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Everything posted by Mum

  1. I tried to keep a cockerel; I only have one direct neighbour, but several indirect neighbours. Bottom line? It was too noisy and *I* felt guilty about the noise so took the cockerel back to point of origin (I am fortunate that way). From witnessing my dfriends experience, yes, some cockerels can appear brutally demanding of their girls - but that is the human perception perhaps the hens are not as "sensitive"? Obviously, much depends on the character of the cockerel - and hens! - so, to put a fine point on it: very much depends!!! If you have neighbours to consider, be aware that a cockerel will crow, morning/noon/night - no just mornings! They perform a fabulous job of keeping the girls safe, in order and give them the choicest morsels (at their own detriment!) but could also attack *you* if you appear (to a cockerel) too intimidating/threatening However, by that same token, they can be very affectionate. Hope someone can give you a definitive answer: but, I doubt there is one
  2. Can't beat it, but my dear friends mother has a chook 12yo. (Pure breed)
  3. I will send you luck! I know how shattering the news of redundancy can be: its gutting!!! The real point to keep in mind is, its not personal!!! Its contextual. I am so sorry that you are experiencing this. I am a believer that all things happen for a reason (which may not always be clear at the time!). But, I also have faith that you can turn this around/find a positive from it. Given time! Sheesh! What a "smack in the gob"! Take each day as it comes, budget wisely; seek any and all advice. Do not take it personally, but see it as an opportunity to update your skills, broaden your horizon and rethink what you would *really* like to be/do/achieve. Then, go find how to do it! And, don't forget to count your blessings Sounds patronising, but is given with heartfelt good grace - simply because; few people starve to death in the UK - we do have a welfare system, no matter how meagre - which protects us from the very worst of fates. Keeping you in my thoughts. I am so sorry you have to deal with this; make it as positive as you can - that is where our inner strength lies
  4. Feathers around does not equate to brood, but to moult. If your girls are sitting in the nest box and making noises at you when you look in, that could be broody? However, a more definitive sign is, they will race out of the nest box, frantically eat/drink and then race back to the nest box! If you shut the door to the cube, would they still have access to food and water? Not quite sure what you hope to achieve by doing this? My instinct tells me you are dealing with moult rather than broodiness. Recouperation (in terms of eggs) can take an age!! At 3yrs old their egg production could well be slowing down - which is why keepres of hens for egg production, keep a rolling stock. Hen keepers in the style of back yard chicken keeping, choose their breeds for reasons of either a) big egg producers b)meat producers c) neither! We lurve our chooks! I do hope you find a reply which gives you comfort, advice, and a perspective on viewing your hens.
  5. Congrats on your egg process/hatchlings ladies; bravo! Oh your pekins will most definately go broody! and maybe before Easter too They make great Mum's! Do you have a ready to hand supplier of fertilized eggs? Once they go broody, time is of the essence, in my (limited) experience. Also, do bear in mind, each egg has a 50:50 chance of being male. Last Spring I hatched 6 eggs under a broody (Silkie). Fifty/fifty meant I should have had 3 hens. Of those 6: 1 did not hatch; of the 5 which hatched, only one was female That female is still alive and kicking and totally adorable I am extremely fortunate that the farm I get my eggs/chooks from will take any returnees (e.g. cockerels ) however, if you do not have that option, you need to think carefully what you will do if 80% of your eggs are male (as was my case )
  6. No definitive answer, but, logic says to me: folded over, kitchen cupboard dark? = maybe ok. Pragmatic answer says to me: what do you have to lose by trying??? (which I would do ) However, word of caution: my philosophy regarding gardening is twofold: it will either grow, or it won't. Most times, I take the risk but never mourn if it doesn't "work" - I just take notes Gardening, like life, is a life-long learning process. Some winters, things will survive; other winters, they do not. Some seasons completely throw caution to the wind and we end up on a wing and a prayer (like this winter!). Bottom line is: do not throw them away; give them a chance, and chance what they decide to do
