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Julianna

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  1. hi - can anyone help with an explanation for this feather loss please? She’s about 2 years old, top of the pecking order, laying, eating, drinking, good diet, plenty of space, no stress, normal behaviour but she’s losing feathers on either shoulder. Not a proper moult but her feathers definitely look poor. I can’t see any mites and she’s not scratching, not being bullied, not been attacked, no cockerel. I’ve no idea how to help! Any ideas please? Thank you.
  2. For the first time in >10 years of henkeeping we have a problem with nest wars. We integrated 2 POLs about 2 months ago into our existing group of 3 hens successfully, but now the 4 who are laying seem to want to lay at the same time. The older Light Sussex are really bullying the new Burfords off the nest - lots of noise and pecking. We’ve provided an extra nest box with dummy eggs but to no avail. This bullying and aggression then continues when they pass each other free ranging. Any advice please? Thank you
  3. Thanks so much for your replies. We took the very hard decision to end her suffering tonight. Heartbroken but comfortable it was the right decision for her 😢 Here she is in better times 🥰
  4. Reaching out for some wisdom in a last ditch attempt to save my 24 week old Welsummer. She has been poorly for 3 weeks, had 2 courses of antibiotics for ?respiratory infection, been wormed, offered various herbal dietary supplements, and she's not getting better or worse. She is eating and drinking for herself (though has lost weight), normal poo. Symptoms - occasional cough but mainly staggering about, very unsteady on her feet, and lethargic, and when she goes to peck at food, she often seems to miss, as if she can't see it properly or can't aim her head straight. She will be eating one moment and then doze off the next. She isn't scratching around or very alert. She spends long periods with her head tucked into her body, asleep. We are stuck in limbo with her, not knowing whether to hold out for some recovery or put her out of her misery. I don't think she's in pain, but she is clearly not well. We have brought her in from the cold the last few nights, but the vet said separating her from her two companions would stress her so in the daytime she is outside. I wonder if it could be neurological (and in which case, incurable I guess?). Any experience and advice welcome. Thank you. PS her comb has not developed (even prior to her illness) - no idea if that is relevant - which then makes me wonder if this is something to do with coming to maturity??
  5. Our lovely old Light Sussex Liza has started falling over. It happens when she comes down the ladder in the morning, and then if she tries to exert herself like running for food with her 4 hen friends. Her legs give way under her and she is slumped for a few moments before she gets back up again. Otherwise she seems bright and normal and enjoying being a hen. So I’m wondering if it’s mechanical rather than systemic. Can hens get musculoskeletal problems in old age, like humans? I’m reluctant to say goodbye to her quite yet as she seems otherwise quite happy. Any experience out there of similar? Thanks
  6. Thank you everyone for kind wishes. We don't understand how any intruder got in as it's an Eglu Cube and really secure & undamaged. There's no sign of any access point. We've never had a problem with security in 5 years of having it & there are urban foxes all around us. It's all a v sad mystery & difficult to know what we can learn from it. Thanks again
  7. Thank you, that's kind. Just so awful to see animals in distress, especially when we don't understand how. The two left look pretty lonely but I guess we'll all adjust. Glad to have had so many happy times with them
  8. Sorry to report both girls RIP. Grim detail - their feet were missing, so they just had stumps left. Vet thinks either they attacked each other or they were attacked by rats. I find either option unlikely. They've never fought before, and there were no feathers in the pen so no sign of a fight. I can't imagine they'd just stand still and let themselves be attacked by a rat either, unless it was at night. We're devastated by such a traumatic ending and just can't imagine how it happened.
  9. Horrible mystery in the hen house tonight. My partner returned home mid evening to find two of our girls with very serious trauma to their feet. No obvious intruder into their quarters so we think they must have done it to each other, or the other two have inflicted the trauma. There's no sign of blood though. Really very strange. They are eating and drinking and quiet, but can't walk or stand. Don't think the vet will be able to do anything. We've removed them from the other. Has anyone else come across this? There's never been anything like this before in their group, although the 'top hen' died a month ago so a new pecking order was being established. Very sad and a mystery
  10. Thank you. I'll strike it from my worry list!
  11. Our Rhode Island Red, Bette, has rapidly developed a spur on each leg about 1cm long and facing toward the other leg (rather than sticking out of the back of the leg). They look like little bolts. She isn't distressed by it and her behaviour hasnt changed. She's still laying. Any ideas?
  12. Thanks for the advice - really helpful. Physically they are already as big as the oldies but they're just not as savvy! So I'll have to rig up a run extension I think. Hetty seems to love the growers pellets and rushes to the newbies house to gobble them as soon as they're let out to FR! I'm convinced Hetty, who's looking a bit scruffy post-moult, may also be feeling intimidated by how handsome the young ones are! Thanks again. I'll slow down my expectations and be patient. At least no blood has been drawn!
  13. Hi We have two new Light Sussex girls who are about 14 weeks now. They are in separate accommodation but growing out of it fast - they're huge! They have been free ranging with our 2 old ladies for the last ten days. One ignores them but the other chases and pecks them whenever food is or might be involved. No blood drawn and sometimes I think the newbies flapping actually encourages Hetty to go for them. Having read the info on introducing new hens, we've gone through the first few weeks of slow introductions and I want to try to put them in the Eglu together. However I'm worried that the fighting could get worse, and they are not POL yet. What advice have you got? Should I wait til they are at POL? If so that could be another 2 months and they are quite cramped in their run. Help!
  14. Very excited about the arrival of 2 12 week old Light Sussex girls, Judy and Liza, yesterday. They are in separate accommodation from the old ladies. They won't come down the ladder into their run despite me getting up at 4am to open the door! Should I leave them to it or coax them out? Last night they had no idea how to go up the ladder so I had no choice but to lift them into their house. Advice please! Thanks
  15. Thanks. She's nearly 3. I asked the vet about putting her out of her misery a few weeks ago and she thought we should wait to see if she sorts herself out. It's such a difficult decision because when she's not like this, she seems nearly normal (minus egg laying) and definitely not at the end of her life. I will try Flubenvet. Thanks again.

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