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majorbloodnock last won the day on June 11

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Chatty Chicken

Chatty Chicken (7/19)



  1. Just a bit of an off-the-wall suggestion.... Firstly, that feeder looks just the right size that, if turned upside down, would provide a stable platform for the drinker to sit on, thereby raising the drinker up away from the woodchip. Secondly, do you have any empty 2L fizzy drink bottles in your recycling? I'm sure cutting a large hole in the side of one would allow you to use it as a trough feeder that could be tied to the side of the cage with string. Not pretty, but certainly would be more secure. Cut edges might need a bit of duck tape so as not to be too sharp, but nothing eminently difficult.
  2. That's a pretty good list. The girls need something to eat and eat from, something to drink and drink from, somewhere safe to roam and sleep and some basic medical maintenance/health requirements. After that, you're into nice-to-haves rather than needs. Essentials that I would add to the list are: a dust bath of some sort. If the run is completely dry and you don't have paving slabs underneath then the girls will simply scrape away whatever grass is there and make their own. In pretty much all other cases, an old litter tray with some wood ash or other inert and harmless fine powdery substance in it will work just as well. However, even then it'll still need to be kept absolutely dry to avoid becoming a mud bath. somewhere sheltered from both rain and sun. In practice, for your setup, that probably means a tarpaulin or similar over the top of the run. Not convinced the included sun shade is enough. It won't take long before you realise other things to get that'll make your life easier, but each owner's preferences are different as are those of their flocks. Let your setup evolve over time and enjoy the hens as you go.
  3. You might want to take a squizz at one of the responses I posted to a thread about a non-chicken keeper trying to deal with a neighbour letting their hens range across the boundary. https://club.omlet.co.uk/forum/topic/89328-advice-for-neighbour-of-a-chicken-keeper-please/?do=findComment&comment=1164336 In short, this would likely be a civil tort of trespass, but your neighbour failing to keep his cockerel under control would probably be legally the same as actively allowing his cockerel onto your land. I hasten to add I'm no expert, so please accept I'm including all the caveats for your double checking my opinion before acting.
  4. It started as an intentional obfuscation of the English language in the Seven Dials part of London. There is debate whether it was primarily used by traders or criminals, but the best guess is that it was probably to confuse those not in the know (i.e. customers if used by traders or police if used by criminals) and allow reasonably free communication in public between those who were in the know. There is also the theory that it developed as more of a linguistic game as part of the sense of community; to enhance the feeling of "us together" and help exclude non-locals (similar to the concept of "grockles" in the West Country). Personally I find a lot of the current use of Cockney rhyming slang to be a pretentious affectation amongst "Mockney" wannabes demonstrating a bit of inverse snobbery. However, I still like it very much, partly for its regional colour (much as I enjoy listening to a Scottish accent using regional terms like "bairn" and "ken", a Liverpudlian talking about "nesh" or a Welsh promise of a "cwtch") and partly for what it demonstrates about our history and the English language's ability to grow to accommodate. In short, it's fascinating but far too often trivialised to the point of parody.
  5. Polarised views are never too helpful, and I've read precious little truly pacifying content in this thread. It seems the two prevailing views are: that any neighbour whose possessions create a regular low grade noise that one happens to dislike is a selfish half-wit with no right to impose upon others around them. that any neighbour who finds the regular low grade noise made by one's own possessions is an unreasonable complainer whose discomfort is of their own making for being so intolerant. And yes, I have exaggerated for effect. Clearly the reality is that neither viewpoint is wholly right or wrong, and who has the greater grievance in a situation of conflict will inevitably depend on the details of the case; it would be unreasonable to expect silence of one's neighbours and it would be unreasonable not to foresee that an aviary with a couple of hundred birds is a very different prospect from one with three or four. And yes, it's not just volume that may be an issue, it may well be noise quality and regularity too. I'm convinced that few of the posters to this thread will be swayed by any more arguing, so the only sensible point left to make here is this. If you have a disagreement with your neighbour, discuss and explore areas of compromise. If that doesn't work, take it to court and let an impartial judgement decide. If that judgement doesn't go in your favour, accept you're being unreasonable despite what you may think and change your actions to fit in. If you can't do so, move house. That's why we have the judicial system we do. One size fits all, both for chicken keepers and neighbours of such.
  6. See if you can have a chat with a local loft conversion company or fencing company; they often have old joists and fence posts to dispose of and just might let you have some. We made our WIR entirely from reused wood, and the flexibility of being able to design the position and size of the various elements (doors, particularly) was absolutely invaluable. The only cost for us was some of the wire mesh and the electrification stuff, so if you can wangle that approach you might be able to put the savings towards the cost of the Cube. Just a thought.
