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About Ariella26

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    Chicken Eggspert
  1. I'm another who uses newspaper and then straw. The girls love to nestle down in it to lay and it's so easy to clean as I just wrap the straw in the paper and pull it out. A quick brush out and it's ready for fresh to go down.
  2. Thanks Mimi. My husband has been helpful with moving them about and my eldest son is brilliant at holding them while I give them a thorough spray. I'd have struggled without them. Having me talk about them in my sleep for the past three nights has shown how much they've been on my mind. I worry about them terribly. So far the reintroductions have gone well and it's nearly dusk now so they'll be off to roost together soon. Poor Beatrice has a couple of days in the sin bin however! I feel I've overcome my first challenge in chicken-keeping. Phew!
  3. I'm so sorry to hear this. We lost our first chicken, Isabella, last month and it was a sudden death too. My daughter and I had a good cry and created a collage of photos of her for my daughter's pegboard and it made us feel better, though we still miss her. I've painted pebbles with each of the pets names on, which are in the garden. It means that even as we lose our loved feathered and furry friends, we will always have a stone to remember them by. Sending you some more hugs.
  4. A quick update to say that Jemima has healed beautifully, the feathers are already starting to grow back and we've just reintroduced her to the flock, removing Beatrice first. We've put Beatrice on her own for a couple of days (housed in the guinea pig hutch, in a run beside the cube run) to allow Jemima to settle back in and to allow them all to have a few days without any feather pulling. The anti-pecking spray must be helping as I can see the ends of new feathers starting to poke through on them. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that when Beatrice is reintroduced, peace will reign. It'll be interesting to see if Jemima regains her role as top of the pecking order or if Beatrice (who has become head girl) will want it as well. I just hope they won't squabble too much.... I've been dreaming about the hens all week and I think my husband is fed up of my nattering on about it all in my sleep. I've found it all to be rather a stressful week but I'm feeling relieved Jemima has healed as I was so concerned we'd lose her this time last week. Time for a nice cup of tea!
  5. Thanks Chrissie. Jemima seems to be doing well in her own little wing and the others have had a good spray of anti-pecking solution again. So far, we can't see that any further pecking has been going on but we're closely monitoring the chickens and Jemima won't be going back in until we're confident that she's fully healed and the pecking behaviour has stopped. I'm really hoping this has done the trick and there'll be no need for a bumper bit to be fitted on any of the chickens. Does anyone know how long the anti-pecking spray lasts for and if I need to keep reapplying it to the chickens?
  6. Poor Queenie. I hope that one peck was the end of the matter and you won't have any further problems. I have one of my hens in isolation at the moment due to a severe pecking. She's eating well and seems quite happy having a bit of peace and quiet so I'm hoping she'll soon recover and I can reintroduce her. It's a stressful business though isn't it?
  7. Yesterday I noticed that Jemima, my white leghorn hybrid, had sustained some bleeding and feathers are missing from her vent area. We sprayed her with purple spray and also sprayed all the hens with anti-pecking spray on their vents. Today poor Jemima was hiding in the cube for much of the day. I observed her for quite a while and she happily came to eat her porridge this morning and has been drinking. She's laid a nice egg too, but I could tell that the others weren't giving her any peace. It didn't seem to be just one bully but all the other hens were having a go, clearly drawn towards the blood. We decided to isolate Jemima and have put her in the outside guinea pig hutch ( the guineas and rabbit go in their large 5' winter hutches in their own playhouse for the winter), so we filled it with paper and straw and Jemima has the 3m run to scratch about in and have some fresh air. We gave her bleeding area a good spray with purple spray and although it was bleeding, I couldn't see any prolapse or wound that needs stitching. She's loved scratching around in peace this afternoon and is still feeding and drinking well. I'm hopeful she'll make a full recovery, but how long should I leave her in the 'hospital wing' for? Do I need to let the wound scab over and do I need the feathers to start growing back before I reintroduce her to the flock? Will they recognise her or treat her as a newcomer to the flock and start on her? Until now Jemima was top of the pecking order. On closer inspection we've seen that three of the other hens have feathers plucked in the same area though there's no bleeding. They have plenty of enrichment in their 5m run - perches, pots, hanging CD's, hanging parrot bells and mirrors and they have fresh food and water daily and regular peckabloks, though they didn't eat much of the last one I put in. I even made them cookies minus the sugar and filled with some sultanas and mealworms for a pick-me-up treat, which I'll hang from their run tomorrow, to encourage them to jump up and exercise to get them. Their cube is cleaned weekly and I have always given a liberal sprinkling of louse and red mite powder throughout. There is no sign of any lice or other infestations. It's a bit disheartening as I've enjoyed being a chicken keeper thus far. Sadly we lost our speckledy Maran suddenly last month, finding her passed away in the nest box with no signs of injury and no previous signs of illness. I really don't want the other chickens to hurt one another as I find it so stressful. Do I need to keep reapplying the anti-pecking spray on them all? is there anything else I can do? Many thanks.
  8. My beautiful Isabella passed away yesterday. I found her in the nest box at tea time. My daughter had commented she wasn't interested in the corn that afternoon but otherwise showed no signs of illness. She was the bottom of the pecking order but hadn't been attacked. She was a beautiful Maran hybrid, providing us with large and beautifully speckled eggs. It was a shock for her to pass away so quickly - just nine months old - and we'll all miss her dreadfully. Sleep tight beautiful Isabella. x
  9. We got ours from ASA metal http://www.asametal.co.uk/ASA-METAL-PRODUCTS-SHOP.html They takes ages (about 2-3 weeks) to deliver but the bin was easily put together and our medium feed bin holds a 25kg bag of layers pellets, a 25kg bag of corn and a bale of Bliss.
  10. Mine is laying a slightly darker egg with a few speckles.
  11. They're so pretty and look as if they were really enjoying the garden.
  12. Thanks for your replies. I've put the cover over half the run so 3m is dry and the other 2m is open. I can add the sunshade to that end, should the sun decide to put its hat back on. I'm desperate for it to get warmer and drier so I can sit for longer watching them.

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