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Everything posted by Budgies

  1. So glad she's doing okay today. Eating long grass is the biggest problem with crop impaction, which can kill a hen. I would recommend not letting them have access to long grass if possible.
  2. Hi MadPhil, welcome to the forum, what a lovely set up it sounds as though you have! In response to your question can you overfeed, I'm afraid the answer is yes! I was reading about feeding ducks and chooks together last night - I think someone put a link on another thread. Basically there's too much calcium in the layers pellets for drakes (sorry, don't know if any of your ducks are boys) and ducks should primarily eat wheat (apart from grass and bugs) which is too fattening for hens and can cause illnesses including peritonitis, for which there is no cure. Apparently the solution is to put the hen's food up highish with a perch so ducky can't get to it, and feed the ducks their wheat by throwing into their water where they can dabble for it! Probably best put it in a trug filled with water so you can clean it out daily and know it's fresh - don't want to be making the ducks ill. You'll have to be careful that none of your chookies drown though, perhaps putting a brick inside so if one falls in she can get back out again. Whew!! Good luck!
  3. Chickens are real creatures of habit and don't much like changes. If you're putting branches in their pen or house, strip the bark first. That way there's fewer places for the dreaded redmite to lurk - you risk a real infestation by leaving the bark on. Mine never got used to the brightly coloured treat ball - they'd get very anxious and take wide detours around it! I'm sure they'll be fine, just hang up some greens (like you've already found) such as cabbage leaves and that will give them something to peck at. Mine didn't like a mirror, nor CDs hung up in the run to peck at!
  4. Now that's a big one!! Ouch!!
  5. Most start laying somewhere between 22-24 weeks so you're a bit keen at the mo!!
  6. Hens aren't supposed to be sick, so it usually is an indication that something's not quite right. Keep an eye on her tomorrow, check her crop is empty in the morning (as it's meant to be) and doesn't feel squishy.
  7. That's wonderful news, although I'm really sorry that you had to lose your girls in such a short space of time still. Does this mean that Florence and her ducky friends might be able to get chickeny pals too?!
  8. Feather plucking used to be associated with deficiencies, but now that our hens have layers pellets or meal available to them all the time, their intake is perfectly balanced with regards to their needs. Feather pecking is much more frequently a symptom of boredom or overcrowding than it is a sign of deficiencies nowadays. Some people hang cabbage leaves or greenery in the run for the girls to jump a little way and peck at, others have used mirrors or treat balls to try and give the hens something to do.
  9. Too much protein can cause them to get dirty vent feathers, as can worms. Have they been wormed lately? If not, I'd recommend Flubenvet for a seven day period. I have heard of some people trimming one or two feathers around the vent previously on this forum.
  10. Aw, my girls used to do that too when they first came into lay. They would start at 9am and lay at 10am the following day, then around 11ish and finally I might get one on the fourth day at half twelve! Then they'd have a break. It all settles down with time!
  11. Lisa, you won't necessarily see anything in their poo, even though they may have worms. I'd go with the Flubenvet approach and see if that settles things.
  12. Have your hens been wormed yet VeggieSue? If they've not been wormed it might be an idea to give them a seven day course of Flubenvet added to their food. However, with the drinking lots too I would be tempted to take her to the vet - it sounds as if it might be kidney related.
  13. When you do examine her, check around her abdomen, so between her legs and going back up under her fluffy pants towards her vent. Is she hot or swollen at all?
  14. I'd call the breeder to find out Ness, so you can be sure. If they've just been done with Flube, you don't really want to be putting their bodies under the stress of doing it again right away. With gapeworm they're struggling for air, so there's lots of head movement and neck stretching - it's not very pretty and it's fairly rare thank goodness.
  15. So sorry to hear that. I lined my wood chip pit with concrete and bricked the edges too, so the wily fox couldn't get in and the girls couldn't get out. RIP Gertrude
  16. Welcome to the forum! Nope, you won't have loads of problems! I had my girls for three years and a month. In all that time I had one neighbour comment that they had been noisy one particular morning - her husband worked nights and was trying to sleep in the morning, and both my girls wanted the nesting box at the same time!! We had a fox visit the first night and a mouse appear the first day but never again saw any vermin - and the fox is always and was always a regular visitor to our garden - even having a dog didn't deter it. If you do keep the run somewhere permanent after a while of realising how much it trashes your grass to keep moving it, don't put it on bark, put it on wood chips or horse bedding like aubiose. Bark can contain fungus spores that can be very harmful. As long as you replace that regularly and rake it daily, you shouldn't have problems. That's the downsides dealt with! Let me tell you how great it is when your ladies come running, thinking you've got treats! When they follow you round the garden with their cute gait, hoping you'll dig up a worm for them. When they scrabble in your compost, or peer through your back door at you! When they lay you your first egg!! When they get so tame they'll hop up onto your lap for a cuddle. When they eat out of your hand, or dust bath right next to you! I've ordered three pure breeds from Wernlas and one is a Barnie - they're meant to be quite placid and friendly. Enjoy!
  17. Lottie, it's a horrible prospect I know, but you have to put it into perspective - most of us don't come up against this kind of thing, although I agree that it's useful to be aware that it does happen. For chickens, the biggest incentive to peck is the sight of blood - providing someone is around some of the time each day, you can minimise the risk of damage to a hen by removing her and spraying the blood with a purple spray to disguise the colour red. I never had a pecking problem with my two, even when Chutney prolapsed.
  18. I've often read that 3 days and nights is enough to shake them out of it. They stay in there all that time - the chook being uncomfortable and unable to snuggle down is part of the process I'm afraid.
  19. I'm sure you'd rather have Florence feisty than pining!! They'll settle down, but it may take a while. At least she's occupied in the meantime eh?
  20. I used a Snugglesafe for the chooks when it got down to -14 degrees C last winter. I popped it under their roosting bars in a carrier bag so I could keep it clean. Just kept the temp up a wee bit. Adding a few drops of glycerine (or even Citricidal) to their water helps lower the temperature at which the water freezes.
  21. That's a great hatching rate, well done Mummy Chive!!
  22. Oh aren't they lovely? I have to confess, I'm in love with Tiger Lily!! She's just beautiful, isn't she? She's very curious about your bigger girls too!
  23. I'm no good at sexing chicks, but YAY!! And how teensy and cute is that cuddly little Serama? They're looking good, well done Chive!!
  24. Rye looks so determined, what a great photo! She's convinced she'll work it out!

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