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About HennyPenny

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    Chicken Eggspert
  1. Sad news - Rocky is no more. Yesterday, he really seemed to have perked up - actively pecking food from the spoon instead of being fed and starting to look better...but, as suspected, if was just a final rallying before the inevitable and today he is gone. I will miss his cheeping and cuddling his little feathery body but I know he would not have survived in the long term. We will be feeding back to the company the eggs came from in the hope that this is avoided in the future if possible, although we all know that these things can happen, even with the best hen keeping. The two unhatched eggs were opened (by staff with stronger stomachs than me!) and one chick was full formed but not breathing while the other was just never fully formed. I know that 7/10 is a reasonable success rate, but apparently the eggs supplied by the previous company have yielded 9/10 over the past 5 years. We may be returning to them next year. I still believe that we did our best and it was better to give him a few days of (relatively comfortable) life than to do nothing and let him die (potentially in front of our youngest children!) and I would like to say Thank You to everyone for the valuable advice and support.
  2. Thank you for all the helpful advice and support. We have splinted his/her legs and got some poultry vitamin drops which seem to have given him a bit of an appetite! I'm glad that other people weren't suggesting giving up just yet but I am realistic enough (at least in theory) to set a deadline (inappropriate word?) of a week from hatching for any signs of significant improvement and then we know we will have to send him on his way as gently as we can (assuming that Mother Nature doesn't beat us to it, of course.) Our school has been hatching chicks for years but we've used a different company this year and I think that may have been a mistake. Only 8 of the 10 eggs hatched and one was our Rocky (we think he's a fighter) and another one was a pretty weak specimen. Thanks again x
  3. I teach in an Infants School and our Reception Class have hatching eggs at the moment. On Thursday, the chicks hatched but there was one with very curled feet who was really struggling to stand so they came and got me - I am definitely not a vet but as a chicken keeper they thought I was the next best thing! I suggested taking him out of the incubator and putting him into the brooder box as his brothers and sisters were taking turns to stand on him and peck at him and then I ended up bringing him home. His feet are very crooked, despite the use of plasters to try and straighten them out, and although he is moving about, he is 'walking' on his hocks (think that's what they're called) so they are all sore and red and his feet kind of stick up in the air. He's eating and drinking a tiny bit (mostly when I hand feed him) and seems very loud and lively (although he looks very weird!) Despite telling my colleagues on Thursday that I didn't think the prognosis would be good, they are all asking for regular updates on his progress and are talking about making him a school pet when/if he survives! I have to admit that I am finding it very hard to be sensible and realistic as he is just so cute and I am already very attached to him. Tell me you wise chicken keepers -is it still possible that he could improve? Can a chicken have any quality of life if he can't walk? Should I put him out of his misery? Advice please.
  4. Typical! Just when I decide I'm going to have to give up......the thing finally works! Thank you Santa
  5. I'm really sorry, but I am going to have to concede defeat soon with this blasted Photobucket thing I have taken a photo of both of my lovely Christmas presents but when I upload it and then copy the IMG link, it crops the photo so you can't see one of the presents! I have tried resizing the photo but it just doesn't seem to want to work! Sorry Santa! I will keep trying, but don't hold your breath....!
  6. I've spent so long trying to sort out pics that I can't remember if I even thanked my Secret Santa so huge apologies if I didn't say this already but THANK YOU! I got a beautiful felt flower brooch that goes perfectly with my favourite jumpers (how did you know that I love green??) and a lovely hand made soap - so clever! Now I just need some clever IT person to remind me how to add photos and I can share my Secret Santa's amazing skills with you all! Thanks
  7. Posted my gift yesterday...and mine arrived today! I'm so excited! Need to go and get the tree tomorrow so I have somewhere to put it where I won't be tempted to prod it, poke it (or even open it) before Christmas! Thank You Santa - and Thank You Parsley
  8. It was a bit of a faff, but not difficult at all even though I didn't get the temperature right and thought I'd ruined it all! Followed the instructions in the book - 2litres of full cream Jersey milk heated to 23degrees (approx!), take off the heat and add lemon juice and rennet and then leave it.... Came back and found the curds had formed (not as firm as in the picture, but strained them into a colander until the whey was gone. Then divide into four equal(ish) portions, microwave for 30 seconds, then squeeze out the remaining whey and form into a sort of ball, drop into iced water. it says that you can microwave for another 10-20 seconds if it seems a bit 'chalky' but I didn't really know what they meant, so I did 2 portions for 40 seconds in total and the others just for 30 and they all seemed about the same! We had some last night layered with aubergine and tomato with parmesan in a kind of gratin and it was delicious! Not sure about the ricotta - not tried eating it yet but I'm sure it will be fine. Real difficulty was persuading Mr T to throw away the whey left behind by that and not try making it into another cheese!
  9. ...and it was delicious on a home-made pizza! Now we're making ricotta from the leftover whey!! I saw the book in the Lakeland catalogue but it was people talking about it on here that persuaded me to go and get the stuff and give it a go so - Thank You Omleteers!
  10. I got a leaflet from Lakeland mentioning the cheese making book and, of course, I came on here to see what the Omleteers thought of it...next thing I'm buying all the stuff which has been sitting in our kitchen for ages. Today, in an attempt to put off all the things I have to do befire we go back to school, I finally got round to having a go and we now have four small, yet perfectly formed mozzarella balls in the fridge. OH is now busy maing pizza dough and then we'll find out whether the stuff is actually edible! Any one else had a go? (Obviously, now we're looking up what to do with all the leftover whey...)
  11. I think it's really sad that we all seem to have similar stories (wonder if we're all of a certain age - that might give us hope that things have changed?) I was always useless at sport and never got picked for any team. My school (girls grammar) was all about hockey and when it became clear that I wasn't very good, I was moved to netball with the other 'failed' hockey players. As I am only just over five feet now at my full adult height, it soon became clear that I was even worse at netball but there was no other option so I spent most games lessons watching other girls play or getting shouted at for being useless! Since then, I have discovered that I enjoy aerobics and zumba and I have even completed the London Marathon twice (at a snail's pace, admittedly) but I still find it hard not to think of myself as useless at any form of sporting endeavour. I really hope that times have changed for children now.
  12. Huge Thank You to my Secret Santa - I got a magnificent Birthday Book with handmade cards for every month! It is truly amazing - will try to post a pic later. I wonder if Santa knew how disorganised I am...my family and friends are going to be so impressed from now on when I stop forgetting birthdays! Thanks again to Plum for organising this
  13. My present arrived yesterday and is now sitting under my tree - thank you Santa!

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