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Everything posted by BiBiBi

  1. Hi One of my original hens (Betty), who is nearly three years old, seems a bit unwell. She is normally very bouncy and bright and was at the top of the flock for a while. Recently I've noticed her hanging back and moving about slowly, her bottom has been mucky for the last few days whenever I've noticed it. She doesn't rush for treats like she used to either. Also her crown has gone a very dark purply red and has flopped over to one side. The other five hens all seem fine. If anyone has suggestions or advice of what might be wrong and how to help, I'd be most grateful. Thank you.
  2. Hi I have 6 hens and 1 of them has started getting broody. (She is the only pure breed among them - a cochin). She keeps sitting on the eggs and caws with irritation when I push her off to take them. I was thinking of getting some fertilised eggs for her to hatch. Can anyone advise me on this - is it a good idea, what do I need to be wary of, will she look after the chicks or do I need to get involved? Also, where can I buy fertilised eggs for her? Thank you. Linda
  3. Yes...the breed instinct to herd is there straight away! And of course he is a clever boy too!
  4. This is a video of my 12 week old Shetland Sheep Dog puppy called Rafferty herding my chooks back into their enclosure:) Such a clever boy! But when I took him out today to practise herding again they knew already and all just went back in soon as they saw my little helper
  5. Thanks for the compliments - I will let her know she is widely admired - might boost her confidence as she is a bit timid .....And this is Snowy, my other new addition ...a Light Sussex hybrid....another handsome bird
  6. This is my new Bird! What a beauty! Wishing everyone a happy and prosperous 2011! Linda
  7. BiBiBi

    RIP Kooka

    Thank you Tricia. I already cleaned and disinfected the coop. I do give it a thorough wash and disinfect it every week. When you say keep an eye on the others, is there anything in particular I should be looking out for in their faeces, or anything else? My sister said she thought there was some diarrohea outside in their enclosure - it was a thick chocolate brown liquid - is that diarrohea? They do so many different types of pooh!
  8. BiBiBi

