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alet_chicken

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Everything posted by alet_chicken

  1. Hello, I think a perch is a fantastic idea. It may take some time before they are strong enough to make full use of it. My first ex-batts never used to jump onto things, until I got a couple of flighty pure breeds, and they must have learned from them because I suddenly found them jumping onto all sorts of things, like tables, plant pots, etc. Yours may be a bit more wise than mine, but they may well need some encouragement before they start interacting with toys. A word of warning about parrot toys. The last time I looked at parrot toys was a while ago now, but I seem to recall that the swinging ones I saw at Pets at Home seemed a bit small for ex-batts. I certainly bought a couple of parrot perches (the wooden type that attaches to the sides of a run) for my hens over the years but they never seemed to last long - always breaking off at the attachment point. It could just be that my hens are a bit overweight or enthusiastic jumpers.
  2. A belated thank you for your advice. I'm waiting to hear from both Bank View Farm and the Rainbow Egg Company (which is a bit closer to us) and hope to get chicks sorted one way or the other soon. It seems that the bank holiday has slowed things down a bit, but at least it gives me a chance to get hold of a heat lamp etc in time.
  3. We would really like to get a couple (=three) cream legbar chicks and grow them on ourselves. I have been planning this for a couple of months now but unfortunately the breeder I was going to get them from has not been hatching as expected due to the weather (I don't blame them). I checked the Omlet recommended breeds list and the nearest suitable breeder appears to be Storrs poultry in Barnsley. I would prefer somewhere closer if possible, so, before I give them a ring, I was hoping for help with the following question... Can anybody recommend a breeder near York / Thirsk (or inbetween!) who breeds legbars and is likely to hatch in the near future? I would be happy to travel a bit (say, an hour or so) to pick them up.
  4. That is adorable! Was the hat custom made for the young lady or was it just a (very!) lucky fit?
  5. Greyhounds, Guineapigs and Chickens most definately do not mix. Our greyhounds have killed 2 of our chickens and one of our guineapigs (all 3 times when the piggies or chickens have escaped unexpectedly). Greyhounds are pretty gentle dogs but their prey drive is so high they cannot ever be trusted but small furries. Even those brought up as pets (not ex racers) can never be certified 100% safe with anything smaller than a labrador! Suffice to say our other pets are now all kept well out of the way of my beloved couch-potatos!
  6. First of all, congratulations on your new hens. I've learnt that the bottom hens are the ones to watch when it comes to introductions, so this behaviour is not unusual. Little miss 4th in command is probably overjoyed at the golden opportunity of not being bottom hen anymore. You are doing the right thing by keeping them apart for now. It is a good idea to quarantine new hens for about a week anyway. They should eventually settle down; they just need time to get used to the new arrivals. In my experience successful introductions take a couple of weeks (and sometimes longer), and the slower you can take it (depending on the accommodation arrangements that you have), the better. I would start by freeranging them together for short periods after the initial quarantine period, and then taking it from there, depending on how well they get on.
  7. Hi, Bay Animal Housing is still trading. Their new name is petpens4u. I had a WIR from them in 2010, and can recommend them. This is my run (by which I mean the Cube and chickens are mine).
  8. Hi, this all sounds very exciting. Here is my take on your questions: 1. In my experience Diatom sprinkled in the Cube is really the best way of preventing red mite infestations in the first place. I know this may be contentious and others are likely to have different opinions (and besides, I am the proud owner of a big bin of Diatom as well as an assortment of lice and mite powders..) If you are keen to try the other powders, then I would say it is safe to leave the Diatom for now and see how you get on. 2. No. Flubenvet is a clinically proven wormer, and sufficient. 3. Yes. Or Diatom. I have to confess I haven't tried this as mine tend to dig their own craters around the garden. 4. I have done both, and either would be a good idea. Grit is rough, and so might take the shine of your new grub. In the past I have used (cheap!) small plastic coop cups to dispense grit. 5. Mine get a handful of corn in the afternoon (when I remember). In the midst of winter I give them pellets with hot water (and some oats) in the morning to warm them up. I'm sure this is mostly for my benefit, but it does ensure that they get some hydration (in case the drinkers freeze while I'm at work). I wouldn't recommend using the Grub for this as it will be a pain to clean. In the past I have used a big terracotta plant pot saucer; it's flat and heavy and so doesn't tip up too easily. At the moment I have a chick feeder plate that's of the same dimensions. I always pick it up after use because the little madams do like to jump in their food feed first. 6. I have used woodchip in my Cube run the past, which worked well. When I originally ordered the woodchip, I worked out the volume needed (I had a 5m Cube run) and ordered the woodchip accordingly. At the moment I use Easibed (which is just about all I can find where I am). Whatever you decide, I am sure you know that it is important to keep the run covered. 7. Yes, I use garlic powder and it works well. 8. The combination you have in mind sounds great. I have 14 hens and my top 3 are two leghorns and a legbar. They rule over a flock containing two big mean Maran girls and 9 feisty ex-batts. They are not small, just compact... 9. Ooh, that's a tough decision. Can't help with that one! Hope this helps. Good luck with getting your Cube and chickens!
