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About parmaviolet

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    Chicken Eggspert

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  1. One of our hens seemed to be in a state of continual moult last summer and was looking very sorry for herself. We gave her a little tuna in spring water (rinsed again to be on the safe side) and this seemed to perk her up. Is your girl still laying? If she's staying in the house, it won't be red mite so at least that's one less thing to worry about. She could be staying in the house because it's cooler. I'm in SW London & it has been really hot so I put extra water bowls round the garden for them & encourage them to drink when I'm outside. My 'moulty' hen then went on to become broody. It was her first broody period and she was acting a bit odd too. Have you checked her temperature compared to the others? Def' worth worming again if you thought it might have been an issue. My instruction leaflet says to do a secondtime after 3 weeks if you suspect worms as they can get re-infected. But I am now using feed with flubentvet added.
  2. Update on the chicks. They are doing well so far. I've got them and Reba on Growers. The chicks have been confined to the eglu/run since Wednesday eve and Reba has been either out in the garden or in the kitchen, only being put back into the house after dusk when the new two have settled into the eglu. Today was fun. I needed to move the run while mowing the grass. I managed to convince them back into the elgu and we moved it, still attached to the run, with them inside! They are very brave and didn't seem at all bothered about that, or my noisy lawnmower. So far, so good. As I still feel rotten, I'm staying home tomorrow and will go back to work on Tueday. Have worked out a way to put the run extender on and rig up a way of separating them for the day. I will probably ask a neighbour to look in on them. No news on locating the original keepers & if the chicks were in the vague guys back garden for nearly a week, I'm not sure that the original keepers will still be looking for them. The gym are putting up posters on their road and I'm still hopeful of hearing from the city farm. I will try to post a few photo's one I can located the battery charger from my camera, My phone's camera is useless...keep meaning to upgrade but who has the time?
  3. They are almost fully feathered/ a tiny bit of fluff on the one that looks like a Buff Orpington. The other looks more RIR or Hybrid. Having looked online at lots of pic's they look about 8/9 weeks old. Can you tell cockerels at that age? Did a bit of a recce around the streets nearby and one guy informed us that he'd had both of them in his garden a few days ago and his little boy wanted to keep them so he let them sleep in their shed. Both of them had escaped as his garden was not secure (it backs onto the gym car park, where we saw three young foxes playing). He was very vague /a bit drunk when I knocked on his door, so didn't really want to linger. I'm going to check some more houses nearby. In the meantime I will get some growers pellets, my nearest pets at home has none in stock, so I'll get some from another. Thank goodness you can check online. I've been in touch with the Living Eggs program to see if any of the local schools have had an incubator from the recently, but they've not theirs, they don't provide buff orpingtons. Our local City Farm also has an incubator scheme & the Living Egg people say that the City Farm has supplied eggs and incubator to a local school which is a 5 minute walk from the Gym! I'm waiting to hear back from the city farm, they may take them off my hands. At the moment they're happily scratching around in the eglu run. My garden is South Facing and Wimbledon is very hot today, but they have plenty of shade if they need it.
  4. Knowing that I usually keep hens, my local Gym contacted me on Wednesday night as they found some chicks in their car park. I arrived to find two chicks in a cardboard box in their office. Help!! I've never raised chicks, only ever had the two original omlet POL hens or ex-batts. Reba, My one and only hen (I've decided to let them run out so that I can ebay the eglu, have a break, redo the garden, build an extension etc, before buying a cube!) is not taking it well. She went to bed with them quite hapilly after dusk, but was very alarmed today when she realised that these two bundles of fluff/feathers were still around. Now that she's alone, she spends most of her time with me in the kitchen or under my computer desk in the consevatory, so it shouldn't be too much of an issue to introduce them. Hopefully not the 3 weeks that it once took me to get two mini flocks to integrate. The two chicks look to be about 8-10 weeks old. Of course, all I had in store were layers pellets, which I've wizzed through the food processor to make it small enough for them & I've suplimented it with dried meal worms for the extra calories, fat etc. I realise that they probably need chick crumb or growers, but I'm full of flu right now....arrrg. I'm going to send hubby out tonight to get some food in for them. Should I get chick crums or growers. Reba is no longer laying . BTW, we are trying to locate the proper owners.
  5. My secret to getting them to sit happily on my lap is to sit down at their level to get them used to it at first. When we had nice grass, I sat on the lawn with my legs strtched out in front of me and I hand fed sweetcorn to them. Then I put the corn on my leg. They learned to jump up onto my legs and eat with no fear. I did this with Audrey & June. Adrey was quite happy to be picked up after a while, but June is still not too keen. With Mini & Emmy I did the same, but on the kitchen floor with rasins & I've done the same with the two new girls. I don't know what it is with ex Battery girls, but they are much keener for cuddles. After a 6 months Mini took to jumping onto my lap all on her own. Yesterday afternoon, I was sitting on the garden bench & Alison jumped up onto my lap all on her own. She's only been here two weeks so I was very pleased
