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Everything posted by Mercedes55

  1. Thank you for your kind messages, I think only fellow hen owners can relate to how we bond with them as pets. Summer had a special bond with my other half, she would follow him everywhere and she had a liking for particular foods, each week she would eat 3 cucumbers and she loved them. She also loved sunflower hearts, but didn't particularly like chicken pellets! She would come up on the patio and stand outside the doors of the conservatory if the gate to the lawn was left open!
  2. We lost our last hen to a fox yesterday in the middle of the day, feeling totally devastated right now. She was 10yrs old and a beautiful Welsummer hen and had just started laying again recently. We had 12 hens at one point but found it so hard everytime we lost one that we decided some time ago that we weren't going to get any more. A couple of years ago our Cream Legbar died and it was a difficult decision to just keep one hen as we know they are a flock animal. However our whole flock had myco some years ago, so we knew we couldn't introduce any more hens. As she was on her own we had been letting her free range for a few hours each day when the weather was okay. In the 10yrs of keeping hens we've probably only seen 2 foxes so I guess we had got a bit complacent. She had a few places around the garden where she would make a nice dust bowl and just sit there for ages. My other half went to check on her and she was dead and covered in blood. We had heard nothing, seen nothing. We thought maybe a cat had got her and then I remembered we have a camera on the back of the house so I checked that and there on the footage was a fox, bold as brass, came over an 8ft high fence, ran right over to the run, saw she wasn't there, scouted the surrounding area, found her, took her across the garden and killed her. Didn't even go off with her, just left her 😥
  3. She actually seemed to buck up after her trip to the vets and was walking around and eating and drinking yesterday. However this morning she is pretty much back to where she was. I don't know if it's too early for the antibiotics to be working but she obviously isn't right and I'm not sure she is going to get through this
  4. Thanks for your reply. Chloe actually managed to stand up yesterday and was still with us this morning so we decided to take her to the vet to see if there was anything he could do. He listened to her chest, checked her all over and wasn't sure what was wrong, although he did say she seemed to have lost weight and it was possibly a long term condition but might be something simple, I guess it's hard for even a vet to know with hens? So he gave her some antibiotics and some metacam and we have to go back in 3 days if she is still with us and go from there
  5. We only have 2 hens now, a Welsummer and a Cream Legbar. They are both 7yrs old and the Welsummer is still laying, while the Cream Legbar stopped last year. Chloe, the Cream Legbar, has gradually been slowing down this year, hasn't appeared to be ill, just very slow, like an old lady, but we have been keeping an eye on her. This morning she can't even get up so other half has been lifting her up and making sure she gets some water and we have put her in a shady part of the garden. I don't think she is going to make it and apart from being upset about her I am also worried what to do if we are left with just one hen. We decided some time ago not to get any more hens but I know they are flock animals, so to possibly just have one wouldn't be right. However, much as I would be okay about rehoming our Welsummer, about 6yrs ago our whole flock of hens got myco. They were all treated, some we lost, most were okay after treatment, but I understand they are now regarded as a 'closed flock' so we couldn't add any more hens if we wanted to. So we are obviously unsure as to what to do, any advice appreciated
  6. I was lucky, when I bought mine last year from JL as they came with an offer of a free set of saucepans, although it took about a month before they arrived. Also most of my old saucepans did actually work on the hob, which was good as I had a nice collection of expensive saucepans and didn't want to have to replace them. I do still get the odd occasion though when I forget, like at Christmas when I borrowed someone's steamer and couldn't understand why the water wouldn't heat up
  7. I have one too and also love it. It's so quick to heat up, so responsive and so easy to clean. I use that Hob Brite once a week to clean mine and it takes about a minute to get it as clean as new
