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Everything posted by Leeloo

  1. When I saw the subject, I thought it was going to be the other way around! I wasn't sure what short of a python could eat a hen! I found a black racer behind my Eglu last week. It froze when I approached. I had already let the chickens out and they came over to see what I was doing and chased it around. Racers are fast, though, so it got away! I found evidence of a broken egg in the poop tray so I'm not sure if the snake got in and ate it or my OCD hen broke it rolling it into the nest box and then she ate it. One hen lays in the back of the Eglu on the roosting bars and the other likes to roll it into the nest box for some reason! I hope it wasn't the snake because I'll freak if I open up the Eglu and find it in there!!
  2. I have heard that about woodash! It is an old-fashioned remedy for mites and lice and some people swear by it. I have a hen who seems prone to lice. I dusted her with carbaryl and she started looking better, but now it looks like they might be returning. I'll have to build a fire in the firepit and try it out if we ever get a mild evening! I put diatomaceous earth in their run and that doesn't seem to have helped her, although there do seem to be fewer slugs getting into their food!
  3. I've found that black hybrids tend to be tremendously broody so that could be the problem! Does she look sick or is she puffed up and grouchy when you check on her?
  4. Mine freeze and make a growling/purring noise when there's an aerial predator nearby. They did it last night and I looked around for the hawk. A few moments later, he or she flew over the neighbor's yard chased by a few mockingbirds!
  5. I wonder if the broody stole the kittens or mama cat decided she wanted a baby sitter! It looks like the cat mother is in photo #3 snuggled up to the rest!
  6. Like I said, she wasn't very good at it! The fact that it happened at dawn and was accompanied by flapping wings convinced me that crowing was her intent, though!
  7. Yes, they generally sit in the nest box, unless you lock them out and then they might try to sit elsewhere. When they go broody, they decide they are going to hatch some chicks. Their little pea brains get focused on that goal so that even though there's no male to fertilize the eggs and you take them away from them, they think if they just go through the motions, something is going to hatch. It's not usually harmful, but I've heard that some hens are so intense that they don't get up to eat or drink enough and can get weak. They will stop laying after a while, too, because they want all the eggs to hatch around the same time so that's inconvenient if you mostly have the hens for egg production.
  8. No, they don't always snap out of it on schedule. They can be very stubborn. One of mine went broody in late April and showed no signs of letting up by late June. I finally blocked off the nest box by flipping a wide bowl upside down in it. She also broke a few of the other hen's eggs. I think it was accidental as she rolled them over to the nest box area, but, once broken, they were eaten and I was worried about that becoming a habit. I don't know if blocking off the nest box earlier would have worked, but it did finally do the trick. After a couple of days, she decided she couldn't do it in any other spot!
  9. They could be in the early stages of broodiness. They often do pluck their belly feathers so the eggs will come in direct contact with the heat of their skin. If they start sitting in one place, then you'll know for sure!
  10. Yes, very similar. There was a series of low boks that let me know she was warming up and then she belted out a loud "Buh-AWK!"
  11. Yep, happened to me. My Australorp started "crowing" at dawn when my black hybrid was broody. She wasn't good at it so she sounded more like a parrot than a rooster! Some of the neighbors did get irritated because an email went out about barking dogs and "a squawking bird." Fortunately, I finally managed to break the broody by blocking her access to the nest box. Being broody on the roosting bars or in the run just wasn't as fun!
  12. Some people over on the Backyard Chickens web forum were saying that hanging vanilla-scented car air fresheners in the chicken run kept the flies away. I'm probably going to try it because it's cheap so even if it doesn't work, I'm not out much! Some said that it works well in conjunction with the water traps by making those more attractive to the flies in comparison.
  13. Same here! Who'd have thought that Massachusetts would be as hot as Florida! I bet we've got you beat on humidity, though! I went out late Saturday afternoon to water plants and blow off the grass clippings my husband got on the patio and was drenched in sweat after just a few minutes! I wouldn't mind trading weather with the UK- at least for a little while! Good luck keeping the raccoons out!
  14. Same here! I did tribal style bellydance for a few years and tattoos were very popular in that arena. I saw some that I thought were very lovely and artistic and others- not so much! It was just too much commitment for me, though. I wish temporary tattoos lasted months rather than hours, I would definitely do that. Permanent? That's just too much commitment for me!
  15. Yes, that is how Zoe is! She always has to sit on the egg a while after she lays it, even when she is not broody. My husband was working in the yard a few months ago and decided to check on them. He opened up the Eglu and caught her in the middle of laying so he caught the egg in his work glove. She freaked out on him, started shrieking, and wouldn't stop! She was so mad he took her egg away before she was done with it! My Australorp doesn't sit on them at all. It's like she has better things to do than sit there in the dark on an egg!