  6. It's interesting that some of the original hens are still laying beyond 2 yrs. I think we've killed Junes egg laying with kindness She has been very spoilt by us and by the little girl who used to live next door and wanted to come by most afternoons to give them treats of sweetcorn and spagetti. She's very happy & glossy looking, but Os has used the word SUMO to describe her & she is very weighty. Actually, she was not at all happy when Os called her Sumo to her face one afternoon. She went and sat under the garden bench and put her head under her wing....no I'm not making that up, she really did. Just goes to show they really do understand us!
  7. If they're all getting on there's easily room for 5. When I had June, Audrey, Emmy and Mini in all together I was always sure that there was room for at least two or three more. With the pellets,; first time round I introduced them in a similar fashion to whats just been suggested. This time round I happen to be feeding the original girls on layers mash anyway. But I did have a small amount of pellets left over from a while ago & have been putting them out in an additional feeder in the garden..........and it's mainly being eaten by Kirsty and Alison who arrived here two weeks ago! So I wouldn't worry about giving them pellets, if they're hungry they'll eat it.
  8. M2B, Have you been to visit an eglu yet? This might put your mind at rest and many owners/hen keepers are happy to share their passion. I'd always had a mad idea about keeping hens (must have been something to do with Tom & Barb' on The Good Life' but living in SW London, I never thought I could really do it & I had no prior experience of keeping chickens or being anywhere near them. In 2003 we went on a National Trust Working holiday and they had some really friendly chooks there who kept trying to steal our lunch each day Then in 2004 we saw the eglu and now were hooked. We didn't have the option of a visit, but took comfort in the 28 day money back offer.
  9. I forgot to mention that mine like me to sing *Twinkle* Twinkle* little* Star* But only if they're feeling poorly or have been picked on. I sit them on my lap, sing to them and they close their eyes and calm down.
  10. We live in a mid terrace cottage style house with a small garden of about 40ft x 25ft max. The area is very built up and our garden is very overlooked. Our chickens can be quite noisy in the mornings. June will squark if anything annoys her...including the guys next door throwing open a window or going out on a tuesday to put the bins/recycling out. We have only ever had one comment about the sound. That was from one of the girls who used to live next door & she was really sweet about it as she liked chooks What we've done is to teach them to get up a bit later. So they don't get let out until 7.35am in the weekdays and 7.45 at the weekends. In the deep winter when it's dark in the mornings they don't want to get up so early anyway. The only other complaint was from a mad woman futher down behind us, but she complains about everyone and has tried to take most of her neighbours to court over this or that Enviromental health came to visit me due to her complaint & the inspector was very impressed with the eglu & said that my hens were being kept in a clean and more than satisfactory manner BUT We have no grass left as they've eaten it..I spoil them by letting them out nearly all day.
  11. I just wondered how old your girls are /are living till? Also how old is your oldest layer? Juney is almost three and a half now, but has not laid an egg for over a year. She's my last original Omlet girl. Audrey (the other omlet girl) died at about two and a half & had stopped laying at two yrs old. How are your doing?
  12. I've always talked to mine. June knows the word NO & will stop what she's doing if you tell her off. I'm trying to teach this to the new girls as they keep jumping up on the stair gate I installed at the back door. It's meant to keep them out of the kitchen & it worked for the others, but the newbies take no notice. Os is often found having a chat to them...........On Friday I overheard him asking them 'Now what have you been up to today?' in a voice that suggested he expected an answer & he was the one who wasn't keen at first.........he's totally into them
  13. Ahh...They're lovely. Pippin looks a bit like Emmylou, who was bald in places when we got her & took almost a year to get all her feathers back. Bramley looks well.......a bit like my Mini. We had to take Mini to the vet two weeks after getting her from BHWT & the vet could not believe that she was an ex batt as she was in such great condition. It took three weeks before they were all happy with each other. This time round (we got Alison & Kirsty two weeks ago) it seems to be going a bit better. They're all free ranging in the garden together & there's only the odd peck.....not the feathers flying and claws out 2ft off the ground that we had last year. Good luck with the introductions.
  14. I was going to suggest removing the blue eglu for a few days as ali-s suggested, but as tweety suggests it might be better to let the 3 new girls go into the cube & then in a few months when they've all sorted out the pecking order you might find that some of the old girls swap over. I can't remember who, but one omleteer posted that some of her girls swapped over on their own when she got a second eglu. Otherwise you might find that the new girls settle into the Blue eglu but the old girls really resent it and will keep trying to go in to turf them out We're in the middle of introducing 2 new ex batts . This is the second time round for us as we did the same last summer. Good luck with it all.

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