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ISCA

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Frequent Layer

Frequent Layer (3/19)

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  1. This is always going to be a risk. Many on here keep their chooks as pets but there are also many others who keep chickens as livestock and dispatching the layers every year or so to get in younger and more productive hens is not that unusual.
  2. I am sorry you have had a complaint via the council. However, a complaint does not mean you are in the wrong. You have done nothing wrong and you have every right to keep chickens. They may not like it, but tough. You have mentioned "hassle" but they are not giving you any hassle other than one complaint that has, apparently, not been upheld. You describe your "lovely girls" and you have had them a while. Stand up for your rights, keep your hens, don't let one inconsequential "complaint" make you do something you don't want to.
  3. Personally I would get more hens, of a similar size, and introduce them. Chickens are flock birds and need at least one other companion for a happy, healthy life. This may help: http://www.newlandpoultry.com/images/pdfs/introducing_new_hens.pdf
  4. My two penneth: 01. What do you think is the best food for hens that are laying? Layers pellets. I use Dodson & Horrell. I also feed greens, parsley, grapes, tomatoes, porridge in winter and corn or mealworms in the afternoons. 02. When providing grit for them, do you leave it in a food tray or do you scatter it around the run? Or both? In a seperate tray mixed withoyster shell. 03. How often do you clean the Eglu (or whatever coop you have)? I have a wooden coop. I clean the coop weekly, the run is cleaned out completely every 4-6 weeks. 04. If you use sawdust etc. to line the run, how often do you change it all? As above. I use chicken bedding (smells nice and absorps well). 05. How often do you give them additional calcium, and what do you give them? Oyster shell, free access. 06. At roughly what point in the year do the hens stop laying? Do they ever produce any eggs over winter at all? Mine lay all year but slow down in winter. They stopwhen moulting and if broody. I had two hybris White Stars that layed almost every day, allyear but died from exhaustion. It put me off hybrids. 07. How do you keep them warm in winter? They keep themselves warm. They do like some porridge when it's sub-zero though. 08. What do you use for their dust bath? Normal sand? Mine dust bath in ordinary dry soil in the garden. 09. How often do you treat them for red mite / worms etc.? I use Fubenvet Layers pellets twice yearly to worm. As for red mite I am on constant vigilence. I use diatomaceous earth in the coop. I also use Ardap spray and clena with Poultry Shield. 10. Do you have any recommendations for 'beginner' hen breeds? For pure breeds I am a fan of Orpingtons and Marans. Dependswhat you want from your hens. They are not the most prolific layers but produce more than we can eat. I started off with 5 different breeds in my original flock: Dorking, Orpingtons, Marans, Cream legbar and Light Sussex. They were all great.
  5. Our first 6 were typical old lady names. The next 4 were 'Allo 'Allo characters (Edith & Fanny still with us, Yvette & Mimi have gone to join the Resistance in the sky). My latest gang are The Golden Girls: Dorothy, Rose, Blanche and Sofia.
  6. Agree. Out two White Stars were lovely, really friendly, if somewhat manic. They laid almost every day but died at 12 and 18 months through sheer exhaustion I think.
  7. Grapes, tomatoes and meal worms are favoured by all mine.
  8. I feed my girls Dodson & Horrell. When I once tried a cheaper brand, they hardly touched it. Of course they also get plenty of greens, grapes & tomatoes, with some mealworms and corn as an afternoon treat some days if they behave! If garvo were available locally I would use those I suspect, but there are no local suppliers.
  9. So sorry to hear that news, it sounds dreadful and condolences for your losses. I hope the other chooks and the dogs are not too traumatised.
  10. Sadly since I first got my six hens in 2010, 3 have died and my remaining girls are not really laying many eggs now. So I decided some new hens were needed. I have been looking for months. Sadly the breeder I was getting them from ran in to problems so I sourced some new stock from a reputable breeder and collected the four new girls yesterday. Now there are scores of online advice pages on introductions, some practical for us, some not. We do not have the facilities for isolation for 2 weeks and as the girls are all vaccinated, they have had to be be put together from the outset. I know this is a small risk but needs must. Last night they were were placed in the coop together under the cover of darkness. They were all sprayed with dilute vinegar (I have real doubts this is of any value, other than making them smell like a pickle!!!). At dawn today the squabbling began. A few pecks and some low rumbling clucks. There appear to be three gangs now, the old trio, now free ranging in the garden, the White Stars and the Marans, both in the run but sticking to their own kind. My plan is to keep the old and new separated by day as above, cooping up together at night, for a few days. Then by next weekend have them free-ranging together in the day and cooping up together at night. This is rather more stressful than I had imagined it would be Why they can't just get along like civilised chickens is beyond me It should be an interesting few days in the garden me thinks!
  11. I never even knew this existed! It will make life much simpler for me, having it all pre-combined with pellets. Order submitted
  12. I never thought your were! I feel sorry for all those who will not get a refund.
  13. A long time since I have posted on Omlet- hello again! I just wanted to send out a warning regarding Wells Poultry- they have applied for voluntary liquidation. My order is weeks and weeks overdue. This was the first time I had ordered anything from them. I have been emailing them and getting no response. Their telephone (which they never answered) has become a fax machine and the website has diverted to another site: http://www.chicken-house.co.uk/ which to me looks like the same site with a makeover. Their address is the same! This morning I received a letter and forms from the insolvency company I had already contacted my credit card company before receiving this letter. As the order was for an item costing over £100 (and less than £30,000!) I am covered by credit card companies insurance and my money will be refunded. Those who did not pay by credit card or had orders of less than £100 may not be so lucky unfortunately I just wanted to give the heads up to others.
  14. Hello all, Long time, no visit. I have not logged in sonce December 2011- been a busy year or so obviously! Lost two chooks in that time- but three still going strong. I can hear them squawking outside now- laying my breakfast Anyway, just wondered if anyone knoew of a Garvo supplier in the Exeter/ East Devon/ Tegn Valley area?
  15. That's one stage away from battery farming in my mind. I must be a Battery Human then as I turn the lights on morning and evening in the winter Personally I do not think 2 hours of artificial light a day will cause the hens any harm or distress. But we all have our own beliefs and welfare standards. Some would say keeping 2-3 hens in an Omlet run is little improvement on battery farming. As for the laying problem in winter...all mine moulted in September-October and now look plush in their new feathers My Light Sussex did not stop laying, the other 4 did but this week my Orpington started laying againanf has presented 3 eggs in 5 days This is their second winter.

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