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Everything posted by Budgies

  1. Thanks all for taking the time to reply. Sue at Wernlas did recommend Stockholm Tar spray, so maybe I'll give it a try. There are a couple of brands of soap and shampoo that contain it - I like the smell too but imagine it's a bit stronger in the spray on stuff!
  2. Anyone have experience of either product working or failing to work please? I've heard good and bad about both and am wondering if there's a trend. Thankee kindly!
  3. I've just phoned Sue at Wernlas and she recommends the Stockholm Tar spray. I enquired about them preening and she said it's not a problem for them - it tastes horrible etc but is non-toxic to them. So I'm erring towards that I think. Esp as the Ukadex seems to be sooooo pongy! Oh well, onto the next thing!
  4. I was thinking exactly the same thing earlier, that it must be my influence or something, making them evil! I don't know why, because my first two were angels in comparison! I'm pretty sure it's not you, just down to bad luck! It's not really settling down at all. Pickle has blood all over her face today and poor Pepper has blood dripping from her. I've separated out Pickle, but there's no-one available today to help me fit the last bumper bit I possess right now. I've just put some Rescue Remedy in their water in desperation! Pepper is so wary now that I can't catch her yet - I'm waiting for her to go for a siesta in the cube when I can trap her, and check her over. I actually feel a bit like I don't want any of them right now, it's only been a week and we've had a new drama every day so far! Do you use any anti-peck sprays Jay? I'm wondering if it would help to kill this habit - it seems to be escalating at the moment! I too have put all sorts of fun stuff in their run, but no, they'd rather try and kill each other!
  5. Sorry to hear that. She will calm down once she realises she's in there for the duration. I'd cover the crate over the top so she feels safer - don't forget that their predators come mostly from above. If necessary, cover the entire thing for a few minutes with a sheet or something, until she calms down) She should be in there for three days and nights wiht a supply of food and water.
  6. Jay, I'm really sorry to hear that. Some chickens just seem to be quite vicious, and it's not something I'd experienced before. today it's still not settling because now little Pickle has been having a go at Pepper and drawing blood. That's three of them I've actually seen causing injury out of the four. What can you say? We are in the process of building a walk in run which is fairly sizeable and I'm hoping that at the least it will enable them to keep out of each other's way if necessary. As to whether it will ever calm down, or whether every time one of them loses a bit she'll cause harm and have to have it refitted I really don't know. Sorry to hear about your Rose though, it's quite hard to see isn't it? Think I'll have to send off for more bumper bits though!
  7. Sorry to hear that Joanne, hope the course of steroids help. I would also add that when we got the dog I was having all sorts of problems for the first two months or so, and then I gradually became more accustomed. It was weird because I was thinking he'd have to go - I was waking in the night unable to breathe and with my eyes streaming and throat clogged up, but it has eased over time. I'd go with what the others have suggested, a good quality mask when you're getting up close and personal and see if things settle down. Good luck
  8. Sorry to hear that Little Chickadee. It's settling down a bit now, thanks for asking. We've got Bumper Bits on both Pumpkin and Parsnip now - Parsnip started pulling tail feathers out and chasing the others to peck at the red wounds she left, so she got one too! Funnily enough, with Parsnip this created a change in her, she's being far less dominant and far more submissive. She hangs back when food is available and doesn't push herself forward. Pumpkin however is her usual feisty self and still regularly tries to peck the others. She just does less harm at the moment than she would do if she wasn't wearing the bit. It's great that peace has sort of broken out, but I am a bit concerned that the Bumper Bit will degrade and come off when we're not around (they have a limited lifespan from what I can make out) and she'll just go back to inflicting damage again. I realise how lucky I was with my first two - they were so sweet natured in comparison to these little cannibals!
