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cheekymonkey200

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Chicken Eggspert

Chicken Eggspert (2/19)

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  1. This afternoon we lost our lovely Maude. She had been a little under the weather and today she couldn't get up out of the chippings in her run. I got home, picked her up and gave her a cuddle and popped her in the coop with some fresh hay where she very peacefully died within a few moments. I am really really sad about this because she was a beaut but also because she leaves her sister Mildred alone. It has only ever been the 2 of them for the last 3 1/2 years... What do I do with Mildred? She's an old girl so I dont want to distress her. Do I find another flock for her to live out her days in company or let her pootle around on her own? I don't see that getting another chook is an option at the moment... Thanks guys
  2. Hi everyone, I have had my lovely girls for nearly 2 years and have never had any problems with them *touches wood*. However, last week I noticed a little hole dug into the ground close to the wire near the actual coop- right up in the corner. At first I thought it was from them digging but when I moved the eglu it was clear that it was the end of a tunnel. I also noticed the edge of the food holder has been nibble. I can only assume rats. I dug it all over and replaced the chippings but the same thing was there again today! Once again, I have washed everything and replaced the chippings. I have been bringing the food in at night to try and discourage them. My girls are on a kind of dug out flower bed of wood chippings next to a hedge. What can I do to stop the little blighers? Thanks!
  3. Hi- we've only had them for about 3 months and they've been laying for about 2. Until now she sometimes did double yokers so maybe she just needs to settle down a bit. Its just upsetting to see her when she's trying to lay a softie because she looks so miserable Could it be her treats? My dad has been feeding them little bits of bread which I read somewhere wasn't great for them. I think I will just keep up the apple cider vinegar and the tonic and make sure they have plenty of grit and shells around. Hopefully her eggs will improve, if not I don't mind having a useless hen as long as she's well- she gives lovely cuddles anyway Thanks again H
  4. Hi- Thanks for your advice. She is still laying softies. We had a hard shelled egg in the evening yesterday but it wasn't smooth or normal shaped and the colour was really patchy- also she laid it out in the run, at about 7pm. very unusual. and then this morning we were back to softies. Mildred's eggs still seem to be fine. I have read that it can be diseases that makes them lay funny so I'm really worried now. I have added apple cider vinegar and poultry spice and tonnes of egg shells and oyster shells. Her vent seems normal and she seems better in her self now. Is there anything else it could be? What else can I do to help her? thanks again in advance H
  5. Hello all, in need of a little advice, i'm a worried chook mama- One of my girls, Maude, suddenly seems a little under the weather. We had a few softies which I now assume to be hers but both girls seemed fine. After a full day out playing and eating Maude was in the run with her tail down out of it- she isn't running up and down squawking at me to let her out or even coming over for snacks and she really bit me when I eventually picked her up, totally out of character. A softy has also just appeared which she was trying to eat. She seems to have perked up a bit now but is definitely not her normal self. I make sure they have lots of grit, oyster shells and their own shells back- mildred's eggs are fine- laying everyday so I'm not sure it can be nutrient-y. We've just moved them from grass to a bark chipping bed and she's on her second day of organic worming pellets, vermx I think, other than that nothing has changed. Any ideas really really welcome, I know you chaps are normally wonderfully helpful so I wait anxiously for your replies! Thanks in advance
  6. A friend of mine who works for an animal rescue charity has bought this company to my attention http://www.livingeggs.com.au/AboutUs.html They provide fertilised eggs and incubators to classrooms for children to learn about the life cycle etc there is no obligation for the schools to keep the hens though they can if they want, and they say that all hens will end up on free range farms. There have apparently been a few concerns raised about the chicken welfare and the inevitable cockerel problem and I was just wondering if anyone had any experience of the company or had heard anything about them? Surely children could visit a responsible chicken breeder rather than raising their own with questionable welfare issues after they hatch? The idea sits a little uncomfortably with me if all you're teaching is: look at the cute baby chickens now we've bought them into the world we can get rid of them and take no responsibility for what happens to them next... any thoughts?
  7. I'd agree with Sam! I had no idea what to get when I picked my girls up but the breeder sent me away with just food, wormer, bedding and grit. I've gradually accumulated more things as I've needed them but only cleaning liquid and flea powder (which makes Maude and Mildred smell delightful ) Don't spend too much money, as long as they have the right food, they'll eat pretty much whatever treats you give them, keep them clean and full and they'll be happy as larry and you'll always have Omlet on hand for emergency extras! Try not to worry too much- though I still wake up in the middle of the night worrying I'm doing it all wrong! Good luck and let us know how you get on!
