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About Yellowjedi

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    Chicken Eggspert
  1. Lost my Columbine (Cheech) to a fox last week. She didn't quite make it to a full year with us but was a real character On the bright side, OH came with me today to pick up three new Legbar hybrids in her memory. Not sure how I managed to talk him into it. Now to see what colour eggs we get! RIP Cheech - miss you loads x
  2. Thanks both. I'll just watch and wait with mealworms and tonics in reserve. For them, not me!
  3. Are chickens supposed to moult at this time every year? None of mine show any signs of this yet - two are less than a year old and the other two (adopted) are at a guess 2-3 years old. I'm not overly concerned - more curious.
  4. I've been keeping chickens only since May of this year and I did find that I was looking at a and posting on the forum a lot more in the beginning than I do now. Mind you, I think that it's more because I've had a lot going on for the last few months so haven't had time to get online much. I still have my chicken-keeping mojo - love them to bits. In fact, since I last posted my flock has increased from 2 to 4 - I inherited a couple when my dad died in August (and another cat). OH couldn't really say no in those circumstances! So on top of everything else I've had a busy time introducing 2 new chickens (without having the resources to accommodate them in a separate house/run). It was a case of throwing them all together and seeing what happened - despite all advice to the contrary on this forum! Luckily, all has gone far better than I expected - no fighting/pecking, just a little bullying. I do still have to give my Columbine her treats separately from the others or they barge her away, and she tends to lay her eggs in secret places that take days for us to find, but apart from that they have settled down incredibly well. I will try to be more active going forward as this is such a helpful place!
  5. I clean the Eglu tray and roostbars at the weekend with diluted PoultryShield and a scrubbing brush, dry them off and then line the tray with newspaper covered with a hen house freshener (can't remember name - bought from Omlet) and a few squirts of Diatom. We use straw in the nest box (and the run whilst it's temporary) - these get Diatom too. Will investigate Stalosan. Every four weeks or so I've sprayed the Eglu inside and out with Johnsons cleaner and given it a good wipe down. Will do a deep clean/take apart soon when I get a clear day. Only started this in May! During the week I poo pick from the tray and the run (and round the garden) - I use a litter pick - it's great - no bending or stretching into the run! If there are any softies (Chong ) I clean those out as they appear. The water thingy gets cleaned with Ecover washing up liquid every couple of days (and has a good scrub with a nail brush - perfect size). Have to do it quite often as it gets full of straw and Chong likes to walk in it! At the moment I'm using a high sided ceramic dog bowl for their mash - stops them spreading it everywhere or tipping it over. That goes in the dishwasher or gets scrubbed with the water container. I can't get along with the Eglu food thingy - almost break my fingers trying to get the lid on and off.
  6. We're experiencing our first broody right now. Our Columbine (Cheech) has been nestbox bound since Friday, or would be if we didn't keep turfing her out. I though she was over it yesterday though as she spent the time from early evening til dusk actually up and about in the rain. But no, this morning she was back in broody mode. I shut both girls out of the Eglu this morning once I'd pushed Cheech out into the run as she has been trying to hatch the big stone in the nestbox. I didn't realise that our Bluebell was so close to lay-time though - poor thing had to lay her egg in the run and by the sounds of it she was NOT happy! I'm wondering about using a broody cage but as rain has stopped the completion of the new WIR, we're limited to the Go and its attached run, and obviously a cage won't fit in there. I'm assuming that as long as the cage is sheltered from the elements I could stand it next to the run so that the two girls can still communicate? We don't have foxes so I'm not too concerned about predators. The other option is to bring the cage indoors for the three days. What would be best?
  7. Well, the mash has gone down a treat. They head straight for it every morning and actually eat the stuff! I got aperfect egg from Chong for 8 straight days too - a record. Softie today though - she really doesn't like weekends They especially liked it when I hid a few mealworms in the mash last week - chicken lucky dip!
