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Everything posted by LunaKiw1

  1. An Omlet WIR has all those advantages and might be a good alternative. We've just got the basic 2m square one but you can add extension sections if you need more space. We live in Minstead so we're not far from Totton if you wanted to see ours erected.
  2. This will be no help/consolation to you I'm afraid but moving an Omlet WIR is very straightforward! Didn't even have to completely dismantle it - just enough so that the panels could be moved flat and it was reassembled easily on the new site. We had an Eglu with the original 2m run still so we just squeezed that, plus the chooks in a cat basket, with us in the car and plonked that on the grass at the new house on for the moving day itself. A BIG advantage of the Omlet WIR is it's ease of re-locating think!
  4. I love it too - such careless abandon! I like the suggestion they might be trying to stick the piece of straw/twig into their tail for decoration though!
  5. We had those three types of chooks - each very different but all lovely! Whilst 3 will be OK in the run all day it is so nice to see them free-ranging (when you're home from work) for an hour or two or at weekends. BUT you'll have no chance of your lawn surviving even if you stand guard over them! I know it is more expense but have you thought about getting some of the Omlet green netting? We bought the maximum length of it and put it round the edge of the lawn so that the girls came out of their Eglu run and could meander through the flowerbed/shrubbery between the lawn and the exterior fence panels. They did a great job of keeping all the weeds down and the soil turned over for dust baths and worm hunts (although admittedly they also killed off anything growing that didn't have a sturdy woody stem!) but the lawn gradually recovered. And strange though it seems, when you look out of the window into the garden, visually the netting and stakes disappear and you hardly notice it so it isn't at all intrusive. If OH has just had the garden landscaped it could be well worth him agreeing to get some! PS Omlet do both electrifiable and plain versions of this green netting - we just got the 'ordinary' version but if you're worried about urban foxes then it might be worth considering the more expensive kind. Our Warren can stick her head through the holes at the bottom and nibble the grass edges but the Bluebell and Speckledy's combs stop them from doing that. We've never had anyone get out through, over or under either.
  6. Why do chooks toss straw over their backs? I know it is connected with laying an egg and we've had some who've done it after laying - although not all have done so. It can't be copied behaviour as one of our newbies did it today before she laid her 2nd-ever egg and neither of our other two are straw-"Ooops, word censored!"s. Any ideas?
  7. Whilst different breeds have some basic characterisits i think there's an awful lot of variation and they can all have different temperaments. You'd not believe what distinct characters each of your chooks will turn out to have! We've had a Bluebelle who was fine about being picked up and laid lovely plum-blush coloured eggs. We've had a Speckledy who doesn't like to be picked up but is very pretty. We've just got two Warrens to join Daisy, the speckledy, who was on her own after peritonitis took her last remaining sister last week. One is very inquisitve and friendly, the other seems more nervous. On our limited epxerience the hybrids that are the basic 'orangey' colour seem to be a bit brighter than your average chook and are generally very inquisitve and bustling about all the time. I think any of the breeds you mention will be fine - and if you can possibly get three that are used to being together already when you pick them up it will ease the settling in. When we chose 3 that looked different we picked them from different pens and didn't appreciate that they then had to go through the 'sorting out the pecking order' trauma when we got them home.
  8. Our first two hybrids from Omlet (a Gingernut Ranger and a Miss Pepperpot) both laid pretty large/x large eggs - always over 70g and often in the 80+g range. Pepper even laid one @125g once! (Ouch!). The next lot of 3 hybrids we got from another supplier laid more average size ones around the 50g-60g size. In both groups the chooks laid consistently (on average 5-6 eggs each, per week, and throughout the year) for about 2 -2.5 years before giving up. We've just got two newbies and one laid her first egg yesterday - a little 36g one! Usually they quickly progresst to laying bigger ones.
  9. I'd have thuoght 4 would be fine in a 3m run especially if you let them free-range - in which case do consider getting the Omlet netting. We thought it looked very expensive but bought some in the end to restrict the girls to the shrubbery when we were trying to sell our house and wanted to try and get the lawn back into something half way decent. Best thing we ever did as it is really discreet and blends in so you don't really notice it is up - and it keeps the garden looking respectable! In terms of hens, to be honest as a new chicken-keeper I'd recommend you stick to some good old hybrids like Omlet's Gingernut Rangers and Pepperpots or the equivalent from other suppliers. They'll be friendly and easy to handle and also give you a reliable source of decent sized eggs (for which you'll need to buy a lovely Egg Skelter to display them. Good luck.
