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About knittingmama

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    Freshly Laid Egg
  1. Anyone ever have a hen lay a soft shelled egg after a storm? We had our first one today, which I am really hoping is from the stress of yesterday's hideous weather. The wind was really strong, and my girls hid in the eglu for a chunk of the day. Really hope there's nothing else wrong! Thanks...
  2. Have been convinced by the nice lady at my local supply shop to give Easibed a go for our small run. Wondering if anyone has any experience of using it in uncovered areas? We have an Eglu Go (no extension) set in a border about 1.5m x 5m. The border is fenced off with moveable netting, so the girls spend most of the day going in and out of the run and poking around the border. I plonked the Eglu there on top of soil and some (existing) bark chip, but only a month and a half later it's a mud pit and I can only see it getting worse with the winter. Would let them have the run of the garden all day but it's not very practical with kids and dogs running about... Plan on putting down heavy-duty woven weedproof fabric in the entire border area, with some chicken wire on top of the fabric to stop the soil getting churned up, then a layer of Easibed on top. Unfortunately the only cover we have for the area is the tarp on the end of the run that Omlet provides, and one of the big plastic PVC covers that I pop on when it rains. So... wondering how the Easibed will hold up, especially outside of the run. I'd imagine inside the run it will be ok if I keep the plastic cover on for the winter. But of course the elements will get in anyway, and the girls like to hang out outside the run. Thanks!
  3. Thanks for all the replies. After posting here and venting to friends on Facebook, I've come up with a couple of options... The local tree surgeon offered to 'dump a load of chip' on my drive for £35; I found another company who will deliver a builders bag of softwood chip for £30; and I found an Easibed stockist only 10 minutes from my house who sells a bale for £7. Think I'm going to try the Easibed first as it seems the most simple solution- prepacked bedding that I don't have to wheel through my house one wheelbarrow-full at a time! Going to go over and start a new thread about Easibed now... Ooh how I love this forum.
  4. For those of you using horse bedding- do you have it under cover or no? I would imagine it would blow away?
  5. I am tearing my hair out trying to source hardwood wood chip locally for our chicken run. We have a small space, only 1.5m x 5m, for them to hang out in, and everything I've read says that 'bark is bad, wood chip is good'. To start out with I had them on bare earth with some random bark mixture on top, just what I had already, but have found that a.) it's very muddy and b.) everyone on the internet says not to use bark. So I've finally moved them, am putting down some heavy duty weed barrier and some chicken wire, with the aim of putting a thick layer of woodchip on the top. (As per this website's suggestion for mudproofing: http://www.newlandgrange.com/CHICKEN-RUN-MUD-MANAGEMENT(1720020).htm So the problem comes when I try to get wood chip. I have found suppliers online but they want like £40 for delivery (plus it costs £10 a bag and I need 7 - 8 bags), or they only deliver a massive amount which I won't be able to move from my drive. And of course there's the issue of not being home when they deliver. Normally I have stuff delivered to work for this reason. Not sure if using wood chip from the tree surgeon is a good idea, either, because of the mixture of materials. So I'm back to wondering if I ought to just use play bark because I can get it easily (locally) and in smaller amounts. Sorry for the long post, just completely frustrated with trying to settle my ladies. Need to move them back to their permanent home soon as they've already dug holes in the lawn after only 2 days! Thanks very much
  6. Guess I'll keep taking the food out. I haven't seen any mice or rats near the run (nor have I seen evidence) but I know they hang out just behind the garden shed, which is next to the run. And there's an express motorway for them to travel on (in other words, a little gap) between the shed and the fence! They used to steal every seed I planted in the veg patch that used to be where the hens are now. Yuck, drowned mouse in water glug... I do actually check the feeder every time I take it out, for fear that there will be a hitchhiker in there.
  7. My two little terrors manage to kick wood chip and soil into their glug every day, turning it into a swamp. I also take in their food at night and find the clip-on feeder to be hard to manage first thing in the morning with a stiff back! The run is soooo low down. I've bought them a hanging drinker and feeder now, hoping to keep their water clean... but the question is, can I get away with leaving the food out in the run, in a hanging feeder now? It's not as open and will hang from a chain or something (haven't quite figured out what). Will rats try to get to it anyway? As the weather gets colder I'm going to find it harder to bend down every morning to put the food back... Thanks!
  8. How big was it and did you leave it there all the time, so they just hopped over it to get out? Sounds like a good idea.
  9. Hi again. Another question for you all! It's been quite a challenge to keep the bedding in the nest area in our Go... Then today I found one of the eggs had been kicked out into the run. Any advice? (Apart from getting a big ol' wooden henhouse with separate nesting boxes!!) I have a feeling my naughty Daisy may have been playing with the eggs... Thanks....
  10. Ha ha, I did that today- bit like hiding Easter eggs for the kids to find. Still came home to find an egg had been rolled out into the run, though... Not so sure I like the Go for the simple reason that they can kick out all the bedding and eggs into the run! Have installed 2 planks of wood for them to hop on, hung up some CDs, and will keep giving them stuff to peck at in their hanging feeder. Hoping for no shenanigans tomorrow!
  11. Thanks for the replies. Have purchased a hanging treat feeder that you can stuff with veggies, so they're at home with a bit of lettuce and carrots today. I let them out when I'm home so I suppose it's not so bad but as the days get shorter that time will be limited. : ( What do you use for a dustbath that's cheap and easy? I'd imagine with my two (who are like messy toddlers!), they'll fill up the dustbath with woodchip every day.
  12. Hello. So we got our hens on Sunday. Love them! We ended up with two. A couple of questions: I'm at work from 9 - 5 during the week, and they're in the standard Go run on woodchip/bark mix. They seem to love the woodchip, digging it up and flinging it around until they get to the soil underneath. Like messy toddlers! Should I give them a tray for a dustbath or will flinging woodchip around until they get to the soil suffice? They do such a job with the woodchip that they'd probably destroy the dustbath in a couple of hours anyway... Also it seems boring to be in there all day, any ideas for things to keep them amused? Have put some carrots in a hanging feeder in there and chucked a handful of food and a bit of grit onto the woodchip but I'm sure they found all of that before 10am. Thanks! Back to work. (All I can think about are Daisy and Rosie!)
  13. Gav- is the container where you keep everything metal or plastic?
  14. Have got my ladies at last! Daisy and Rosie are settling in nicely. At the hen supplier today I mentioned my worry about rats, as when our garden shed was being installed yesterday I saw one running along the fence. I'm sure there are loads behind the shed, which is next to the run. The woman at the suppliers said I could put a small hopper inside the eglu go to cut down on the chances of food going everywhere and attracting the rats. At the moment it's in there and there is room for it as I only got 2 hens. Do you think I can leave it in there or should I take it out at night? Would prefer to leave it as its one less thing to do...
  15. Thanks, I'm glad to have found this forum. Have enlisted hubby's help this weekend to set up the run and we are definitely getting them on Sunday. I can't wait. Also got very excited on a walk around the neighbourhood yesterday with my two older children, because we spotted another garden with hens in... and their garden is smaller than ours with a trampoline right next to the coop! I didn't have the nerve to knock on their door to say hi but I might do one of these days. Will post piccies when I get the chance. : )

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