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About Benaberry

  • Birthday August 3

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Chicken Eggspert

Chicken Eggspert (2/19)



  1. oh how beautiful are they? . We've got an orpington baby very similar in colour to your darkest one (only one of three to hatch along with some Belgian bantams under our broody Barnevelder) from our splash boy Jack up the garden, now 2.5 weeks old. There wasn't much difference between the four to start with, but Fraggle the orp is now distinct from his/her nest-mates, and so sweet. Unfortunately, there's what looks like a very prominant comb starting to develop, so I have a nasty suspician little Fraggle is definitely a boy. Like you, Annie our broody was an absolute star once she got into it (bit of a hiccup at the start), and stuck like glue to the nest as they all hatched. Not sure I'm afraid about leaving the broody box open - I'll confess I've just let mum get on with it - in the first couple of days she stayed mostly inside the cat box we had rigged up for her in a partitioned bit of the WIR and we only occasionally saw the babies, from about day 3 onwards we started seeing much more of them as they spent more and more time scratching around. I've been inclined to think she knows what she's doing, when they seem a bit chilly or something has spooked them she's been quick to gather them all back under her feathers for a snuggle, and it's not unsual to see her now with extra heads poking out in odd places as she sits there looking proud Worried now though that I've been doing it all wrong, and it's more by luck than judgement that all four chicks are doing well hopefully someone a lot more knowledgeable than me will pop up soon!
  2. we've got a bantam Orpington in with a mixture of large breeds, and they're fine together. Three of the recently hatched chicks are also bantams (Belgians), and I'm hoping to keep a couple if girls, and that they'll be ok. Previously had a pair of Pekins in with full size Orpingtons, Silkies, a Legbar and a Bluebell, and again, they were fine. Not sure though whether it was because the Pekins were really rather feisty, and the Orpingtons like Bagpuss in chicken form I know a friend who has Belgians in with a couple of Omlet hybrids as well, and they all got along fine too once pecking order was sorted. I think as long as the introductions are done sensibly, they should hopefully be ok
  3. He is a complete sweetheart, such a softie, and almost like a massive cuddly teddy when you manage to catch him for a cuddle - just a huge armful of feathers. Mind you, cheeky monster managed to let himself out this morning (he's been shut in the coop to try to prevent 4.30am "cock-a-doodles"); I'd left the door open for a bit more ventilation and must have left it a bit too open - he'd managed to get his head out, and from there shove the door right open to let everyone out. Thank heavens for the WIR and that the is arriving next week
  4. Just googled them - eeuw think I would have done the same as you . Husband inadvertantly caused a feeding frenzy last night by throwing some snails into the WIR at bedtime...
  5. aww, your girls are stunning I was supposed to have one just like your Constance; unfortunately Madeleine turned out to be in need of a name change - to Jack He's so lovely though, just praying no-one complains about him, as he's so friendly I don't want to have to get rid of him! With his Orp girlies: Darcy (bantam buff) and Hope (gold laced) (and Cordelia the cream legbar trying to get in on the act!)
  6. My Darcy, a buff orpington bantam, is a real character - a highly entertaining combination of the orpington friendliness my full-size girls have with pure bantam cheek that gives her a very distinct personality! The silkies I had last year prior to Mr Fox's visit were adorable, very sweet little souls. A friend has got a white silkie and says the same thing. She's also got a young Barbu D'Anvers, who is very, very friendly and tame indeed.
  7. i've got the girls on rapport in the coop (chopped rape horse bedding), which they seem to quite like - we get it in big bales from the horsey/countryside store where we buy all the feed for about £6 a bale and it seems to last for ages, very absorbant. I know a lot of people on here swear by Aubiose, which is a similar thing (possibly hemp based?)
  8. A few weeks ago I posted about my broody Barnevelder, Annie - which ended at the time with I thought a sad update that it seemed that the move to her new accomodation had caused her to abandon the eggs. Turned out I was a bit premature - she was just being a bit dim, and had pancaked on top of the cat box rather than on the eggs inside We put her back inside, left her another day to make sure then popped some new eggs under. This morning, I go to feed the whole motley crew, and find four new arrivals in Annie's broody palace... Clever girl
  9. Sadly, after setting up the dog crate and cat box for her, the attempted move at bedtime hasn't gone well. Annie came out of the cat box and had a drink and some food, but she's now gone to roost on top of the cat box rather than inside with her eggs. As it's been nearly an hour now, I'm guessing they'll have gone cold, so suppose it's a no go. There were three under her in the end, two orpie eggs and one from Cordelia the legbar On the bright side I suppose at least she was remarkably easy to break of the broodiness...