  7. I did a bit of investigation here and found something that might be of use. I hasten to add that I'm no legal professional so none of what I found should be accepted before being ratified by a solicitor. There was a case in 1986 (League against Cruel Sports vs Scott) which produced what seems to be a useful ruling. The background is that the League was at that time buying up small pockets of land and establishing them as nature reserves. One particular area was close to regular fox-hunting activity and hounds from the hunt were going onto the League's land. The League wished to sue the hunt master for trespass, and the question was whether the hunt master was intentionally allowing the dogs onto the land. The court found that they could infer an intention to trespass from "the indifference to such incursions while persisting to hunt near the claimant’s property", and so the hunt master was found guilty of trespass. @Tony Misc, your neighbour is aware of his or her animals going onto your land and of your dislike of the situation, and yet is showing the same "indifference to such incursions". The implication is that you have the legal precedent necessary to demonstrate intentional trespass and therefore, if necessary, to sue your neighbour. I hope it doesn't come to that, but it should certainly add a lot of weight to your discussions with them.
  8. Agree with @Cat tails. Our run is an L shape (imagine a 4.5m square with a 2m square taken from one corner), and when I did the maths that translates to a run of approximately 13.5' square (in fact, 16.25 sqM or 177 sq ft). We keep the Eglu Cube inside it and that houses 6 ISA Warren-sized birds and 2 Leghorns. The birds are only let out into the garden as a treat, and have obviously (given avian flu precautions and legislation) spent the past several months inside without respite. Given all that, I can say the girls are perfectly happy in that amount of space and crucially there is absolutely no sign of antisocial behaviour. I would say, though, that we have a 6' long perch around 3' up from the ground and we regularly hang weeds or other garden waste on a cord from the ceiling. That means there's stuff for the girls to jump up for and places for them to jump onto. I believe that 3 dimensional approach reduces significantly any potential feeling of overcrowding the girls might otherwise have had. Once again, doing the maths, our run works out at almost exactly 2 sq M or about 22.1 sq ft per bird, which is double the rule of thumb. Your suggested 10' x 10' run with 5 standard sized hens would give about the same ratio so the answer to your original question is that your plans could theoretically house up to 10 birds, but I would urge a smaller flock with more living room.
  9. No right or wrong answers here, I'm afraid. You're right, of course, that one only really starts to understand after first-hand involvement. I wouldn't beat yourself up, though; you said yourself that free ranging made for happy girls, and that's worth a lot. If the fox has come once it'll come again. At this time of year, there are a lot of young mouths to feed so the pressure is at its greatest for the adults to find food wherever they can. In fact, the brazenness of the foxes where we live now is one of the reasons it took us as long as it did after moving house to get some more chickens. The result for us is that we took our time building an electrified Fort Knox of a WIR and only let the girls out into the confines of some pegged out electrifiable poultry fencing clipped to the WIR. For us it's a good compromise because the girls can have free run of whichever part of the garden we think can survive it, but the foxes are deterred by the risk of shock. All that said, we don't leave the girls unsupervised as such. When they're out of the WIR, it's only whilst we're in the garden or in a room looking onto it. If we need to go out or move out of sight for any significant time, we shut the girls back up.
  10. For me, this rather depends on the size of the walk-in run. I tried a cube inside an 8'x6' run (I built a couple of hatches into sides of the run for access to clean the cube and empty the eggs) and found it was OK but spring cleaning was a bit cramped. In hindsight, I'd have been better to have the cube outside and zip-tie it to the run. That way, access around the cube would have been much better. In comparison, our current walk-in run is the best part of 14' square, with double doors. I designed it specifically so it's easy to wheel the cube out, so access day to day is excellent but I can also remove the thing from the run entirely for when I want to jet-wash as part of a deep clean once or twice a year. The benefit here is that I'm able to surround the run with electrified rope whilst retaining the portability of the cube. As for rats, I don't think it makes much difference whether the cube is inside or out. If there is good reason for the rats to get in then they'll get in, and controlling access to the food will be of far greater influence. In my opinion, of course; I keep chickens, but I'm no expert.
  11. You're right, of course. As I understand it, vegetables were once seen as a means of feeding the common people or, at best, flavourings for enhancing meat and fish. A few exceptions existed, of course (such as peas), but it's no accident vegetables were originally referred to as pot herbs. The evolution of a language is fascinating but you've reminded me that the interaction between neighbouring cultures and their languages over centuries adds an extra dimension. Thank you.