    RIP Kooka

    My partner says she has always been pecked a lot by the others and that maybe she was pecked to death! Is that possible? I thought a bit of pecking was normal and I haven't seen her being pecked that much. But when I was away my partner says she was being pecked so hard by Speckles that she was cowering with her head to the ground and lay right down as if she was "playing dead". He said Speckles attacked her quite violently for no reason. Do they attack the poorly ones? (When Speckles, the boss, had a poorly eye she was being pecked by the others) Or was Kooka pecked so much it made her poorly? I am concerned for the remaining foursome...what if what killed her was an infection? How can I protect them?
  9. I got back from holiday on Sunday night and my partner told me that the others were all bullying Kooka and she had taken to hiding in the coop. Yesterday afternoon she was hiding in the coop again so I took her out and let her roam the garden on her own for a bit. I gave her some sweet corn, but unusually for her she only ate a few kernels. Then I noticed her bottom looked very dirty and thought she might be poorly. This morning she was sitting in the nesting box at about 9 am - seemed fine. I went out, came back about 11am and she was dead Rigamortis already set in and I buried her. I've just washed out and disinfected the eglu - is there anything else I should do? - I don't want my other 4 to get ill!!!
  10. An update on Speckles sore eye: I tried the black tea and it seemed to improve slightly but after a while still not properly better. So, not being able to afford the £40 for a consultation (treatments extra) I went to the pharmacy and asked the pharmacist to recommend some eye drops. He gave me some costing £4 called "Brolene", but warned that they were not licensed for use on animals - I said I would try them at my own risk ....funny really when you think most drugs are tested on animals FIRST anyway... So I used the drops for about a week and now she is fully recovered. Hurrah!
  11. I've tried the black tea and she does seem a bit more perky now ....hopefully I won't need the vet....I called the local surgery and they charge £39 just to have a look and treatment is extra!!
  12. Mystery solved - I think i found out what it is - it's called oregon grape - I found this image online and that is exactly like it - http://www.ufz.de/data/8186. And the berries are edible and very rich in vitamin c.
  13. Thanks for the black tea suggestion. I will try that. How can you tell if she is in pain? She seems ok...laying eggs fine, but she does seem a bit subdued. Sometimes she sits down and turns her head round to bury her head in her feathers. Maybe I should take her to the vet. It's just so expensive to see a vet and when you're on a tight budget it's hard!
  14. Thanks for the suggestions but having looked at the image suggested and images of laurels, it is neither of these. It does look more like sloe berries but the leaves of sloe berry bushes in the pictures I have seen do not appear to be spiky or waxy. I will try to take a pic tomorrow and post it on here.
  15. We have a plant with oval shaped waxy spiky leaves - looks like a type of holly perhaps. But it has purple berries on it now, whereas hollies usually have red berries, I believe. Does anyone know what this could be and if the berries are edible? Thanks.
  16. I've noticed one of my hens has a problem with one of her eyes. She is keeping it closed most of the time and it looks a bit swollen. It's been like that for about a week or more - I was hoping it would just clear up naturally but it doesn't seem to be getting much better. We have a "sword" plant with sharp leaves and I was wondering if she might have jabbed her eye on a leaf as they do like to get underneath it in the shade it provides, or whether something else could have caused it. All the others seem fine and it's only one of her eyes that's got the problem. She always had strange eyes anyway - the pupils seem abnormally small. Any advice much appreciated. Thanks.
  17. Great thanks. I've ordered it already
  18. Nice song Emily ...my Betty started laying really small eggs for a while, just after I got 2 new hens (bigger than her) and she was knocked off the top hen spot..Anyways to comfort and encourage her I sang my version of Chiquittita to her.... Chookitta you and I know You used to lay such big eggs Try once more Like you did before My Chookitta .... ...and she did...
  19. .....aw no.....I think it's part of the programme's charm....she is clearly into all things "vintage" and the cine film style fits in with that perfectly...
  20. I meant elderflower, not elderberry champagne....oops
  21. Hi I just made a batch of elderberry champagne....a different recipe from yours ....a lot more flower heads used (about 40 flowers to 6 litres of water), 4 lemons, less sugar and yeast too. I left it in a bucket for a week and bottled it yesterday in screw top glass bottles (oops). They are stored safely in big wooden old ammunition boxes so if they do explode they cant do much damage. But....I was wondering how soon/often I should unscrew them to let some gas out? They don't seem to be fizzing that much and sediment is still settling on the bottom of the bottles. Is this normal...the sediment I mean? The recipe said add yeast if it doesnt froth after a few days so I did. Any comments/advice much appreciated. Thanks.
  22. I bought the River Cottage handbook and have been baking bread every few days ever since and its great! A good tip from there is to put a baking tray with boiling water in the bottom of the oven....really helps keep the bread nice and moist....
  23. Hi I'm looking for recommendations for the best book(s) or whatever, for advice on how to make jams, chutneys, pickles and other preserves please...... Thanks, Linda
  24. Thanks for the links to the advice pages, which I have read twice now, but things didnt go according to plan really. I did have the newbies in the enclosure on their own for a while, with mine outside on the first day and i threw down sweetcorn all around the outside edge of the enclosure for my 3 to gorge on to try and reassure them etc. But it wasn't Betty, Kooka and Chica doing the bullying it was Psyscho and Speckles (to a lesser extent) terrorising my darlings . Anyway we are on day 3 now and they all seem absoloutely fine. All 5 are on the perch I have made for them looking quite content and even Psycho and Speckles half-heartedly joined the rush to the door as soon as I appeared in the garden with a little lunch-time treat for them. And we have had 5 eggs this morning! They must have queued up for the nexting box cos they didn't use the temporary one I've made for them either. Many thanks for all advice. I'm going to take some pics soon so watch this space! Lindax
  25. Well I was going to go to GVP to get a couple of hens but was at the local nursery where they have free range chickens and got into conversation with the lady there. She said they were about to get rid of 100 of their chickens cos they are over a year old and their egg-laying becomes unreliable after that, so they get a fresh batch in. Apparently someone comes and takes them away to be re-homed, allegedly. Anyway, to cut a long story short, I ended up running round the pen with her and 100 chickens trying to catch 2 of them to bring home. I didn't get any choice with what I was given and these two new arrivals are not the cuties I would have hoped for . In the large enclosure with my original pampered trio - Betty, Chica and Kooka, it's like 2 street-wise thugs have invaded the pampered domain of 3 beautiful, spoilt children!!! One of the new arrivals was immediately nick-named Psycho because she has these unusually tiny pupils that make her look really mean, a real psychopath and it wasn't long before she began to establish her dominance, pecking at my girls and trying to mount them from behind I was worried she wasn't a hen at all, but an undercover cockerel. I had to separate them for the night cos I was worried they would fight in the eglu but the new arrivals would not go into the temporary house I had made for them and ended up sleeping in the run. Betty and Co were safely tucked up in the eglu but the newbees slept outdoors. I was beginning to think I had made a mistake and I didn't like these birds bullying my babies!! I should have got some youngsters, like I originally planned, that I could tame like Betty, Kooka and Chica and was thinking of calling a relative to take them away the next day. He's into hunting, shooting and fishing and already told me the various methods he knows of slaughtering chickens and he makes a good chicken pie out of old layers ....sorry if that offends any vegetarian chicken-keepers!! The next day I collected 4 eggs, at least one is definitely from one of the new arrivals, and they seemed to have all calmed down and be getting along OK, and when I peeked into the eglu earlier this evening, 4 were lined up asleep at the back and Psycho was sleeping in the nesting box. I guess they will be OK now but I know I am never going to grow so fond of Psycho and Speckles as I am of Betty, Kooka and Chica. Whenever I go out into the garden they will run to the door of the enclosure to greet me, convincing me that they love me (though I know they probably just see me as giant sweetcorn ) but Psycho and Speckles just ignore me or run away... Silly woman, I know......

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