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Everything posted by LunaKiw1

  1. Not sure if anyone has answered your 'can I leave them out for an hour or so to do the school run' query but if you have gone for the free-ranging or even inside an electric fence option then it is probably safest to shut them back in the enclosed WIR when you pop out. It will only take a few minutes to do this as a shake of a container in which they will quickly learn there are some dried meal worms, or some other tasty treat like a bit of corn, will soon get them racing towards you and into the WIR so it's not as if they are hard to catch and shut away. Do go for it - you'll never regret it!
  2. Really good to see you online again as I've missed your funny chicken tales but sorry to hear you're not feeling too good - and fleas are a real pain. Hoovering manically is also good way to try and suck up any blighters from carpets. Is your son being helpful with the henz? Not long until schools break up now - but maybe that is going to tire you out even more!
  3. I am sure I recall reading some posts on here ages ago about some clever people who had created a door in the side of the run - hopefully one will post a reply for you soon.
  4. We had a Speckledy and she laid nice dark brown shiny eggs. She paced herself a bit though in laying, missing out days whereas her two sisters produced eggs daily. Daisy was never keen on being picked up and had a swerve to avoid contact worthy of a rugby player! She also tended to trot round after the other two but somehow looking as if she was in her own little day-dream world. We likened her to 'My Naughty Little Sister' in the way she always tagged along (for those of an age to recall the children's stories of that series!). She actually survived being picked up by a fox in its mouth unscathed as luckily my husband saw and raced out quickly to chase the fox off. She was dropped and after shaking her head and fluffing up her feathers a bit she just trundled back to the Eglu to which her two sisters had rapidly retreated. No ill- effects of any kind! She died quietly in the garden, just keeling over in the sun, earlier this summer.
  5. Lovely photo! I just love it when they settled odwn and/or do their 'road kill' imitations - it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside watching thrm!
  6. don't feel guilty - they hide it so well when they're poorly and start to decline. You did the kindest thing for HER - dleaying would only have been for your benefit. you will certainly miss her but she had a good and relatively long life. xx
  7. In addition to setting out multiple food stations (maybe even just use a couple of old food bowls as a short term solution until they settle down) I'd recommend putting a large log or two in the run, or something similar. This can help form separate 'zones' and also the lower ranking hens like to get up a bit higher to stay out of the way.
  8. The general opinion, and certainly our experience, is that cats stay well clear of scary hens! I think even one that tries its luck won't repeat it after being pecked or chasded with flapping wings. But maybe watch carefully to start with, if only for your own peacve of mind. We never had any other cats visit our garden after getting our girls and our cat is terrified of them.
  9. We've got the longest length of Omlet fencing and use it to fence them inside a shrub border round the lawn. The numbero f stakes was fine - if two people stretch it out whilst erecting and banging in the stakes it stays quite taut. We love it as it is really invisible from a distance. No-one has jumped over the top but our hens with small combs do stick their necks through the lower holes to try and crop the grass - they look like giraffes stretching out and then have to wiggle to get their heads back inside again.
  10. Congratulations! We also started, about 6 years ago, with a Gingernut Ranger and Miss Pepperpot from Omlet. Sadly, they passed on to free-range in Chicken Heaven a few years ago aged around 2 and a half, from peritonitis. We've had various other chooks since then but none have laid eggs as big as our first Omlet girls. She looks fit and healthy and beautiful so fingers crossed for more fun years with her.
  11. Hi, we have that size of Omlet WIR. It came packaged when we bought it new and then had to be assembled. Each side (and the roof i think) is made up of 4 (approx 1m x 1m) sections that then clip together (with fiddly little clips that break your nails!) There are a couple of full 2m height bits that fit together to make a kind of square tunnel about 10cm x 10cm that goes on the hinge side of the door to give it integrity. When we moved house we didn't have to completely disassemble it, just the main connections, and then we folded the sides; however, it went in the removal van so it still took up quite a lot of space. It's hard to advise you but with a big vehicle like you've got and with seats down and maybe the use of a roof rack then I think you'd be OK. Are you buying 2nd hand and so needing to collect it from somewhere? EDITED: Actually, I've just checked and if you look at all the info about the Omlet WIR on the Shop then there are diagrams which show it and its dimensions and you can see how it is made up of the 4 sections on each side. Hope that also helps!
