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About Penguin

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    Chicken Eggspert
  1. Egg has been the same recently. This is her third 'broody' time, and it has lasted longer than normal. She has just about snapped out of it, after being hoiked out of the Cube on several occasions. I've been recommended to put her in a broody cage if it happens again - something like a rabbit hutch works OK. There should be nothing in there that lets her get comfortable, and she should have access to food and water (those little dishes that attach to the bars do the trick). She needs to stay in there until she is no longer broody which could be 24 hours ... or longer. No free ranging, nothing. We always know when she is broody because of the noises she makes which aren't like normal clucking, and she also makes funny noises when she eats. Sounds horrible, but apparently it's the best thing for them to help them to stop. Thankfully broodiness is seasonal so I am hoping that this is her last time this year ...
  2. We use the Red Top and get through one a month at the moment. It goes in three bags in the bin when it's done and it is the most smelly thing I have ever come across. This month we also accumulated maggots in it, along with the 1000 flies that must have been in there. We were tempted to try and get the maggots out to feed to the girls, but the thought of it makes me gag ... it is a brilliant product though and keeps the garden free of flies ..
  3. We lost our darling Baked three weeks ago. Third round of antibiotics didn't work and she has joined the great chicken run in the sky. Our vets have been fantastic and so she is still with us on the windowsill, her ashes in a little box, so she can look over the garden and the other girls playing around.
  4. We have exactly the same problem with Fried. I don't think that she likes the comparison to a monkey, but there is a strong similarity ... she seems absolutely fine in herself, apart from laying softies, but I'm going to get some more oyster grit to help her out on that one. She hasn't been through a moult in the two years we have had her so I am crossing my fingers that when she does moult her bottom feathers will grow back again. Since she is top of the chook pile, I don't think that the others are pecking her.
  5. Thanks - I'll be out looking soon! Have seen the top loaders - they look cool!
  6. The people I work with ask me regularly how the girls are, especially since we got the new ones and went through a bit of a stressful time with them. You know you've converted them when they say 'and I thought all this time, well, they're just chickens. Now I know that they are more than that.' They ask so much that I started a blog so that they could follow their exploits: www.howtotrainyourchicken.blogspot.com Feel free to look too and post comments! Granted, there are also a few posts from me about life in general on there, but every post comes back to chickens eventually ...
  7. Yes, it's safe to say that the girls win every time. Be it owning the nest box, the garden, the garage or the shed. The only place that seems to be our domain is the kitchen and I think that they are slowly beginning to take that over too .... still chuckling about your girls with footballs on their heads
  8. Can I just ask a question about the size of the cat carriers you use? There seem to be a lot out there and it is time to invest in some for the girls' transportation on holiday (at Newlands also). Could you give me the dimensions of the one you have that comfortably transports two so that I can buy the right size? Cardboard box alright at the moment, but the last time we used one, the handle broke and we almost lost the girls as they nearly escaped!
  9. Baked pecked my mouth so hard one time that it drew blood ... now she's doing it to the other chickens - bad girl! Fried also likes pecking legs but only when they are in trackie bottoms, that's because one time we were spray cleaning in trackies and mud and bugs got all over the trousers so she pecked them off and now I think she makes the association!
  10. Hello fluffy. Do tell of your stress then please? Share it and perhaps we can identify common issues?
  11. Oh and the anti-peck spray hasn't done the trick for us I'm afraid - already tried!
  12. The main problem is at night at the moment, oddly enough. They're OK during the day since there is enough space for them to be all over the garden but still see each other. There are two water and feeding stations in the garden and they can get into the cube run where there is more food so there's no worries there. It's Baked standing at the door of the cube pecking ferociously at them at bedtime that is the issue. That's why we have been doing the transfer in the dark, but now she is carrying on with the pecking in the morning as well before being let out to fr. I'm sure it will all work out in time, but it's that wait that is the worry!
  13. For ours it's definitely something they do when they know you are watching - or they might be sulking ... Baked aka Hilts is doing it right now because she's in the cooler (Eglu run) while the others are fr. It seems like a 'look at me, look at me' act to get your attention so you let them out or give them treats! They stop after a while and take themselves to bed when they know you are choosing to ignore them.
  14. Not an easy one this! We have become much more relaxed about allowing the girls to fr. At first we would only let them out if we were patrolling the garden; then when we were in the kitchen with the door open; then in the house with the window open; then moved to popping to the shops for an hour and now we go the whole hog and leave them out all day whatever. The garden is secure, they can't get into the neighbours' or onto a road and I'm pretty sure that a fox can't get over the fence. From what I've read of fox attacks, in most cases it's over pretty quickly so my logic is that I'd rather the girls had fabulous days fr with a tiny threat of getting their lives cut short quickly rather than keeping them penned up all day. And considering my other post about Baked aka Hilts, them being penned up is NOT an option at the moment! Appreciate that this might not be everyone's choice ... please don't beat me to a pulp if you don't agree!
  15. Sorry to hear that you don't want to take over the one in the cooler atm do you? Only joking Baked ....

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