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Everything posted by cavysqueak

  1. We have a very much loved Eglu MK1 Classic including run, 21m Omlet chicken fencing and various accessories for sale. The MK1 Classic itself is green (faded, as expected) with some internal whitening on the bars (from chicken poop!), but overall it is in very good condition. It comes with the original 2m run (no extensions), which is in good condition (some small rust patches) with additional plastic connectors and door pin. Additionally we have 21m Omlet chicken fencing with gate (hardly used). Accessories: 2 x Glug and 2 x Grub (one set purple, one set green - all good condition); long clear cover (showing it's age); one set of 4 rubber eggs. We'll take £350 for all of the items - collect from north Milton Keynes. Please let me know if you'd like photos.
  2. We are selling our MK1 Classic (Green - but faded, as you'd expect!) with run, fence and some accessories. We live to the north of Milton Keynes. I'm about to put an advert on this forum, so please refer to that for more details, but I thought it might be useful to let you know as we're quite close to you. Kind regards, Claire.
  3. I've spoken to our vet and there is an option for Doris. We can give her an implant which will stop all hormones, both male and female. It is expensive, will probably only last for a year and may not reverse the changes so far, but we have to give her the best chance of a long, happy & healthy life. If she continues to 'crow' more often / early in the day we may have to rehome / dispatch her and if she continues to lay the softies, or squishy masses which she has been doing then she could end up with egg peritonitis. So we are just awaiting the vets to have the implant in & then we'll take her. I know that this decision won't sit well with some people, but we have to do the best for her and for us in our situation. I hope your ladies are all well, and that any 'male shananagins' are limited to only a few ladies!
  4. We have an ex-battery hen, Doris, who has been with us for almost two years now, so that would make her about 3 & 1/2. She has never laid very good eggs, they were always mis-shapen or very thin shelled, lately they've been more likely to be softies despite us adding loads of stuff to the diet of the flock & then more specifically by giving her some calcium by mouth for a while. As a bit of background Doris also had mycoplasma about a month after we got her (we now know it's obviously in our flock) so she was on strong anti-biotic injections every day for a fortnight. She is bottom chook (3 of 3), so you wouldn't think that she needs to be tough, but yesterday when I realised that she might've gone broody I also noticed a spur had begun to grow on her leg. The other leg has a very small stub of a spur. About 2 months ago we started to hear noises which could only be described as a lady hen trying to crow in the mornings. We just thought because Doris was always very vocal then it was just her latest 'trick'. However combined with this new information I'm beginning to wonder if she's one of the 'sex-changing' hens you've read about. Her comb / wattles seem unaffected. My questions are this really: Is there any way to reverse or stop the change? As if she does really start to crow then we'll have to have her put to sleep - as backyard chicken owners in a residential area, we are not allowed to keep cockerels. This would be devestating to us. Could this change be brought on by / made more likely by something in, or lacking in her diet / environment? We don't want the other two changing as well! Do we treat the 'broodiness' she seems to be going through now as normal? i.e. broody cage for a couple of days. Thank you for your continuing fabulous advice!
  5. Can I ask where you get the cod liver oil from? We've looked on the Omlet website & others & can't see an animal product version. Is there an alternative? Is the liquid tonic with seaweed, or the dried seaweed a good alternative? We have one ex-battery hen who has never managed to lay wonderful eggs, but since her moult in Jan this year she has more often than not laid softies, or 'crispy' softies where the shell is just starting to form. Sometimes she eats them, sometimes she doesn't. Our other two girls have no issues, including another ex-batt rescued at the same time. They have access to Oyster Shell Grit as well as added Poultry Tonic, Garlic & Diatom in their food all of the time & Cider Vinegar in their water every two weeks, or so. We worm them every 4 months & Verm - X them once in between. We've just finished a week of 'extra' Flubenvet just in case. We don't want to add any more calcium to the water or feed as this might affect the laying of the other two as I've heard that an excess of calcium can make it hard for the egg to pass out. So a cod liver oil, or similar seems like it might give Doris the boost she needs. So back to my original question - where can I get it? Is there another source of Vitamin D we can use? Thank you.
  6. Good afternoon, We have an approximately 3 year old ex-battery hen who seems to have little white 'spots' around her vent. Her vent is otherwise clean and looks the normal colour, but the reason we checked (aside from the fortnightly check we do anyway) was because we noticed that her fluffy bum feathers were a bit caked with poo. This is unusual for her. We know we have mycoplasma in the flock and this particular chicken was treated with anti-biotics for mycoplasma about 18 months ago. We've had a quick look in our chicken books & on this forum but have come up with no possibilities. The flock are due for worming, although we have Verm-X'd them in the last month. Any ideas? Thank you.
