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atsw

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About atsw

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  1. Thanks Patricia, good to see you're still contributing! Yes, it's almost certain the egg would have been fertile as I currently have two very active cockerels . The egg was from one of my older hens, as the 'new' girls that hatched last year currently lay much smaller sized eggs than the big girls. Andrew
  2. Hello Omletteers! I'd like to ask for your thoughts on what might be causing a red discoloration in the white of eggs being laid by one of my hens. I’m curious as to what might have caused it. It first occurred a couple of weeks back, but as it was the first time I’d seen it in any of my eggs I didn’t give it any further thought at the time. However, now it's happened again, so it clearly wasn’t a one-off, and I'd like to get your thoughts on what it is (it looks like some blood got into the egg-white forming process) and what might have caused it. Finally of course, do I have anything to worry about? Looking froward to your replies, Andrew
  3. You probably don't want to see how my little chicks are getting on then Cheers Andrew
  4. Not content with hatching 5 new chicks a few weeks ago, we now have a couple of new additions for the main flock as well. Introducing Lizzy and Beth, both are a breed called Black Perl (aka Miss Pepper-pot), which is a hybrid hen that should lay around 290 eggs a year at peak production. These two are almost at Point of Lay, but haven't started to produce eggs just yet. They are currently in their own Eglu, pending formal introductions to the main flock (who live in the WIR in the photo below) and our Rabbit, who also has a Eglu and run of his own. Cheers Andrew
  5. Thanks Lewis. Four of the six eggs were hatched for friends in the village who are looking to re-stock after a visit by Mr Fox. I added a couple of eggs from my girls and both hatched. So I'll have a CLB/Marans crossed with my Pekin/Orp boy, and a Marans crossed with my Pekin/Orp boy, so goodness knows how they will turn out, but if the chick from the CLB/Marans is a girl then I might get either blue/green/brown eggs later this year! Andrew
  6. Hello all, It's been a while . I was going to post over in "Hatching & raising chicks", but either no one else is hatching this year, which I find hard to believe, or they've simply given up posting in that section since January, so I'll post here instead. Anyway, look what appeared on Monday morning . Cheers Andrew
  7. The poo will 'disappear' into the horse bedding. As long as it doesn't get too wet, or stay wet for a long time, the poo dries out and turns to dust. I don't poo-pick my run (15 x 6). I usually have between 12 and 15 birds, the WIR can go for around 3 months before needing a complete clear out and re-fresh. If the rain does get in and things get soggy I add an extra layer of Aubiose and that soaks up the worst of it. A new thin layer of Aubiose also acts to reduces the chance of smells and helps keep flies under control in Summer months. Oh, and welcome to the forum! Andrew
  8. This was Patrick in June 2015. and this is how he looks today! Andrew
  9. Thought I'd share some pictures of three new additions to my flock. They are not spring chickens, in fact they are quite old, but they were faced with losing their old home, so we gave them a new one with us. Names are Maud, Mab and Mable and here's where they are living relative to my existing flock. Andrew
  10. Thanks Lewis, good to hear from you too. Yes, we're all keeping well, and as you've seen from this Post, expanding the flock once again . I lost my lovely Orp back in November (just old age), but other than that the rest of the flock has stabilised at a nice dozen and with a wonderful mix of breeds and characters. I'll probably hatch some Orpingtons in the Spring, as they are my very favourite breed and I do miss Anna and her antics. Happy to report to everyone who has contributed this this tread that I got two eggs yesterday, and having just been up to see the girls and let them into the garden, two eggs again today, so both Holly and Ivy are now laying (sorry luvachicken ).
  11. That would have been me then -> http://andrew.hodain.net/chickens/fox/ Wow, 2006, that really was a long time ago. I invested in a WIR on a concrete slab base soon after that incident. Lesson learnt and I've had no problems since. Andrew
  12. Thanks, yes, they are. In fact, they are now fully integrated with the main flock. They all seemed happy together in the garden these last few days, so I removed the barrier in the WIR yesterday. It was quite funny watching them right afterwards, the two new girls went straight into the existing flocks area and started eating from their feeders, while at the same time the existing girls all went straight into Holly & Ivy's area to eat their food . Everyone seems very happy together, and both newbies are incredibly tame. Both squat the moment I go near them and are happy to be stroked. Ivy has also taken to following me around the garden, and I've not even started treats yet! I'm still waiting for my first 'two egg' day. I'm pretty sure both are now laying, but so far I've only had 1 egg in any given day from the two new girls. Mind you, that's good, I've not had any eggs at all off the Pekins, Polands, Speckledy's, Marans or Cream Legbar since early November , which is primarily why I brought Holly & Ivy of course. Andrew
  13. Hi there, yes, its Aubiose. I'm a big fan, the product is derived from the soft centre of the hemp plant and is cultivated without pesticides, fungicides, herbicides or insecticides. While specifically developed for soaking up horse pee, it is also incredibly good at despencing with chook poo . My run is 15' x 6' and currently houses 12 chooks. One bale of Aubiose usually lasts a couple of months, unless it gets really wet for a prolonged period (like last winter). My local agricultural stockists (south Oxfordshire) sell a bale of Aubiose for £9.95. Andrew
  14. Thanks all for the very kind words welcoming Holly & Ivy into my flock. I'm delighted to report that introductions with the existing flock are going very well. They've all been free ranging together in the garden these last couple of days and it's only Gabriel who has been causing a bit of a rumpus with the new girls (nothing too serious though). Even though they are both very keen to be with the main flock at bed time I'll be keeping them within their section of the WIR at night for a few more days yet. Oh, and I had the eggcitment of my first egg from one of them yesterday and another little egg this morning too, so the cold weather doesn't seem to be putting them off at all . Andrew
  15. Merry Christmas everyone! Thought I'd share a couple of pictures of Holly and Ivy, who joined my flock this morning. Best wishes Andrew

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