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About Karen

  • Rank
    Chicken Eggspert
  • Birthday 08/17/1960
  1. Hello, I've been keeping chickens for many years now - was one of the very first Omlet customers. Two years ago I took in half a dozen ex battery hens, and the flock has gradually depleted. In the past few days I have lost two - I think to the heat, they were quite large hens and I think their hearts just gave out. So I now have only one very feisty hen left. I had intended to replenish the flock in September as i'm going to be away on and off over the summer and didn't want to ask a house-sitter to deal with a new lot of hens. But i'm now very concerned as I know that lone hens often don't fare very well - I just need a bit of advice and support please. Many thanks, Karen, Stoke Newington, London
  2. Thanks so much for advice. I think it might be a tumour as she is an old hen and stopped laying a little while ago. I have put her back in the pen with the others as she is quite alert and interested in what's going on around her, but she is slow and not eating - she is drinking quite a lot, which means we may have to empty her out again later. Not completely as I don't want her to get dehydrated. I am about to call the vet and see what she thinks. They're not very hen savvy in London though, and although I am very fond of my hens, i'm not sure about shelling out huge somes of money for operations at this stage. Sounds harsh I know, but over the years we have lost so many hens for different reasons that I probably have become a bit hardened. I won't let her suffer, and am keeping a close eye on her. Will keep you posted.
  3. Thanks Christian, I tried yoghourt yesterday - she isn't interested in that either - but maybe I will try to syringe it into her. We've had hens now for four and a half years and have had to battle with all sorts of things - but this one is new for us and she's being very stubborn. I'm tempted to put her back in the pen with the others as she seemed oddly happy but i'm worried about her getting cold in this horrible weather if she isn't eating anything.
  4. I have an elderly (4 yrs plus) hen who is sick. We think it is sour crop as her crop has been watery and full - and we have held her upside down and made her vomit. She has also had a dirty bottom - watery poos though none in the last couple of days. I brought her in yesterday to keep her warm - she is slow on her feet, but looks very well - good plumage bright eyes etc. I travelled miles yesterday to find white maggots - but she won't eat them, or drink or eat anything. I can't get her to open her mouth to take water or olive oil or anything. She can walk around and is lookiing oddly perky - but simply refuses to eat or drink. My husband is a doctor and said If I get an emergency surgical kit from the travel shop he will operate on her.... not sure how that will go. I know that it might be a tumour or some other problem that has caused the blockage and think I should probably take her to the vet to be put down, but just wondered whether there was anything I could do to get her to eat these horrid maggots? Any ideas? karen
  5. Hi there, Sorry the girls are a bit aggressive - to be honest they probably just want to get out of the run rather than at the other hens. Having seen your area for chickens I don't think you will have any problems at all with them - our difficulty was that we were not able to give them enough space because of the fox problem we have here. As you know, there was a history of feather pulling and pecking, although it was hard to establish who was pulling who, but in your free range garden I am positive that won't happen. If we'd been able to offer that much space we would have kept them here - it really was in their interests that we wanted to rehome them. We have been keeping hens for four years, and for some reason this particular combination didn't work for us in our set-up. I think the blood on the egg was nothing to worry about, as other posts have suggested. She does sometimes lay quite large eggs. Please let me know if they are a problem, and we can discuss an alternative. I originally got these hens through Omlet, so they should be okay. Good luck,
  6. That's very interesting Hazel, and would account for the differing opinions on this. In our case it was the White stars and Speckledys who didn't like each other very much - neither seemed bothered by the gingernut rangers or pepperpots - or vice versa. Anyway, it looks as though it might be sorted now - the white stars have a fabulous new home and will be well looked after, and we will see if the speckledys settle down now. karen
  7. Thank you Sheila, It's good to know they have gone to bed safely and seem to have settled in so well. We never really had any trouble with them, but with Floppy getting so badly hurt, and evidence of some feather loss on the other two, we didn't want to go through that again. Love Karen
  8. PS Sheila could you let me know where you got your metal feeder from - Matt really liked it.... Thanks,
  9. Dear Lovely Sheila, Thank you so much for having our girls, and for settling them in so well, and taking the trouble to let me know. I am sure they will have a lovely life with you and their new home looked so exciting for them. I can't believe that they settled in with so little trouble - it must be a good omen. Perhaps Posy will like having a couple of similar looking chums. We really miss them - the pen looks very strange without the little whitestars darting around, but our other hens seem quite settled, so maybe the whole flock will settle down now and when we increase it again we will go for pepperpots or gingernut rangers. I loved the white hens and the white eggs, but in the end their welfare is more important. We think it may have been the particular combination of White Stars and Pepperpots that wasn't working for us. We shall see. We can't thank you enough for responding to our dilemma and enabling us to move quickly. I will be looking out for updates, and hope to hear that they are getting on well. One of them lays very large eggs! With much love and thanks,
  10. Thanks Karen, They live in a large pen - 20ft by 8ft, and have an eglu cube to sleep in. We can't let them free range as we have a serious fox problem here - though if i am in the garden I do let them out for periods of time - try to do so most days. The problem seems to be between the white stars and speckledys. We do also have a mark 2 eglu and run, so can move hens out, but this experience has been very distressing and we really don't want it to happen again, so would rather find new homes for them if possible.
  11. Hi, Matthew and I have been keeping chickens for nearly 4 years now and have had a whole variety of experiences with them - good and bad. A year ago we increased our flock of four (two gingernut rangers and two pepperpots) to Ten, adding 3 white stars and 3 speckledys. Everything was fine for the first six months, but over the last six months we have had an increasing problem with 'pecking'. We have tried everything - bumper bits, ukadex, purple spray. We have recently been informed that this can happen when different breeds of hens are kept together and simply don't get on. Our original hens are largely unaffected. In the last few weeks we have lost two hens because of excessive pecking and we are feeling really upset about this. The remaining four - two white and two speckledy are in good condition, but we are very worried that it will happen again. they clearly picked on the two weakest hens, who were also pecking themselves. It's all very distressing. We have decided that the only real solution to this is to try to find new homes for the hens - one for the two white stars and one for the two speckledys. They are lovely hens and lay brilliantly. We love our mixed flock, but something is clearly wrong and we need to find a solution in fairness to the birds - and to ourselves. We live in North London and would be prepared to transport hens within reasonable distance this weekend. If anyone can help - please respond to this post. I think my email address is probably available on the course link as I run hen parties. Thanks, karen
  12. Hi - we have a Westie too. She had diarrhoea when we first got her and the vet did a poo test and she had giardiasis which is very common in puppies - it's easily treated so you could ask the vet if that's what the problem might be. Sorry just saw this - Westies are the best!
  13. A couple of weeks ago I found something in the poo tray that looked like regurgitated spaghetti, but my husband insisted was 'worms'. So we ordere d flubenvet and added it to the layers pellets as instructed. But my hens will not eat the food! Their egg production has gone down and I don't know what to do...any suggestions on this? Karen
  14. I have 10 hens now of varying ages and descriptions - and I've noticed quite a bit of pecking of bottom feathers of three of the birds - I never see the culprit(s) and it doesn't seem to be stopping any of them laying, but it does look a bit sore and I would like to stop it if possible. I seem to remember reading ages ago about this on the forum, but can't find a relevant strand at the moment. Is there something I can put on their bottoms to make them less delectable? Thanks,
  15. Great to meet you all. Glad to say that Gertie and Marge arrived safely from Stevenage and are settling into our Heath Robinson affair at the bottom of the garden. If they lay tomorrow It will be a good sign. Karen

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