  8. hehe! I just whack them in the oven when its on. I don't think you can burn them...you can tell they're done because they disintegrate when you try and crunch them up- or anything left in the shell goes brown. I think it's just to make them clean and easier to smash up. Another tip from granny!
  9. I mix some oyster shell in with the girls pellets, its not their favourite snack but they do eat it- even if there is always a lot left at the bottom. I also cook the egg shells they produce and grind some up into a fine powder and some into flakes and mix that in with their corn snacks and their pellets, to hedge my bets...trickery seems to work for me they're so greedy whatever gets in the way of their food they will eat as well...
  10. Hi all- One of my girls, Maude has a beak exactly like this. I assumed she was just wonky because Mildred, who we got at the same time from the same place is fine. I'm devastated to think she might have been trimmed! Poor Maudey She's fine and it doesn't really affect her- apart from when she eats mashed potatoes and Mildred snaffles it off her beak before she's properly eaten it- Would it be likely that one would have been trimmed and not the other? Do you think its worth asking the breeder I got her from? I dont want to swap her or anything, I still think she's gorgeous- I'd just like to know. As you say, she is definitely the more jumpy and less forthcoming of the pair. H x
  11. I've got agree wit Chickanne- its all about patience. I couldn't even touch my girls for the first week because they were so nervous (aside from our little escapee within an hour of coming home!) I just sat by the run with a cup of tea and a book for a couple of hours a day, occasionally offering some corn through the bars until they got used to my presence. We bought some orange plastic event fencing which we made a little pen with and then just sat in there with them and some treats. Eventually they got used to me and now they come charging up to me all the time. They free range when I'm around and follow me about...such progress! Maude still doesn't like to be held or carried around but I think that's just her character. Mildred sits on my feet squeaking for a cuddle! I think the two things to bear in mind are getting them simply used to your presence and then associating your presence with snacks- its a sure fire way to a chicken's heart! Good luck!
  12. funny how they develop little personalities, Mildred was really shy when we first got her, she literally ran away from us the first day we got her, slipped out of the run and legged it into next doors hedge. Maude was much more timid and shy. Now Mildred is a mamas girl and gets upset with me if I leave her free ranging and she cant see me . she makes a terrible squawk and comes running down the garden- normally once she's located me she potters back off to what she was doing but sometimes she stands at my feet till i pick her up and carry her back to maude . if i continue to ignore her she starts tearing up my seedlings! i love to hear her little pitter patter behind me in the garden. she is silly.
  13. I'm sorry that it's not going so well for you. When I first got my chooks I was terrified about letting them out- we have foxes around, a puppy next door who frequently breaks through and our own dog. I made the decision early on that they couldnt free range when I wasnt with them. I know people say that the risk of letting them out is balanced by the quality of life but I couldnt stand it if anything happened to them. I make sure that mine have lots of enrichment in their run during the day, toys, treats, dust bath etc so they're happy and then they come out for a couple of hours in the evening when I can keep an eye on them. With regards to the dog, he wasa nightmare at first but every time we get them out we hold them first so he can have a good sniff and a lick and then he looses interest. I think the water technique is a good idea but distraction is best for our dog- let him sniff the chickens (he even tries to climb into the run!) and then throw a ball for him- he soon forgets the girls! I hope you find a compromise that works for you and your girls, I'd love mine to be out all day but they're my responsibility and I would be devestated if anything happened to them. they compromise on free ranging all day and I make up for it with lots of cuddles, snacks and games in the evening.
  14. my two would kill each other over a grape- i consider it good excercise to chuck it up the garden and watch them race and then rugby tackle each other over them! Mildred will jump about 5ft in the air and hang off the grapes in my hand until I release them for her! nutty girls! I also bought a a wildbrid suet feeder from a pound shop which I fill with old cabbage leaves, cauliflower middles, dandelion leaves (whatever is lying about really) and hang it to the top of the run- they spend hours jumping up and pulling tasty bits out of it. Dried corn is another big hit- I soak it in their wormer and its gone in 20 seconds. They thought all their brithdays had come at once when my OH filled up their grub with corn instead of pellets one morning- shows how often he feeds them eh! good luck with your new girls!
  15. hehe I'm exactly the same! I'm 22 and on nights where I go out with the girls, I can never make an appearance until after I've put the chickens to bed. Im fairly sure they think I'm mad. I think talking to them is fine, my dad calls the dog son but thinks I'm nuts to kiss the chickens goodnight I think the real issue for the neighbours is when I talk to them "in chicken"...clucking around the garden probably isnt a good sign is it...

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