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Eyren

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About Eyren

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    Chatty Chicken

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  1. Exactly - I use it for just that and it's brilliant! Keeps the collared doves off my raised beds as well - now I'm planning on using the leftover part of the roll on my allotment to keep the wood pigeons off my brassicas
  2. If you are having trouble getting it in Essex (where Hemcore is made), there's not much chance for the rest of us I'm eking out my current bale until the supply picks up...
  3. Similar situation here - rural foxes are much warier of humans, and anyway there are so many wild bunnies to eat (including in the grounds of our local Tesco!), they don't need to roam further in search of chooks
  4. They can be such stick-in-the-muds sometimes - my Wyandotte hates it if anything disturbs her normal routine She's also laying thin-shelled eggs a lot, despite having access to a mixture of mixed grit, eggshells and bran, so I think it's the limestone flour for her!
  5. I was waiting for this weekend, as I am following the moon method this year Sown yesterday: Garden: spinach, cos lettuce, spring onions, ruby chard Cold frame*: chard (swiss and ruby) and second batch of leeks, all to go on the allotment eventually Indoors: African marigolds and nasturtiums for companion planting on the allotment; lupins, stock and pansies for colour in the garden (out of reach of the chooks!) In the coming week I will also be sowing romanesco cauli, courgettes, winter squash, sweetcorn and dwarf french beans, potting up my outdoor cucumbers and tomatoes, and selling my spare plants at work. Plus I need to dig an allotment bed today and get my runner beans in there by next Saturday. Phew! * Actually a mini-greenhouse unit covered in fleece
  6. Sorry to hear that Have they perhaps gone to shelter somewhere and not been able to find their way home? AFAIK, chickens don't have a great sense of direction. Maybe you could leaflet the area and go looking for them?
  7. I needed to take some pictures of Angelica today, as I've written a short article about the evolution of skin colour in chickens for our work newsletter (no really - I work on the campus where the human genome was decoded a few years ago). It took a while, as the point of the photo was to show her yellow legs Anyway, when I uploaded the pics to my laptop I found one that was just crying out to be made into wallpaper: http://club.omlet.co.uk/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=26634 (It's designed for my widescreen MacBook, hence the proportions). The one after it is the one that's going in the newsletter...
  8. If you're out in the country, you will probably have a lot less trouble with foxes than our city friends. I live on the very edge of Cambridge, just over the road from a farm, and I've never seen a fox in the vicinity - I reckon they are too busy stuffing themselves on the gazillions of rabbits That said, I normally only let my girls free-range when I'm at home, so that I can keep an ear out - my Wyandotte starts up her "bwark-bok-bok-bok" at the slightest disturbance! The chickens are perfectly happy in the run the rest of the time - TBH it's better all round for them to be safe than to have unlimited free-ranging. I would guess that hardly anyone here leaves their hens to free-range completely unsupervised - the ones who have foxwatches, electric fencing, etc, are the ones whose local urban foxes are so used to humans that they will come into gardens in broad daylight.
  9. Would that be Thorne's, by any chance? One* of the reasons I feel more attached to my pekins than any previous chickens is that they are the first ones that I actually chose myself, rather than having them picked out by the breeder. Thorne's make it easy, but I hope that if I get more from anywhere else, I will have the nerve/opportunity to pick them out. * The other being that they are incredibly cute!
  10. figlette, you might want to put "US" (and maybe the state) in your profile - I checked your other posts because I vaguely recognised your username, but anyone who didn't know might give you erroneous advice because of the difference in climates between the US and the UK. Temperatures here rarely drop much below -5 Celsius (23 Fahrenheit) even in the depths of winter, so cold-hardiness isn't really an issue! I should think that when it comes to poultry, it's about their ability to cope with freezing temperatures. I googled the Dominique (we don't have them over here) and discovered it is a cold-hardy breed - I notice it has a small comb, which would help (less heat loss, less chance of frostbite). Have fun choosing your chickens!
  11. I would second superjules's comments - Wyandotte bantams look beautiful but are not very friendly, so would not make an ideal pet for the kids (though they mix well with larger hens as they generally keep aloof from chicken politics!). Pekins and miniature Orpingtons would be better options. Orps are very placid, and presumably the bantam versions are quite big, since the standard ones are enormous. Pekins are very tame with humans, and although they are small they are generally good at standing up to larger chickens - a lady I visited recently said that her pekin cockerels are more than a match for the full-sized Orpington boys I did have problems introducting two pekins to an established group, but I think it was just that my top hen took against one of them - if you get all of yours at once, they will all be on an equal footing to begin with, which usually means rather less squabbling over the pecking order Have fun, whatever you decide!
  12. Mine don't bother with the ivy - I think they may have pecked at it once or twice, but the leaves are quite tough and probably bitter. My clematis is fine as well - I was a bit worried about the new one, but the new shoots are well above bantam head height and they don't seem to have noticed it (I had some chicken wire ready just in case, though). Winter-flowering jasmine (the one with the yellow flowers?) is pretty tough stuff as well, so ought to be alright if you can keep them off the new shoots until it's grown a bit.
  13. Does your local authority collect green waste? Ours does, and you can collect the resulting compost for free (they also deliver a skipful to our allotments from time to time) I haven't tried asking the LSH to wee in our compost dalek on the allotment - I think I prefer to rely on chicken poo for the nitrogen and water for moisture!
  14. I'm not sure what size the converter is, but the general consensus seems to be one hen per 1sqm of run, and the standard run is only about 2sqm, so you might be pushing it with 5 hens. Free-ranging time is good, but you have to allow for bad weather, holidays, etc, when that might be severely limited. Perhaps someone with a converter and extension will let us know how many hens they have?
  15. Hi Maria Lucky you - Tony lives not far from me, but I have yet to broach the subject of walk-in runs with the LSH As long as they are roughly the same size, you should be fine with a mix. Some large breeds don't get on well with bantams or other small breeds such as silkies, but most are OK with hens their own size. Sussex seem to be a placid breed, but I'm not so sure about Marans, as I have heard mixed opinions on them - Miss Pepperpots are part Maran and based on the posts here they do seem to be a bit more aggressive than the Gingernuts. It really depends on the individual hen, though - there are rogues and bullies in most breeds.

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