  8. We have a real tree every year and I use the same decorations every year, so pretty boring, but this is ours
  9. I don't think I'd be happy with a washing machine that took 4hrs to do a wash either! We have a 3yr old Bosch Washer/Dryer and it has a good variety of programmes, from a 15min quick wash through to a 90 degree cotton wash. I generally use 40 for most things, but for towels and bedding I have a 60min power wash that is 60 degrees. Mine also has a delay thing on it and will apparently wash and dry a whole load, but I've yet to work out after all this time how to set it to do that
  10. I use the all in one method now as I have some of Mary Berry's books and she seems to recommend it all the time. The recipe does have extra baking powder in and I find my cakes taste lovely. I don't bake with butter but always use Stork, although I use butter for my buttercream filling
  11. Today I finished a cake for our granddaughter's 7th Birthday. When I said I would make it I don't think I had realised quite how difficult it would be. I've never done a tiered cake like this before and this one has 3 tiers of chocolate madeira cake, each one with 3 layers in it and a small top layer of just rolled fondant. I've never done model figures before either and got the scale wrong, so when I went to put the princess in the window she wouldn't fit so I had to break her neck off so I could push her in the window It is far from perfect, but for a first attempt I'm quite pleased with it. Just need to learn a fair bit more
  12. Once again a very good episode. I did think the guy was a bit cheeky bringing in shop bought fondant, I read all the time how easy it is to make yourself, although of course I've never tried to make my own and I know they are up against the clock all the time. They repeated Series 1 on the Really channel today and I was watching a few of the episodes from that series. It was quite funny as Mary Berry looked so much older back in 2010 than she does now and Paul Hollywood wasn't as harsh with his comments as he is now. I was hoping they would be showing all the previous series but I can't find out any more about it
  13. I've been waiting for this series for ages and really enjoyed it. I have actually bought some of the freeze dried raspberry powder from Waitrose, there was an article about it in the Daily Mail last week. I think one of the contestants in last years series used some too apparently. Have to say I bake a lot, I've baked 3 chocolate madeira cakes this week, last week I baked bread twice and also made some ice cream cone cupcakes with caramel sponge and nutella icing which were lovely
  14. Apparently slugs and snails do have homing instincts and you need to throw them at least 20 to 30 metres away for them not to come back Those really huge ones with the orange flange, yeah seen a load of them If I had my way I would just bag them up and put them in the bin but my OH say's I am being cruel
  15. It was like a scene out of a horror movie
  16. I always thought slugs couldn't swim, but last night while doing our regular snail & slug hunt we noticed a couple of snails up the side of the WIR. We had a quick peek inside the run to make sure our 2 hens were okay and were amazed to find about 30/40 huge slugs inside and outside the glug, in fact there were so many you could hardly see the glug. It was truly horrible and I had the task of picking them all off and this morning OH took them for a nice long walk down the local farm and let them out as we don't like to use slug pellets. My question though is why on earth do they do this and does everyone have this problem? We have a water feature and a bird bath in the garden and never find slugs near those. Honestly I could hardly sleep last night as I couldn't get those slimy creatures out of my head
  17. We have a place locally that stocks Nutriment, they deliver locally and charge £2 for very local deliveries and £4 for where we live, so it's cheaper than ordering from the Nutriment site. I do find the plastic packaging takes up more space than the Wolftucker boxes, or maybe it's the size of my freezer basket. I bought 24 boxes and couldn't get them all in one basket so quite a few are in with our food. When I bought the same amount of Wolftucker it all fitted in one basket. I feed Daisy 3% of her weight so one box lasts her 3 days and she is exactly the same weight as she was a year ago, so I guess that's the right amount for her. I work it out at about 50p a day, which isn't bad, although some of the packs are more expensive, like the beef & duck ones for example. I tried the salmon once and found it to be really sloppy and awful and won't be buying that again.
