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Everything posted by Bluebell1985

  1. It's definitely pecking. Two hens are targeting two others. I've separated the two offenders whilst I wait for bumpa bits to arrive, not that I'm confident about fitting them. I'm puzzled as to why this began. I keep reading that protein deficiency is a common cause. Mine are on a complete layers pellet so will have to find a way to increase the protein some how.
  2. I've been watching them this morning and one of the hens has had a few pecks at both this one and one of the others. The offender was second in command previously but for the 15 or so months I've had them there has been no real aggression. None of the other 3 are showing any signs of feather loss. I've ordered anti feather pecking spray and tomorrow I'm thinking of putting an XXL dog crate inside their current enclosure (with all resources needed) to separate either the offender or victim to prevent it getting worse.
  3. One of my 4 hens has a bald area which has appeared within the last few days. I have been working lates but quite sure it wasn't there two to three days ago. No one at home has seen any feather pecking or bullying. The only hen to have this patch is the most dominant hen. All 4 hens have been together for just over a year and are just over a year old. Never had any issues before. There is plenty of space, multiple feeders and drinkers, dust baths, roosting locations and nest boxes. All 4 appear healthy (excluding this) and all regularly provide an egg almost daily. They are fed a complete layers pellet (Small Holder Range) and have grit and oyster shell always available in multiple locations. I'm assuming this is feather pecking and not moulting. There are no signs of plucked feathers so assume they have been eaten. any advice on this issue is very much appreciated.
  4. My chickens do not seem that phased by this extreme weather we are having in Essex. It baffles me but they all still decide to sleep outside (in a secure run) on a perch rather than in the comfort of the very wind proof coop. I'll be building a new run as I move homes soon. Definitely going to be putting more wind shield areas in it.
  5. I've noticed (fairly certain it hasn't always been like that) that one of the girls is staring to bald behind her comb. My attention was drawn to this only today, noticing the lighter feathers in contrast to the reddish/brown ones. Very small area but I'm conscious that it could get out of control which I'd like to avoid. I have 4 hens which about 8-9 months old. They do not lack for space and between them have an abundance of roosting space, 4 nest boxes, 4 drinkers, 2 feeding stations and 3 dust bath areas. They are fed a layers pellet with and lib grit and calcium available at all times. I'd like to say they all get on extremely well with almost no aggression being seen. The victim is definitely bottom of the pecking order though. Heartbreaking as she is by far the friendliest and most docile. Is this something I should be worried about and what can I do about it?
  6. And after that worry she took herself to bed back in the coop tonight.
  7. That's a relief. Thanks very much I'm as confident as I can be. We had a fox visit a few times and make attempts to get in. He/she failed miserably and the chickens just ignored it. I went over the top with security thankfully.
  8. Should I be worried about the following; One of my hens (I have 4 in total) has decided she wants to sleep outside for the past two nights. Rather than going in the coop she chooses a perch which is about a metre off the ground. This is in a secure walk in run. Concrete base, 1/2inch by 1/2 inch1.6mm welded mesh etc, full roof and bolted doors. The girls are around 27 weeks old now. I've had them for since the end of March 2021. The coop is certainly large enough for all of them and more. It's a greenfrog one and cleaned weekly and treated for mites. The run is 9 square metres and is 100% fox and rat proof. Multiple feeders/drinkers and platforms, deep hardwood chip floor. All the girls get on with very little conflict. I'd say the hen in question is certainly not the bottom of the pecking order. Maybe even second from top. I'm in the SE and the weather has got a bit better the last two nights but surely not enough to cause overheating. Should I be worried about my my girl wanting to be outside at night? I'm confident she'll be safe from predators but not sure if being outside alone is an alarm bell for something else. As always. Advice very much appreciated.
  9. I absolutely did mean run. It's been a long day. It would be fully supported by a firm wooden structure and meshed underneath for double protection.
  10. Can anyone recommend a UK (Sussex) supplier for quality roofing for a walk in coop. Many thanks in advance.
  11. What's the score on egg washing? Decades ago I had chickens and only ever brushed eggs clean if I thought they needed it. I was going on the idea of the egg having a protective coat that getting wet would compromise. Is this information now outdated? What is your process from nest box to kitchen for your eggs? All advice very much appreciated
  12. Does anyone have a Green Frog Lodge and also using a chicken guard auto door opener/closer? The door opens just fine but upon closing it remains open an inch which i find annoying. Any tips for closing that one inch would be very much appreciated.