  9. Thank you all very much for your replies - as you can tell, I was quite stressed by the whole thing! I'm afraid it's very much systematic bullying rather than establishing a pecking order. Parsnip pecks the others regularly to establish her seniority, but Pumpkin was constantly chasing the others, breaking off feathers, swinging Pickle around by her tail until the feathers came out and broke off and then ate them! She devoured tail feathers soaked in blood that were 5" long. It's a horrible habit she's developed. She would follow a pullet around the run, pecking at her vent and pulling feathers from her fluffy pants, neck and back, then eat them. The other three were obviously traumatised and spent most of their time trying to keep out of her way. It only stopped when she was eating or drinking. Anyway, there is a lesson in here somewhere - although we DID correctly fit the bumper bit in the right place, we realised last night that in using pliers we'd over-extended it and created a slightly larger gap where her nostrils should be. Thus she was able to wedge it and remove it herself. Last night my boyfriend fitted a new one by hand, no pliers, and this time it has stayed on. She's still very desperately trying to remove it despite having slept in it - I can't believe these stories of those hens not bothered by the whole thing! - but it's still on. So peace reigns at the moment. Thanks again for your replies, maybe I can stop stressing out now!
  10. Thanks Chelsea, but she's 15 weeks, way to young for calcium supplementation. We've only had them 3 days - the people at Wernlas are saying that the journey caused her to peck, but she's really got a taste for blood. I'd be disinclined to rehome her in case she simply became someone else's problem.
  11. Can anyone who has had a very badly pecking chicken (I mean feather eating, drawing blood and really bullying, systematically running from one chicken to another every now and then and giving them a few vicious pecks) tell me if it's truly possible to rehabilitate them? We've got our pecker in another Bumper Bit and it's calm for now, but I'm wondering if (a) we'll ever be able to break her of the habit and (b) whether I'll ever be able to trust her with the other hens. I could use Ukadex as well as the bit (she's managed to get it off twice today so far!) but I'm reluctant to spend all this time and money being inventive about how to break the habit if it's all going to end in tears anyway. Would it be kindest to put her to sleep and give the others the chance to live without a bully?
  12. Thanks Clootie! My OH was taking the mickey - calling them Pee Pee and Poo Poo and silly other names. Mind you, he wanted them to be Rossi, Stoner, Hayden and Lorenzo - that was never going to happen - they're GIRLS!!
  13. AussieChick, what an awful experience for you to go through, how rotten for you, that must have been really tough. Well, if I have to resort to Ukadex, I will, I guess I'd rather that than end up having continuing problems. They have been living together in a shed because they're all the same age, but the 5 hour journey in the box might have been the trigger - she did seem pretty distressed. The separating is really in order to protect everyone whilst we get the Bumper Bit sent on to us. It is definitely changing the dynamic though because one of the other three is now being a bit more forceful, but I'm not seeing blood or feather pulling, so am not too worried at this point. Sue at Wernlas has years of experience of this sort of thing and was pretty confident that we'd sort it out this way, so I'm game to see how we go. Thanks for sharing your experience with us on here, it's always useful to know just how serious it can get.
  14. Introducing..... Pepper, Barnevelder, 15 weeks old Parsnip, White Sussex, 16 weeks old Pumpkin, Welsummer, 15 weeks old and finally Little Pickle, the Wernlas Olive, 15 weeks Pumpkin the bully is now in a dog crate!! I've watched her draw blood and pull feathers. Naughty girl!
  15. Thanks for your responses. I know lots of people have had success with the anti peck sprays but personally I hate the idea of ukadex - what about the poor chook preening herself? I've put her in the dog crate - she was very distressed initially. She's settled a bit over time, and it upset the balance with the other three who began chasing one another and bullying - oh the stress levels! I called Wernlas and Sue is sending bumper bits for me to fit. I've managed to section off the nesting box from the rest of the cube - none of them are laying so it's not a problem for her to be in there overnight. She can see her friends but not get at them. Thanks again for all your advice, will let you know how it goes!