  12. Ineffable (meaning unutterable or indescribable) isn't exactly frequently used, but is most common in relation to things godlike. Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman mentioned God's ineffable plan, meaning a plan so complex and overarching as to be beyond anyone else's comprehension (and therefore impossible to describe). Not archaic, but rather a niche scope, methinks. You're right, of course; despite L'Academie Francaise's best efforts the French do borrow words from the English language as well as English benefiting from French language. I imagine you're better acquainted than me with examples like "Le week-end", "Un brunch" and "Un sandwich", but I must admit I'm quite intrigued about false Anglicisms such as "Un smoking" (presumably short for "smoking jacket"), meaning a dinner jacket. I know it's a bit of a deviation from the main topic - looking at French words used in English - but I find it fascinating the effect history and amalgamating of languages has had on the English terms for food. Names for live animals differ greatly between French and English (cow/vache, chicken/poulet, pig/cochon) and yet once they are cooked many are referred to by approximately the same word (beef/boeuf, mutton/mouton, pork/porc). As I understand it, the Norman conquerors brought the French language with them and so effectively imposed their terms on the food of the rich, but the farming of the animals was seen as a job for the lower classes with little direct intervention from the conquerors and so the Anglo-Saxon terms persisted.
  13. @Beantree, just a bit of clarity needed. Do you mean old English words as in "words in the English language that have are becoming/have become old fashioned" or do you mean words rooted in Old English (an ancestor to Middle English, itself an ancestor to modern English)? Either way, I see nothing old fashioned or obsolete about "duff", "bonkers" or "bucolic". That means either none of them are aging English words or that I am myself becoming archaic. Both are possible. What I do find interesting, though, is that we have quite a few perfectly current English words whose obvious and directly related opposites are no longer in use at all, such as ineffable, inert and inane. By their very makeup, the adjectives effable, ert and ane must exist or have existed, but, apart from Terry Pratchett's use of "effable" in "Good Omens" for comedic effect, I cannot remember ever having read or heard any of them used.
  14. My wife and I have a roof and a couple of shielded sides on our WIR, so we don't bother with woodchip. Instead, every three months or so we just do a good old double-dig of the WIR floor, walk around on the soil to compact a bit and then let the girls dig it all up again. If there's anything on the floor that gives us reason for concern, we just wheelbarrow that area of soil out to elsewhere in the garden (let's face it, it's good fertiliser) and then dig up some soil from elsewhere in the garden to wheelbarrow in and replace the volume. Disinfectants are fine to clear up afterwards if you have to fix an underlying problem (such as a perpectually waterlogged area in the run) but in my opinion, as long as the ground remains normally pretty dry, nature is as good at disinfecting as any chemicals you might buy.
  15. A bit late replying here, but bear in mind it's your neighbour who's responsible for the consequences of what his or her possessions do, not your responsibility to protect your land or possessions. If you were to get a ride-on mower and one of your neighbour's chickens were to become an accidental casualty whilst on your lawn, the neighbour wouldn't be able to pursue you for the loss of their livestock. Please note, of course, that I'm not recommending you do anything to intentionally harm the chooks, but just making the point about relative responsibilities. That point made, your neighbour is therefore also responsible for putting right any damage or inconvenience caused by his or her possessions. You mentioned damage to your lawn and that's quantifiable. If you have to hire someone to rake, redress and reseed your lawn because of what your neighbours hens have done after your neighbour has been warned the birds are unwelcome in your garden, you can quite reasonably then pass the bill on to your neighbour to pay (or pay it yourself and claim back in the small claims court). Obviously, that wouldn't be your first resort, but if your neighbour leaves you no choice by ignoring your requests then I hardly see it as an unreasonable way to go and I would be interested to know how long the situation would continue if it cost your neighbour several hundred quid a pop. In summary, therefore, in your situation I would personally follow a process of escalating severity, each time moving to the next point if the previous didn't do the trick: Have a chat with your neighbour over a cup of tea and explain the situation gently. Remind your neighbour of the content of the informal chat, point out the chickens are unwelcome on your land and ask your neighbour directly to please keep their chickens out of your garden. Have a chat with the Citizens' Advice Bureau to make sure you know where you stand. Write a letter summarising your complaint and warning that your neighbour will be liable for any costs incurred in repairing damage caused by their birds or protecting your property from their birds. Warn also that future infringements may also result in nuisance complaints. Check with the CAB or a solicitor that any actions you warn may occur are legally enforceable and reasonable. Carry out the warnings. Take further legal advice on what avenues remain open and pursue them. If you are reasonable (and can prove it) each step of the way, I would expect the letter to be as far as it goes. If the neighbour ignores that too, it's going to get messy anyway and on their head be it 'cos they've brought it on themselves.

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