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The Rivetts

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About The Rivetts

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    Chicken Eggspert
  1. I've just successfully integrated my Bantam cockerel with my 3 full-size ladies. Initially they were extremely violent with him, but as they are feather pulling anyway, we fitted bumpa bits so they couldn't draw blood. Barry the Bantam had his own little run within their run [with a cat carrier turned on it's side for his house], and we kept him in there for the first 5 days. Then we let him out, and he soon discovered that being tiny, he could easily hide away, but most of the time, he just flew up to sit on top of his little run. Yesterday I noticed one of the ladies had flown up to join him, so they all went to bed together last night, and today he has not flown up, but stayed on the ground. Got to say though, the bumpa bits were a godsend as we knew he couldn't be really badly hurt. Good luck
  2. Just a quick update - 10 days on we have successful integration. Bumpa bits on the ladies have stopped them attacking each other and him. They all spent their first night together last night, and it seems to have improved the situation even further. Barry the Bantam is not spending much time on top of the house, but is pecking and scratching just like the others. Result
  3. Sorry to hear your news. We suffered a fox attack last year - our girls had always free-ranged, but we felt it was too awful to risk, and now they have a large run to live in. They are not entirely happy, but it beats being eaten! I hope you get something sorted out so that you can have your girls back.
  4. I've got one at the moment, and had 2 before. Egg colour was never dark, but more brown than pink. Often the eggs have a few freckles. One of mine, Beautiful Betty, never laid an egg that weighed less than 80g! My current speckledy is very greedy, and quite dominant.
  5. I've been having a real problem with my ladies eating each others feathers - they now have bare red bottoms. I was offered a bantam cockerel, and thought that having a chap around may help, but with a bantam I wouldn't run the risk of fertilised eggs. The ladies [there are three - a sussex, a speckledy and a black rock] are not at all impressed , and are giving him a really hard time - they drew blood from his comb. We have put him in an enclosed run within their run, so everyone can see everyone else, but not attack. We give them supervised exposure [only been 2 days though]. Am I on a hiding to nothing, where they won't accept the poor chap ever, or do I persevere? Any advice from anyone with a similar situation would be much appreciated.
  6. Wow, this forum is so good! Within 10 minutes of me posting here, one of our neighbours [also a chicken-keeper, but his don't free-range] came to say he had found her brooding in the depths of his shrubbery. She had laid 10 beautiful big eggs, and has a bare breast - she would clearly make a good chicken mummy. She is now shut in the run with some nice mealworms, as she has got a bit thin in the last few days, and both girls are going to get their wings clipped before bedtime to see if we can keep them on their own land. Think a couple of days of confinement is probably a good idea, just till she gets back to normal. Thanks for your support.
  7. We have had our Rhode Island Red for about 3 months now, and both our girls free-range across several large gardens, covering I guess about 3 acres. For a month or so, Nutmeg has been laying away from home. We found the first stash, but have not found her eggs for the last 3 weeks. She has not come home for the last 3 nights, though after the 1st night she came home in the morning for her breakfast. We never see any foxes as a neighbour is a sheep-farmer and shoots on site. Is it possible that since it is warm and she has a large stash of eggs, she has gone broody? Any advice would be appreciated.
  8. The Eglu looks to be fine. It is cleaned out every weekend, so I'll have another good look. The other chook is absolutely fine, and goes to bed as soon as it starts to get dark. Strangely enough, they were both in bed this evening - must've known I was writing about them I guess I'll have to keep an eye on things. I'm going to give the girls a good check over in the morning [i only get to see them in daylight at the weekend during winter], and check for mites, lice, worms and other parasites. If all is OK, I will have to learn to live with a semi-feral mad chicken!
  9. One of our chooks has suddenly [after nearly 2 years of obediently going to bed in the Eglu], started to roost in the trees. In these very chilly nights, we have been trudging out when we get home and removing her, putting her in the Eglu with her pal. I know that chickens are forest creatures, and a "feral" chicken would roost in trees as a matter of course, but I wondered if anyone could shed any light on why her behaviour has changed so radically? The only thing I can think is that is is related to her moulting - why is she moulting in the middle of winter anyway?! Any thoughts/comments would be gratefully received.
  10. We have 3 cats, and have never had an issue. I've seen the cats consider "playing" with the hens, but one look from a beady-eyed chicken, and they change their minds. I did see a local feral cat go into the Eglu when one of my girls was having her post-laying rest. The cat came shooting out backwards, with a chicken pecking at it's head and boxing it's head with her feet! Never seen such a hasty retreat. The cat has not visited the Eglu again.
  11. Our two free-range entirely, so not all our poop is confined to our own garden! As other people are saying, they really can pooh quite a lot. We just s"Ooops, word censored!"e it onto the garden if it is on the path. That said, the pooh is well worth it when you crack open a lovely fresh egg. I didn't apprecaite how much personality chooks had. Ours are each completely different little "people" who chatter constantly, especially when you are out in the garden with them. They come running when they hear our voices - even if it is only through an open window. Ours have had quite some impact on our veggie garden, but it's lovely to watch them scratting about, or even better, dust-bathing. The cons are greatly out-weighed by the pro's. Go get those chickens!
  12. We have 2 speckledy's. Mabel lays a reasonable 66g avergage, but Betty [or BIg Bet as we like to call her] lays an avergage 80g. She used to lay bigger eggs before she was ill last Easter, coming in at a regular 88g. They are both pretty reliable too - we get around 12-14 eggs per week from the 2 chooks each week in summer, and around 10 per week during the winter. No complaints from me.
  13. We have had odd occasions of 2 normal eggs in one day from one of our girls - Betty. However, we quite often get one softy and then one with a thin shell from her - as though she has only so much shell each day, and if she makes two eggs, they are going to be deficient in shell. I don't bother too much any more. Anything with a shell is great, without is just a bit of a shame, but no matter what, I love to see them waddling around the garden with their lovely shiny feathers and fluffy bots!
  14. We felt that our chickens [which are speckledy's] needed good old-fashioned names, hence Betty & Mabel. In my mind I see them a bit like Les Dawson in drag. If I were ever allowed to increase my flock [just had a look at the Eglu cube - I want one!], I think I would probably have an Edith, a Voilet and a Josephine. You just don't see these names enough. Good job our offspring was a boy, as one of my favourite girls names is Lettice!
  15. I'd love to have frizzles. They were high on my wish list. I'm happy with my speckledies, but frizzles are just so FUNKY! Hope you get some & enjoy them.

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