  18. We've been feeding our shih tzu Daisy on a raw diet for over a year now. Right now she is on Nutriment, but sometimes I order Wolftucker for a change. I actually find the Wolftucker looks far chunkier and is less bloody once it's defrosted and as it comes in cardboard packaging very easy to just pop in the bin. The only thing that I did find with the Wolftucker is that Daisy's poos were softer than when she is on the Nutriment, have no idea why, but that was one of the reasons I went back to Nutriment. It does seem to be a good quality food and gets very good reviews
  19. We use a crate for Daisy and from what I understand they shouldn't be too big, just big enough for them to stand up in and turn around. I've never put a puppy pad in ours as it does tend to encourage them to pee in their crates and I think the whole point is that dogs don't like to mess where they sleep so maybe it can confuse them. I'm not sure I would put 2 dogs together in a crate unless they are bonded as one of the things about the crate is that it's their safe place and unless they get on well with each other I guess they may not see it as a safe place. It is very hard to ignore a puppy that is crying, but honestly it does get better. We were lucky with Daisy as she was already crate trained when we got her, so it was never a problem. Our last dog was a labrador and back in those days most people here didn't use crates so she had a bed in the kitchen. However she still cried and we made the mistake of feeling so bad we brought her up onto our bed and she spent the whole of her life sleeping in and on our bed
  20. We have 2 pure breeds and they are both 4yrs old and both still laying pretty much every day. I think ours stop laying in about Oct/Nov and start laying again in Feb/March, so quite some time with no eggs, but lovely eggs when we do get them
  21. I think as your shih tzu is still quite young it shouldn't be too difficult. We also have a shih tzu, she is just over 2yrs old. When we got her we already had a chocolate labrador who was 13yrs old at the time. Lots of people told me that having a young dog would be nice for our older dog but in reality we did have a lot of problems. Our older dog wasn't interested in playing with a 5mth old puppy. Our puppy kept eating not only her own poo, but our labrador's poo too, apparently quite a common shih tzu trait. We had to feed our puppy in her crate as our labrador would try to eat both lots of food and due to the poo eating we also ended up fencing off our lawn so that our labrador was allowed on the lawn but our shih tzu was only allowed on the patio. I can tell you there were days when I was tearing my hair out with opening and closing doors and gates! Sadly only 9mths after we got our shih tzu our older dog developed cancer and we had to have her PTS. With hindsight I think she was possibly too old to cope with a puppy and it probably wasn't fair on her. However your circumstances do seem to be very different and I look forward to seeing pics of your lovely new addition
  22. Raw food isn't all meat, there is also bone, offal and a lot of people who buy the BARF foods have various vegetables in the food too. Nutriment is about the only dog food that gets a 5 star rating on the dog food comparison charts
  23. I am another fan of raw food, having changed our 2yr old shih tzu over to raw nearly a year ago. Have to say I wish we had done it sooner as she had suffered a lot with colitis, which is exactly what happened with our previous dog, both times our vet recommended an expensive diet that only he sold. This time around we decided to not listen to the vet and went over to raw and despite our vet not agreeing with our choice we are very happy that she is eating raw. We started off with just raw pieces of meat from the butchers, like chicken breasts with the bone in, lamb chops, offal etc., which was fine during the Summer when she could eat outside. As the weather got colder I tried both Wolftucker and Nutriment and find both to be very good. I can fit 12kg of those foods in just one freezer basket so they don't take up as much room as you think. You can also buy Nutriment from local suppliers to cut down on the cost of delivery, they have a list of their suppliers on their website. Our shih tzu loves any raw food she is given, but I find the salmon Nutriment to be a bit too much on the sloppy side so don't buy that now. The whole issue of raw feeding has now made me question everything our vet recommends and I no longer use any chemicals like Advocate and I don't intend having any booster jabs either, although that's another issue entirely. It actually amazes me that vets have so very little knowledge about diets for pets yet talk as though they are experts, it's about time they were honest about how little training they have and the fact that it's the big commercial pet food manufacturers who supply the training they do get
  24. We have one noisy hen too, our Welsummer. She has always been noisy and starts around 6am and even though it's now gone 9am she is still bocking away down the garden. For some reason she is very noisy not just when she has laid an egg but also when our other hen is in the nest. Our neighbours say they love the noise so we aren't too worried

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