but just wanted to say I've been following all the Alietere MQ pictures being posted on Facebook - they are amazing and completed in such a short space of time too. Would love to attempt this one day. Am in awe of you attempting the MQ Valkyrie
  3. Hi All I haven't been on for ages but reading this bought back the horrors of last winter We had moved house in summer of 2014 and sited the chicken run in the centre of the garden whilst we cleared the bramble and rubbish tip at the end of the garden where the chicken permanent home was planned. What we didn't realise in the lovely summer was the centre on the garden dipped slightly and was the natural run off area for the garden and our neighbours gardens! As winter approached the girls sunk deeper into a bog, and looked pretty miserable. In desperation we tried the Newland mud management method and it worked pretty well, although in heavy rainfall the run was still under water, it drained quicker when the rain and run off eased off. Over last summer we moved the girls to their permanent site, a drier spot though our garden is very poorly drained all over ( we plan to tackle drainage over the longer term) Hubby dug out and put a thick gravel and sand layer down with paving slabs sitting on top not concreted in to allow rain to drain through. The run is roofed and has guttering into a currently overflowing water butt. We have a thick layer of hard wood chips down ( chicken specific ones from Bark Uk ) Girls have been on this set up from around October and so far it seems to be going pretty well. Currently the garden around them is a total bog, I am wading through deep puddles on the trek down to them, but their run is mainly pretty dry. A bit wet around the edges but this is mainly from rain blowing in as we haven't put up the Perspex side covers (find they get misty or grubby and stop me seeing the girls in the run). Just Praying that it remains as good as this for the rest of the winter. What we not sure is how long we can expect the hard wood chips to last & where all their poo is going - there isn't much evidence of it amongst the chipping or underneath them. We've been putting regular sprinklings of bio dri down to keep germs at bay. Wishing all of you struggling through this awful wet weather a drier times to come
  4. Hi Adam Have you considered putting a bumper bit on your naughty hen? I used them pretty successfully on my girls. They seem unkind at first but mine still managed to eat fine but couldn't peck each other. It may be a kinder solution to separating one girl as at some stage I assume you would want to integrate her back into the main flock
  5. i lost the last 2 of my original 5 hens earlier this year - they were aged about 7 1/2 years, so sad to lose them - I guess the first ones were always going to feel special. A few months on and it felt like time to restock and add a few new girls to my little group: Winnie a blue lace Wyandotte bantam about 16 weeks Gwennie a black lace Wyandotte bantam about 16 weeks Annie 2 a light Sussex 24 weeks Elsie A 16week Welsummer Now back up to 8 hens. The 4 older ones are not best pleased to see some new arrivals but we've been through this enough times now to know that within a few weeks they will all be lively happily together - well fingers crossed it go smoothly
  6. Thanks All - don't worry we're not taking any chances. The girls are always locked in their WIR in the day and shut up in their cube at night, at least until we get the garden fencing replaced and some security gates put up on the entrance. We're then going to look at getting an electric fence to enclose an area for them to free range a bit in.
  7. OH was out in the garden earlier today moving a massive pile of wood chippings from some trees we had felled earlier in the summer. By the pile he found a decaying headless chicken! He did a hasty count of our girls to reassure himself that we hadn't lost one and not missed it - it definitely wasn't one of ours -phew! But it must have been bought into our garden by a predator - we've seen absolutely no evidence of foxes since moving here in the summer and our neighbours have previously said that foxes are never seen around here. Just wondering what your thoughts were as to what would have killed a chicken and left it in our garden?
  8. Thanks so much for the very kind offer of help Chickabee. I am in South Woodham Ferrers but hoping to move further out on the Dengie Peninsula, so probably a bit too far from Brentwood, but I am very touched by your thoughtfulness. We are coming up with a plan to get the old Cube run out of storage and use that whilst we dismantle the walk in run, the owners of the house we are planning to buy are a very nice couple, so we may be able to persuade them to let us move the WIR to their house in the week prior to the move. We then have a spare Eglu which I am hoping I can put the bunny in whilst we dismantle his massive house and run. As an aside I had a look in the Avaries 4 u site in case they had tips for dismantling and was sad to see they ceased trading earlier this year.
  9. Thanks everyone for your stories and good wishes. I was hoping someone would come back and say their Avaries 4 u run dismantled easily and the move was a doddle Oh well back to our original plan of a chicken hotel I guess.
  10. Hi All Does anyone have any experience of coping with the chickens and other pets during a house move. The chickens have a cube and large walk in run, bunny has a very large two storey hutch and walk in run and we also have 2 tortoise to pack up and move. The walk in runs will need to be dismantled prior to moving day, so the only thing I can think of doing is to put the chickens and the bunny into a boarding place for a few days before and after the move. How do other people manage with their pets and moving house? Also has anyone tried dismantling a Avaries 4 U walk in run before? Thanks
  11. Hi Mimi5 Bumperbits worked brilliantly for us when some of my girls were pecking Alice's bum. The bumpers have all fallen off now and Alice has remained fully feathered, so I think they definitely broke the habit. I live in Essex too, not sure where abouts you are, but happy to loan you my pliers and give you a 25mm bumper bit to try. Sally
  12. Hi Christian Not sure if you are still into your patchwork but if you are I think you would enjoy The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier It has many references to quilting throughout the story. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Last-Runaway-Tracy-Chevalier/dp/000735035X
  13. We got our last 2 lots in Sept/Oct - this means we have eggs through the winter when the older girls slow down or stop.
