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Everything posted by dutchie

  1. Also for the benefit of anyone else reading, the trigger paddle from http://triggerhappychickens.co.uk/ also works well for me. I'd forgotten where that could be bought from until now. It won't be much use to you though Noddydog, as it also just drops feed on the floor like the spring when pecked.
  2. I haven't tried the Dine-a-chook one. My chickens only peck to release more when they finished what's been released on the ground. Maybe I have tidier or lazier chickens. Perhaps hanging it higher makes them peck it less often? Also noticed this 10l feeder, but no experience with it. https://collinsnets.co.uk/product/the-wise-feeder . That site has a few other DIY feeder options as well, like the pan feeder attachment that doesn't drop feed onto the floor.
  3. Sorry I was away camping. I've just checked the height of mine, and it's hung so that from the top of the barrel to the floor measures 98cm. I have bantams and hybrids. I have had it hung lower at the start, as I was unsure of what height the bantams could manage, but I raised it to 98cm as I thought that would make it less likely that a mouse or rat could reach up at it. You could also just buy the spring feeder on ebay, and attach it to a smaller container of your choice. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/POULTRY-PHEASANT-SPRING-FEEDER-FOR-BARREL-BRAND-NEW-MULTIPLE-QUANTITIES-AVAILABL/132696856300?hash=item1ee55956ec:g:TkUAAOSw2DdbO5YX Also I just remembered this other system from Oz I found when researching this all a while back, and I note they now sell it in the UK. Slightly more expensive though. https://www.dineachook.co.uk/
  4. In 6 years the system has proven reliable. Feeder has been faultless. Having multiple water sources gives contingency, and the nipple drinkers have never frozen. The other has frozen up a couple of times, but as I said, during freezing weather we ask those popping round to specifically check for that and they can easily top up a glug with some warm water if needed. Having a composting run, I've never hosed mine down.
  5. What I did to simplify things is buy one of these for feed. This can store a whole 20kg bag of feed, rodent secure. Reduces wasted food. Mine is hung on a tree in the run. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Hanging-Chicken-poultry-feeder-15-50-INC-FREE-DELIVERY-pheasant-game-30-kg-1/373120338432?hash=item56dfb48a00:g:6dIAAOSwi05dUIm8 They also do a standing version on 3 poles. Then for water supply, I use these: https://dragonpoultry.co.uk/index.php?route=product/product&path=61_63&product_id=51 https://dragonpoultry.co.uk/index.php?route=product/product&path=61_63&product_id=96 https://dragonpoultry.co.uk/index.php?route=product/product&path=61_63&product_id=97 Going to a 25l water container. When going away I also put in a glug, and another water supply with chicken nipple drinkers like this. I didn't buy from this seller, but seller I bought from doesn't have any listed at the moment, and these look the same: https://www.amazon.co.uk/KEESIN-Poultry-Nipples-Horizontal-Automatic/dp/B07Q7GN8XS/ You can just drill a holes in a container and screw these in. (Note small chicks younger than about 3 weeks will not manage to push these type of nipples) This way, when we go away, we can ask people to just pop in to check the hens and roosters are ok, water supply and feed is ok. And they don't really need to do anything but help themselves to eggs. When it's freezing, just need to ask them to check water is not frozen over. Also it makes it easy just day to day. Just need to top up the water with a watering can every now and then, and add a bag of feed when the drum runs low.
  6. Alternatively you could try and find someone who will take it back if it turns out to be a cockerel.
  7. Thanks, security is ok as I have Omlet walk-in and Eglu runs. It's more a problem of when I let them free-range during the day. Thankfully Misako is doing fine, didn't even stop laying.
  8. Thanks for the Vit Boost advice. She calmed down a bit this evening, and managed to check her over. She's been attacked in the same place as last time, along her keel, bare of feathers, and just a few scratches. Will keep them in their run for a few days, and move my wildlife camera about in a few different locations to see what it snaps. Chicks moving outside soon too, so another thing to worry about.
