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jon888

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Chicken Eggspert (2/19)

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  1. Argh a line has been cut off but they just join up to go to the power source.
  2. Uploaded with ImageShack.us Hopefully this will make sense. The main thing is to make sure your motor/gearbox has enough oomph to lift your door and hold it in position.
  3. I made one for my birds. i used a light sensitive switch from maplins which can be run to be normally opened and normally closed depending on how you wire it up. This was wired in to a DPDT relay which would alternate the running of an electric motor (also from maplins) to open and close the doors. Each loop from the relay to the motor was wired in to a switch at the top and at the bottom of the sliding door to cut the motor once the door was either closed or open. The only problem i encountered was my door being made of slate which would cause the motor to relax once it reached the top switch and making the circuit again meaning my door bounced in the up position. To counter this i fitted a latching relay to be activated the up switch cutting the power to the motor and staying cut. Then the bottom switch would reactivate that relay when the door closed which didnt matter as that particular circuit had been broken by the light sensitive switch. This worked really well through the summer but when it got dark i found i was locking my ducks out all the time as they dont mind the dark so i abandoned it and have just bolstered up my run and leave the door open all the time now. If you make the door out of somehting light, like thin sheet of aluminium it would work fine without the latching relay and would be quite a simple circuit.(i'll draw one up in cad at lunch n post it somewhere). I wasnt going to dismantle my house to change the door though. that cost me about £30 to make although i did buy a soldering iron and a load of wire which you may already have. I ran it all off a car battery that i had spare but you could easily run it off a an old 12v charger plugged in to your mains. Jon
  4. I definately have been caught out a couple of times with this illness. My girlfriend who moans that i sometimes spend too much time out with them also has it but i dont like to tell her as she gets defensive. When we 1st went to "have a look" at some potential chickens at happychicks i ended up coming away with 3hybrids and 2 ducks and a duckhouse. I only intended to buy 3 chickens but my girlfriend took to the ducks and thought they would be nice to have. After a few weeks the ducks decided they were happy sleeping with the chickens so the duck house became redundant. instead of selling it i thought i would keep it as a hospital/broody house should i need it. Soon enough florence went broody so anther run and house was made and i hatched out 6 polish chicks. The time came to remove florence from the chicks as she had had enough. Well you cant put her back in with the others on her own so 2 more hybrids were purchased to help integrations. Turns out there were no troubles and they wernt needed but its nice to have them anyway. Another 7/8 weeks passed and it turns out that 5 out of the 6 chicks turned out to be boys. how unlucky is that? they started to crow loudly at 5am so we made the decision this weekend to take them back to happychicks who were more than happy to have them. This left me with one girl at who i had contemplated giving back as well to be rehomed as it was unfair to keep her on her own. Sarah from happychicks then emerged from a barn with a little belgian bantom and a wyandotte crossed with a naughty bantom who had got in to the wrong run and said they would go nicely with my little polish girl. To which my girlfriend said "ooh can we get both of those? Their so pretty". So in the space of less than 6 months ive gone from "shall we go and visit a chicken farm to look at some birds?" to having a selction of 5 hybrids chickens, 2 ducks, hatched out 6 and kept one and adding 2 small bantams to keep her company. My veg patch has dissapeared as i have built another run on it. I have the best compost heap but nothing to spread it on but I'd much rather have all the eggs. I think i need a bigger garden.
  5. Cheers. I'll try and find some way of supplying her with layers as well. the chicks are quite flighty so may have to suspend it from the roof to stop them perching. Also been told by the farm that i get my birds off to not eat the eggs as the chick crumb has ACS in it which isnt suitable for humans.