  8. It is a bit stinky! My garden is not very big and the instructions say it has to be 5m away from compost heaps etc so by process of elimination it ended up on the garage by the side door (on a hanging basket bracket!!) so we get a lovely waft when we have to go in there. Small price to pay though for something that actually works. OH got the job of bagging it for the rubbish
  9. Thanks for all the replies. Sorry it's taken a while to get back, but was busy at work then on Wednesday one of my cats got hit by a car so I've been a bit pre-occupied. Luckily she got away with only a broken jaw, but now we're waiting to see if the vet can pin it or whether she'll have to be referred to a specialist ortho-vet for plates. Not a good week. I've worked out how much a scoop of pellets weighs so I can judge how much to put in each day. The girls don't eat anywhere near 100g each day. They are kept in the run with the food for the first few hours each morning and I'm limiting access to seed when they FR, but still the pellets are not going down much. The bluebell doesn't like laying at weekends(!) and if she does have a go it's usually a softie. The columbine is laying daily (nice pale green/blue eggs ) and so far, not a single softie - she does seem to eat more of the pellets so that makes sense. Her eggs average out as heavier too. So, I'm going to get a different brand of pellets and some mash this weekend. See if they like either of those better. I wonder if they do bird-seed flavour for chickens that think they are sparrows? It's like having fussy kids!
  10. LOVINg the red-top. It eats flies! Thanks so much for the advice - it's brilliant!
  11. Help! My two girls hardly touch their pellets, even if I keep them in the run. They seem far happier foraging around the garden for worms and bugs, but have developed an unhealthy addiction to wild bird seed. It's got so bad that when I take the bird seed box out to fill up the feeder, they appear from nowhere at my feet with THAT look on their faces. I doubt that wild bird mix has the right mix of nutrients for chickens, and I'm getting the odd softie egg from my Bluebell, although as she's still on her first month of laying I'm putting it down to practice makes perfect at this point. What is worrying me though is that when I picked up the Columbine yesterday (not something that she allows often!) she did feel pretty boney. Neither of them seem unhealthy in themselves (and Cheech finally produced her first egg on Friday - pale blue/green ) but still I'm a bit worried. They are eating, it's just they seem to be eating the wrong stuff. Should I be worried, or am I just having a newbie panic? Any suggestions on how to get them to eat some "proper" food for a change? Sorry for rambling! Thanks!
  12. Ah thanks Egluntine, perfect - just what I was looking for! I obviously was using the wrong search parameters as I tried a general Google before looking on the forum. Operator error! YJ
  13. Hello, Sorry if this has been answered/discussed elsewhere but my quick search didn't come up with anything. What is a "normal" egg weight? As I don't buy traitor eggs from the shops anymore (YES!) I can't weigh them to see. I'm curious as to the average weight of a small/medium/large egg so I can see how my girls are doing. The Bluebell is laying c46g eggs daily now (except weekends - which she seems to have decided is her time off ). These are quite small but that's fine. Maybe they'll get bigger as she gets better at it! Thanks in advance. YJ
  14. My labrador-sized terrier/lurcher cross has his moments with small dogs, but lives quite happily with two cats. When we got our two chickens a month ago we weren't sure how he would react to two more small chaseable things so initially did not take our eyes off him. We let him sniff them through the run and then when he'd got used to them (and them to him) we allowed him in the garden when they were FRing, but under strict supervision. Apart from a couple of chasing incidents - which occurred when the Columbine got spooked and flighty - luckily the dog has been fine. He's most interested in what food they are getting and what they could possibly like about the dark area under the tree. There has not been any barking, growling or other aggressive behaviour so we should be OK. Everything crossed. He got a stern telling off when he did chase (and was put inside for a period - his normal punishment if he misbehaves in the garden) and he seems to have got the message. As we know he can have red-mist moments around small dogs, we will never entirely be off guard with him and the chickens but so far he has behaved far better than expected. In the end I think it's a case of knowing your dog's character and allowing/not allowing interaction accordingly. Good luck - I hope they all end up getting along just fine.

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