  7. Think Asda does a version of starch for the washing machine; I know Boots does. Spray starch is great when ironing, but only if the item isn't coloured/you don't use too much (or, you end up with starchy splodges on it ) Rice or potato water can help (if hand washing) because of their "natural" starch properties - but have to confess, it is a loooooong while since I used this method Ok, so, to be more precise about your query: bed linen - use washing machine starch shirts - use spray when ironing Bottom line: do not use either in excess or you will find dh walking like he has a rod up his back; or, when sleeping you will find you are rigid from over starching Folllow the instructions and you will be fine on both counts
  8. You have nothing to feel humiliated about. I think those jumping on the "advertising" bandwagon should be pigeon-holed into the "seen too much spam posts to be impartial anymore" category. For those who had an alternative point of view "flimsy/never buy one", well you need to read that and put it in perspective. So, are they saying it because they have experience of it? For example, I bought a wooden coop as an overspill coop and I may well be tempted to advise others *not* to purchase it, simply because a fox found its weakest spot and took all my chooks Or, maybe they are saying it, not from experience, but simply because they "can"? For that, you have to read between the lines; or, if you are that concerned at their attitude and want to investigate further, check their posting history! Do they tend to be generally disagreeable? Or, do they have experience? Or, are they longer term posters who have found a following and feel empowered to put across their opinions and still pass them off as fact? There is another aspect: a "forum" derives from the Roman culture of a place where views and opinions can be debated. Now, if you feel confident in your experience which gives credance to your point of view, that is good!! If someone is objectionable simply because they can be - ignore! What do they really matter in the grand scheme of things? They are not someone you know, they are not someone whose opinion "actually" makes a difference in your world. But, by that same token, perhaps they have an experience to share behind that opinion? They are virtual strangers and you cannot distinguish which is which purely on one posting on one thread. If they make a personal attack on you, as a person, then do assert yourself (if you feel strongly enough) or, put your faith in the moderation team. Either way, it is still a choice. I haven't read all the replies and I have no idea which style of chicken housing you are referring to - but, if it works for you, and you are happy with it ... what does it matter if you get a mixed response? Sift the chaff from the corn, make an educated guess on those posting (from their history) and if they disagree, is it from knowledge/personal experience (in which case, they may have a valid point - no reason to feel humilated over that ) or are they simply provoking things because the internet process, by definition, makes it possible to be obnoxious for the sake of being obnoxious? In which case, you still have nowt to feel humilated about; they should Healthy debate/discussion is a good thing - that is what free speech is ultimately about. It is how you "evaluate" the speaker which can make the difference between taking someone seriously and feeling genuine upset or, looking over their history and making a valued judgement Make a valued judgement: shift the wheat from the corn and then, put it all in perspective ((hugs))
  9. Happened to me 3 weeks ago (tomorrow!) a few feet away from where I was standing. Last March a fox managed to find a weakness in a wooden coop and run and took all of my girls (apart from the broody on eggs in a ). Not worth the risk as far as I am concerend - hence I invested in a WIR; that way the girls get the best of both worlds, a lovely safe haven when we can't "supervise" them, then a wonderful big garden and a copse area to free range as I walk around with them contemplating the world going by. It's a compromise we both benefit from For those who are able to free range without any undue concerns, well, that would be my "preferred" option too, but its just not going to happen after my experiences in the past 11 months.
  10. So sad for you; you did the right thing ((hugs))
  11. Thank you for the heads up. I bought:- 1 x earlies 1 x main crop Then I saw some other goodies and bought: strawberry runners (early, mid, late and everlasting) Garlic x 2 packs red onion sets onion sets I passed on the asparagus because I don't think my experience into grow your own are up to those yet. I already have lots of seeds which I bought last season when Wilko's had their 75% off sale. Then I popped to the £Shop and bought some pretties:- 1 x bleeding heart 2 x escallonia 1 x honeysuckle 3 x 3 bright red oriental poppy 3 x 2 hosta packs Well, I did have some time to kill between 1700-2200hrs (when I then had to attend an interview for a report I'm conducting ) Clearly spent a bit; but save a LOT! So, thank you