  6. It has now been 5 weeks since florence hatched out 6 polish chicks and is still doing a fantastic job of looking after them. The past few days she has started to crouch again and when putting them to bed tonight i found an egg in the house. I expected her to lay again but thought it would be after she had decided she'd had enough of the chicks and wanted to return to the others. Is this normal? Is it signs that she's ready to return to the others? She still has them tucked under her at night even if they do have to take it in turns and i let them out to free range at the weekend and they didn't leave her side and she was taking them to the compost heap for a good scratch. Should i be trying to give her layers now she is laying? She has been on crumb for the past week and will be going on to growers next weekend when the chicks are 6 weeks.
  7. ive just fitted a new shower in our bathroom as our old one was relieving water all over the floor. The 1st thing to do is to check the power output of your shower and then either replace with like for like (in terms of power) or if you want to upgrade then make sure you check your existing electrical set up for you shower circuit. For a 7.5kw shower you'll need a 32A mcb. for 8.5kw and 9.5kw you'll need a 40A Mcb. For a 10.5kw you'll need a 45A mcb This information is available on the back of the shwoer box that I got from b&q. The fuses are easy to change and avail;able from b&q for around £7/8. It also strongly recomends that for showers rated above 8.5kw, 10mm^2 wiring should be used(although i read somewhere online that its really a must for 9.5kw). If you dont already have 10mm^2 for your shower circuit then it could mean a complete re-wire if you want to go above 8.5kw. I upgraded from a 7.5 triton to an 8.5 triton and just changed the mcb and i've had no problems. All sorted for under £80
  8. Sunday morning the 1st egg hatched and by sunday night all 6 had hatched and were tucked up under mum. She kept them tucked under her all day yesterday. Two are quite adventourous and ventured towards the door of the hutch but got a swift telling off and told to get back under. This morning when i opened up the hutch florence stood up had a stretch and started bok boking and eating food. All the chicks went mad and threw themselves in to their egg box feeder. Ive attached a couple of photos below.
  9. My speckled hen florence is currently sitting on 6 eggs for me. It was unexpected though as hybrids have had that trait bred out of them. I have read that silkies make excellent broodys. An excuse to buy another chicken? or two for integration purposes. I have convinced my OH that is for the best to re-integrate florence to the others at the same time as 2 other chickens....just to spread the attention.
  10. I shall pop into one of our local horse feed suppliers and see if they have some. Cheers for the advice. The bottom of the run is made from some old wardrobe doors that i salvaged from the big bonfire that is being built in the pub car park behind my house. The same place i got the old rabbit hutch. I'm not a scrounger but dont like to see perfectly good items go to waste. 9 days to go.
  11. Thanks. I'll try and upload some photos of the young uns when they arrive. I intend to let the mother hen do all of the looking after and i've built them a seperate WIR which has plastic roofing going on this weekend. Its currently on old paving slabs. is straw ok to put down in the run for them as i can get that at £2 a bail? If not what is the best covering? in the house at the moment there's woodshavings and I intend to add a bit of straw once their hatched to help keep them warm. in the event of florence ignoring them once their born i have salvaged an old rabbit hutch and will use that in my shed with a heat lamp. hopefully it wont come to that.
  12. Candled the eggs last night and 4 have little chicks inside moving. The other 2 have further developed but i couldnt make out any movment like the others. Was quite excited by it all. Even ran back in the house to get my girlfriend to have a look. 10 days till D-Day.
  13. so i got a little impatient when locking all my girls up tonight and slipped a couple of eggs out from under florence while she was sleeping. Shone my torch through and in the 3 that i checked they all showed veins starting to develop out of the big end. So it looks like they may be ok. Florence is doing a brilliant job and gets off once a day for her own needs leaving me not having to worry about her.
  14. I'm not sarah. Sarah is the lady that runs Happychicks. I'm Jon but you can call me sarah if you want. I've been called worse. The jumper/coat covers the front of the breast and their back. Not sure how far under they go though. I saw them at the weekend and they looked quite cool although i did overhear her telling someone that they were just for fun and that chickens didnt actually need them, as someone like yourself was concerned about their recent purchase of ex batts. She instead offered them a supplement to help promote feather growth. What it was i cant recall. Jon
  15. Happy chicks in preesall sell them. www.Happychicks.co.uk. 01253 813178 Sarah is usually very helpfull.

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