  12. I am sure I read somewhere that none of us is ever more than (some surprisingly small number) of metres away from rats - we just don't normally see them in the daytime and so assume they're not around. It is essential, although a bit of a pain, to take the food and water in each night. During the day do make sure you put the grub/feeder up high enough so that your chooks have to stretch to put their head inside to get the food - otherwise they seem to toss it out everywhere (hence the feed collector tray idea). Rats will live out of sight somewhere - we did find signs of tunnels under the compost bin that we had kept near to the Eglu Classic for ease of empty the poo tray each morning so we moved it and put wire mesh under it so that they couldn't burrow up into the composter. We also once found tunnels under the Eglu Classic where it curves a bit - so again we put down strong mesh underneath and under the run itself. this is why people do recommend using slabs (ours was on bare earth with wood chip on top). We also did see rats come into our garden to eye up the chooks food from under our neighbours fence but discovered they were actually living in undergrowth on the other side of it. We put down rat bait in covered containers, which seemed to work. I was paranoid the first time I saw a rat but I have come to terms with the fact that they exist everywhere and so you just need to take as many precautions as you can as the benefits of the chooks outweights the risks from rats. We used to be able to see the girls' run from our old kitchen window and so did notice the odd rat but since we moved the WIR is out of sight - and to be honest that is good as I don't worry so much. We do check and to date have seen no signs of any activity/tunnels under the adjacent summer house and shed (we don't have decking but that is always a risky area) so I genuinely don't think we currently have a problem. If we did see any signs of tunneling we'd just put down bait etc as before.
  13. I know exactly what you mean about it being hard to unfold initially! Leaving it in the sun to warm kaes it goes more flexible.
  14. Looking good! And some happy ladies in there. I can't understand why Omlet don't do a cover wide enough to span the width of the roof as it is obvious that using 2 x their 1m size ones will leave a drippy gap!
  15. So sorry to hear your news but i don't think there's much hope for them if they they do develop peritonitis and so it may have been a good release for her to die at home, even if very upsetting for you. Big hugs ......
  16. We have an Omlet WIR and use a Tarpaflex 2m x 6m one across the top and down both sides, held in place with bungees/cable ties through the eyelet holes in the edges. We also have one that is 2m x 2.4 across the back with the bottom bit trimmed. It's easy to roll the sides up/down according to the weather and hold in place with the bungees. They last well although get a bitdirty; however, a scrub each spring works wonders. Highly recommend Tarpaflex for both prices, speed of delivery and for a product that is just right!
  17. We've had several hybrids now that have given up laying around 2.3 -3 years of age. We call them 'free-loaders' rather than 'free-rangers' then. All last autumn and winter we were egg-less with 3 chooks until 2 sadly developed peritonitis and had to be PTS. At that point we bought two new girsls to join our remaining hen and so we are now back to two eggs a day. We personally keep chickens as much as pets as for their eggs and so we are happy to let them live out their lives even once they are o longer laying; however, if eggs are really the priority for you then I think the view most people take is that it is entirely your choice if you want to cull non-laying hens start again.
  18. I suspect your girls may have their own landscaping ideas and plans which may differ from yours! But good luck anyway.
  19. I would say it isn't possible to do single-handed! You have to hold multiple large bits up/together and cope with attaching the fiddly nail-breaking clips at same time. It is 'easy' and 'quick' to assemble if you interpret that as requiring at least a half if not a full day, with quite a bit of patience and a lot of expletives involved. The Omlet instructions are in image form only - to be honest some simple sentences explaining things would have been helpful - but logical enough i guess. Do check you order the version specific to your requirements i.e. Eglu Classic/Cube/Go/Up and are you attaching direct to one of those or to one of their runs. And people often seem to find they are missing bits on dleivery (which we didn''t) so if you do order one check you've got everything before you start assembling it! It will be worth the effort though (and don't forget the tarpaulin covers or equivalent. Omlet ones are expensive but a 6m x 2m transparent one from Tarpaflex stretches beautifully across the top and down both sides, held by bungees/cable ties, so I recommend one of those.
  20. We love our Omlet WIR. It's completely stable and copes well even with slight undulations on the ground. We cover ours with transparent tarpaulins held taut with cable ties and bungees and it looks pretty tidy. You can roll the sides up/down according to the weather and ours stayed dry inside all through last winter. Being green it is also surprising u"Ooops, word censored!"trusive in the garden. Another bonus is that it can be moved. Not that easily admittedly if you only wanted to do it within the same garden but a Godsend when we moved house last year as it was taken down and re-erected within days, which couldn't have been done nealry so easily with a wooden construction. Overall, I highly recommnend the Omlet WIR.
  21. You need to buy an Egg Skelter (Omlet shop of search on Amazon) to keep and display your increasing stock of eggs on. They look great and are really practical too as you always know to use the bottom i.e. the oldest egg first.
  22. Both beautiful and amazing! And £10 for an X-ray sounds a complete bargain based on what vet fees can amount too!
  23. We have our 3 chooks largely just on bare earth now (as they've kicked out the original wood chips) and it works well as they love digging and making dustbaths in their Omlet WIR. The essential thing, whatever you choose to put on the base/floor or nothing, is to keep the run covered to prevent it getting wet. We have a transparent tarpaulin stretched tight over the roof and down two sides (which can be rolled up in dry/warm weather to let air in and ventilate the run) held in place with cable ties and bungees and in the non-summer months we also have tarpaulins across the back and front as well. Our WIR has been dry all year as a result.
  24. Your post had me in fits of laughter at your oh-so-accurate descriptions of their antics and responses! You will never be bored again as you've already discovered. And you are so right that this forum is invaluable when you start out and i still find it so after 5 years of chicken-keeping! do keep us updated ....

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