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stu

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About stu

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    Chicken Eggspert
  1. Hello. I'm not new but it's been so long since I was on here that I feel new again. I moved back to the UK from Ireland recently and my last remaining hen in Ireland was re-homed before the move. I am now the proud keeper of four rescue hens... Clog, Sandal, Moccasin and Slipper. They live in my old Eglu Cube, which did make the move... where they have actually managed to grow some new feathers. Hopefully I'll be about to see what people are up to.
  2. Well am gutted now. I can;t find the quote at all, but if you don;t want to sit through many hours of Winnie the Pooh DVD's..? It's: The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: Luck Amok/Magic Earmuffs Season one, episode 15
  3. Any recollection I have of Winnie the Pooh, is now through the books of Benjamin Hoff: The Tao of Pooh and the Te of Piglet, in which reference to the Piglet quote on being brave is mentioned. "It is hard to be brave, when you’re only a very small animal." Off the top of me head, I don't know which of the A A Milne stories it is in, but it is very definitely said by Piglet himself. Am not a fan of the Disney Pooh stories... so can't even imagine where that quote might come in their movies/shorts, and it wouldn't surprise me if they (Disney) changes who said it, for the purposes of a more endearing story telling. [edit] Couldn't resist... I had to check. It's in the first Milne book Winnie the Pooh (1926) and the chapter is 7: In Which Kanga and Baby Roo Come to the Forest and Piglet has a Bath
  4. We have a mix of plants and herbs (most mentioned above)... our rhubarb is in the flowerbeds too, a well as the bay tree. Don't forget that if you plant a lot of perennials in there, you might be faced with a lot of open space during the cooler months and waiting for them to shoot again. Our gardens are a work in progress, and some things just either don't work or just look wrong... be radical..!! but be prepared to be 'un-radical' too, when this happens.
  5. The best way to deter a fox is... keep bears..!! Foxes are very mechanistic in how they live... keep a diary, find any patterns (Yearly, monthly and weekly) and manage the chicken within it
  6. Mine gets to about 45 and I don't worry about it at all. If you want to take advantage of the heat though... water the floor regularly... the toms will thank you for the increased humidity. If the leaves start and turn 'crisp'.. then I might put a partial shade for them, but not total. Ready made tomato soup doesn't sound so bad, but your sandwiches will suck big time
  7. I have had a Eureka moment, and as a result of the direct damage to my barely developing flower garden. Take a square meter of green plastic coated chicken-wire, and lay it over an 18" plant pot, then squash it in with another 18" plant pot, stamp the edges flat and voila..!! A perfect and almost invisible chicken-proof cage for your struggling to grow and chicken wrecked bedding plants. Granted, the price of a small roll of chicken-wire (1 by 10M) surprised me, but when you put the €20odd against the cost of replacement plants (€5-10 a piece), it make perfect sense to me now.
  8. I leave a broody to brood, but remove the eggs from under them when they do rise (and they will from time to time) I leave a ceramic one there though so they will sit that, but only try and break the brood relatively late (after a couple of weeks) A broody will lose weight and possibly their under-feathers as well, but they might easily be tempted by some treats if left close to them. The reason i don't try and break the brood early is that the interventions to do so always sound a little drastic for what is essentially a natural process anyway (putting them in lofted cages etc sounds a bit cruel to me) Now am not saying that I have seen broodies just sit the bars or even nest outside the run at all... I would keep an eye on this, but again.... a relatively young hen... you'd be surprised just how hard wired they're not when it comes to driven behaviours like a brood. It may take them a couple of tries to get it right.
  9. My chickens don't actually use the cube ladder and have an old fashioned piece of plank with batons attached, it rests on the stoop of the door and the door still closes fine... they zoom up that, and don't put their feet through either... which they tend to do when the plank is out (I take it out to scrub it)
  10. I never pick my chicken up, even though they will eat at my feet and out of my hand, there just never seems the need to, and they can be coaxed anywhere in the garden if I need to move them. They do their own thing (usually eat the flowers at this time of year and have to be flapped away), and they know what nets and things are so they avoid them.
  11. My red cube was never really that red.... even when it was new... it's more of an orange. It's years old now but I don;t think it's any less orange, but as stated above, if you stood it next to a new one... it's probable faded. I wish I had bought another colour, vut it still looks good in the Veg Garden, either way.
  12. I gave up my job in academia in 2008 and moved from the UK to Ireland, where, it has to be said. circumstances allowed me to (had we not been able to afford this... I would not even have considered it). I didn;t hate my job, but was pleased to be moving on from it... as with so many situations... things get tougher... fewer people doing more work and increased pressure. The advantages of being in a job are that you can generally predict this 'deterioration' in your workload... the problem with circumstances is that you can't predict them at all, and as you might imagine... they don;t always go in your favour. I would be very careful about just up and quitting a job that allowed me to live, and not without some form of risk assessment, and by this I mean... what is the worst that can happen to your circumstances? It is your right now I believe to be able to tale a career break of up to three years (Thanks to European employment law?) I might be wrong, but ask for it... take some time away, and if you can get by without your work (being able to work another job on a career break is up to your employer)... all well and good. Good luck
  13. Yup... sorry to confuse. One of the hens hatched it out. It eats chick crumb and seems to be doing alright. At the slightest peril, it hides under the mother and the cockerel gets all pumped up, so am hoping that they will keep it safe from the likes of cats (Cats tend not to like going ner the hens anyway, but a small one can be tempting) I figure the worst time for them might be later, and things that fly about, but I can easily get them home and close the run up, if they haven;t taken themselves off to the run anyway... which they seem to do in good time lately. Cheers
  14. Okay... it's a long story, and much to do with us thinking that our 'cockerel' was some kind of hybrid because for ages it looked like a hen, but if this thing could have taken my photo when i peeked in the cube hatch..? It would have been one of immense surprise, to say the least. Basically, we have a baby chick... just the one but it seems quite feisty and integrated into the house no problem. The problem I have... is how long does it have to stay in the run? We don't have a walk in run and just the 2 extensions to the cube itself (3 meters floor space) It has been in the garden and led the rest of the hens a merry dance behind the fence, but they all came back safe and sound. It sticks closely to the 'mother' and she seems pretty good at caring for it, and the cockerel is a hardy sod, and also seems very capable of looking after them too. I am reluctant to change a whole way of life for the hens and am not a 'soft' touch when it comes to the hens... they do their own thing. There is a flock down the road from us that is left basically to their own devices... they make chicks and the chicks do okay without any additional care.

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