  10. thank you all for the advice. She's still sitting tight up there - fairly confident no egg-snaffling going on, collected a normal number from the other nest box this morning so all seems well. Hubby in charge of arranging alternative accommodation for her tonight (didn't get back from work until 10pm last night, and in my current pregnant state, I can't get at, let alone move, the dog crate ) Still a bit surprised that this is the third spring of chicken keeping and my first broody I've had to deal with, not to mention that it's Annie who's gone, expected it to be one of the Orpingtons! Fingers crossed the move goes well
  11. I was thinking she might try to snaffle more - there was a suspicious lack in the other nest box this morning... She'll definitely be safe and dry: will leave dog crate in Chicken Alcatraz (AKA the super-secure WIR), which is roofed over and sheltered anyway, and rig up an additional roof for the crate (plus the cat carrier inside it). Now just need to get hubby to excavate the dog crate from the cellar and set it up in the run for her, then move her
  12. thanks meezers, you've confirmed what I'd hoped, that for the time being space to "pancake" plus a bit of room for food, water and somewhere to do the hideous "broody poo" will be enough - looks like the dog crate might just do it with one of the cat carriers for shelter (these are plenty big enough for her - must have massive cats - had an orpington in one indoors being nursed over the winter with no space issues!). This gives us a couple of weeks, all being well, for us to then sort out someting a bit more suitable for her and any chicks we're lucky enough to hatch. the house we've got is pretty big, so sounds like an alternative could be then to just leave her where she is, is that what you're saying? then just move her once the babies hatch out? I'd assumed the others would disturb her and put her off... She's still sitting tight at the moment, went up a short while ago to check on them and the only change is that she seems to possibly have spread out even more, otherwise no sign of her giving up yet
  13. Sorry, not been around for a while, but back in need of help Realistically, how much space does a broody girl need whilst she's sitting? (I've got a feeling it's a bit "How long is a piece of string" One of our girls, Annie the Barnevelder, has definitely gone broody. Found her happily pancaked out in the nest box yesterday, practically purring and "ticking" when stroked. I have no idea at the moment how many are under her, but given she's in the more popular nestbox of the two, and judging by the number of eggs I collected yesterday, I reckon probably 4-6. Since we discovered one of our other girls, Madeleine is actually a boy (now christened Jack, and a beautiful, and remarkably quiet boy he is too!), who has been doing the deed on frequent occasions with his orpy girls, there's a good chance some of what's under Annie will be fertile. Husband wants to give her a chance, to see if she can hatch anything, but at the moment, she's still in the main house. Already have a plan in place for girls and boys, as have been toying with the idea of getting an incubator for a while anyway. Obviously she needs moving, and fast, to some separate accommodation, but I'm not really sure what to do with her. We've got a fairly large indoor rabbit cage or a labrador-sized dog crate that could go in the end of the walk in run to separate her whilst keeping her fox proof and sheltered, would either of those be any good? I could put a pet carrier into either for an actual nest and some of the left over roofing from the WIR over the top as protection against "splatter" should one of the others decide to perch on top. Or do we really need to be going out and buying her a rabbit hutch or ark? (annoyingly, our old one is broken, and the new one is still occupied ) If one of the interim measures above would be suitable, that gives us a couple of weeks to put a slightly more robust plan in place for separating the littlies should we be lucky enough to get any
  14. head says yes you did the right thing heart says get the orpington (as I adore my big fluffy girls) However, bear in mind this is coming from someone who went out last week to get a cream legbar and a buff orpington, and came back with both, plus a cuckoo orp, a barnevelder, a RIR, and a leghorn Husband reckons I'm going for the full colour suite of orpingtons - I tried to persuade him to do without a garden shed so I could add another 8 x 8 foot area to the WIR under construction and fit in a few more colours, he said 'no' (and thought I was joking ) I think you have to take into consideration, are you like me? are you always going to regret not wanting a chicken that was your first choice, and had your heart set on? if so, maybe getting one now, whilst the flock is relatively new, might be for the best, rather than still hankering after one and trying to introduce further down the line? Ask yourself, which do you really, really want more - the orp, or the others?

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