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Everything posted by freya_chick

  1. Hi I think, for the first time in over four years, we've got red mite in the eglu - at least I presume that's what they are - a seething mass of tiny black bugs that go red when squeezed - never had them before. Now, how to get rid of them? I already use diatamous earth underneath the poop tray, in the poop tray and around the eglu. I've always done thorough clean outs - so take the eglu to pieces every time and jet wash it. I did it last Monday, found all the bugs, so gave it an extra thorough cleanout but when I've opened the house today, they're all back - and there's loads of the blighters! What else can I try to get rid of them? Is there anything that could be causing them? We treated the chooks with Johnson's anti-mite spray last week too. What signs should I be looking out that the girls themselves are ailing? Thanks Freya
  2. Thanks for those tips - I am hanging on in there - really hopeful for her really rather than me! She's been a mum before so she should know what she's doing, and maybe that would make it easier for her to adopt some chicks. First time for me though so I'm typical first time bag of nerves! She's doing loads of shuffling around at the moment, some time sitting on them, sometimes not at all - I'm hoping that means something but really, all I've got is hope! I can't hear any noises apart from her crooning every now and again! How long do you think I should leave it before deciding enough is enough? Is there any other way I can intervene to help things along or is it just a case of wait and see? Thanks Freya
  3. Today is day 21 and no signs of hatching Wendy has been such a diligent mum, I feel bad for her! Has anyone successfully introduced chicks under a broody and pretended that they were the hatched eggs? Will the hen take to them? Not 100% given up but fearing the worst! Thanks Freya
  4. What do you all put in for the floor in your broody pen? At the minute we've got bare tarpaulin but I've noticed Wendy, the mum, slipping a bit on it and so just wondered what I should put down to give her more grip? Thanks Freya
  5. Thanks for all your help! I'll leave them in the crate for a bit then and then swap - I might get a new house for my ladies and then let the chicks and one hen move into the eglu for a bit! Freya
  6. Hi We've currently got two pekins sitting on a dozen eggs - 6 Pekins and 6 Sablepoots. We're only a week in but so far both mother hens seem to be doing quite well. I'm trying to get prepared though for (hopefully) when we have actual chicks and need some advice on their housing really. At the minute we have one set in the conservatory in a little chicken ark so she's pretty much all set up. The other one is in the porch in a cardboard box in a dog crate - not exactly ideal. I want to get another house so both mums can look after their chicks in peace - but do I need to or will the chicks and mum be okay for a bit in the box and crate? I've already got an eglu classic but am thinking about getting another house with a ramp - will the chicks be able to get up the ramp okay? Or rather, when will they be able to get up okay? We are complete novices to this and although we're doing lots of reading and trying to get things right it just feels like crossing our fingers and hoping for the best at the minute! Thanks Freya
  7. Thanks for that - I will switch the sawdust out and check their crops. I feel a shopping trip coming on - it's worth it though - I just dread the mornings now as if one of them doesn't appear I immediately start thinking that they must have gone Thanks Freya
  8. No offence taken! All they eat is their Omlet feed and mealworms - same as ever!. I'll worm them then and keep my fingers crossed - I can't cope with losing any more
  9. Hi They haven't been wormed recently - I've got some Flubenvet though so can do that for the others. There's been no sign of red mite - and I do take my eglu apart and wash them down every time I clean them out. I haven't checked their crops - difficult with the silkie anyway - but there haven't been any visible problems - I'll give my others a good check over tonight. Eating, drinking, pooing and behaviour all completely normal as far as I know. I have used Auboise in the past but they didn't seem that keen on it and I've been using sawdust - the dust free stuff - for a few years now - maybe worth checking it again I guess. Every chicken is different. Thanks Freya
  10. Both were around 12-18 months so they weren't old chickens. Thanks Freya
  11. Hi It's a blue day in the household today - Cyd, our black Silkie was found DOA this morning. This is following on from Betty, our Orpington Bantam who was found in exactly the same circumstances a couple of weeks ago. Neither chicken showed any sign of illness - they were their usual bubbly selves. They both just went into the eglu and died. I'm really worried that whatever's happened, it's going to kill my three other chooks (another Orpington bantam and two Pekins) - what could it be and what preventative steps can I take to try and help the others? They get garlic powder in their food and cider vinegar in their water. They have sawdust (hamster friendly stuff) in the nesting box and Easychick stuff in the base of their house. I cleaned it all out at the weekend and I always hose it down at every cleaning. Any ideas? Thanks Freya
  12. Just over one, so it shouldn't be old age! She'd shown no signs of illness at all - was completely her normal self
