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Lydia last won the day on April 21 2021

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All Knowing Superchicken

All Knowing Superchicken (4/19)



  1. We have foxes visit us day and night every day. We only let our hens out when we are in the garden with them and, even then, it has been known for one to come over the fence. I understand your annoyance. What you’re proposing to do is a ‘hard release’ if you catch your fox. This is covered by the Animal Welfare Act 2006 and condemned by DEFRA and other groups. This is because you would be dumping an animal in an environment where it had no bearings and may not find food, water or may be in another animal’s territory. Some charities do release foxes but they do ‘soft releases’ whereby they ensure the animal orientates itself and care for it while it does so. I’m guessing you’re not up for that! It is pointless to try and remove foxes anyway. It is extremely likely that another will simply take over the territory within days and then you are back to square one. As Beantree said your best bet is to beef up your security and keep that fence on and checked.
  2. We used the Chicken House Company in 2018 for a bespoke run. https://thechickenhousecompany.co.uk/pages/contact-us Bit pricey because it was bespoke. At the time we were regional co-ordinators for BHWT so we were keen to have a bit we could easily section off for incoming or ill hens and the only way to do that was bespoke. The best things about it are the stable doors and that the sectioned off bit has its own front door as well as internal doors that can be propped open when not in use. We should have allowed more width in the sectioned off bit as it’s a bit tight to manoeuvre an Eglu in there and clean it in situ. It is possible just tight, but that was our mistake.
  3. Hello, BHWT regional co-ordinator here, also been rehoming ex-commercial hens since 2007. In my experience it is best to leave them be. As long as they have somewhere shady to go (if not, create these spaces), their normal layer pellets and water available at all times, they will eventually realise where it’s best to be. The skin will appear red, but bald patches will also appear red in winter when it’s cold, too. I wouldn't put any sun cream on it and I don’t put Vaseline or woolly jackets on them or whatever in winter either. They don’t need it. It depends on the hen, the weather and why she lost the feathers as to when she feathers up. Some will do it quickly, others will take months. Some ex-commercials are actually moulting when they are rehomed so they’ll feather up quicker than those that have lost feathers due to pecking. Either way, don’t worry about them. They may look as weak as kittens but very few hens need extra care, just time and patience to figure things out. Just feed them a good quality layers pellet and water, and keep treats to a very bare minimum (same for all hens).
  4. We’ve used it both in the WIR and in the cube and quickly went back to the ordinary Aubiose. We found Aubichick was too fine and stuck to literally everything. The hens got covered in it, all our clothing had it on whenever we went near it, it clung to our shoes and it stuck to the eggs in the nest as well. It was like having permanent static! Because it was so fine and ‘sticky’, it was impossible to not bring it into the house even if we were careful. This meant everywhere around our back door was ‘dusty’. Not surprisingly this got on our nerves quite quickly and we were so happy when we used up the bale and were able to return to the usual Aubiose. We’ve never had problems with that. The only positive was that it was a little bit cheaper than the ordinary stuff, but the lack of dust and inconvenience makes it worth paying extra!
  5. It depends on the region but, yes, BHWT aim to have rehomings every 6-8 weeks. As you’re a first timer, I don’t think they would let you have just two. I would agree with that policy, just in case something happened to one of them, then you’d be left with a lone hen. It’s as much for the sake of the hens.
  6. Hi. I think you’ve got a couple of issues here. First, as others have said, 2m of run is not going to adequately accommodate 3 ex-commercial hens. You do need at least an extra metre. I’m a regional co-ordinator for BHWT and that’s what I would advise if you were on my rehoming list. I do have a rehoming on 30 June so you may well be on my list if you’re in or around the Berks area. Secondly, if you are keeping the hens in the run all the time then do bear in mind how destructive they can be. It’s not just the poo but also the scratching and digging out holes for dust baths, etc. If you intend keeping the eglu on grass then that will very quickly trash your lawn, especially in winter. Better to site it somewhere permanently with a flooring of aubiose or wood chip or whatever. There’s lots of inspiration on here for what to use. It’s great that you want to take on ex-commercial ladies and I hope you can sort a way through it as they are very rewarding little creatures and I am sure you’d love them.
  7. I can only speak as someone who has looked after other people’s piggies but they all used my Eglu classic. It was ok for them for the holiday period I had them (about 4 weeks) and it might have been ok over the warmer months, but I would think it was not spacious enough long term. I’ve over ever looked after them in the summer when they can come out and into the run and if they were confined to the eglu bit 24/7, I think it would cramped for them and very smelly for you to clean. I found it to be a lot of work, more than chickens. Piggies wee for England and I found I had to clean (as in muck out and change the bedding completely, not hose down) the eglu twice a day to keep on top of the smell and poo. They saturated the aubiose and the newspaper underneath each time. My sister, who’s piggies they are, keeps them in a large 2 tier wooden house in her shed. This means they have a night area and a day area, which