  9. I'm not familiar with the satnav I'm afraid... but have you considered getting an Android navigation app? I use Sygic (around £30), which allows you to download maps for use offline. The maps are large, so it would depend on whether you have some other internet connection for downloading the maps.
  10. This place in Thirsk sells Marriages. Not sure how close that would be for you.
  11. I have a minimum/maximum thermometer in my WIR with a sensor in the WIR and a sensor in the nest box of my Cube. By pure coincidence I got it just before the big freeze last year, and so I can safely say that 8 hens have roosted in my Cube in temperatures of -10C without any ill effects. I did try to keep the inside of the Cube as dry as possible to prevent frostbite. At the time the outside temperature got down to -17C. I did close the Cube door when the cold was at its worst last winter, but otherwise I leave it open. (My Cube has a second aluminium door attached to an automatic door opener, which keeps wind out but doesn't insulate.)
  12. Oh dear, yes, it's a good idea to keep the trays as dry as possible when it's cold. Last year when it got very cold one of my trays managed to freeze to my Cube too, I think because some water had pooled underneath it. I couldn't get it out for weeks, and the only way I could empty it was to push the slats up and scoop the contents out through the front door. (Great fun at -17C!) I haven't had problems with my trays this year (yet) but had some snow yesterday and the egg ports of both my Eglu and Cube managed to freeze shut. (But fortunately I managed to wiggle them loose.) at Mum.
  13. Hi Sadietoo, here are one or two bits of advice from my experience as a University lecturer and personal tutor on how to get the most out of the system. Hope it's helpful. It seems to me your DS has some concerns about his own studies, and also about the teaching on a specific module. For the first issue, he needs to speak to his personal tutor as soon as possible. The personal tutor may not be able to offer too much beyond academic advice, but should be able to advise your DS on support services available at University. For the issues with the module, you DS might want to approach the module leader (if approachable), or the departmental course steering committee/Board of Studies/Teaching Committee/similar. There may well be elected student representatives from his course who sit on such committees. The point is that the University needs to know that he is having difficulties, and needs to be given a chance to address any issues with the course. Even with small group meetings like your DD had (which is a good system, but not universal) it is impossible for personal tutors to become aware of issues unless students tell them. It might not necessarily be productive for you to contact the University at this stage (but you should monitor the situation). Staff may well not be allowed to deal with you directly without permission from your DS (this is a standard policy to protect students' privacy).
  14. Hello, welcome to the forum, and congratulations on your new Cube an run. Your chickens should perch very happily on the slats. You should put soft bedding in the nest box. I find the absence of divisors in the nestbox makes it easier for hens, as they just squeeze in however many that need to use the nestbox. Bark chips are ok if you already have it, but there is a small risk of fungal spores so in the long run I would recommend woodchip or (if you run is covered) horse bedding. There are plenty of threads on the forum about the pros and cons of different types of bedding. Is it "hens" or "chickens"? I use both - even though all my chickens are hens. . .
  15. Another vote for a walk in run with Eglu inside. You could put the Eglu on a table like ANH has done to maximise the floor space. A walk in run would be much easier to clean than a Cube run; also you could have it made to any dimension that suits your garden, e.g. the shape of your patio area. If you want to upgrade to a Cube because you want to get more hens, then I would still recommend a WIR. It's much easier to attache a Cube to the outside of a WIR than an Eglu.
  16. Your leghorns sound like real characters! This really made me laugh. I have two white leghorns (pretty much identical) and wouldn't trade them for the world. They are very prim and proper these days (as far as those fantastic combs allow) as they are top chickens in my flock. In their youth, Ethel taught my young impressionable copper black marans to jump on the Cube run and take running leaps, and more recently Annie took to her bed for a week in protest against being moved to my brand-new WIR. It is pretty much impossible for me to catch them, but I've found if I herd Annie into a corner and stand still she will invariably run into me and instantly squat, which gives me a chance to simply pick her up. (Not a great instinct for survival, this one.) If mine are anything to go by, you should get plenty of eggs. Mine are three-and-a-half now, and this winter is the first one in which they took a proper break from laying (rather than just slowing down a bit), but normal service is 6-7 eggs a week. Mind you, there was that summer two years ago when they both took turns to go broody... Do you think yours can clear a six-and-a-half foot fence then? I knew leghorns were good fliers, but that is really impressive.
