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The Chick Inn

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  1. Oh dear! Thank you all for your replies anyway! I appreciate your opinions and I think you're probably right sadly - I hate to part with them as they're beautiful boys
  2. I have 2 young buff orp chickens which I bought off a breeder last Sept. They are now around 37/38 weeks old. No eggs from them. I have long suspected that 1 may be a cockerel....well now I know! A slightly pathetic but definite crow both yesterday and today I suspected it was a cockerel because it has large, very red head gear along with slightly curved tail feathers. The breeder will replace him, so not too worried. However, I'm concerned that the other may be a cockerel too! Its headgear isn't as large/red, but still a fair size. Its tail feathers also don't look curved and i thought its head looked smaller. BUT it's the same large size as the other, both have tall, chunky legs and of course it hasn't laid anything yet either. But the 2nd one hasn't crowed....yet! This is my first experience with Orps - they are beautiful, lovely birds, but so hard to sex! I wonder if any of you can spot any tell tale signs from these photos: Cockerel on the right here: Cockerel tail feathers: Other bird's tail feathers: Cockerel at the front here:
  3. Ooh, the ladder's a good idea I've been struggling to think of ways to put perches in as the weld mesh has such small holes at I can't seem to get branches to poke through to secure them. But I've a set of little ladders from some bunk beds which I will try, thank you! Egluntyne, you are right - the tail is wagging the dog Suebee, I'm going to put up some brush fencing stuff to screen it off so I'll let you know what effect, if any, it has
  4. Hi, thanks for your reply. You might be right, perhaps they don't really notice - although a neighbour who lives in another street said he could hear them He wasn't complaining, but it shows that the noise carries! I possibly am worrying for no real reason, but I hate the thought of them getting irate behind my back......or in front of it I'm not confrontational at all and don't know how I'd deal with it if they complained. Just to add, the most immediate neighbours are behind my house on a different road, back to back with our garden with a big hedge between us, so I don't even know them to talk to. Their run is 2m x 4m and is walk in height. Does that sound big enough? There are just the 2 of them (Marans) and I don't plan on getting more until I have moved house in the next year or so to a more rural spot. I'm going to get some coconuts to hang up (halved first of course!) and see what they make of them!
  5. I have 2 hens and although they are usually pretty quiet, they are VERY vocal when they've laid an egg and have also begun to be vocal demanding to be let out of their run to free range in the garden - I have been letting them out each afternoon so have probably made a rod for my own back now as they expect it and if it doesn't happen they get cranky and parade up and down along the side of the run grumbling. Trouble is, they are starting to demand it earlier and earlier and their squawks are becoming louder and louder! If I'm home I can usually quieten them down by chucking some corn in for them. But if I'm not they're presumably squawking away merrily. I have neighbours as I live on an estate, and I don't want to cause any problems with their noise. So I've been trying various things: Strung fruit/veg up to keep them occupied Tried shutting them in the coop at egg laying time (mid afternoon) - trouble is all it does is delay their laying as they seem to get grumpy about being shut in I've even tried bringing them into the house (an old utility room) in the afternoons, but OH isn't terribly happy about that one!! So I wondered if the problem is that they can SEE the garden and therefore perhaps screening it a bit might make them forget......I thought about putting up some brush wood fencing along the garden side of the run. The run is on a concrete base so unfortunately I cAnt plant anything and I presume tubs of plants wouldn't last long. I read somewhere that a chicken keeper had made the surrounds of his run very jungle like, surrounded with shrubs and plants and it seemed to calm the hens. That MIGHT help with the 'I want to be over there where it's green' squawking, but now to tackle the 'Ive laid an EEEEGG!' noise.......I wondered if just giving them more to do might help? I thought about filling a plastic trough with lots of soil perhaps? They already have a dust bath of sand and a pile of logs and a CD on string. Any other thoughts on how I can keep them a little quieter?
  6. That's great thanks. I'm hoping I can just get away with raking over and using bio Dri
  7. Sorry to jump in, but can I ask how you maintained the hard wood chips during the year? My run is on concrete - would I just need to poo pick it or would I need to do anything else? Thanks!

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