  12. Great photo's and very amusing commentary
  13. Wow! That's amazing!! Hope your baby is well now too.
  14. I've always fed the wild birds. In my last garden I was even fortunate enough to train a male blackbird to eat from my hand - very humbling! Better yet, *he* then taught Mrs Blackbird to come to the back door for food too; she wouldn't get quite as close, but close enough that, in turn, she brought her fledglings along. One of the most magical Spring/Summer's ever. My girls love chasing off the collared doves, wood pigeons and magpies; sometimes they'll chase the blackbirds (who just fly round the back of me and because the girls can't see them They never chase the dunnocks, robins, blue tits or bullfinches. When the Spring comes and the ducks arrive the girls don't even bat an eyelid. Herring gulls are another matter! The girls do not like them one bit
  15. Condolences about your Grandmother, but how very wonderful for your sister Unfortunately, I have quite a few - won't bore anyone with any though. Suffice to say, the "University of Life" has taught me much.
  16. Have you checked out "Teach First"? They are a charity (and this Government was promoting them a little while back if my memory isn't playing tricks) and they fund your Masters. You have to be a graduate, you get placed in a very demanding school, obtain your PGCE (which may or may not be an issue that you already have it; I don't know, so do check) then you end up with your Masters by completing the final leg at a London Uni. As I say, check it out because I'm sure I may have some of my facts wrong. Neat way to get your Masters though
  17. Mum


    So pleased Milly is looking up; shame about the moult though, poor timing indeed!
  18. With the length of those wattles, I'm convinced they are not chickens but cockerals
  19. Those 2 x 10 mins shouldn't make any difference; a hen can leave her eggs for up to 20 minutes and still be ok. Fingers X'd for you!
  20. Emma, I say again ... wait until he is away on business, grab that pup and just make it a fait accompli! He may be a bit nose out of joint for a day or three, but, he does sound like he has a good heart and wouldn't turf the bow-wow out into the unknown (or you either ) If that is too deceitful for your ethics, then do have the "fate!" conversation with him and see if he thaws, just even the slightest bit
  21. How worrying for you!! ((hugs)) Ok, presumably you don't wish to take him to the vets at this stage? It's a positive sign that he is eating and drinking well. If protein rich food is the order of the day, then do consider boiling a couple of eggs and then mashing them up (with shell!) and feeding that to him. Keep up with the Smite, those red mites can take a bit to get rid of. If its anaemia, I'm guessing (and only guessing!) that his comb colour would have paled; has it? Do you add apple cider vinegar to their water as a supplement? Rooting for Stuart that he pulls through!
  22. Methinks you are going to go with a couple of Orps ... the vibes are steaming through your post! Would they "gang up"? intro's are always a "process" of finding their pecking order - that will happen if you introduce one or two or twenty! But, it really should settle down after a week (in some cases, two weeks). With Fizz having a damaged wing, Orps are a heavy breed and that may be an issue while the pecking order sorts itself out - be it one or even two Orps. Unless you went for Orp banties? Or, very young hens? My limited experience is this: my oldest Orp has a permanent limp. She was added as a solo addition on the belief her size would be her advantage. It wasn't, the pecking order had to run its course. Even more recently, she was locked in the jaws of a fox and now has to contend with her limp and a slightly damaged wing. The others rush passed her and she's a tad unsteady, but she does hold her own despite her disabilities! She has a strong will that girl On the boredom note, have you hung up a cabbage she can peck at? Maybe an old CD? Something to give her an interest? Perhaps an old washing up bowl with sand/soil so she can dustbathe? Even an apple threaded with string and dangled from the top of the run would give her some apple bobbing entertainment. Plus it would be great exercise for her And, when you do make intro's, having dangley things to interest one hen while the other sneaks behind to the feeder can help enormously.

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