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clairehol

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  1. Arrgh, just typed a reply but it somehow got lost... hope this works! I wanted to say thanks so much for your replies - I really appreciate it! By the end of yesterday I was pretty confident that I'd done the right thing and that Matilda (our original hen) was much happier. Today, they've all laid an egg, which is better than I had hoped for, and they seem fairly content with the split arrangement. Although Matilda is making it very clear that she'd like to return to her previous free-ranging of the garden She'll just have to wait for that! I'll post an update after some gentle introductions in case anyone else is interested in seeing what happens. Thanks again, Claire x
  2. Hi all, We got our Eglu & 2 girls nearly 2 years ago but sadly last week our Beryl died (she was never a well bird, stopped laying last July and we took the decision to end her suffering as she was on a steady decline since Christmas ). So, that left us with one hen, Matilda, our Gingernut ranger. Her and Beryl were great friends & lived in the Eglu, with large run area in our garden and occasional full free ranging around the garden too. Separately, we had hoped to increase our flock and had already had a lovely new house & run put into the garden and were planning on moving our two girls in there. After Beryl died, we knew that Matilda would hate being alone so we decided to get new girlies sooner rather than later. We decided to get 5 hybrids and put them straight into the new hen house, leaving Matilda in her Eglu and to do some gradual introductions........ However, after reading a lot, listening to LOTS of people's advice etc. we decided that Matilda ought to be integrated sooner rather than later as we (wrongly) assumed that she would be bullied or picked on as she was a lone hen, especially if we left it for too long and allowed the new girls to establish their pecking order etc. So, on the first night, we put Matilda into the hen house in the dark and then I was around all the following day to observe and intervene if necessary. Unfortunately, it turns out that Matilda is quite a spectacular bully . Determined to put these young POL hens in their place, she systematically beat the you-know-what out of all of them, one by one. She has a particular dislike of our beautiful White Leghorn cross, Miss Flighty, who as you can imagine is a sleek, quick girl and fancies herself as Top Hen. In the end, out of sheer exhaustion and frustration, I have separated Matilda into an adjoining run and back with her Eglu (alone) because I couldn't leave the pen without her drawing blood (!) and generally being very stressed or stressing out the others. I've had to catch Miss Flighty twice and check her comb after a big chunk had been bitten off - cue the Violet spray and a now purple-patched-leghorn... I considered myself a fairly experienced chicken keeper but with so little experience of introducing new birds, and after making my decisions based on others' advice, I feel like a total idiot and that I've let Matilda and the new girls down. Does anyone have any advice on whether I am doing more harm than good in keeping Bully Matilda separate for now? They are able to see each other - there hasn't been any s"Ooops, word censored!"ping through the mesh fence - but I feel like all of them are a bit uneasy and I just want to work towards them being settled. Apols for the stupidly long post - I hope I explained it all ok Grateful for any advice, Claire x PS - should add that Matilda was laying regulary but hasn't now laid for 3 days - all the newbies laid an egg today
  3. Hello there, We got our 2 girls two weeks ago and the Gingernut Ranger, Matilda, is now laying most days. We had one soft shelled egg on day 1 (weren't expecting that!). On day 12, we got an extra big egg - well done Matilda! - and to my surprise and disbelief, it had two yolks! Is this common in young chooks? I took a pic and I have posted it on my blog here: http://imgoinglocal.wordpress.com/2011/06/19/a-tale-of-two-chooks/ The other hen, Beryl, is a Miss Pepperpot and isn't laying yet. Her wattle and combs aren't very big yet so I'm assuming she's younger.... Nice to finally be a chicken keeper. They're trashing the lawn though so we're building a WIR as soon as we can Claire
  4. Ah, thanks for the replies lovely people - I haven't been back to the forum for a couple of days so apols for not responding sooner. We had our first egg! It was really weird - had a sort of soft shell-ish membrane around it and was about ping pong ball sized.... so one of our girls is getting the hang of it. Hopefully some proper eggs before too long! Pictures most definitely to follow - of the weird egg, our lovely Eglu Go (yellow) and of course our chickens. Hope everyone is having a nice day Claire x
  5. Hello everyone, I'm new to this forum - our new chickens arrived today and we are so happy to have them after several years of thinking about it. I have two children, 3 & 5, and they are very excited to have new pets to look after. We have an Eglu Go and 2 chickens from Omlet - 1 gingernut ranger and 1 Miss Pepperpot. So far so good - the darker one is being much braver so far... and looking like she wants to find the nearest exit out of the run! Hopefully they'll put themselves to bed soon and I can stop worring for the evening Glad to be a part of the chicken keeping world at long last. Hope everyone is having a nice evening. Best wishes, Claire

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