  16. The nice people at Wernlas suggested feeding the pure breeds on growers pellets until they're 20 weeks, as they mature slower and you don't want to hasten egg laying unnaturally. I guess the hybrids are faster maturing so you can switch to the layers pellets earlier.
  17. Thanks so much for your support. I'm really upset and feel guilty (though I know that's silly) because we had three girls on order, then I rang Shaun and asked if they would have any Welsummers (because I think they're so beautiful!) and originally he said it was unlikely, but when we went along they did, and I was so pleased! However it's her that's causing the aggravation, and the others seem puzzled by it all! The water is useless - she's not bothered and invariably another runs in the way in their panic and gets a dousing! JS1, thanks so much, I know I need to calm down about this but like you said, I'm finding it really distressing! My first pair were so calm together, never once pecked or fought and this is all rather horrible by comparison! Trying not to let her spoil it for us all though, and out comes the dog crate! *sigh*
  18. We picked up our 4 new girls from Wernlas today and when we got them home 5 hours later, one of them had blood on her. Over the next couple of hours I noticed that the Welsummer is pecking the others constantly on their backs and by their vents, hence the blood on the Light Sussex. I've been squirting her with water but she's not really bothered and the others are pretty traumatised, keeping clear of her as much as possible but running away squawking each time she gets one of them, which is a lot. She's even pecking whilst sitting down supposedly resting. Can anyone with this sort of previous experience tell me how long to leave this or what to do next please? They're 15 weeks old, so really quite small but I'm terribly worried as to how bad this might get, especially as she's already drawn blood. I already don't like her very much, the others are so sweet and I don't want them to get ideas! Thanks for any assistance in advance
  19. I've got mine on order from them and wondered if we had ordered any of the same chookies! I have a Barnie on order too, a Light Sussex and an Olive. Sorry that didn't work out for you hon, but your newbies are gorgeous. Shame I didn't order mine at the same time - i could have picked yours up too when mine are ready!!
  20. They're beautiful quickcluck, really lovely. Must be lovely to have them after all the worry of the Wernlas thing. What did you have on order from them incidentally?
  21. Laurmurf I've heard of people putting the crate up on bricks, but I've not heard of hanging it from the roof! I'm pretty convinced that the reason it works quicker this way is simply because the air flow around the chook is much better. This way cools her warm little breast faster, causing her to feel less broody. I think the person who told you about them being scared to hatch their eggs etc was thinking too much or having you on, they're chickens, not people!!
  22. Oh dear, that's not great is it? Sue and Shaun explained the problems they experience with their courier when we called to order our girls a few months back. I had been going to say we'd have them couriered, because like you it's a long way from here and our time is very precious. But we've gone for option 2 on the basis of their comments (!) and decided to pick them up ourselves. I too am impatient for my girls and get a bit disheartened when each time I ring them up they say "oh yours is a VERY recent order". Seeing as you've been waiting since Feb I can see what they mean!! I can see their problem in relation to filling my order - until they can sex the pure breeds (often not until 16 weeks) they can't tell whether they'll have enough hens to complete our orders, but the courier is another thing entirely, and pretty annoying! I've decided to just wait, but I won't be happy if I'm still waiting come Christmas, I can tell you! Good luck with whatever you decide to do. Can you ring Wernlas and say if you haven't had them within a fortnight, you don't want them, see if that gives them any leverage with the courier? So frustrating
  23. It's always such a difficult decision. It sound as though you're doing all you can for her. Personally I would keep an eye on both her weight and her general condition (by which I mean the glossiness of her feathers, the brightness of her eyes and the pinkness of her face). Those would be indicators that things weren't great. Good luck with your wee girl, hope she continues to do well.
  24. Sorry to hear you're struggling at the moment. A broody cage is the right way forward - lots of people have success with that. It may seem cruel but a dog crate or other animal carrier is best. Just shutting her out of the eglu is probably not enough as she can still hunker down and keep her breast warm, which is a symptom of broodiness. Most people find that 3 days and nights in the broody cage is sufficient. Good luck with your girls

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