  13. Thank you both for the advice. I'll take it all on board and stick to one supplier to mitigate the risks.
  14. Question. I'm looking to get 5 POL birds of different breeds. I've found 5 breeds that have my heart set on. Problem is they are from two different providers. Both fully vaccinate their birds. I'd be looking to get them at the youngest age possible for pullets which I believe is 16-20 weeks. What would be the ideal way to put all these birds together? I had chickens years ago (10) and I think I just stuck them in the coop together at night and there was never any issues. They were all from the same barn and off the same breed mind. If I got these birds on the same day and stuck them in the coop for the night would that cause issues? Any solutions or ideas are very welcome
  15. Thanks for your reply @The Dogmother No offence taken. I'm not a total novice. I had 10 chickens almost a decade ago which took part in my dissertation (the effects of classical music bla bla bla). My formal education is in animal behaviour and welfare and throughout my adult life I've worked and volunteered with animals both domestic and wild, nationally and internationally. As for the rafters. I was going to have them as an option for the hens to use if they chose to. My thought process was to add to the diversity and dimensions of the run. However, if chickens at height is a bad idea safety wise, then I'll not design the run in that way. The run I previously had for my 10 was not high enough to walk in which I immediately regretted. I'm a bit of a planner which is why I'm asking these questions now from the community that would know best. This project isn't going to actually be done until 2021 so hopefully the Covid-19 crisis will be a thing of the past by then.
  16. Good morning. ******Precursor****** I've been wanting chickens for quite a while and have been doing lots of planning. Ideally I'll have 4 but will have space for more. They will be pets and live in a large coop/run with access to free range if supervised. I don't mind about breeds but would opt for calm/friendly birds as I have two young daughters (3 and 7) who would love to get involved. ******Questions****** I'm looking at raising chicks as opposed to buying point of lay birds. My fear though is mortality rates. How hard/easy is raising chicks from 1 day old and what are mortality rates like? I think if we had losses both girls would be obviously upset. I've had pets and have worked with animals all my life so although I'm new to chickens I'm not a complete novice in animal welfare. Second question; how do I go about vaccinations? UK based and wouldn't want to break any laws/guidelines or put my birds at a disadvantage. Third question; From my research I'm struggling to find a seller of 1 day old chicks. Ideally I'd want 4 different breeds to give the girls some variety. Is it generally difficult to get mixed breeds all roughly the same age? If anyone knows any UK based suppliers please advise. (We are based in Sussex) Forth question; Is it ok to mix larger and smaller birds without issue and aggression? Fifth question; is there a highly reccomended idiot's guide to raising chicks? I've seen some posts here or there but many with broken links. Bonus question; I planned to build a walk in run with an apex roof with rafters. If I build a ramp so the birds can get up there is that a bad idea for the potential for birds falling? Many thanks and sorry for the wordy post.
  17. Thanks very much for your reply. Is weldmesh strong enough? I've had a look on the website and its on a roll. For some reason unbeknownst to me I had the impression that I needed the heavy duty stuff that's rigid and comes in panels. Am I wrong?
  18. I'm looking to build a run rather than buying a premade one. I've opted for a wooden structure rather than pre fabricated metal. Can anyone reccommend a supplier for quality (rigid) wire mess or a suitable alternative? This is relatively new to me so structural advice is very much appreciated Many thanks.
  19. thanks very much then i just got paranoid due to them being the underdeveloped ones, thought something must have been wrong /worry off
  20. Hello again Omleteers! Potential problems or being overly paranoid again I have 10 chooks which are around 23 weeks now. 8 of which have laying daily and have developed nice big red combs as can be seen in picture 3. The other 2 are worrying me a little though, their combs have not grown much in comparison to the others and the tips have begun to go a little pale, whats more concerning though is their head feathers are becoming specked with white and there are lots of little white bits on show. As the image is of bad quality i'll describe them as looking like small fish bones. You can just about see a few on picture 2. Apologies though the pics were taken on my phone so not the best quality. For some reason the first image has come out smaller also. Also for some reason i cant put an img or url tag on successfully http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/508/oneku.jpg/ http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/855/twogv.jpg/ http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/849/threeh.jpg/ Aside from the above they are all eating and drinking and seem to act 'normal'. Any advice is very much appreciated
  21. hello all, I've just had my first eggs from my rir x ls's and i'm a little concerned about the white specks covering the egg, is this something i should be concerned with? Below is a link to a photo i took this morning. http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/841/eggse.jpg/
  22. Dear Chicken keepers, I'm an animal behaviour and welfare student and am currently thinking of dissertation ideas. One idea i have is to present classical music to one group of chickens to determine if it has a positive effect on their behaviour and/or egg production/quality. This theory is based on the unproven theory that classical music (the mozart effect) has a stress reducing influence on humans and animals. If this was to go ahead i would of course provide a high quality of welfare so please dont worry about that. My question to you is: Have any of you played music as a form of enrichment to your chicks and if so what effects did it have?

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