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About ails

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    Chicken Eggspert
  1. Hello, we have had an eglu for many years now for our chickens and love it. We were thinking about possibly getting some ducks when we move house as we will have more room. I just wondered if an Eglu is suitable housing for ducks . Does anyone currently use an Eglu for duck housing? Thanks Aileen
  2. Hello, just wanted to see if anyone can offer me some advice. I collected 3 ex battery hen chickens from the British Hen Welfare Trust back in October. 2 of the chickens have come along really well and blossomed into lovely birds developing a full coverage of feathers again pretty rapidly. One lays an egg every day and the other almost every day. The third girlie has very gradually regrown feathers but still has a badly back end and nearly every day she lays either a shell less egg or an egg which is smashed by the time I go to collect it from the Eglu. Over the last few days the third girlie has been very withdrawn tending to sit with her head tucked in and her feathers all puffed up. Her crop doesn't seem to be swollen or anything and she is still eating and roaming round the garden during the day nibbling on whatever she fancies. I have been given all of the chickens shell improver in their feed along with chicken spice. They have all been wormed regularly. Any suggestions on what may be wrong with the 3rd hen or what I can do to help. Ails
  3. With the dark, wet winter weather well and truly in place and especially this year with the temperature dropping into the minus figures I have tried to think of ways to speed up my weekend eglu clean - mainly because I have to clean the eglu out after I have been up to the stables to muck out my horse and try to ride and I'm then dreaming of retiring to a hot bath......... I ordered a spare set of roosting bars, quickly scrub off the worst of the poop then pop them into the dishwasher with the glug and grub and hey presto clean roosting bars ready for next weekends clean - cuts out the stage of standing in the garden with the hose pipe and grout cleaning brush to scrub them clean by hand......... Not sure if using the dishwasher suits everyone but it works for me plus leaves me a bit more time to chat to the chooks and give them a cuddle instead of spending time freezing with the hose pipe and brush
  4. Over the last week or so I have been adopting the folded layer of newspaper in the nest box everynight and just lifting it out poo and alland replacing it each morning, sounds like this is the best compromise if there is no easy way to stop them using it as a bed! How many other people pick up a copy of the Metro each morning simply to use it to line their Eglu? Think the poo problem is just more noticeable now we are in winter and they are obviously going to bed much earlier and therefore spening more time pooing in their bedroom rather than in the garden!
  5. I know this topic has been posted before but I can't track it down unfortunately. Our hens appear to have decided that they will either sleep in the nest box or sometimes perch overnight with their bottom hanging into the nest box, either way we have a daily pile of poo in the nest box. What can I do to try and stop this happening? I tried putting a large stone in but when I went to collect the eggs in the morning, there was a smashed egg squashed down the side on the 2 days that I trialled it. Any suggestions?
  6. Just wanted to ask about the set up other people have for their walk in runs? After the girls devoured the contents of hubbies vegetable patch in the summer, we ordered some panels off ebay months ago and put together a good 9x6 run in the corner of our garden. Its sheltered by our shed along one side, one side is completely closed in with solid wood panels leaving 2 open mesh sides. The roof is covered in mesh panels with clear corrugated panels ontop. Until the snow set in, the girls have mainly been enjoying free range of the garden until the growing season starts again but now that the snow is here they are in the run full time. At the moment the floor is just compacted earth which is getting a bit damp and yucky. I was going to put down some concrete slabs, possibly with an unslabbed area in the middle for them to dig in, then put a layer of aubiose on top but I fear the rain/snow will just drift in from the 2 open sides and make it a damp mush or will it? What do other people with WIR's do? From the pictures I have seen other people have open mesh sides so how do you keep a dry floor all year round ? Any suggestions anyone ?????????
  7. Help! My friends son arrived home last night with a young duck apparently he passed a farm with a sign advertsing ducks for sale and decided to buy one. His parents were none too impressed esp as the poor little duck is clearly lonely on its own. My friends have now asked if we would take the duck into live with our 3 chickens. I have no idea what type of duck it is - it is black/dark brown with a tiny bit of white on the underside of its neck. It has black legs and feet and a black beak/bill. Anyone any idea what tye of breed it might be? It still has quite fluffy down like feathers. Apparently when Tim bought it he was told it was 3 weeks old and would happily live on weetabix. Will one duck integrate with 3 chickens? Will it be able to eat layers mash and layers pellets? How nosy will a duck be? Bit worried our neighbours might not be impressed.