  14. Emmy II and I have had lovely cuddles today, she was very happy dozing on my lap in the sun so needless to say we've decided to hang on to her for a few more days. She looks completely normal today, tail up, chattering away and has been eating and drinking fine. We hadn't started the antibiotics so if she continues to look fine I can pop her back in with the other 2 newbies and not worry about needing to identify her eggs if she starts to lay. Fingers crossed no more set backs.
  15. Vet said if the eggs are eaten by someone with a allergy to penicillin they could die We haven't started the drugs yet, she seems a bit chirpier tonight, she's sitting in the conservatory chattering away to herself at the moment. We'll see what the morning brings and decide what to do then. My bumper bits have arrived today so am planning on fitting them tomorrow to try and put a stop to the feather plucking that is going on, poor Alice has a completely bald bum at the moment
  16. Good idea if I was starting from scratch but the patio and run are already built and in-situ. Problem is with the patio slabs we used as they have a textured finish and therefore tiny gaps between the bottom of the run and the patio. The rain puddles on the patio outside the run and ends up seeping under and into the run.
  17. do you think they would scratch through a pond liner? If not this would possibly be an option though I'm liking the idea of the coregravel flooring with maybe slabs over the top. Might price this up. Other option I suggested to OH would be to completely relay the patio on a slant with drainage channels in - far more expensive than any other option which will now mean that when I suggest anything else that is cheaper it will seem like a bargain!! I know I am fed up to the back teeth of replacing the auboise every time it rains.
  18. Well that's all really good news, really pleased for you. Unfortunately Emmy II (the Amber Star) started looking a little down yesterday pm and stopped eating, managed to get her to the vet this morning, nothing obvious that he could find but agreed she didn't look right and has prescribed a 5 day course of Clavaseptin. We have isolated her in a dog cage in the conservatory for now, the other 2 are absolutely fine. Problem is the drug means a 56 day egg withdrawal which would mean I need to keep her isolated for all 56 days unless I can clearly spot her egg, though we don't think she has started laying yet anyway. I can't realistically keep her in a little dog cage for nearly 2 months though. Vet advised digging up worms for her and dosing them with Flubuvent too and she has actually eaten them and then had a little bit of corn. Spoke to the breeder and he is happy to take Emmy back and gives us a different one, but I guess he will dispatch her and I'm not sure I can do that to her. Am going to decide tomorrow what we will do.
  19. We've got a fabulous covered WIR set on a patio but we're having problems with the floor of the chicken run getting wet from water seeping between the tiny gaps between the wood and slightly uneven surface of the patio. So when we have heavy rains the auboise in the run still get soaked, we've tried exterior sealent but without success. We're thinking that maybe we need to raise to floor of the run, this kennel flooring looks ideal but is far too expensive (about £600 for my 15 x 6 run) http://www.reeveskennels.co.uk/hexabase.php we could do something similar using wood and maybe putting lino over the wood to keep it washable - but I'm worried this would give a dark damp area underneath which would encourage red mite? we could possibly sit more paving slabs inside the run to raise the floor but without grouting them I'm worried the wet would still find a way up? Does anyone have any better ideas?
  20. That's really helpful thanks Might cost it up on the 3mm and go from there.
  21. I like the look of the perspex and the way you have both attached it so it is easily removed if we ever get a hot summer. What thickness did you go for from Trent Plastics? I've a 6x15ft run so am thinking it would be pretty expensive to do all four sides, I might have to do it in stages to spread the cost.
  22. Oh no that's not a good start poor little Wren. Hope she is okay. One of the 3 laid an egg on the journey home yesterday but we're not sure which one it was, though they haven't even looked like laying today. I had to pop them all into the eglu last night - they were all precariously perched side by side on top of a chair back - one little shuffle in the night would have sent one of them tumbling off. They all seem happy and healthy today, I've had a cuddle with each one and they've all eaten well. Not very impressed with the weather here today, I planned an afternoon of chicken watching and it has peed down for most of the day
  23. We noticed that about the eye colour, I'll need to go back through photos of older girls to see how/if theirs have developed. Ha ha no that's my old sewing table, clogging up space in the conservatory - I am now the proud owner of a Horn Quilters dream sewing cabinet Just been back out to check on them and they haven't yet found their way to bed, I can see me out there with a torch later to show them the way.
  24. Lovely looking girls Plum and great photos. We've added 3 new girls to our flock today, & have been having lots of lovely cuddles with them. Have put some pics on facebook https://www.facebook.com/sallyian.farquhar/media_set?set=a.10153286163820454.1073741827.821655453&type=1
  25. Thanks everyone - its very quiet in my garden this morning as Mary was always the vocal one of the group Vet called last night - he has spoke to Defra they don't want to examine Mary at this stage but he said we are not to move hens on or off the property for the next month until we are sure no other hens are affected.

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