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Everything posted by atsw

  1. Just a quick update, this is Merlot and Muscat today (Merlot is now 9 weeks, Muscat is at 7 weeks). It took Merlot a couple of days to accept Muscat, but they seem firm friends now. If anything, I think Muscat might end up ‘in charge’ in the long run.
  2. This one came from John at Old Dairy Poultry. After I explained the special situation I had he was willing to sell me a single chick. I would have happily taken two if I could, but that would have taken me over a dozen birds and I know the Buff Orps can get very big (I’ve had two before), so hence just the one extra chick this time.
  3. So, “Little Bit” is now not so little any more and has been called Merlot. She is 7 weeks old and Mum has lost interest and is laying again. So, with Nutmeg needing Layer Pellets and Merlot Grower Pelets, I’ve decided Nutmeg should go back with the others and Merlot therefore needed a companion in her part of the run (any excuse for more hens!). Welcome Muscat, a 6 week old Buff Orpington.
  4. This is my first Araucana Chick, I’ve had Pekins and Polands before, and as you say, they are easy. For “little bit” she is not showing the usual signs of male behaviour and does not have any sign of a comb forming (coming up to 7 weeks now). So I’m hopeful it’s a girl, but I’m no expert.
  5. Yes, she is a Blue or Black Araucana (I think Blue).
  6. ‘Little Bit’ has reached the grand old age of 5 weeks and 3 days. I’m now pretty sure I have a girl.
  7. ‘Little Bit’ is a Blue or Black Araucana. We think he/she is a ‘Blue’, which will be great if that’s the case, as that is what we were hoping for (as well as hoping it being a female chick of course!).
  8. This weekend it was time for ‘Little Bit’ and Mum to move into larger accommodation. Our two new white hens are now completely integrated with the main flock, so Mum and her chick have taken up residence in a section at the end of our Walk-in-Run.
  9. We’ve had our new hens for a week now, so today we let them into the garden to see how they got on mixing with our existing flock (a hen bubble perhaps!?). Anyway, they got on just fine, and Patrick our cockerel was very happy about having some new girls to ‘socialise’ with 😂.
  10. Of the four Poland eggs you gave me back in 2014 all hatched and we got 3 girls and one boy. We kept 2 girls, and called them Mel and Sue (from Bake Off), and re-homed the other two. https://photos.app.goo.gl/V2WXuTX4jxqTZNFz8 - Mel https://photos.app.goo.gl/xQfnSF69yhnQyqHX6 - Sue Sue was interesting, she was jet black, had five toes, and I don’t think ever laid any eggs, buy she was a ‘she’. Mel was White, very feisty, and would always hold her own with the big girls in the early days. She laid little white eggs occasionally! Sue died about a year ago, Mel disappeared, literally, about two months ago. We’ve no idea what happened to her. No signs of an attack, she just vanished one day while they were in the garden. She was going a bit blind in her old age (6), and became more timid In her later years, so could have been spooked and flown up and over our fences, but our neighbours never saw her in their gardens.
  11. Hi Patricia - I’ve been incredibly busy with work since I last posted, hence not having the time to post much. However the flock are doing well, we lost a few hens over the last 18 months, all down to old age, so this year it’s time to restock. Chicks and new POL at the same time weren’t the original plan, but Nutmeg went broody early in May and we wanted blue eggs again (Xena was one of the hens we lost last year). Then the POL Leghorn hens we wanted became available this weekend, so now we have both!!! I’m retiring from work (after 38 years) at the end of the month, so will have more time for the forum from July.
  12. Evening all, It's been a while, but this week I've added three new additions to the flock. A hatch of 6 eggs resulted in 1 healthy chick on Monday (sadly, 3 others were DIS, the other 2 eggs were infertile, always a risk with eBay eggs) and today 2 White Leghorn POL hens became available. The chick is a Blue or Black Araucana (again, eBay, who knows!). The chick struggled to exit the shell independently (very strong shell and inner membrane) and after 12hrs I assisted it (not something I'd usually do, but it was clearly struggling by that point). Glad I did, as it's a healthy chick and is thriving so far (now 4 days old, hatch day in the pictures).
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. You probably don't want to see how my little chicks are getting on then Cheers Andrew
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. 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
  20. This was Patrick in June 2015. and this is how he looks today! Andrew
  21. 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
  22. 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 ).
  23. 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
  24. 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
  25. 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

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