  8. I went out into the garden this morning to say hi to the chooks before I started work and thought it was really unusual for them not to come racing across the garden to see if I had any treats! I spotted the 3 of them in a corner, all quite engrossed in something. To my horror there was a large dead pigeon lying on the ground and all 3 chickens were pecking at a gaping wound on its neck. I ran to grab a shovel and a bin bag to dispose of the pigeon but the grils were not keen to be shooed away. Nothing usually phases me but between the sight , smell and I guess the heat it took all my will power to keep my breakfast in place. I don't think the pigeon had been there last night but I guess with the curent heat it wouldn't take long for bugs and maggots to find the bird and I guess the chooks had zoned in on those bugs or maggots or whatever else on the pigeon Anyway the girls are now doing a good job of reminding me just how cute and innocent they are by cuddling up in the sunshine in their self made dustbath. The joy of keeping pets !
  9. I went onto ebay last week and searched for Aviary Panels. This company were really helpful Item number: 150326771376 tyesgardening@btinternet.com or by tel on 07885688372 Give them a call to tell them what you want, they were really helpful and helped me put together the relevant number of panels/roof panels, door panel and solid back panels for our 9x6x6 run.Placed our order on Friday and the panels were delivered yesterday - guess what we will be doing this weekend! Only problem is that we planned to trim back one of our large shrubs to make room for the WIR but discovered we have some resident pigeons nesting - maybe we will have to wait until the babies leave home before we put the run in its finals position.
  10. Hi there, I have been looking at various options for creating a walk in run for our girlies. Pre laying, moving the eglu run around the lawn everyday was fine but now that they are well and truly in laying mode the lawn doesn't tend to survive a day of concetrated attention from 3 hens. I priced some of the wooden chicken walk in runs which came out quite expensive. I just wondered if anyone had opted for or considered using any of the mesh dog runs that are available on the web. http://www.canineconcepts.co.uk/item--Easy-Assemble-Mesh-Dog-Runs--mesh-dog-run---dogs I know they are not as attractive as wood but I guess they will require less maintenance.
  11. Bit more expensive that the Ikea ones but I got 2 steel bins from Homebase last year and use them to store all my chicken feed etc etc.
  12. We found a friendly local breeder off the recommended list that Omlet sent to us, had a chat with the owner via email then because she sounded so helpful we decided to source our own and I would definitely recommend it! We had a fantastic time wandering round looking at all the different breeds and finally, after a lot of decision, chose 3 different breeds. The breeder kindly clipped the wings for us too so we were all ready to head home and pop them in their Eglu run. I think if you have kids then it would even more fun to take them along to actually choose the chickens that they are going to be looking after. Go for it - you don't get to choose your chickens every day so I would recommend you go and source your own or get 1 Omlet hen and source the rest.
  13. Hi congratulations, hope all the planningis going well! When we got married last year we decided, much to my disappointment, that it wasn't a sensible idea to let our young springer spaniel pup attend the wedding i.e. far too high a risk of muddy paws attacking my dress and the guests! To make up for it we ordered a bride and groom 'cake topper' from a lady on ebay and she included a mini model of our dog in the model too. Basically its a mini replica of you and the groom - you just describe or send photos of what you will be wearing, hair colour etc etc. What about ordering a cake topper and asking the creator to add some chicken bridesmaids sitting round you! Ails
  14. Hi there, we have had our chickens for about a month now living in their eglu - no eggs yet but enjoying having them around, even our Springer Spaniel appears to have adopted them quite happily. During the week I tend to lift the run most mornings and drag it to the side or forward to give them some fresh grass to preen as they are in the run when we are at work then free range most of the weekend. I tend to shut the run door then grip the top and drag it and find it easy enough to move on my own. At the weekends I get hubby to help me lift the entire thing to a different part of the garden and we can move it with complete ease. One tip, when you are dragging the eglu and run just check that there is nothing lying on the ground inside the run which can get caught under the dig proof skirt as you drag. Hope that helps. Ails
  15. Hi, I don't have room to store a large bag of Aubiose but I ordered some small bags off Ebay recently to keep me going for now. They arrived pretty quckly and seem to go a long way. Hope that helps Ails

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