  9. Yes, I don't think it's a fox, as in our old house we had foxes, and they tended to be pretty lethal and wouldn't leave a wounded chicken alive. Although we didn't have cockerels then. With the Red Calder Ranger, it was just a single puncture wound, which was pencil sized, but lots of feathers missing, so was some struggle. We do have red kites around here, and I did see one taking a small bird once in our garden. But it sat in a tree afterwards and plucked the feathers, which leaves a neat cirular patch of feathers below the tree. Which I've found a few times. But in the chicken attacks, the feathers have been all spread out, like the chicken has been dragged along. I did install one of those outdoor wildlife cameras, but all it's snapped so far is the kids, cats and a hedgehog. But the good news is that this morning, just as I was about to tell the kids, guess who was clucking by the front door. That's right Misako, the Black Rhode Rock had survived and gone to ground somewhere. I did search over an hour for her last night, but she must have been well hidden. She's too jumpy to let me check her over, so will have to do it later when she's settled, but she looks ok apart from the missing feathers. Further inspection of the intestines in the light of day showed that it was the remains of a large mouse. Wasn't obvious in torch light. Maybe the predator is a cat. I did see one taking a large pigeon in our garden last year. Very relieved Misako is still with us.
  10. We've had a predator attacking our chickens, but not sure what is attacking them. Oddly the bantams have been ok, but the Black Rhode Rock and Red Calder Ranger have both been attacked several times and finally taken. The Red Calder Ranger was attacked on the back, she had a puncture wound, lots of feathers missing, nursed her back to health in the house. Put her back outside with a saddle to protect her back from the cockerels. Did well, but 3 months later it was attacked again, all that was left was a trail of feathers. Saddle gone too. The Black Rhode Rock was attacked about 3 months ago, feathers everywhere, but escaped through the hedge, jumped down a 2m high wall, onto the road. She was the friendliest hen we had. Took us several days to catch her on the other side of the road as she was petrified, and took treats, but ran off into holly bushes as soon as we went near her. Had been attacked on her keel, which was bare of feathers, but just some scrapes. But she was taken this evening before dusk. Feathers left, and near our pond found intestines. We have an autodoor on our walk-in run, so they can free-range during the day. Any ideas what the predator could be?
  11. So earlier in the year I bought some products to setup an automatic feeder and water system, that I've been really happy with, and so have my hens. So I thought I'd share: Trigger Happy Chicken Feeder and drum, rat proof: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/371450048715 Watering cup: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00K76MKFA Adapter for a water drum: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00K76JWME Hose: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/271261504302 Already had a 25l jerry can to use as a water container. This has proved to be a great setup. The chickens love the clean water on tap. No more dirty water, as in the past they would kick up dirt into the Omlet glug water container. The cup is much better. And the feeder they also love, as it allows them to peck it from the ground, which they prefer. They leave the feed in the Omlet grub, preferring to use the trigger. See the vendor's website http://triggerhappychickens.co.uk/ for a video of it in action. And much less waste, as slugs and mice dont get to the feed now. And it makes it easy when away on holiday, to just ask the neighbours or family to look after them while we're gone. A barrel of feed and a barrel of water (or jerry can in my case) lasts a long time. So they just have to check everything works, that the hens are ok, and pick up the eggs. In winter they have to check the water is not frozen, but I'm looking at rigging up a solar immersion heater to solve that. Anyone had any experience with using a solar powered immersion heater?
  12. Under the perches I just use the weekly local newspaper folded to size. Makes it easy to clean, just fold up and slide into the compost bin. Also in the nest box I use hand shredded newspaper. Cheapest method and I can't see what the advantage is of buying anything else for under the perches.
  13. It looks pretty Redsunset, but it wouldn't last long with my two. When they're in the mood mine are quite capable of moving stones bigger than your beach pebbles, feathered vandals! I've spent the last week measuring up my garden and planning. I've decided to really go for it and do something I've always wanted to do, which is to create an edible forest food garden. At the moment I'm researching which lower canopy plants to grow which are also beneficial for the chickens. Things like wormwood, tansy, elder, nasturtium, fennel and feverfew are supposed to be good natural wormers and/or insect repellents. Lots to learn, but great fun.