  16. I have a black sex link who is so broody! She went broody last fall for about 6-7 weeks and I think the cooler temps and shorter days helped snap her out of it. She's broody again now. It's been 8-9 weeks and she's still going strong so I locked her out of the nest box today. It's been long enough! She would be great if I wanted to hatch chicks, but I can't have cockerels here so it's just getting to be annoying. I thought about getting her a sexed chick or two, but I can't really set up a proper broody environment so I decided against it. I would feel really bad if it died!
  17. My subordinate hen crows when the top one is broody. It is not a full rooster crow, more of a half crow, and only around sunrise. I'm ready for Zoe to give up on the broodiness. It's been going on for two months now! I'm going to start kicking her out of the nestbox every afternoon when I get home. She is such a prima donna when I do it, though. At first, she collapses to the ground and tries to build a nest around her out of mulch. Then she finally jumps up and runs off squawking and flapping.
  18. Something like that happened to me when I was selling a car on Craigslist. A woman showed up saying she needed a more fuel efficient vehicle than their pickup truck, but I had a feeling she might have been planning to resell it as she seemed way too savvy about car buying. After it sold, I took the tag off and reported the sale to the tag office. She tried to argue with me to leave it on because she might get stopped and I assured her that all she had to do was show the cop the sale contract I printed up. About a month later, I got a call from the tag office in the neighboring county that she was trying to claim that I had sold it to someone else and they wanted to confirm that I had not. Turns out that she regularly buys and sells cars and tries to get out of putting the tag in her name first to avoid the fee. Oh well, I was ready to get rid of the car and didn't want to show it to a dozen other people. It needed some maintenance and I thought that I got a reasonable price for it so I couldn't get too upset! My in-laws sort of tried to talk us into giving it to my niece and I'm quite sure that they would have done the same thing since the car was 13 years old and they are the "champagne taste on a beer budget" types so it probably wouldn't have been good enough for her. At least I made some money from it!
  19. Looks nice! Glad you found a solution! I have some pots that need to be filled. I just need to go buy some potting soil.
  20. I read the blog of an Eglu owner in California who started with two chickens and later added a third like you plan to do. It was rough at first, but she managed the introductions with the help of a cardboard box and lots of chicken treats and now they all get along fine. Here's her story of the introduction: http://welloneofmyblogs.com/2010/07/31/but-this-is-it-i-swear/
  21. I am in a similar situation. We had to have our 17-year-old cat, Kira, PTS last month. We've talked about getting a kitten. We've never had one before. Kira was half-grown when I found her, so I was concerned how much care one might need while we were at work. The rescue places here don't have any restrictions on work hours, as far as I know, but they do make you promise to keep them inside exclusively which we wouldn't do once it was fully grown. Our last two cats were in and out all day with their own cat door and they both lived well into their teens! We've never paid for a cat before. One was given to us and one was found by the road. I figure another will come to us eventually! I would love to have two, but the last two engaged in territorial spraying despite being spayed females so I'm leery of trying it again!
  22. I dusted her and the other one, as a precaution, with some carbaryl that I already had. I'll repeat it in 10 days and hope that works. I want to see her with pretty feathers, not all scruffy! The poor thing looks half bald when it rains. The Eprinex is sold in huge bottles since it is marketed towards cattle so I hope I won't have to resort to that!
  23. No, I just have to squat and reach in to pull it out. I've recently decided to take it down and put it away every night because the slugs get in it and coat the food with slime and I'm worried about mice as well. I'm not sure how long I will put up with this, though. Makes me want a WIR!
  24. I recently became concerned about my Australorp hen because of feather damage as well. She was missing her tail and lower back feathers when I got her because of mating on the farm where she lived previously. Her tail grew back, but after a year her back feathers are still thin and broken. I give her occasional protein with her layer feed in the form of cat food and mealworms, but they are not coming back in. The other hen is fine so I doubt it's mites. I've never seen her getting picked on and, in fact, her coop mate is broody right now so she barely stirs from the nest box. I've noticed that she loves to get in one particular pot and pick at the soil. I'm quite sure that it's not bugs. I suspect there's some mineral in there that she likes and wonder if she has a deficiency. She lays great so I'm not terribly concerned, but I wish those feathers would fill in so that she'd be less straggly-looking! She didn't molt last year. I'm wondering if they would grow back if she does. ETA- I think she might in fact have lice. I'll stop at the feed store on the way home and look for something to treat them.

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