  7. I have to say that we were put off by the prices of clear taupaulin, Omlet one or otherwise. So we bought a B&Q Value clear decorators sheet thinggie (can't remember the exact name of them), cut it into two, attached it with a 'cross' effect using 4 bungee cords and hey-presto ... one thin, but perfectly adequate clear run cover. The coop part is still covered with the 'normal' tarp & this is still pulled across the whole run over the top of the clear cover overnight. We've been using the clear dust sheet during wet patches since last winter and it has a couple of tears in it, but that's only one half of the product (it is folded over so its two sheets thick) and it only cost approx £4. Do watch out as some of the plastic dust sheets are white plastic, we just hunted online until we found one which was clear. Hope that helps. We can't have any chicken ladies getting SAD, they're moody enough as it is!
  8. It worked! Thank you, three days was the key. We eventually have our lovely, soft hen back (instead of that nasty pecking hen!). Thank you for your help.
  9. I'll try to cut a long story short ... Mimi went broody & spent 2 almost full days on the nest before we were able to remove her. For the next almost 4 weeks we've put her in a seperate run, with no access to a nestbox for the morning while the other girls are laying. Then in the afternoon we've let them all out to FR in the garden, but closed the coop door so again there was no access to the nest for Mimi. Then we let them all into the coop together at bedtime. So this hasn't worked and Mimi is quite happy to now 'nest' in the coop, rather than specifically the nest box (this could be because we put ice packs in the nest in case she was tempted). We even tried the 'dunking' in cold water every couple of hours for 2 days to no effect. So we've eventually managed to get a broody cage together and we put her in that yesterday. She is even in this overnight (we put the cage inside the Omlet run to make sure she's fox proof at night) so she can't heat up again from the close proximity of the other girls. Obviously she has had access to food & water, including the treats throughout all of this time, but I'm concerned that she doesn't have access to a dustbath whilst in the broody cage. Any ideas on how long we should keep her in the broody cage? Are there signs we should be looking out for? She has begun to show a bigger interest in her green treats and even her pellets again, but we need to make sure that she has snapped out of this before we go on holiday for a few days at the end of Aug. Thank you for any advice.
  10. I've always used Petroleum Jelly on red patches as it acts like a barrier while the normal healing can take place. They also can't get hold of any feathers (new or old) as they're slippery, so it seemed to solve the plucking issue as well. Good luck XxX
  11. I'm sorry for your loss. I have tears in my eyes just thinking about how much you (& us Omleteers) will miss her. Well done for giving her a lovely home for the last part of her life. *hugs* XxX
  12. One of our ex-batt hens was only 'free' for two months when a similar thing happened but with a dark purpley red comb as well. The vet said that the comb was an indicator of circulatory issues and the constant drinking, but not eating was an indicator of kidney failure. Sorry, but you may not have her company much longer. I hope you find a better reason for your lady's lethargy. XxX
  13. I've found it on Amazon, so I might just order it from there. Unless anyone has any better ideas?
  14. Our Cou-Cou Maran, Mimi has a impacted crop. I've been trying to massage it for about 4 days now (since I noticed the issue) with some success. We went to the vet last night, who didn't really add anything to what we already knew (just shows how good the advice on here is!). So we have upped the frequency of water / probiotic yogurt mix & warm water which we are syringing into her beak. They didn't have the powdered probiotic stuff at the vets, so I'm having to look around for it online. From one of the FAQ's on here I've got the name of Avipro - I've looked it up online, but I don't really like ordering from a random unknown company on the Internet. So can anyone tell me where they've bought Avipro from please! I'd rather order from a company that people know than order at a cheap price with a company I don't know anything about. Thank you for your help.
  15. 1524 - 2 (ex-batt & original Omlet girl gone in last few months) = 1522 Still a great number of girls getting a lovely life with the Omleteers, well done!
  16. Thank you for your kind replies. We definately will not forget our original girls, we learned so much about hen keeping from them. XxX
  17. Just over three years ago we embarked on our chicken keeping adventure. We ordered three chickens and a green Eglu from Omlet and one late January Saturday morning the man with the Omlet van arrived. He set up the Eglu and then took us through the basics of chicken holding, etc. We met our three lovely ladies and instantly fell in love. We lost poor Carmen (a Pepperpot) early on due to prolapses. Holly (also a Pepperpot) was my baby and she got egg peritonitis about 6 months ago. I still cry over her loss sometimes. Thankfully by this point we'd added to our flock so Henrietta (a Gingernut Ranger) was not on her own, she was still top hen and still loved cuddles from her Daddy. However today, after a few weeks of looking tired and losing weight, Henrietta was clearly not well. I brought her inside and she was happy to sit on my lap for ages ... never a good sign, even for a cuddle loving girl. We took her to the emergency vets after she had two 'fits'(?) and the decision was made. So goodbye to the last of our lovely Omlet ladies. We miss you all, but we're so glad you were there to make our life more interesting. Sending love and hugs to all of the lost ladies, I know you're all sorely missed. XxX
  18. I love my chickens and there are long lists of benefits of keeping them, but one of my favourites is that they encourage wild birds into the garden. We do feed the wild birds as well, but they flock to our garden. I wonder if seeing the chickens makes them feel safer? The other day I was sitting on the bench cuddling our 'retired' chicken who is feeling the cold this year when a beautiful daddy blackbird flew down, sat 1m away and looked at us. He then got chased off by Lavender, but when the other girls went to the top of the garden he flew down and stood drinking out of the water dish which was just at the end of the bench. It was a lovely close up sight to see. Then the next day I was finishing with the girls' morning routine and I had to fill up the wild bird food as there wasn't enough, so I was stood in the shed filling up the tub. I looked around and right in the shed door was Robin ... looking sideways at me as if to say 'what's taking so long?'. So I gently tossed him a dried mealworm, which he jumped forward to eat, so I tossed him another one and he ate that as well! I think I'm now being trained by him / her as well as my girls! Does anyone else find that the wild bird population has increased in their garden since getting their chickens?
