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About Beantree

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    Chatty Chicken
  1. Introducing one chicken to existing two

    As said, the breeder should not have let you have one alone. She will be destined to a lonely bullied life whatever happens. You can add two to one if you are careful, but not one to two with safety without a rather complex and time consuming process. Adding a single hen is extremely difficult and requires neutral ground, not the existing coop and run in it's current location. You move the two established ones out and put them somewhere else. Then put the newcomer into the run and coop in a new location and leave her to establish herself. She will quickly be lonely, so move the original two close to her. Wait a week and then put the two in. If you haven't the facilities or ability to move the coop and run it will be down to luck. Make sure you add an extra feeder and drinker as that's when the newbie will be bullied. Adding another hen now is courting disaster I think. You would need to separate and add one to one and then re-introduce both pairs on new ground.
  2. I think you would have to move the Cube into a warm barn and let the chickens run inside the barn, rather than letting them roam outside as -30C is far too cold. I have seen pictures of a large insulated shed used to house chickens over Winter.
  3. Poorly hen?

    She looks a picture of perfect health Merlah, although that is a large crop. They usually eat morning and evening, so if she's going to top hers up it will be huge. Worth checking her crop is completely empty in the morning as well; no hard lumps that could be going sour.
  4. Poorly hen?

    It's also possible that she is just fat. Worth noting where she roosts and comparing the poo pile compared to the others, or checking the size of her crop at night compared to the others. If you are giving treats make sure they are kept to a minimum, just a small percentage of their diet and avoid sweetcorn.
  5. Flukes?

    You could try Verm-X on small bread squares Mullethunter. We had a couple of cases of unidentified long thin red worms coming out in knotted clumps the size of a thimble. At first glance they looked like shed intestinal lining and it wasn't until they came out alive we realised we had a problem. Flubenvet didn't affect them as I think they lived in the ceacal ducts, but Verm-X worked for some reason. Perhaps her gut flora isn't fully effective either so try Avipro Avian as well?
  6. Frontline spray question

    You need to be careful with Frontline spray as it can stay in the skin for several months and they can overdose on it. You shouldn't need to spray again as the hatchlings will still get the effect. We only use Frontline for Northern Fowl Mite, which burrow under the skin. Presume you mean feather lice Eggalp1, based on your reference to clusters of eggs at the base of the feathers, in which case we would use one or two squirts of Johnsons dog or cat flea spray which is unlicensed for chickens and as such should be used with caution. One or two sprays into the feathers will result in any lice passing through the area dying and eventually they will all be dead. But remember chickens preen and are digesting the stuff, so don't repeat treatment for at least a month. A safer route is a good dusting of Barrier lice powder. If you have access to potash, that's firewood ash, add a little to the soil bath as it is very fine and the lice probably suffocate; works for us. On no account use coal ash as the Sulphur in it will burn their skin.
  7. Injured girlie - fox attack?

    I agree with Ursula123; one of the other girls has pecked her. This behaviour is triggered when hens come into lay and defend their food supply. She was either attacked at the feeder or cornered and attacked, perhaps even in the nest box which could be seen as territorial with some breeds. This problem subsides as the season progresses but the solution now is to increase the number of feeders and drinkers and either increase run space significantly, or provide perches in the run where she can jump up to escape. A pecked comb can bleed an awful lot, so clean her up and make sure the bleeding stops, otherwise the blood may attract more attention. We use 'plastic skin' on combs, but be very careful indeed to avoid contact with her eyes.
  8. Solway coops

    The Solway has vents at either end Emmalou. The ones above the pop-hole are fixed open and the one above the access door at the other end can be closed down in varying degrees. I agree with you, there isn't a perfect coop as all chickens or usages have different requirements. We have bantam coops, broody or rearing coops, breeding coops for large fowl (so the pop-hole is very big to suit a tall cockerel) and standard coops designed for 10 layers maximum with 3 nest boxes. The Solway only has one nest box but is great for the occupants because they both have one good leg only. As it sits on the floor access isn't a problem and as it's plastic it won't rot.
  9. Solway coops

    We are in France and have a Solway in the front garden Emmalou. It gets to 42C down here and we were worried about heat. Last Summer was the first time it had been used so we positioned it under a Plane tree in dense shade. Got to 38C with no problems. Generally my only criticism is poor ventilation, although it's an old coop and things may have improved, so the pop-hole has to be left open in mid-Summer. It's within an electrified run so is rarely secure. We've positioned it so the access door is to the West so the side gets the sun and the winds are west-East or East to West here, so the best orientation for the vents at either end.
  10. I can see the benefits of fermenting mixed grain, which is the 'chicken feed' referred to in the Google articles, as it then digests more quickly and completely. With dry grain you can often see undigested bits in the poo. However pellets is another matter as our experience is of wet pellets going sour and mouldy in a matter of hours and have seen chickens completely avoid it after that period. There is no substitute for ranging on grass and ours eat a lot of it, but it must be kept short to avoid crop and digestive impactions. We do feed cabbage, but it must be chopped or again there are impaction problems. Make sure they have mixed grit otherwise they can't grind any solid food to digest it properly.
  11. Our bantams are just as destructive to grass as the large fowl. You may find that to give the grass chance to recover quickly, depending on the season, you need to move them as often as every week and give the grass area two months. When they are moved the grass must be very short or crop or digestive impaction is a big risk.
  12. As bantams go I've found pekins very aggressive to others and they can certainly hold their own with large fowl. Not sure how other bantam breeds would manage though? We have Leghorn bantams and they can be rather aggressive to large fowl as well. Whist things can be fairly stable when hens aren't laying, it all changes when they are, as nest boxes can become territorial with some breeds. Mixing breeds is always 'pot luck' and something we don't now do based on previous experience.
  13. The Weather Thread #9

    Unusually wet here; I can see muddy streams running down the fields on the other side of the valley. Forecast says rest of France is fairly dry! Heading for a more typical cold Winter spell though, cold with sunshine all day and hard frosts in the morning.
  14. Chicken Food Storage

    An old chest freezer is ideal, but it is an eyesore and perhaps needs painting for disguise.
  15. Places to buy pure breeds

    If you know the breed you want, try contacting the breed club for nearby members.