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ajayb

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Chicken Eggspert

Chicken Eggspert (2/19)

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  1. All of the girls went into the coop last night - yay! - so will leave our ridiculous cube-top wigwam set up in place for one more night in the hope that the problem is now at an end. Again, many thanks to everyone here, both for their support and constructive advice.
  2. Perfectly reasonable question - not only do we have foxes in abundance around our smallholding but also mink, both of which are capable of making their way into a WIR if they can see/smell sitting targets. All of the hens I've lost over the past 8 years have been to foxes while free-ranging, whilst neighbours without eglus (& with a more casual attitude to locking their hens inside a coop overnight) have had large flocks decimated by mink, inside WIRs.
  3. Ok ... Boxes on top of cube roof meant that all but 2 went inside tonight. The 2 rebels perched on tiny spaces at either side of the boxes & must have pushed some off to eventually end up side by side when I went out to close the cube door. So: tomorrow night, boxes will cover every inch of the cube roof and be attached to the top of the WiR so they can't be moved - what a fuss! Hopefully, we'll have them trained in a couple more nights and a normal chicken roosting process will resume. Thanks again.
  4. Good idea! Will try that tonight. Still think maturity is the key as the ones who went into the coop by themselves last night laid their first pullet eggs yesterday.
  5. 10.15pm - 4 hens still on top of coop, despite torch ... Progress of sorts!
  6. Husband cautioned me about putting the torch in too early (lovely clear night here) & by the time I went out, 5 of them were perched on the roof again! Going to try again (earlier!) tonight ...
  7. Many thanks for the helpful support - the torch is going in tonight!
  8. That's an interesting thought - I always thought they sought out the darkest place to roost - will try that tonight, thanks!
  9. Thanks for the reply - sorry you are also having problems! Don't think doing what you've done would help me as they would still choose to go on the roof rather than up the ladder (which is bizarre, since the roof is much higher from the ground ...) I'm beginning to think the problem is age-related: I've probably only bought hens 2-4 weeks older than this before. I might have to remove the wheels and ladder and put the body of the cube on the ground. If their behaviour doesn't change (or someone doesn't suggest a foolproof method on the forum!) I'll consider doing that at the weekend. I have to admit, there are worse problems to have with poultry ...
  10. Help, please! Another round of visits by the fox and I've had to replace my flock. Got 6 newbies (around 18-20 weeks) a week ago and they prefer to roost on top of the cube, which is inside a WiR, so they are still safe. Currently, I'm manually placing them inside the Cube at ca 10.30pm ... Any advice on how to encourage them to do it themselves? Never had a persistent problem with this before and Cube was thoroughly cleaned beforehand. Thanks
  11. From my experience (only 5 years) a previous cream Legbar (and,I might add) one out of3 Columbines (we have a lot of fox activity here & completely free-range hens) produce properly blue eggs. My lavender Araucanas are beautiful to look at but don't produce as true a blue as the aforementioned...
  12. Some kind of Maran or Welsummer for darker brown; White Star for white; Cream Legbars for blue. Throw in some black rocks or hylines for reliable paler brown eggs & you're sorted! There are no Higgeldy Harriets anymore for seriously speckled eggs but Speckeldys are a rough bet. If you can get a Welsummer/Maran cross you might get lovely khaki coloured eggs. Croad Langshans are supposed to produce plum coloured eggs but I haven't been able to find any - good luck!
  13. Thanks, Dylan. Know Debbie (her sister's my neighbour) & she had cuckoo marans last time I saw her (got my RIRs from her). Would recommend her, though!
  14. Does anyone know of a breeder of hobbyist in Central Scotland selling these birds? I'm looking for a couple of pullets laying really dark brown eggs to add to my current brood. Thanks!
  15. Thanks for all the advice & comments -very helpful as ever! A friend has offered me two one year old cuckoo marans so I'll probably go with them now & consider the Scottish show option next January. Thanks again.

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