  10. Thankyou Redsunset - I think you're right it's nothing to worry about and just her reaction to all the changes. In fact towards the end of yesterday afternoon she had perked up a bit and even pecked the newbies a few times which I was perversely pleased about as it showed she'd got some spark in her again. This morning they all 3 came out of the Eglu together and Daisy seems OK and she did eat straight away. Rosie and Poppy are clealry going to be a pair and seem to always go around together so i fear Daisy will never be their close buddy but as long as she's happy in her own little way that's the main thing.
  11. I posted on here recently about successfully integrating two news hens to our one reamining one, Daisy, after her sister was PTS last Thursday. We had taken it carefully over the latter part of last week and the weekend, culminating in all 3 free-ranging yesterday without any aggro (well, a few pecks from Daisy and the newbies quickly learnt to duck round her clealry acknowledging her as top chook) and then all being in the Omlet WIR together without fuss by yesterday evening. Daisy then took herself off to bed at 5.45 last night - which was very early - but we put it down to (a) she was knackered after shadowing the two younger birds all day or (b) she was fed up with being shut out and then stuffed through the door after they'd setled on previous 3 evenings and so wanted to get in there first). But this morning when we opened the Eglu up at 6am (just to ensure no fracas inside) she wouldn't come out. Eventually, half an hour later and some gentle prods later, she emerged but she has been very lethargic - all hunched up and staying under a bush instead of following the new girls round like yesterday and not even keen on some grapes to cheer her up. She's always very fluffed up looking (she's a speckledy) but OH checked her crop and tummy and both seem fine. Why should she suddenly go downhill? Could it be stress catching up with her? What can we do? If she's not better tomorrow we'll take her to the vet's but I don't want to have a 2nd girl PTS inside one week if possible! On the plus side one newbie, Rosie, laid her first egg this morning - a small (36g) but beautifully formed one.
  12. Today Daisy, Rosie and Poppy free-ranged all day together with little more than the odd threatening peck from Daisy as mostly the newbies just scuttle round her. This afternoon all 3 were in and out of the WIR and seemed happy to be in it at the same time so around 4pm, when Daisy expects her teatime treat, we scatterd some of yesterday's left over rice on the ground, rather than in the usual treat bowl, so that each could find a little something without needing to be too close. We've left the dividing netting up but now folded back so it is only half way across. This means we could, if necessary, quickly separate them - but so far they seem to be all 3 quietly getting on. So I think I can now pronounce them as all safely integrated. What a relief it has all gone so smoothly! Mainly I am sure because we made use of all the helpful advice that others have posted on here and that I have learnt off by heart over the years!
  13. WEll so far, so good in terms of introductions! We put some dividing netting up inside the Omlet WIR so that is keeping the 2 new girsl physically apart from Daisy but all in sight of each other. On each of the last two evenings we have shoo-ed new chooks Rosie and Poppy into the Eglu and shut the door at around 6pm. Then, when it is getting darker around 6.30, we've gone out and Daisy has just been waiting by the Eglu doo and when we've opened it she has gone in on her own and there's been no noise at all! We've got up at 6 the last two mornings and let them out and organised them back into their respective halves of the WIR. They've each got access to their own food and water. This morning we let Daisy out to free range in the shrubbery as usual, which is enclosed by Omlet netting, then we let Rosie and Poppy out too - watching procedings closely! There have been a few instances of giving quick pecks and a few barges from Daisy towards Rosie and that seems to have got the message across that she, Daisy, is top chook! Poppy has just kept a very low profile! Since she and Rosie came from the same shed they've clearly already sorted themselves out in pecking order. Daisy at times seemed to be following the newbies round but more in a kind of 'I'm keeping my eye on you btwo so just watch it' way rather than as if she's seriously thinking of attacking them. They have had 2 hours of joint free-ranging but now the new girsl have been put back in the WIR and Daisy is sunning herself outside it. They all seem quite relieved to be able to relax now separated again. We won't push things but fingers crossed after a few more days like this we can try them all together inside the WIR as well as when outside it. We have got a 'naughty spray' ready at hand though - just in case a quick squirt is needed to stop Daisy getting too domineering!
  14. Wow Blackrocksrock - that sounds horrendous!! So far, Daisy is making a lot of complaining noises at being on her own, even though she can see the other two in the WIR so maybe she is missing Goldie a bit. I'm dreading the actual face-to-face intros but we'll see.
