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Everything posted by tracyann

  1. Hi everyone, Not sure if you are aware, but if you are on Facebook and search Online Poultry Shows you can enter photos of your girls for £2.00 an entry and rosettes are given up to 10th place. Well worth it, very enjoyable. Go and have a look and enter. Tracy
  2. i personally would wait until one of the silkies is broody again and let her hatch some eggs, safer than to put a young chick into a situation where it could be killed, not worth the upset.
  3. Its great having so many omleteers in Essex... I'm thinking that perhaps a meet should be organised?!
  4. Yes and do be prepared for an uncurable case of "morehens disease" or "morehenitis", I have got it very bad, I was told "only four" last February, now I have 12 happy girls, 24 eggs in an incubator. Dad is "Charlie" in the Bupa advert.... Its all go. But I haven't looked back once despite the loss of a few of the hens over the year and a bad cockerel who behaved aggressively towards the girls. Its a wonderful worthwhile hobby. If you would like to borrow a 7 egg incy to let the children see the eggs hatch it can be arranged!!
  5. A word of warning don't go to Smiler's farm for your chickens.... The nursing home where my Dad is got some from there and out of four have two left as the others developed respiratory problems soon after getting them.
  6. Yay another Essex chicken keeper. Welcome, if you need any advice we are all friendly. Whereabouts are you? I'm just outside of Romford...
  7. I personally would not leave the door open, it is too much of an easy option for Mr Fox but also smaller pests like mice and rats will get in. Not worth the risk in my opinion.
  8. Blackmail works everytime. Put some mixed corn in a container and shake it, they will get used to coming to you for treats! Takes a little while but they will get used to you.
  9. I have pure breeds, cross breeds and hybrids, the friendliest are the hybrids, lohmann browns follow me everywhere. For different colour eggs you might try a legbar, a welsummer (dark brown eggs) and a leghorn of some kind for white eggs... The choice is yours really, but all hens tame down and will eat corn and treats out of your childrens hands. Be wary where you get them from though there are some unscrupulous sellers out there. Don't purchase any with runny eyes, slime coming from their beaks when picked up, feathers missing, look for scaly leg and mites around the vent.
  10. Not had a broody yet, not bad going considering I've had 12 girls, but perhaps soon I will get one. Having to resort to incubators... I'd love one of my girls to go broody.
  11. Don't worry, I was the same, when that first egg comes its such a special moment, have had my chooks a year now and the excitement hasn't worn off. They are always wary of trying new foods, so give them time, just give them a little bit each day. Mine like the odd slice of bread, some say you shouldn't give it to them but they adore it, pasta, especially spaghetti (lady and the tramp moments), mealworms, cabbage, mixed corn, they will soon adore mealworms, it just takes a bit of getting used to, don't overload them with too much at first. Try putting some mixed corn in a container of some sort that you can shake and call them, they will come running for treats then!
  12. Point of lay is a term used for hens between the ages of 16-24 weeks of age. Hybrids are likely to start laying sooner than pure breed chickens, yours sound like they are hybrid variety. Watch for the combs to grow big and turn bright red and when the hens start squatting (crouching) when you go near them they will come into lay. Don't be surprised if you get a soft egg first time or a smaller egg than usual, they will gradually get bigger as they get on. Big tell tale sign is a big red comb!!
  13. I know I made the right and proper decision, it was just hard euthanasing a perfectly healthy bird, which I didn't like doing, especially as I had become attached to Frank and he was my boy. But he would have ended up starving the girls to death and I wasn't prepared to see him become a bully. It won't be the first or last boy I have to cull, but the others won't have names and will be fattened up accordingly and won't be as old as he was. The garden is empty this morning and much quieter, I did miss the crowing at 4.30am!
  14. Well, poultry keeping is not without its ups and downs, thankfully more ups than downs, been a hard start to 2012. Have lost two hens, had a bad first hatch (3 chicks out of 12 eggs), an incubator with 7 eggs in down the nursing home where Dad is (Charlie in the Bupa ad) was switched off and therefore no viable eggs as they were cold. My 24 eggs in my incy have been candled and 23 out of 24 are ok. Today I had to make a decision to cull my rooster Frank who I rescued on here as he was too rampant and violent with my hens and had managed to near starve several of my hens to death and the rest of them had so many missing feathers they resembled ex-batts. It was a hard decision to make as he was a handsome chap and friendly towards me, but for the sake of my birds I had to do the horrid deed. I would have lost at least three hens had I not taken this action. He was not rehomable as he would have mullered everyone elses hens. Poultry keeping is a steep learning curve and you have to take into consideration the health and welfare of all your birds. Having said that, it has not put me off!! Bring on morehens that's what I say. Love Tracy
  15. Congratulations, but be warned morehenitis is highly contagious, I'm sure there will be more additions...
  16. Ok, some tip top information about light sussex.... According to someone I spoke to the other week (a well known light sussex guru), they are always the last hens to start laying. A bluebelle is a hybrid and will start laying well before the light sussex. So don't worry, watch for the combs to turn bright red and grow and the wattles to grow and then she will start laying, a tinted cream egg. She will start to lay, I promise, just be patient with her. I got three wheaten marans and two welsummers in the summer (middle of July) and they were about 10 weeks old, they only came into lay between Christmas and New Year. Sometimes it just takes a little bit longer.
  17. HAve you tried to see if she can stand on a flat surface? Or check to see if she can bear her weight on her legs? If you are at all worried get her to a vet.
  18. Yes Egluntyne, its an awful thing, I work for an RSPCA vet and we see countless cases. Cats seem to be the ones that suffer the most
  19. Please do not use anti-freeze in bird baths/water features etc or leave spilt anti-freeze laying around. It poisons and kills thousands of cats and other wildlife each year and is a painful and uncomfortable death. Just a plea....
  20. Have had problems with my Wheaton Marans having their bums plucked by the Welsummers since the Summer, they've no excuse, 14 hens and 1 cockerel in a 25 hen hen house and 750 foot of garden to free range. You see the welsummers creep up behind them and peck, no amount of purple spray cures this one unfortunately! I'm hoping they will get over it with the three new additions going in the coop tonight.
  21. That's awful... I hope the RSPCA were informed as they would investigate this sort of thing. Shouldn't be allowed to happen If the school want some more chickens next year am happy to donate some chicks once off heat.
  22. Sorry to read about your loss
  23. Ah sorry to hear your news. I lost one of my welsummers to Mareks in the summer, its a horrid disease. But Lottie is now pecking on golden corn.... You did the kindest thing.
  24. Hi and welcome to the wonderful world of chicken keeping, I started this in February 2011 and haven't looked back since, my original four has grown to 15... Ooops. Definitely a case of morehenitis.

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