  19. Just to add another voice to the egg colour debate. Our 2yr old Bluebelle lays quite small (65g ish) pale brown / pinkish tinge eggs which have a very, very smooth shell to them. Our light sussex lays large (75g ish) very pale, almost white eggs. She'll get there! Have fun.
  20. I've never had bantams, but I found that the 'oven ready' ex-battery chicken we adopted had great trouble using the ladder as she couldn't put her foot up high enough to 'step' onto the bottom rung and she has only the solid middle parts on her wing feathers, so she couldn't give herself a 'boost' by flapping. So I put some piled up paving slabs underneath the ladder like steps so she could climb up them to reach the ladder. It worked well. I used two slabs x one slab lengthways underneath the ladder, I piled it like that two slabs high & then put one slab over the middle of the two bottom slabs & made that two slabs high as well. The only thing I did was make sure that only a small amount of slab was actually sticking out from underneath the ladder, as the girls do tend to fly out of the coop in the morning & I was worried about one of the girls landing on the corner of the slabs. My husband wasn't so enamoured with the new arrangement though ... he'd had his eye on the spare slabs to use them elsewhere in the garden! Whoops!
  21. I don't know if this is actually OK to use or not, but I use small animal mite shampoo on my girls and then gave them a very liberal dusting of diatom powder once they were dry. My logic is that a small animal grooms their coat, so it must be safe to ingest and I had some to hand as I keep guinea pigs. I didn't wash the whole chicken - just the neck, tummy & vent area that was affected. I used a small amount of water to put the shampoo on as far into the feathers as possible, rubbing onto the skin where I could, then I thoroughly rinsed off the area with lots of warm water. I do also have to point out that we didn't seem to have a massive outbreak, so I don't know how effective it would be. Good luck.
  22. Unfortunately Betsie was failing from the inside out. I forgot to say on my original post that she had dark red tips to her comb and the comb had not shrunk in the time we had her. The vet thought that the dark red comb which didn't refill very quickly when pressure was applied was an indicator of circulation / heart problems and her excessive drinking was an indicator of renal / kidney failure. We knew what we needed to do and then the vet also pointed out that she wouldn't last the winter. So we had her PTS by the vet. She had just over two months of freedom, talking to mealworms before she ate them and doing aeroplane impressions across the garden! Good luck to the last ex-battery hens being given their freedom soon.
  23. I know it is a bit naughty to put a topic on here as well, but I know this forum is more active during the day, so I might get more helpful replies this way! This is to ask you to read a topic that I have just posted on the Chicken Clinic about my ex-battery chicken who is unwell today. Thank you for your help.
  24. At the start of October we rehomed three ex-battery hens to add to our flock. For a couple of days I've noticed that one of these ex-batts, Betsie seemed a bit quieter than normal and was stood quietly by herself at some times. So I've been keeping an eye, but she seemed to be eating & drinking. Yesterday afternoon when I let the girls out to FR Betsie came out and then just sat in one place, tail down, looking 'down in the beak' as my family describe it. So I picked her up - she came with less fuss than normal - and sat her with a hot water bottle beside her for about 15 minutes. She didn't seem to perk up afterwards, but it was almost bedtime so I decided to let her sleep with the others rather than stress her out further. This morning she took a couple of bits of sweetcorn and then went to the water glug, drank some water and then just stood there, even with mealworms around to eat. So I've brought her inside. She's sat on me & a hot water bottle and gone to sleep for over an hour - with a break for a couple of mealworms and a poo inside the box. When she went back into the box and she just drank and drank and drank, to the point where she was bringing up a mucus / water mix! When I picked her out she'd filled her crop with water. So I confiscated the water and she's had a few more mealworms and is now sat down in the box. Can chickens have diabetes? She was frantically trying to drink more water even as I confiscated it, which is rather odd. Has anyone else had a chicken with any similar issues? I think it may be a trip to the vets, but I thought I'd ask on here as well just in case. Thanks.
  25. Whoops. At least it wasn't anything else! You never can tell with the Internet!

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