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Everything posted by laurmurf

  1. hi all, some of you will know that I was a very lucky girl and got a poly langstroth for my big birthday. Here are a couple of photos of it painted a very pretty yellow, set up in the field next door and with a very lovely queen busily making babies inside! not a very fetching photo but you get the idea. she's much prettier!
  2. I'm on a waiting list for an allotment and intend to keep my meat birds on it. Seems a natural part of the point of an allotment and the desire for self-sufficiency.
  3. I tend to trust my hens to know enough to get off their eggs long enough to poo and have a drink. Get your chook sitter to put some mixed corn on the floor in front of her. She won't be that hungry. I think she'll be okay. We intervened lots in our first hatches then let them get on with it after that. I think August is too late to hatch, IMHO. It means that when mum leaves them (about 6 weeks or so) it will be a colder October without a mum to keep them warm. If you are going to do it, then do it now.
  4. she's feeling broody. the twig throwing is something they do when they get into that frame of mind. she's fine but make sure you remove the other eggs out of the nest and her off it as soon as you can each time. This may be enough to stop her going fully broody.
  5. verm-x isn't a wormer, it's supposed to repel or discourage worms. Flubenvet is a wormer and actually works - I would always start with a wormer and then check behaviour and health again after that: in my experience, whenever I've taken a chook to the vet the very first question is "when did you last worm her".
  6. She sounds broody to me - so don't fret too much! I had a blackrock type hybrid go broody on us several times over her 6 year life. I think they must be closer to the 'real thing' than other hybrids. Your description of her laying habits suggests she's a good bit older than POL, was that what you expected when you got her? Anyway, yes it sounds like she's broody and if she sits tight then she could hatch fertilised eggs as long as you've got the spare accommodation and plans for the boys.
  7. it's less likely to be mutual grooming and more likely to be feather pecking. The victim quite often stands there and lets the pecker pull at her feathers.
  8. don't plan on dealing with all 3 at the same time - the latter ones would cool too quickly by the time you've plucked the first. You can dispatch and pluck one after the other but then you'll still be at it for hours so put the time aside... how about dispatching one a week earlier to get used to it and learn from the process then dispatch the other two the following week - they'll keep each other company in intervening period. Mine crowed from 8 weeks and we kept them until 26 and the crowing was getting louder and more competitive!
  9. I hatched and raised boys for the table. Your crosses, especially with Dorking in them, will be ideal table birds! Dorkings are a traditional utility breed: They are a slower growing breed so if you could keep them even longer than 6/7 months you'd get an even bigger bird out of it. If your space doesn't allow or the crowing will be a problem (it was for us) then you can dispatch a bit earlier, but you'll notice the difference in size. the hormone thing is a new one on me - i've never heard that. You can dispatch a cock bird at any age but the older they are the tougher so you'd end up with a stewing bird (coq au vin) rather than a roasting one. A group of omleteers attended a dispatching and dressing course. We were advised to pluck while still warm (as the skin tears after that) and then 'hang' the bird in the fridge for 24 hours or so before dressing. Many omleteers have found the plucking taking too long and now skin birds rather than doing that. We kept ours on growers but for the week before dispatch fed mostly on mixed corn. Then stop feeding for the night before dispatch so the crop is empty when you do so. I think you are being very sensible and responsible in dealing with the boys from your hatch - so many people go into it living in a dream world that they'll find homes for the unwanted boys.... they won't.
  10. I had an orp in my flock and she was the noisiest hen ever! She was always chuntering and every hour of the day and night. I ended up rehoming her with mostin and she STILL chunters all the time but their neighbours are more than happy with the crowing and chuntering in a way that I just couldn't live with any more! maybe it's an orp thing....
  11. they're probably 'dead in shell', I'm afraid. As long as she's still sitting on eggs, she won't be getting up to take her single chick to food and water. I lost a chick recently because of this. You'll want to remove the dead eggs and then mum will get the idea to get up and move about with her live chick.
  12. there is no entitlement to time off - paid or unpaid - to provide childcare for a non emergent event by any employer - large or small; although large employers do tend to have leave arrangements that are flexible enough to cope with this sort of situation. The lack of consistent treatment may be the angle you'd like to take to seek some flexibility. But whenever you go formal on these sorts of issues, you're onto a loser...
  13. I've never free ranged our chicks. They have either an eglu run or a small walk in run to wander about in. I keep their mum with them until she's ready to leave (it's been 8 weeks + in every hatch) then i keep them together until the boys start getting ideas then i separate out the boys and girls. Put since i free range my other chooks I wouldn't want the chicks to be hurt by the rest of the flock so don't free range them at all until they are old enough and big enough to stand up for themselves.
  14. I had one for a while that claimed to be a girl until she crowed.... daft as a brush but gorgeous!
  15. Employers can ask you to vary your work, particularly if they don't change your T&Cs (terms and conditions of service - the permanancy, hours, rates of pay) of your post. If they vary and change your T&Cs then it's a breach of contract unless you agree to it. If you have a permanent contract and the employers attempt to make you take a temporary contract they are making you redundant essentially and unless they do this properly they are in breach of contract, which itself can be constructive or at least unfair dismissal.
  16. they are gorgeous! (from another TNN mummy) and Shelley is fantastic, isn't she? She loves her naked necks too I've got a quartet of bantam TNNs and they are the friendliest, cheekiest, funniest bunch ever. My cockerel has a very light crow so we can keep him in the garden with the rest of the girls. He has a bit of trouble with the LF girls in my flock but enjoys the attempts!
  17. auctions have goldtops for sale all the time. I'd find a good local poultry (fur & feather type) auction and you'll be able to get some.
  18. you don't necessarily need a door opener with an eglu when you go away. Many of us never shut the eglu doors at all, even in the winter. When i go away i leave the run door shut and the eglu door open so the chooks can get up in the morning and put themselves to bed at night. My sitter only needs to come once a day to top up food and water.
  19. I've bought a couple secondhand that have been screwed together but the front isn't meant to be screwed to the base. In the two i've got it's created holes where none were and it lets rain water in.
  20. so sorry to hear about Tarzan's death, Tasha. all our best to you from me and him and them
  21. just a note from me to share our experience: you can get fluid filled crops that are not sour. I have a chook who is regularly blocked and needs to be emptied but it's never been sour so Nystatin wouldn't have achieved anything. If it smells sour then it's probably sour crop, caused by something else. If it doesn't smell, or just smells like pellets would if sloshing around a chicken's crop, then it's not sour crop but possibly caused by a blockage in the crop (which is what my girl regularly suffers from) or further down in the gizzard, for example. I've never taken this chook to the vet, but treated her myself. I have used some liquid paraffin (you can also use olive oil or something similar) on occasion after I've emptied her to get some blockage shifting downwards. I've also been able to get some of the blockages up and out of her mouth.
  22. boring pretty chickens I like mine with more decollatage
  23. that's more or less what we did, Griffin. she just couldn't snap out of the broodiness until we shook it out of her. She's fine now and the chicks are all healthy and growing. She's still not the best but she'll do (for boring old welsummers anyway....)

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