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Everything posted by chickanne

  1. Sit on a step so you can face the chook toward you held gently between your legs. That leaves two hands free to gently hold her wing and trim the feathers. Just the one wing is find - the aim is to unbalance them in flight.
  2. Be-oo-tiful pictures - I hope you'll have them framed. Try taking close-ups of your chooks. Their feathers can look beautiful close up and sometimes the sheen on them gives fantastic effects. Fingers crossed for a full recovery.
  3. It does not hurt them and is just like you cutting your own nails. Sit on a low stool or step so you can use your knees to hold them as they stand facing you. You can spread the wing over your knee/leg and use two hands to hold the wing and scissors, Give them plenty of their favourite treats before and after and I promise you they will not mind at all.
  4. Sorry to hear it's been a glum day. Don't dispair, give the other girls a cuddle and remind yourself of all the positives in your life.
  5. Agree about planting seed on it's edge. Also, only water from the base so the very top of the soil stays driest. Pot on into 6 inch or bigger and don't plant out until mid-June unless you are in the SW or have warm sandy soil. They are always the last crop I plant out but like others here I had a good crop last year - I freeze chips and chunks to see me through. If my greenhouse is anything to go by it's going to be a BAD year for slugs, aphids and whitefly. Like the candles in the greenhouse idea.
  6. If you have a compost bin it's probably the best place for it. The microbes in it will help rot the other bits down too. Like any poo it can look unsightly if it dries on the surface of the soil. People pay money for pellets at the garden centre!
  7. Haha! When I got Ruby & Millie last year I explained that wing clipping did not have to happen IF they stayed earthbound. Millie was very flighty from day one and did a very good impersonation of a jump jet - 8 foot! A pity, because once they start laying they are much more staid.
  8. I reckon the perches are really important. Didn't realize how much they enjoyed aerial life until they taught me. As long as your run has dustbathing and scratching opportunities they will be fine. I also remind myself chickens don't do time so if you only let them out for fifteen minutes they will know they have been "out". Always feel guilty at this time of year when I cannot let them rampage at will but they get a minimum of 15 minutes twice a day on grass. They whinge for England but remember they are trying it on like a toddler!
  9. TIME! You are about to lose your life to little critters that will steal your every moment with their demands. But you will never regret having them.
  10. Don't feel guilty that it is you. They have their own little personality and what you think is the same treatment results in totally different response.
  11. Often read but don't often post. I'm with all the others who believe that the chooks are a real positive in my life -especially when the going gets tough. Was burgled last year so know how you feel and did feel more vulnerable, for a while, in the garden at night. Have you had any contact from victim support? Our neighbourhood watch police woman got me some pricklesticks to put on fences (which I was excited about cos they are also Fox deterrent). Totally agree with the lighting suggestions. Long run, it also help prevent slips and other problems What does not kill us makes us stronger. You have lots of people rooting for you. Just keep posting the little steps you make towards a full recovery. Fingers Crossed .....
  12. These jackets have just been showcased on an appropriate show - Have I Got News For You! Now will people see how mad the use is?
  13. What lovely girls you have! I suppose we all like watching wildlife but people have to distinguish between appropriate and inappropriately feeding it. Urban foxes are vermin IMHO. I'd rather they lived in the countryside (although that's more of a risk to my babes). Felt sorry for the old guy with the flock. But, if you keep chooks you know you need to take precautions.
  14. When the weather is really icy I sneak the dropping tray and bars into the house and clean them in the bath! Don't tell the OH line the dropping tray with newspaper so most of the mess drops straight off.
  15. When my beautiful Thelma died earlier this year Louise seemed to cope well. The introduction of two newbies was short term pain, but now Lou is definitely happier as part of a flock. Just choose a time when you can manage introductions ....
  16. Find a step to sit on whilst you offer treats. They will climb all over you to get at treats and you can touch then without having to grab. Otherwise, lure into a small area so they have no chance to run. They quickly learn to crouch. Once they start running you are stuffed! the
  17. Sorry to hear about this. Have you got a techno-friend who could set up surveillance? Low tech solution might be some little bells suspended u"Ooops, word censored!"trusively and a sign saying "Smile - you're on Candid Camera"? Might be enough to make a 2-legged intruder nervous?
  18. It's a good idea to start thinking about winter now, especially if you are out all day at work. Make sure they have access to a dry area - preferably with a dustbathing area under it. This does not need to be very high. Also, the run does get muddy so some sort of suspension for green treats as they will not be FRing so much. Check you have got a non-slippy path so you don't slip over (in fresh work clothes, of course). A head torch leaves your hand free and I have just installed a little battery operated light from IKEA in the Eglu. Biggest headache for me is keeping the glug ice-free but when it is snowy for a long spell I move the Eglu into the greenhouse which is nicer for them and much easier for me! (Mind you, I never manage to think ahead so end up doing this in the dark and snow blizzard!). The change in seasons just brings more opportunities to waste time enjoyably on chicken things .......
  19. Love this! Just has a great birthday card from my brother that calls the chicken "he" although it's laying an egg!
  20. Are the eggs thin shelled? Mine will eat (particularly the yolk of) any egg that gets broken in the nestbox. This has happened recently because Louise is getting on. They don't bother if an egg is whole.
  21. Louise is usually Lou-Lou to her face or "the Ginger Ninja" when we are talking about her. She was "Mean Momma"when the new girls arrived. Millie is often Mrs Mills or Millikins. Ruby is often Rubydoo. Collectively,The Girls. Think we are smarter than they are!
  22. For two years I had no problems at all but last year mummy blackbird taught baby blackbird how to use the grub and it went downhill from there. Now, there is a line of birds (blackbirds, robins, sparrows) sitting on the fence waiting for me to open up. Not only does the food go down more quickly I am worried about disease as well. Have now got a small treadle feeder that the girls learned to use quickly. However, I preferred the grub as I could easily take it in at night (thinking vermin). Treadle feeder is fine but little birds still flying in and out after crumbs so no improvement in overall situation. Also, the girls often push bark chippings under the treadle so feeder will not open properly. Waiting for next bright idea/spending opportunity .......
  23. Louise was a late layer - so much so I'd given up on her. My brother was working in the garden with the hens "helping" him whilst the Eglu was drying with the top off. He found a warm egg under the hedge with Louise standing by. When we looked at the Eglu there were muddy footprints leading into the wet nest box then out the back! Felt rather guilty that this was her first egg-laying experience. I can always tell when they are asking to lay. At this time of year they have to be in the Omlet netting on the lawn if they are not in their big run else my veggies would be shredded and they all seem to lay during the day. I love watching them waddle down the garden at speed muttering as they go!
  24. Save the shell, anyway. I have all their first eggshells and I paint the insides with colours that will remind me of them. I keep them in the display cabinet with some of their feathers. Soft or what?

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