  14. Dogmother, I am pointing out that there are many chicken keepers who don't regularly worm using Flubenvet, and use only natural methods to keep worm load to manageable levels, with success. Just because you feel you must use Flubenvet does not mean everyone else who doesn't do so is wrong...
  15. I feel I should point out there are many chicken keepers who don't regularly worm using Flubenvet, and use only the natural methods. I also read a few research papers which say that an animal without worms is not an ideal to strive for at any cost because they can then not develop resistance and are therefore more vulnerable when exposed to a parasite.
  16. Hi HoofyLoo, I just use a bucket of warm water with washing up liquid in it, Ecover as it happens, and the garden hose. I do that every 2 weeks. I line the tray with newspaper every 5 to 7 days, depending on how full it is. Newspaper makes it easy to tip into the compost bins. And I just hand rip newspaper for the nest. I found that worked better than shredded paper, as it would get caught on their feet and dragged into the run.
  17. Thanks for giving us hope Shabby Chiv, your garden looks lovely. I'm reading through a couple of gardening books at the mo to get ideas for suitable plants, but of course much better to hear what works from people like you with experience.
  18. Zebediah was in the fertilized egg business. He had several hundred young layers, called pullets, and eight or ten roosters, whose job was to fertilize the eggs. Zeb kept records, and any rooster that didn't perform well went into the soup pot and was replaced. That took an awful lot of Zeb's time; so, Zeb got a set of tiny bells and attached them to his roosters. Each bell had a different tone so that Zeb could tell, from a distance, which rooster was performing. Now he could sit on the porch and fill out an efficiency report simply by listening to the bells. Zeb's favorite rooster was old Brewster. A very fine specimen he was, too but on this particular morning, Zeb noticed that Brewster's bell had not rung at all!! Zeb went to investigate. The other roosters were chasing pullets, bells a-ringing! The pullets, hearing the roosters coming, would run for cover. BUT, to Zeb's amazement, Brewster had his bell in his beak, so it couldn't ring. He'd sneak up on a pullet, do his job and walk on to the next one. Zeb was so proud of Brewster that he entered him in the county fair. Brewster was an overnight sensation. The judges not only awarded him the No Bell Piece Prize but also the Pulletsurprise...
  19. Mine are only occasionally noisy after laying an egg, and make a racket when they see a cat. But they make much less noise than the neighbour's dog. You can always bring the neighbours on board by taking round some eggs occasionally.
  20. Thanks for all the advice. Marigolds and others as a distraction sounds like a good idea. I'll try the aquilegia, foxglove and hollyhock too. Training them not to go somewhere doesn't work with our two. They are pretty determined. Will even jump a 1.5m wall to get to the strawberries and chives, and that's with a clipped wing.
  21. OK, so my chickens ate most of my herbs and veggies since last summer. I've managed to rescue a few strawberry plants and herbs. And they've been pretty brutal to the some of the other small plants too, although I only had a few of those in the back garden. I'm now rethinking my garden plan and layout totally. Any advice on how to make it a success having chickens freeranging. I don't want to just split the garden into their bit and the rest. Any advice on which plants are good, and also the best way to keep them out of raised beds? I'd like to avoid ugly fencing everywhere if possible. Cheers, Dutchie
  22. Yeah I also recommend the peeing round the garden, has kept our foxes out of our garden so far. Also if you have a tent, just use the tent pegs to peg down your run skirt.
  23. Hi Hobbit, Sorry only just saw your post. One of my chickens crouches when approached or stroked, and the other smaller one doesnt, and just ducks and scarpers when someone tries to stroke her. I havent noticed any different behaviour when they are not laying. But in my experience, when there has been a break in laying, cider vinegar and garlic do seem to be the thing that starts them laying again, so I'm just putting that in their water once a month now, or sooner if they've stopped laying.
  24. Did anyone try the Solar Sippers yet? I notice the link is dead, so I assume they sold out. Our glug was frozen solid this morning.

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