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The Mcconnochies

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Everything posted by The Mcconnochies

  1. It solved the problem...it took about 5 minutes to fit and then our bossy hen took about 20 mins to realise that she couldn't knock/s"Ooops, word censored!"e/bang it off. All hens happily co-existing. The test will be in a few weeks when it comes off. Thanks for all the advice everyone.
  2. Thank you all for the great advice. They are currently separated and Miss Moneypenny will have her bumpa bits fitted tomorrow. They have a good 5-6 sq m space and have been able to free range a bit but only when we can watch them. We are planning a new wir for later this year as the rabbits want their run back, but that involves planning the garden first! The other two are much happier now they aren't being pecked, so hopefully this will sort the issue. We are now well stocked with all sorts of chicken emergency supplies!
  3. Some urgent help needed please We are relatively new to the chicken keeping game and have had 3 deaths so far...2 from fox and one from prolapse/pecked to death. We have replaced over time and now have 3 chooks. We have been having some serious pecking order issues with 1 dominant bird (MIss Moneypenny) inflicting injury on the others. One of the less dominant birds (Molly) now has a nasty open would on its left side and the other less dominant chook (Ruby) has what looks like a prolapse or pecking injury around its vent. The prolapse/pecking injury is looking better and healing nicely but she is not laying again yet (the other two are happily laying). The action we have taken is to isolate the dominant bird for about 5 days but the behaviour returned the instant it was put back with the other two. We also then isolated the birds that were injured until they healed and also introduce the 'anti-peck' spray. However the peck spray seems ineffective as they are still being pecked by the dominant bird. As a last resort I have isolated the dominant bird just to give the others a chance however its not an ideal scenario as the only way to isolate it is with a pet carrier so it doesn't have much space. A couple of thoughts going through my mind are: - Given that we are using a wooden coop could there be some sort of infestation of lice/mites that is causing the chooks to be unhealthy or the bad behaviour? - Is the only solution to re-home the dominant bird? - Is there something about the food they are eating that makes them unhealthy or something that is missing? They have layers pellets (poultry spice added), corn in the afternoon, clean water daily and some meal worms as well as s"Ooops, word censored!"s (cabbage etc). - Any advice on how to encourage healing in both the injured chooks? To be honest it is getting to the point where I'm almost ready to give up. I hate seeing them like this and I feel out of ideas. Urgent help needed please.... Thanks. Andrew
  4. It looked like a prolapse...lots of blood and insides at the vent end. Husband ended up with the horrible job of cleaning it out. Not sure what we do now....feeling a bit down about the whole thing. We lost 2 to the fox 2 weeks after starting to keep chooks in Decemebr and now this.
  5. Well, this morning our four chickens were let out as normal and all seemed fine. Yesterday one of the miss pepper pots was pecking the others a bit but all were laying eggs and we were going to get some anti peck today. Somewhere between 9 and 10 I heard some louder clucking but I was settling a teething baby so couldn't investigate and when Andrew went out later he found a rather sadly dead Ruby (our newest gingernut). There was a lot of blood around, and a patch of it in the nesting box. She had a very bloody vent and it looked like bits of insides coming out. I think she had also been pecked. Does anyone have any ideas as to why this might have a occurred? We are concerned for the others and would hate it to happen again. Thank you so much! Claire
  6. Right, that is next on my list. I hear that covering (spraying, not showering) all of them in vinegar may do they trick...anyone tried this?
  7. Hi all, recently introduced 2 new chooks after the Evil Fox took a couple last year. I just noticed that one of the new chooks is being pecked on the rear by the other of the new chooks...so much so that the feathers are begining to look a bit bedraggled. Any advice?
  8. Now that is a useful piece of info...6' high is not enough...looks like it is going to have to have a roof.
  9. crikey...i thought they only came out at night...mostly.
  10. Well, the girls mingled a bit before curfew. There was a fair amount of pecking from one of the original girls (strangely the one at the bottom of the pecking order). The original queen of the flock didn't seem that bothered by the new arrivals. The more interesting thing was that the two new hens (now named Ruby) (now named Molly) decided that they didn't want to go into the hen house but rather preferred sleeping outside in the cold...I gave them an hour or so to change their minds and then popped them in the coop...out of reach of Mr Evil Fox. Looks like tomorrow might be an interesting day
  11. Just had two new chooks delivered to replace the ones that the Evil Fox took. We have separated them from the other two but the noise is staggering ...clearly some pecking order issues need to be resolved. Our plan is to let them all roost in the hen house together tonight and hope for the best . On a positive note the new ones are from the same flock that our original ones came from so they are all about the same size. Anyone got any suggestions to help improve integration? Apologies for going mad with the smilies...
  12. Thanks, it was more an 'any ideas on the conversion/experience of automatic door opening' i was hoping for. We have only recently moved in so we dont know many neighbours yet.
  13. Hi all, after our run in with Mr Fox we are thinking more about the security of our coop. We have a wooden one with a horizontal door and were looking at getting an automatic door opener/closer. The problem is that all the products seem to be for vertical door openings...has anyone any experience of converting a horizontal door to a vertical one? If not, any other thoughts on how to make things more secure? We are worried about being away for a day or two at the weekend...our plan had been to leave the door open and allow the chooks to use the small part of the run...we are now worried that wont be secure enough. Any thoughts/advice?
  14. Think it may have been human error...the door that we never use was not properly latched. So we now have more secure locks. Another two chooks ordered and the existing ones both laid eggs today
  15. So, we lost two of our beautiful chickens last night to Mr Fox...one of our Gingernut Rangers and a Miss Pepper Pot are no more Poor Matilda and Talhula. I think the fox managed to get into our hen house after we had given it a good clean out yesterday... This morning when i went to let them out I found the aftermath We had a rabbit taken a year or so ago but we hadn't seen any foxes since...on the way to work this morning just as I left my house I spotted an adult fox crossing the road...needless to say I did rev up a bit and try and get it but no luck!!! Time to get another two chooks I guess...tis a sad day.
  16. Thansk for the summary...as a new chook keeper I've been thinking about insurance etc. I definitely think it isn't worth it at present.
  17. We got our girls for christmas...they came a week early as it was getting a bit squashed in Santa's sleigh...
  18. We have a similar issue...allthough our hen house sounds suspiciously like your old one. I'm attempting the flowerpot in the nesting box trick to see if that has any effect. Nice blog BTW.
  19. Thanks...definitely no raspy sound. We will try and find some Citracidal.
  20. We are only new to chicken keeping (only had them 2 weeks) but we think our chooks (or at least some of them) may have a cold. One or two of them do this sneezing thing every so often (hence the 'Bless you' subject line) and may have just a little bit of leakage from their beaks. Anyone know if this sounds like a cold and any ideas of treatments? I've heard that some TLC can do the trick but I'm not sure about them getting wrapped up in a duvet and spending the night in the spare room. We got them all from Omlet so I'm a bit dissapointed if they have a cold already... Any thoughts?
  21. nothng in a week.... hoping all the girls are OK. They seem to all want to roost in the laying section....not sure if that might account for the lack of Any thoughts?

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