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About sapphichicks

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    Chicken Eggspert
  1. My family of 6 argued constantly at the kitchen table. It was par for the course and as a child I felt it was normal for people to argue but it was always fairly good hearted and rarely became nasty. But it was also a way for us to express our feelings and say what we felt (within boundaries). As parents you need to show you are not cowed by their remarks. Something like ".... you are so difficult at times the way you argue but you know something I really really love you so you can argue as much as you like but that will not change." I found humour always worked. But never indulge your
  2. Thanks for the advice and thoughts. My poor Ginger died today. She opened her little eye when I opened the cat box at 8am but she did not open her eyes again. I feel very sad but she was well loved. Such a lovely little hen. On the issue of vets, my vet is the only one who has actually had poultry training so I do use her. She has saved one or two of my hens in the past. But I do think she sees me coming and thinks I am wasting my time. I have learned a lot about chicken care and health and treatment over these years. It is difficult as so few vets know anything about hens. I have 3
  3. Thanks to all who replied and ideas. I will have to sort the mud out in spring. Eggs continuing. Poor Ginger has not eaten since yesterday. She is lying rather than sitting now. I could not believe she lasted the night. She opened her eye and gave a little "coo" to say hello. I hate these sad times which seem to come all too frequently. I believe all animals sense your emotional state and I always try to seem up with them even though I am feel really upset. She is in a cardboard cat box on a layer of small woodchip with a small towel to rest her little head on. I go in to see her ev
  4. I am thrilled today. Two of my hens who went through a moult in autumn have begun laying eggs again. They are totally unrecognisable from their previous feathered state, even colour. They look like new hens! But sadly at the same time a hen who a neighbour found in our lane and who set up home with me and become a favourite is dying. She has been to the vet but the vet just tells me to stop getting ex batts and buy some decent hens. I will never stop with my ex batts. They give you so much pleasure and joy, even if you have to deal with a lot who die frequently and unexpectedly. Oh I wo
  5. It is so sad when the girls die. I have lost a number of my ex batt. girls over the last couple of years and I decided the best memorial to them I could provide was to keep on rescuing more ex batts. I have 8 now and they are just so happy, all have names, all are so friendly and sweet. I get 5 to 6 eggs a day. Ewan Lucy Boo Laura Henri Summer Jo Moonie. To see them running free is a joy.
  6. Exotic breeds are all very well but they do have more things wrong with them than lovely ex batts. I have kept ex batts for couple of years now and they generally tend to do well, are extremely friendly, lay really well (most of them) and have fewer problems than some. Do think seriously about buying expensive breeds, why not give a loving home to some ex batt gals, you will not regret it. To see them almost featherless, bit scared, off lay to the bumptious friendly laying gals I have. I also feel they really appreciate their new home and being loved. They are hugely entertaining and they
  7. I have a medium sized garden with a wildlife pond and raised veg beds and flower beds and shrubs and lots of pot plants. I manage to keep my gals off with the addition of small green wire fencing about 18 inches high, it disappears and does not stand out that much but it keeps the girls off. On my raised veg beds I put plastic netting so they cannot get in, but I do let them in to give it a good clean up every now and then so long as there are no tasty plants or they will be decimated. They are not called chicken excavators for nothing. They dig all around and under the shrubs but that is
  8. Thanks for responses about my ex batts. I just do not know what was up with her. As the top of the pecking order she looks out for the others and she often gets spooked and whenever I look there appears to be nothing there. Another thing they did yesterday. They make this sort of purring noise and a whistling noise, they stood stock still all 5 of them not moving at all for what seemed ages. Any ideas? Boo GNRGeorge GNRShrek Moonie Hettie Hannah RIP
  9. Hi something weird happened last night. I was having supper with a friend and she had just left when I heard one of my gals calling loudly from the eglu. They are locked in every night so there was absolutely nothing different happening. I had to go out and speak to her and she stopped and went to sleep. Never happened before. I looked around but there was no cat around or anything else I could see. Usually the cats jump on the wall so I see them escaping along the wall if they have got in. Any ideas on this one please? She has just come out of a two week period of being broody. GNRB
  10. Thanks for the advice but I already have a false egg in their nest box, I have never had mites. I dont let them free range until after the egg laying usually but this chicken is an escape artist, she is small so she can get through tiniest things. She has managed to get out of the run every time. She sleeps in the coop quite happily. I will have to reinforce the fencing but she gets so distressed pacing up and down and calling to get let out in the mornings. I pick her up place her in the nest box (all clean full of clean dry wood shavings) where she has laid eggs for a year but she jus
  11. How do I stop my chicken from laying outside the coop? The head of the pecking order Lucy, was broody for a week or two and during that time no eggs were laid by the chickens. When she stopped being broody one of my chickens, Boo, has started finding a way out of her chicken run into the garden (they free range most of the day) and lays her eggs in a difficult place to get to so most I try to retrieve are broken. How can I get her to lay in the coop again? I try putting her in there when she begins her demented behaviour running up and down the fence trying to find a way out in the morning
  12. Hi thanks for response. I went to have a look this morning and she was sitting on her two eggs! She is broody! I have not encountered this before with my ex batts and I have had her since May last year so I was expecting illness. I am thrilled she is not ill, but have removed eggs and hope she gets over her hopes to be a mother hen. She can go back to her proper duties of being top chook and defending the others. While I was attending to her a stray cat flew past my legs setting them all off and Lucy jumped down straight away to defend the flock.Thanks. Sapphisista. Lucy Boo Shrek
  13. Hi all, I have ex batts (5 at moment). One Lucy who is top chook has taken to yesterday and today sitting in the roost for ages. She did it twice today. She stays there for a couple of hours. I found her there around 4pm which is very unusual, she is the only chook still laying and has laid an egg every day since I have had her with no problems. I am a bit worried she may be ill. What should I be looking out for? GNRBoo GNRLucy Shrek Georgie Moon RIP Hettie Hannah
  14. I have 6 ex batts. Hannah who is quite robust had sour crop last week. I did a lot of research online for how to treat her. I treated her by massage clearing her crop, tipping her up to clear the liquid,then feeding her yoghurt, garlic. She drinks a lot of water still and has a messy bottom. I have intermittently fed her the yoghurt oats garlic. She has since been with other hens free ranging, but today I picked her up and she is very light. Brought her into house fed her oats, yoghurt, honey, garlic, ex batt pellets, dried worms which she ate quite a lot of and drank a lot of water lace
  15. I rang the ex batts helpline and I think she has sour crop. Thanks. I have massaged her crop and a lot of water came out with bits and pieces. It initially did smell. She is now walking around the conservatory and I have put down some water and pellets in yoghurt and some scrambled egg in case she wants to eat. I will see how she is tomorrow.

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