  15. As we suspected when we took Goldie, our 2.5 year old hybrid to the vet this morning she confirmed peritonitis and we decided it was kindest to leave Goldie to be PTS. The vet said she must have been feeling very uncomfortable. so, RIP Goldie. Although this may seem very unfeeling we stopped off at our local Activity Farm, which also sells POL hens, on the way home and collected two Warrens. They look very like Goldie so hopefully Daisy, our sole remaining chook who is a Speckledy, might identify a bit more easily with them. It's a lovely sunny day here so at the moment Daisy is happily free-ranging (but within Omlet netting) with her Grub and Glug attached to the outside of the WIR and the new girls are inside the Omlet WIR with separate food. We will put some dividing netting up inside the WIR shortly when Daisy needs to go back inside and then will let the newbies go to bed in the Eglu tonight before stuffing Daisy inside when she's too sleepy to get wound up. Fortunately Daisy's egg-laying days ended last July so she doesn't need rapid access to the nest box these days. So far Daisy has pottered around the outside of the IR and not paid much attention to her new sisters. She was always something of a free spirit so maybe she'll accept new companions and not feel she has to chase them too much. We had already lost Bluebell to impacted crop last summer so knew when the next one went that we'd need to get at least two replacements. Fingers croosed the introductions go smoothly!
  16. As we suspected the vet felt it was kindest to leave Goldie to be PTS - said she must have been feeling very uncomfortable. so, RIP Goldie. Although this may seem very unfeeling we stopped off at our local Activity Farm which also sells POL hens and collected two Warrens. They look very like Goldie so hopefully Daisy, a Speckledy, might identify a bit more easily with them. It's a lovely day so at the moment Daisy is free-ranging (but within Omlet netting) with her Grub and Glug attached to the outside of the WIR and the new girls are inside the Omlet WIR with separate food. We will put some dividing netting up inside the WIR shortly when Daisy needs to go back inside and then will let the newbies go to bed in the Eglu tonight before stuffing Daisy inside when she's too sleepy to get wound up. So far Daisy has pottered around the outside of the IR and not paid much attention to her new sisters ......
  17. Got an appointment for her at the vet's at 0900 tomorrow morning (Thurs) - I suspect we may not be bringing her home. We'll have to then get a couple of new girls as Daisy wil be on her own. That will be our first experience of introducing newbies but have read so many posts on here I at least know what to expect and some good ideas to help manage it.
  18. Oh but so very beautiful - and posing so artistically!
  19. We sprink;le Stalosan over their woodchip (very thin layer) and earth base of their OMLET WIR once a week when it's cleaned and poo pick daily. I think it's always good if the rain can be kept out of the run when possible but ours never seem to mind if they get wet when out free-ranging. Everyone works out their own best approach and you'll get lots of differnet suggestions via the forum that you can pick from - but i 've never known anyone be critical in a nasty way on here - not like on a horsey forum i used to go on where people expressed views very forcibly and posters regulalry got real upset .....
  20. Thanks Egluntyne. OH felt her tummy today and he said it was really hard - we were expecting it to be full of liquid and squishy so that was a surprise. Does that match the peritonities diagnosis or indicate something else? We plan to take her to the vet's tomorrow.
  21. Goldie is 3 year old hybrid. She's not laid since last summer. Recently she has been waddling like a duck and often , even when out free-ranging, she just stands still for long periods looking very hunched and fluffed up. She's not terribly interested in food and her bum has been very mucky. We're just worming her with Flubenvet again but to be honest i am suspecting sterile peritonitis. do you think this could be right? If so we will take her to the vet. We have lost 2 previous hens some years ago to peritonitis although they had started laying lots of lashes as well as generally looking poorly.
  22. Love it! We had one hen who seemed to need to act as a midwife to the others and regluaryl accompanied a sister into the Eglu to oversee the process. Keep the saga going please - it mkaes me smile reading your descriptions!
  23. I too would like to know how exactly you 'pop them in' as we have an Eglu Classic so it would have to be by thrusting thme in through the egg hatch and can't quite visualise how that works when needing to stick in a couple and the exisitng girls always huddle up by that opening anyway!
  24. We did consult our local council (Environmental Health) before getting our girls and had a lovely positive reply teling us there were no restrictions etc and wishing us luck, which we kept printed out just in case anyone ever complained.
  25. We live in the New Forest. you might like to check out this supplier, which also does Omlet products and chicken boarding: http://www.rarebreedchicken.co.uk/page/hybrid_chickens_for_sale which is at Ower, just off the M27 so not too far from you potentially. I plan to go there when we next need some new chooks. Hybrids are great and easy going enough for your son to get really involved with them. We started with an Eglu Classic and 2 hens direct from Omlet but wish we'd got 3. With a Cube you can get more. We have since progressed to getting an Omlet WIR as well which is great. forget about any lawn though if you let them free-range!

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