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Everything posted by NFMC

  1. This is an interesting read. I'm with the guy in the article who says who cares if there's a tiny bit of lead in the eggs... http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/10/dining/worries-about-lead-for-new-yorks-garden-fresh-eggs.html?hpw&_r=0
  2. I have a broody one as well. She's been a permanent fixture in the nest box for what seems like four weeks or more. I regularly pick her up and drop her out but she soon goes back in. She looks fit and healthy and seems to be eating and drinking properly. To be honest, I can't be bothered to do much more than what I'm doing and to hope that she 'snaps out of it' soon. Is there a problem with long term broodiness?
  3. I have three chickens. They had all started laying OK but had dropped off in the last couple of weeks. I had put it down to the very hot weather. I was still getting one or two a day in the coop. But then, today, I found 17 eggs in a bush that they often go in. I've done the freshness test and they're all OK. Is there anything I should do to stop them laying in that bush? It's impractical to cordon off. Think I'll be baking this weekend.
  4. You lot are more worthy than I am. I like to eat locally sourced free-ramge meat but economics and a hungry family means that I often don't. And I feel little guilt about it. If there are special offers on at the supermarket then I get them. Simple as that!
  5. Hi - my Sussex Star has started laying but it seems to be either softies or perfect doublers with a nice strong shell. I've only had her a month (got her at about 18 weeks) so she's still quite young. She looks fit and healthy and seems to eat anything and everything. If anything she's at the top of the pecking order with her two Blackrock friends who are both laying perfectly. The food has a fair bit of grit and she gets to free-range pretty much all day. Is it just because she's young? Will she grow out of this? And - she did do a softy which didn't break which we managed to get. It was this perfect membrane. My kids had friends round and they were all grossed out by this. We then opened it (using scissors!) and my 9-yr-old ate it and it was gorgeous. Hope they're OK to eat!
  6. http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2012-05-07/news/os-orlando-urban-chickens-20120507_1_chicken-owners-pet-chickens-healthy-chickens This is a very strange article. The citizens of Orlando have been banned from keeping chickens for many years but they are about to strat a trial to see if it doesn't cause any problems. I know that people who comment on these types of news articles aren't exactly representative as a whole but they range from sensible (well-looked after hens are good in an urban environment), to stupid (there will be a plague of diseases) to downright racist (because supposedly Caribbean immigrants all keep chickens). Anyway. Worth a read.
  7. I have recently replaced three chickens (following a fox attack) with three new ones. Two Blackrocks and a Sussex Star - all about 18 weeks. It's weird how different they are to the other ones. These have no interest in the food that I throw out (grapes especially) that the old chickens went mental for. Anyway... ...one of the Blackrocks is quite a jumper. She's jumping over the four-foot high fence with ease causing many problems (mainly being that the wife said we could only have chickens if they stayed in their own bit of the garden and we got our lawn back). She's had her wings clipped already. Is this something that can be stopped? Will it stop happening as she gets older and fatter? Any help (other than building a higher fence - no chance) much appreciated.
  8. So, I've replaced my three with two Blackrocks and a Sussex Star. The old chickens were 'got' by my fault and it's a mistake I won't make again. Let's see how we get on this time.
  9. Our chickens suffered a fox attack this weekend. I've since cleared up the whole place and given the coop a good and thorough clean. Can I simply get new chickens and put them in to replace the old ones? And will the fox have got a 'taste' for my garden now? Is there anything I can do to stop them coming back? Thanks.
  10. I want to buy/build some netting to keep my chickens to one part of the garden. Omlet do a very good looking piece of kit but it's £99.00. http://www.omlet.co.uk/shop/shop.php?product_id=9359 I'm not too worried about the gate so how hard would it be to make my own using this and a few posts...? http://www.allplas.co.uk/acatalog/Anti_Bird_Netting.html?gclid=CNK39ePK960CFcxofAodpHXkrg Does anyone have any experience or tips?
  11. Thanks all - I ended up making creme brulee and it was gorgeous. A different colour than any brulee I've made before. And the meringue tasted different as well. I was almost a bit 'put off' using the home eggs to bake and make puds with as they're not a uniform size but they were lovely.
  12. Well...I've now had three chickens since September. They have wrecked my lawn. I like my chickens but I like playing football with my kids more. So, I'm going to pen them in. I don't want to build a proper run. I want to build a wire-mesh fence that will run from my shed to an opposite fence. So, I'll need posts, a gate (either bought or made) and mesh - and then wood-bark for the bit of the garden that will then be theirs. They'll still be in their eglu classic at night and in their eglu run if we go out during the day for long periods of time so I don't need to make the fence fox proof. Do I need to do anything else? Do I need to dig down to 'bury' the mesh to stop them digging through? By the way - I'm sure I could put down some sort of mesh on the grass and allow them to free-range but I'm not going to do that. Had enough of them pooing absolutely everywhere.
