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About Unit

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    Chicken Eggspert
  1. Our three ex-batteries, now with us for several pleasant months, have settled in really well. They all seem happy, alert and full of character & life. However, one of them has stopped laying... Flack is a real trooper - she's now laid every day for over a month... Not a single miss! Cowboy is more sporadic, laying every second or third day and sometimes a soft-shell that breaks (we've been fiddling with calcium supplements but this just seems to be her way - I think she gets over-excitable and can't keep it in long enough for the shell to form! Heh!) Danny on the other hand last laid on 17th September (I'm obsessive - I've got a record of egg production since they arrived! Dates, times and who!) She laid several strange looking eggs (pictured) and then two very small, yolk-less eggs before drying up completely. She appears lively and healthy as the others and shows no signs of broodiness or being egg bound. She's not spending prolonged periods on the nest and is eating & drinking, scratting around and generally being her usual self, minus eggs. Any thoughts on what may have stopped her egg production? Should we be worried or simply accept that she's not laying but happy? With the weird patterns on the last few eggs she laid, does this suggest anything is going on internally? They were of course still very tasty eggs! Any advice would be most appreciated! Danny egg swirl. by unit529766 Danny egg weird by unit529766, on Flickr
  2. I've bought some dried mealworms but I've not yet got over my displeasure in the idea of them to actually open the bag yet! Useless! As for Tesco vouchers - as Krysia, we use ours for much needed breaks... A nice weekend in a hotel here, or an open university course there!
  3. Once again you prove to have an answer(s) to everything! One of my three-week-ago rescued ex-bats has been proudly wandering over to us and presenting her runny poo for us to see each day... We had wondered if they were overdosing on free-range tidbits and as the weather is a little less settled today, and I've got indoor work to do, I figured I'd try and keep 'em in the run for a day or so... Not that they're happy about it! The rest of the advice and ideas in this topic have been heeded and I will move on to stage two, three and four of chicken poop de-running as needed!
  4. Well, they're settling amazingly! Seem right at home... As if they own the garden!? And as for eggs - eight laid in three days!? I thought ex-batts were likely to not lay for a while! Not that I'm complaining!
  5. Oh and we've been incredibly lucky to have two intact (and one broken) egg since they arrived! I presume these were working their way through the internal systems as we re-homed them and I'm not expecting more for a wee while whilst they settle but they're a treat to start us off on the right foot! Maybe a thank you for rescuing them?
  6. I wondered about those drooping bits - ears huh? See, I've still got lots to learn (and I read The Urban Hen by Paul Peacock cover to cover and marked pages to go back to!) Flack has been trying to wind up the neighbours, squawking at 08.45 this morning and Danny has had a peck at me so I'm expecting trouble in the nicest possible way!
  7. Danny & Flack are detectives in CSI New York, one of our favourite shows and Cowboy is a character in one of my favourite books, JPod by Douglas Coupland... OK, so they're technically boys names but I didn't read any rules about naming chickens! Hehe!
  8. With thanks to many folk on this forum, for advice given to myself and that which I've read for others, we've finally got our ex-battery girls installed in the garden! It's been years in the planning and a lot of investigating, reading, researching and preparing, not least of which was done here and so, I'm proud to introduce you all to... DANNY: Flack: Cowboy: Cheers y'all! Unit xx
  9. It's easy to forget isn't it! Our cat has a special lower-urinary diet that we have to pre-order from the vet usually... Amazing how you go from fully stocked to suddenly finding the shelf near-bare just as you're starting a run of shifts at work...! I'm not sure how long each bag of feed will last me, having not got the girls yet but once I've worked it out, I hope to get a stocking up system in place!?
  10. Not finding anything in the realms of pet insurance that covers chickens. Seems it's still not been an uptake by insurers. I see that a lot of you feel setting money aside is a better option but the point of insurance for us is that it covers for the unusual events... One of our cats needed a fortnights 'hospitalisation' including a lot of treatment totaling over £1000.00, which we could have afforded to pay but only by wreaking havoc on our savings. The insurance was a definitely welcome buffer. In addition, our second cat developed a heart condition and her initial specialist consultation and echocardiogram would have cost us over £750.00 without insurance. Setting aside the cost of insurance each month would not have covered these costs. It's all a gamble of course really!? I don't take on a pet without the financial means to provide the food, housing and health care they may need but insurance is a definite consideration in our household through previous experience.
  11. Just hunting for a chicken friendly vet in Leicester myself and interestingly, we use Borrajio's in Birstall for our cat (they've always been brilliant!) but they were wary when I mentioned chickens! I expect they've had a change in vets at the practice as it's kind of going through an overhaul and re-branding at the moment... Any other Leicester vets anyone is aware of? Didn't spot any on the list in the Wiki!
  12. Was just looking for the answer to dust bath sizes and found this. Plant saucer seems like a good idea as we've got tons of those knocking about! Cheers!
  13. My friend keeps six in her cube with the standard run but she lets them out of the run most days too!
  14. Thank you. I didn't really specify properly that I was meaning for nest-bedding purposes within the coop itself. I'd heard that Aubiose was really absorbent and so not such a great product to use in an exposed run as it'd simply soak up any rain? Is this correct?
  15. Hi All, May I start by saying how great you all are - it's been a pleasure finding answers to all my questions, prior to (hopefully) re-homing some ex-bats very soon. I have hunted down the answers to most questions but haven't found anything about the size and type of straw to use in the coop (Eglu Classic). In our local Pet store, they have straw suitable for small animals but this is quite short in length... Is this the correct thing to use or is there a particular type / length of straw that suits chickens best? Grateful for any advice on this, as it's about the last question I need answering! Cheers Chucks! Unit xx

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