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NatalieC

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About NatalieC

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    Chicken Eggspert
  1. A couple of golf balls (clean of course) in the water seem to work as they bob around and stop the water being still enough to freeze. We did this last year when it was really cold and it worked.
  2. NatalieC

    New Chicken Introducing

    I've done two lots of intros and both times its been fine. There was a bit of posturing and squawking but nothing major. I did find that putting out two or three "food/drink stations" was a good idea so that the new girls could always access food and drink without being terrorised or chased off.
  3. NatalieC

    Cats now coming in to the garden

    We have two cats and six chickens. One of the cats is Dandy "the ripper", he's only three but his kill count is absolutely off the scale. I've had cats all my life and have never known a cat to kill like him - his claws and teeth are like razors - however, in the house he is a big soft dollop. He has never shown the slightest interest in the chickens even though he's happy to have a go at the ducks which come into the garden. I think the noise and kerfuffle are probably what deters him - that and there being six of them and only one of him.
  4. Forgot to say - they are cooking apples too so are absolutely HUGE
  5. This makes me laugh as my girls have lived very happily (and maybe a little drunkenly) under our two apple trees for 5 years and I've never seen any of them hit by a falling apple. I'm always seeing apples fall into their enclosure and they seem to sense the movement (or rustle of leaves maybe) above them and scurry out of the way and to my knowledge have nevery been hit. They love to peck at the windfall apples too!
  6. NatalieC

    How old is your oldest hen?

    Thats an amazing age - we lost our lovely Shirley last week, aged 5 and I thought that was pretty good going!
  7. NatalieC

    Chicken Memorials

    My lovely Shirley - who was one of my original Omlet chooks died on Thursday while we were on holiday. I did think she was declining over the last few weeks but I hoped that she would hang on until we got back. She was a grand old lady aged five years so she had a very good life. I will miss her as she was one of my first chickens (Laverne died a couple of years ago). I've now got six girls left and room in the cube!
  8. NatalieC

    new hens and new cube!

    I would put them all in together for the simple reason that the "entry and exit" from classic and cube is so different for the chickens! I had my growers in the classic until they were big enough to go into the cube without the big girls bullying them - its been fine but it took the littlies AGES to get the hang of the ladder and for a long time they just hid under the cube at night time (even a couple of months on they still need a bit of encouragement to go up the ladder at night). They do now manage the ladder in the day when its time to lay but it seems daft to get them settled in one place and then have to move them. I've introduced POL hens and growers to my older girls and its been fine (bit of showing off from the older ones but nothing major). Just have your water pistol at the ready!
  9. NatalieC

    Lumps on shell ....

    i have this sometimes - I had read somewhere that it is calcium deposits on the shell.
  10. One of my new girls lays double yolkers every other day and today we have broken Tuesday's egg into a cup ready for an omelette and its a triple yolker! Is this a record - we've taken a photo which I'll try and upload (once I wokr out how). It has to be said - it is my very big girl who is responsible, she's so large that my Mum is convinced she is a turkey in disguise!
  11. NatalieC

    is there a way round covenants? *Updated!*

    We also have a covenant on our property although ours is a bit of an interesting set up. OUr house backs onto a large park which is separated from our garden by a stream. At the end part of the garden (which is an extra bit of land bought by the previous owners - makes our garden a kind of l-shape) is another piece of land (the same side of the stream as our garden) which was donated to the city council about ten years ago to be used as an arboretum (its on the site of an old house and the trees are very unusual). The city council now keep, at various times of the year, sheep and cows. This is in addition to the huge number of ducks which live in the park (we've counted forty in our garden some mornings!). When i wanted to get chickens I spoke to my neighbours who were quite happy as long as we didn't have a cockerel. All has been fine - even though our one neighbour can be a bit quiet, she did actually lean over the fence one day and say how she likes to hear them when she's out in the garden! It amazes me that the rules can be so different either side of the fence! My point is, even though we have a convenant, it would be very difficult to make a fuss about my girls without also tackling the issue of the ducks and cows and sheep! Believe me, the ducks are horrendously noisy (they also regularly fly into out patio doors and windows - lots of duck prints!). People who use the local park also stand and watch them which is quite niceas my girls seem to bring pleasure to other people.
  12. NatalieC

    Too old to lay eggs?

    My original Omlet girl Shirley will be 5 years old in October this year and has only just stopped laying - I've got the occasional egg over the last couple of months but she was laying reliably every day up until around February of this year. She's still looking in great condition and we've certainly got our moneys worth from her. I think she must be a record breaking hen!
  13. I have four almost thirteen week old chicks who are in my Classic with the chick conversion kit covering the roosting bars. When can I let them roost properly on the roosting bars? I read somewhere that they need to be fourteen weeks old or it will damage their feet/legs? My concern is that there is such a difference in size between the biggest chick and the smallest - the biggest is easily as big as my smallest big girl who lives in the new cube (if that makes sense!) and the littlest will sit in my hand! I got them all at a couple of days old and they've done brilliantly but poor little Dot is obviously the runt and is growing so much more slowly than the others (they do look after her so nicely though!).
  14. I've got my new girls outside in the Eglu classic and they are now eleven weeks old and doing well. They currently have the small bird converter set in the Eglu and I wondered how long they need this for and when they will be able to manage the roosting bars? My difficulty is in the difference in their sizes - although they are all the same age (I got them at a couple of days old), Nancy my coucou maran is huge (my Mum thinks she's a turkey) and Dorothy my smallest red hen is still tiny in comparison. I am thinking that I need to wait a bit as I'm worried little Dot will catch her legs and do some damage. She manages very well getting in and out and likes to sleep in the nesting box (so manages that Ok). Any advice?
  15. NatalieC

    Holes in Omlet netting?

    This has happened to me too - I discovered it was actually OH and a bit of over enthusiastic lawn mowing. I did find that I could prolong the life of it by turning it upside down and re-threading the poles the other way up (I know the holes are smaller at the bottom but it didn't make any difference) - I have now replaced my original netting but doing this made it last 4 years which is pretty good!

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