  17. Hi yes, I used to have it round my Cube run. My linkabord rectangle was 2m wide by 6.5m long (I had a 5m Cube train) and I laid path around the run (but inside the rectangle) to keep the lawn neat. Only very occasionally did I find woodchip outside the linkabord rectangle. Around 1m of extra length will be needed at the front of the run for the door. Link a bord is made by this company, and you can buy individual bits and pieces in a number of colours from their website (or over the phone). The 1.2m lengths are exactly as long as the Cube run is wide. It's worth comparing pricing and postage with what Omlet offers, even if what you want is exactly the same as the kits that Omlet sells.
  18. I eventually gave up on my grubs because it was impossible to clean inside the hook mouldings. Have sold all my grubs on ebay except for two ancient ones, from the days when they still had metal hooks. The main concern with open feeders is that chickens have no idea of basic hygiene, so if your chickens can get into the pan then you will have to contend with dirty feet (or worse) in the food. And if they can perch on the side then there is a risk that it will tip over (this would depend on its shape/weight though). Fortunately there are many different types of standing feeders available. I have one of these, which is great for putting on the ground because it has legs (and a rain hat). It is also worth looking at these feeders (I have the 6kg feeder), which are good if you can hang them up. Hope this helps!
  19. Tweedle has given some good advice about checking for and dealing with sour crop. How large is her crop? Does the liquid smell fermented? Does her crop empty overnight? I've had elderly girls before with similar symptoms (head shaking, squishy not-too-large not-smelly crop, clear liquid coming from beak) and in my experience they invariably have some underlying health problem (such as a respiratory infection), and the crop issue is just a secondary symptom caused by their digestive system slowing down. I hope that sour crop is the only issue here, but if your girl looks poorly in herself then my advice would be to take her to the vet as she may need medication for the underlying problem.
  20. Just a quick update. I took Carol over to Laurmurf this afternoon and she kindly and expertly performed a crop lavage on Carol. Carol's crop is completely empty right now (hurray!) and she should hopefully make a full recovery. It turns out the little dear had eaten a lot of grass, and it had formed a clump in her crop, acting like a strainer. Thank you very much again Laurmurf. (And sorry for the mess Carol caused.) Most of all good luck with your little girl!
  21. Thanks Laurmurf and Tweedie. So far she has been very good at resisting my efforts at emptying her crop. I'll have a look at the Little Hens Rescue website. Laurmurf, do you know of anywhere in York that sells Avipro? I will order it on the Internet otherwise, but it may take a day or so to arrive. I have some over-the-counter probiotic powder from Pets at Home that I have been using up to now. Also, as a general question, I would be grateful if you had any suggestions on how to get hold of the right size cannula tube. My first point of call would be the vets, but this is maybe less urgent than the Avipro because she will drink anything I put down for her. Very best of luck with your girl Laurmurf.
  22. The crop of one of my newly rescued ex-batts, Carol, has become very enlarged over the last couple of days. It is pendulous (it's a proper handful) and feels like it is filled with fluid. I don't think it's sour - but I have never encountered sour crop before and don't have a great sense of smell anyway. I checked her last night and this morning, and since it was not emptying overnight, I decided to follow the treatment for sour crop on the forum (if only to get the crop to empty), and starved her inside all day in a cat carrier today. I put her back in with her friends after they have gone to bed, so by tomorrow morning she will have been starved for the recommended 24 hours. Her crop appears to not have gone down at all since this morning, so I'm not sure the starvation treatment can be described as a great success so far. She drank all the water I had left her with (about 200ml, containing a soluble probiotic), and so she must have digested at least some of the contents of her crop. She did lay a big egg today. She seems fine in herself, if perhaps a bit uncomfortable with the big balloonlike crop. I am worried that the crop problem may be caused by her over-eating and drinking. In my experience hens with impacted or full crops tend to stop eating; however Carol seems to be wanting to eat and drink everything in sight. Any advice on what might be wrong? Anything else I can do at home to help her? Or is it a case for the vet if things don't improve overnight?
  23. 5 of mine (all ex-batts) decided to have a coordinated moult just after Christmas. They look terrible, poor dears, and must be feeling the cold. They look even worse than their 4 new ex-batt friends (who arrived the week before Christmas).
  24. Is she laying eggs at the moment? If not, and the other are, then that might account for the difference in how much they eat. Well done for taking her on. Sounds like she is quite a character!

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