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Tara.F

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Frequent Layer

Frequent Layer (3/19)

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  1. it's a bit like asking how long is a piece of string. The reason you aren't getting a definitive answer is that there are so many variables. How big are the hens? Are they laying? Is it cold weather? Do they free range? Do you give corn in the evening? I'm afraid the best answer you'll get is 'quite a long time, try it and see'
  2. I think, if the weather is fairly warm and the chicks have been outside during the day to acclimatise for a week or two, that they can go out at about eight weeks. That will make it late may....long days and hopefully warmer nights Did the school not plan what they would do with the chicks before they hatched them?
  3. well, our little chick hatched....but our bossy broody won't let us see her yet (she is the most protective mum ) we parted her feathers and sneaked a peak....the chick is less than two inches big Because a broody cannot really raise just one chick, we went to see our friend Bob and he gave us three more to try and sneak underneath her when she wasn't looking! so now we have two seramas(4 days old), one lavender pekin ( 3 hours old) and of course, the tiny lemon sebright all snuggled up under Lacey's skirts edited to say! That was last night and Lacey still won't let them out Trouble is, she doesn't know that two of them are four days old and therefore should be eating and drinking. There's no little poops or footprints to suggest they've been to the feeder (or water) overnight Do you think I should intervene?
  4. Some time ago on here (and I'm talking a couple of years) someone lost their chooks to fox after leaving the eglu door open. It turned out that the run was on soft, recently dug earth covered in bark chips and this allowed foxy to get under the run skirt in one go I leave the eglu door open....but ours sits on compacted London clay. When it's on softer earth (I move it around a bit) then I lock the door
  5. but the gravel working it's way up would be a good thing! If you don't add some gravel or vermiculite (or I add aubiose) if you don't then the compost 'caps', water just runs off and seedlings can't break the surface. So, yes. Line the beds. If only to stop the compost running underneath the planks when you water! I don't suppose you'll need a thick layer of bottom gravel for drainage (unless your beds are deeper than the 12" I'm imagining) but you will need something to break up and aerate the compost like vermiculite, gravel or aubiose. google 'Mel Bartholemew (sp?) square foot gardening' His soil mix recipe is excellent and yielded massive crops for me
  6. thanks sjp great idea, I'll do that on day 10. Tara
  7. Hi, just candled our hatching eggs (day 7) and it appears that four of the five are blank I'm not at all expert though and would never forgive myself if I binned a viable, half formed chick! so what I need to know is this, If they are blank, how long before they're in danger of exploding? If I give them another three or four days before candling again, will they harm the viable one? I know that the broody is rumoured to evict dead eggs but our Lacey broods stones and golf balls bless her I don't think she can be relied upon to quit on any of them. Thanks, Tara.
  8. Start a comfrey patch. One of your lotty neighbours is sure to have some to share...the best fertiliser you can get and perrenial (meaning no work at all once it's planted) Have lots of perrenial crops, fruit, welsh onions etc. To start, make yourself a nursery bed. If I were you I'd cheat Make a raised bed and fill it with shop bought compost. Now is the time for sowing and if you can sow in a nursery you'll be able to transplant as you go, filling each freshly dug area with sturdy little plants. Grow for the hungry gap. Sow parsnips, winter cabbages, leeks, kale, celeriac and swede for the winter now. Also, purple sprouting broccoli for next spring. Summer crops are easy and plentiful but winter crops are what you will really come to value Flowers. They help to get your crops pollinated and they make your plot a beautiful place to be. Bung them in wherever you can. congratulations on your new plot
  9. wow thanks for the link, my eight year old will be checking that site every day now (we're on day 6)
  10. I shouldn't worry, they'll settle back down My girls have to contend with all manner of noise both from us and our neighbours! They quickly grow accustomed I have a bok bok noise that I make whenever I have treats for them. My neighbours must think I'm potty but whenever I make the noise, marauding chooks appear from every direction. So when I pick up rocks, compost bags etc, I make the noise and they all come to get at the worms and beasties lurking beneath
  11. yup, I have a mixed flock too, pekins, wyandotte bantam and just added a welsummer and a light sussex. I have also had a tiny serama, an aracauna and hybrids at various stages. The littluns, I feel, should always outnumber the biguns though. Then any nastiness is diluted if you see what I mean
  12. Racey Lacey (excellent mummy) pecks the feathers off her chest to brood, I think it must help her to gauge(sp?) the temperature of her eggs. Sounds like your girl knows exactly what she's doing
  13. Thank you! A quick and definitive answer You wouldn't get that anywhere but here!
  14. It is time in our flock for mite treatment. We've introduced two new girls and it is our practice to smother everyone in johnsons mite powder as a precaution. But....our yummy mummy 'Racey Lacey' is broody (again) and the man we bought our new hens from gifted us some hatching eggs to put her on. So my question is, should I powder Lacey? will it affect the eggs? She is the MOST determined little mummy....has to be evicted to poo and stops preening...she really neglects herself when brooding so mites could quickly overwhelm her but there's no sign of any (mind you my eyesight's not all that) I'm rambling. I'll stop so powder or no powder? what do you think?
  15. ahh. We've just had Boudicca despatched this evening for exactly the same symptoms. She didn't get fat but started waddling like a duck and getting mucky feathers. We gave a warm bath and a blow dry, fed her rinsed tuna and some oil (which she scoffed down) and as she was still pottering about, eating and drinking as normal we waited....probably a mistake. Today she started hunching and her underside felt swollen and squishy. We took her to our chicken supplier/friend who said there was no hope and did the the deed. So we came home with a welsummer, a light sussex and five hatching eggs to cheer ourselves up (3 lemon sebrights and 2 orpington bantams)

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