cuts down on the cleaning! In the warmer months they also have a separate outdoor run, although she brings them in each night. In the colder months they are permanently in the shed run and she takes steps to provide more insulation in the winter and she’s made sure they have as much light in there as possible. I think she might have brought them inside a few times when it was snowing and got really into the minuses but mostly they are kept out there. i also babysat a friend’s house piggie for a month. She was a good friend so I put up with it, but boy did he stink! Cleaning more than twice a day and air freshener required! Given the choice I would keep them outside. You did need more than one (friend’s piggie lived on his own and I personally think he could have done with a friend - he certainly enjoyed the company of my hamster next door to his cage). Sister keeps 4, although numbers vary. Good luck with it!
  8. Another vote for loveknitting.com. I make a lot of socks and they have some super yarn for those. They are also good to get needles and such that aren’t available elsewhere - I wouldn’t be without my 30cm circular which I’ve never seen elsewhere,
  9. We were clearing out the shed yesterday and found 3 x Red Top fly traps which we no longer need. Anyone want them? They've probably been in the shed for a couple of years but are brand new and still sealed in their original packaging. They can go for free and I'm happy to post if you DM an address. Apologies if this is in the wrong section. I thought there used to be a 'free to a good home' section but i couldn't find it.
  10. We are selling our blue MK1 Cube and it’s just been listed on eBay here. We are are also selling spare dropping trays and roosting bars for the Mk1 cube. These are also on eBay.
  11. I had mine done earlier this year and the results were nothing like I expected at all. A cousin of my mother’s had had hers done, too, and her results were quite different, which helped narrow down which strand came from which side of my family. It threw up a lot of 1st-4th cousin matches and I am now in touch with distant family members from far flung areas of the world. Interestingly they are all from my mother’s side but it does depend on who has also done the test. You have to do quite a bit detective work to identify where the familial link is as you get a list of surnames that people have in their trees so if the surnames in your family are common ones, it’s a bit needle in haystack trying to identify whether it’s your family strand or just coincidence, if you see what I mean. Like you I was keen to trace more about my paternal side, however, my dad was the product of a brief wartime affair with a man married to someone else, and this man is not named on his birth certificate. We know who he was but not much else, and none of his family knew, or know about my father. As my father carried his maternal surname and then later his stepfather’s (although there was no formal adoption), and both surnames are very common ones, the people who may be from that side of the family do not see the link at all, so I have to tread carefully as family members involved could still be alive. It was a hugely interesting exercise to see what’s out there and I am pleased I did it. When work calms down a bit next month I will return to the results and do lots more drilling down.
  12. It's reasonably common to still find tadpoles later in the year. This link from Froglife has more details (see first FAQ on this page): http://www.froglife.org/info-advice/frequently-asked-questions/spawn-tadpoles-behaviour/
  13. I will possibly be in background shots but I was happy to let the more photogenic members of the team take centre stage Gavclojak, it's possible you've met my husband, then! He's done the Essex collection a few times.
  14. Today the Berkshire BHWT rehoming team was filmed. It was for a programme called Vet On The Hill, which is shown on Channel 4. The programme follows the exploits of Dr Scott Miller and his vet practice team. It's likely to air in the autumn, I'm told. It was quite fun, all in all, although tricky at times balancing the needs of the film crew to get their shots with the needs of the hens and the rehomers, and ensuring that the day ran smoothly. I hope it comes across well for the BHWT and shows the great work they do, as well as the hard work that my volunteer team put in every time. Dr Scott and nurse Ali, the two presenters, also rehomed 10 hens between them and I hope their hens, and the other 146 hens that were rehomed with us today, enjoy a happy retirement. We're a small team in Berks but have rehomed 639 hens since the end of April, raising nearly £3500 in much needed funds for BHWT. I'm really proud of the team and look forward to the programme when it airs.
  15. We lost one of our elderly cats back in October. After some months as a two cat household, we decided to adopt another one. We adopted lovely Dexter in 2014 and he fitted in really well with our 2 ladies, so we went back to the local shelter. Jelly joined us about 4 weeks ago. She was rescued from a house where there were too many cats, all of them unneutered. Food was put out for them but she has never known human interaction and is semi-feral. It's likely she's had a litter or two. I dug out the diffusers for Feliway and Pet Remedy from when we got Dexter and bought new stuff for them. OMG! What have they done to Pet Remedy?! It stinks! It's like a mixture of unwashed feet and that smell that gerbils have when they need cleaning out. I got it from two different places so I don't think it's just a dodgy batch. The Feliway smells much the same as I remember but I found that Pet Remedy worked better in the past. However, I can't put up with the smell. I unplugged them for a week or so but found the cats got a bit aggro so have reluctantly plugged them back in. If you are thinking of buying any, unless you have a poor sense of smell, my advice would be to stick to Feliway!

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