  13. So - finally - we now have a decent supply of eggs. Two a day from three eggs in winter isn't bad in my book. Almost worth putting up with a garden that looks like the Somme. We have family coming on the weekend so we're doing meringues. That means lots of left over yolks. I'll look on the cookery sites but does anyone here have any great yolk ideas?
  14. For me it's the garden. I've had three chickens since September and the garden is now a complete and utter mess. It's a normal sized suburban garden and they have wrecked it. I also have two football mad boys and their freinds as well and I'm sure they don't help but it's never been like this in previous years. If the grass doesn't come back in the spring and we can't play footie on the grass as a family then I'm afraid the chickens are going in their small run forever or they're going to the great curry pot in the sky.
  15. SO - I have three hens but only one is laying (one's moulting and the other hasn't even started). We've always weighed our eggs and for weeks have had eggs of 59-61g. Pretty small but she's only young. Yesterday we had one at 73g. Nothing huge compared to some of the ones reported on here but impressive for us. Then today she's gone back to a 59g egg. What's going on? The chickens free range all day in our suburban garden and don't get too many treats. They have layers pellets all day but don't seem that bothered in them. Is there anything we can do to increase the size of the eggs?
  16. I have a bluebell and two warrens. My bluebell is definitely bottom hen - she barely gets a look in. Got her at about 20 weeks at the end of September and she has never laid. The other two have (one very regularly and the other so-so until she started moulting). Are they generally late starters with eggs? And what does 'crouching' mean? I don't think any of my chickens do that.
  17. I'm 40...and got my chickens for my 40th as a present. Have been wanting them since I was about your age though!
  18. Since getting chickens the thing I have become obsessed about is the amount and volume that they poo. It's like when I had my newborns and would judge how happy they were by the number of baby poos that they did. Anyway - strange obsession but there you go. I've started to notice that the chickens seem to do an almightily large poo shortly after being let out of their coops in the mornings. It seems too big for their bodies. As they're getting older are they starting to get almost house-trained?
  19. I think one of my chickens is moulting. I've had my three chickens for about four weeks now and one of them had started laying and has now stopped. There are now a few (not loads, just a few) of her feathers in the coop and around the garden. The feather loss isn't visible or apparent on her body. Does this sound right? Should I be doing anything specific?
  20. One of the chickens is limping. No idea why, haven't seen anything and - even she won't let me pick her up (and never has done) - I can't see anything wrong. Do I just leave it and see if it gets any worse or do I try and 'trap' her so I can pick her up and have a proper look?
  21. The one question I get now I have chickens is whether I would eat them. I think I would (it would be very hypocritical if I didn't). So, my questions here are - 1. Has keeping chickens made you feel differently about eating chicken? 2. Would you/have you eaten any of your own? I'll answer my own - 1. I'll try and buy free-range chicken in the supermarket but I have to say I'm not religious about it. I still cook and eat as much. Where I feel a bit squeamish is when I'm cutting up a raw chicken with a big cleaver and my three chickens are sat at the glass door at the bottom of the kitchen 'watching me'. 2. I can't imagine I'd have the guts to kill my own chickens. Much too used to a sanitised life where meat comes in plastic wrapping. Terrible really. If someone else did it then I'd eat them. I think.
  22. Now that the fireworks are on sale we're beginnning to hear them in the evenings. Nothing too bad but it's got me thinking about bonfire night. Is there anything specific I should do? Or just make sure the chickens are in their coop nice and early before the really big noise starts???
  23. I'm reading on here how chickens will knacker your garden. Well, add in two football mad sons and their friends and my previously OK lawn is now a mud-bath. Glastonbury has nothing on this. I normally just sprinkle grass seed where they've been playing - even though it is the 'wrong' time of year. Is there any point now that I've got chickens? Will they just eat it up? I'm sure I could keep them in their run all day but I don't really want to do that.
  24. I've three hens and one has been laying for the last week or (had them nearly three weeks). A second hen decided to lay today (on the grass - not in the hen house) and it was quite an odd shape. Almost square or flat at the top. Very strange. Anyone else had this before?
  25. Thanks - we do have a keen neighbour but, they're a super-fit 82 yr old couple and they have a better social life than we do!They're probably out already!

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