  13. Betty, our blue Orpington Bantam went to sleep last night and didn't wake up this morning - she was dead in the nesting box when we went to let them out - what could have caused her death and do I need to watch out for anything else with the other girls? She didn't seem to be under the weather or anything, it was quite sudden. Thanks Freya
  14. That's great, thanks very much! I thought I'd read it somewhere but I was obviously imagining it, so that's great. I'm sure the Silkie and Pekin will get on fine - I have had them both before but always in pairs! Freya
  15. Should you get a minimum of two of any breed or is it okay just to have one of one breed and another of a different breed? I'm just starting again after I lost my chickens in October to a fox and only want a couple to start so am looking at maybe a Silkie and a Pekin - I'd like one of each but want to make sure they're happy so will just get two of one kind to begin with. Thanks Freya
  16. Thanks Kimmy - sounds like back to the start might be the way to go then! They don't seem to pick on her in the daytime - they chase her away but they don't peck her - that seems to be a night-time thing! Freya xx
  17. I had four chickens in my original flock - Dixie, a Gingernut Ranger, Polly, a Light Sussex, and Maud and Lily, Pekin Bantams. About four weeks ago now, I added Gloria, a Silkie, and Trudy Button, an Araucana - I kept them separate for the first week or so. Then when I put them together, when we got them out one morning, Gloria's beak was all bleeding. I separated her again and she slept on her own but I put them back together again about a week ago. They've been fine for the past week. Gloria was originally reluctant to go in the house and was roosting anywhere but the past two nights she's gone in of her own accord. When we got her out this morning however, it looked like her beak was bleeding again. Any suggestions for what to do next? I don't really want to separate her again as it feels like a step backwards but I don't want her pecked to death either! Thanks Freya xx
  18. Hi Thanks for your replies everyone. She's got baytril at the minute - she's virtually finished her course now. I did check that the vets dealt with poultry and they assured me that they did but it's beginning to sound like he didn't have a clue and I've paid a fortune for something that was never going to help I'll investigate the mite thing - I presumed that and the eyes were related as they all started at about the same time - or it seemed like they did! Freya xx
  19. So Minnie, one of our two year old gingernut rangers has been poorly now for a couple of weeks. She's had swollen eyes and a foamy discharge from them - that's sent her perception all to pot and she struggles to pinpoint things with her beak. The feathers on her back at the base of her neck are also sort of gummed up and don't look good. She also smelled like a wet dog. I took her to the vet last week and he gave us a general antibiotic for £35. He explained that without doing a swab we were treating blindly but the swab was an extra £50 and we can't really afford that - so fingers crossed for the antibiotics and off we went. A week on and she's not better. DH said that when he did her medicine this morning a big lump of yellowy cheese-type stuff came out of her eye. Thing is, I really cannot afford £50 for the swab and another £35 for more antibiotics - is there anything cheaper that I can try? In herself, she's not 100% obviously - she spends her time sat by herself quite a lot but if you take the mealworms out she still rushes over to get her share and the vet said it was a good sign that she was feisty when being given her medicine so I think she's still got fight left in her. Has anyone got any ideas for anything else we can try? And if we really can't find the next £85, what else do we do? Just wait and see what happens? Thanks Freya
  20. Put the fakes in the nesting box you mean to get them going there again? Someone's laying in there though so would that not encourage them? I'm gutted that I've missed out on all these gorgeous eggs!!! Freya xx
  21. So I thought the chickens weren't laying. Turns out they were, just elsewhere. Why would they start laying somewhere else and how do I get them back laying in the nesting box? Thanks Freya
  22. Well we had one yesterday so I guess it's just one of those things! I'll worm them anyway. Thanks for the advice and sympathy! I feel daft as I've given all the eggs away so I'm now on emergency egg rations!!! Freya xx
  23. Ive got five chickens - two Gingernuts, a Light Sussex and two Pekin Bantams - I've been getting three eggs consistently from the three big hens throughout the winter but suddenly from the middle of last week I've had none at all - it seems quite strange that they would all stop laying at the same time, but what's the alternative? I've looked around the garden but can't see that they've laid them anywhere else - and why would they start laying elsewhere after so long? Any ideas? Thanks Freya xx
  24. Definitely pets! The eggs are just a bonus (and not much of one at the minute as only two out of the five are laying!) - they're completely members of the family and we all love them. My daughters love going out their to give them their 'dead worms' and checking for eggs! Freya xx
  25. Fantastic, thanks! I'll brave B&M to have a look and then try Wilkos. I did have a look on ebay but couldn't find any really good value ones I thought. Freya

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