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Beantree last won the day on May 12

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About Beantree

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  1. The presence of a large rat can easily upset the flock dynamics as they can injure a chicken. Rats also eat eggs which they normally carry off, but perhaps can't get through the mesh? The previous owner of our house in the UK had chickens and he complained of not getting many eggs. Clearing the undergrowth nearby and we found a pile of dozens of egg shells. The first stage I think is to catch the rat, then see how the chickens behave.
  2. I think you meant to say 'run' Bluebell1985, because corrugated roofing on a coop leads to lots of issues with draughts and rodents. Onduline will work in the UK but some additional support may be required to stop it sagging in the changing climate.
  3. They have now a good store of Calcium in their bones which will take a long time to deplete: that's where the egg shells come from. So phasing in the layers pellets is the best way to go as they can stop eating with a sudden change of feed. The layers give them plenty of Calcium to replenish that store but importantly it is balanced with phosphorous (8:1) which allows the calcium transfer mechanism to work. Perhaps people don't realise that the Calcium for the egg shells doesn't get there directly from the feed. It's a complex process that can easily go wrong as the calcium from the feed goes
  4. I'd also be looking for places where small feet could get caught and broken. I'm sure Omlet have specified 12 weeks for good reason, so I wouldn't suggest trying them in it any younger. Perhaps delay your collection?
  5. We've always switched from rearers over to layers when the first one lays. You could always mix it in gradually if you have a lot of rearers left. The problem we first had was the size of the layers pellets which were far too large and they didn't eat them, but we found that Smallholder layers were OK.
  6. It's that time of year again. Orange alert for thunderstorms this evening bringing high winds and hail. So most of the work today will be putting things away and covering the vegetable plot beds. The water butts have some capacity left. We bought a new pump from Lidl because the old submersible is just too slow. Their Parkside range of low budget tools is quite good value if you want something that you won't use that often and isn't a disaster if it breaks. This particular pump had a picture showing a 15mm outlet connection, but it turned out that the outlet connection wasn't an included
  7. When you worm them it is important that they eat nothing else, so they need to be confined to their run otherwise the treatment will be ineffective. Quite possible they have a worm burden as that does affect egg quality and size. If they are only eating mainly grass they won't get enough protein to lay eggs at the normal frequency anyway; we have this issue. Too early in the season to moult I think (expect August), but their feathers will be looking a bit tatty now as they are old and do need replacing.
  8. I've just Googled 'boleti beans' and it said they were a wild version of kidney beans. There are only two things (so far) I can't stand to eat; celery and kidney beans. I find celery overpowers anything else and tastes horrible and kidney beans seem to swell up, taste of nothing and are probably like chewing cardboard. Guess what we haven't got in the veggie plot.
  9. We gave some thought to growing Mangleworzle (have I spelt it correctly?) but couldn't find seeds. This was before Worzle Gummage. We did grow Turnips but for the life of me I can't think why or what we did with them?
  10. We used to grow some lovely parsnips in England @mullethunter because we had deep sandy soil, but here it is solid clay below fork depth and they grow very short and fat; still taste nice. I sowed them too late last year and they didn't germinate in the heat. Thinking the seeds were no good I re-seeded and when it got cooler they all came up! Even with the losses from the lizards eating them (which we stopped by hanging CD's) we had far too many. We tried to explain what parsnips were to our French neighbour. Even when we found the translation 'panais', he had never heard of them. They sell th
  11. Started earthing up the main crop potatoes yesterday; I'd forgotten how hard it is on the back. The new chicken enclosure was stripped of moss (by the chickens) which has been set aside to cover the South face of the potato mounds. I soak it in water and apply it in a thick layer to protect from the heat and retain the moisture. Tried it for the first time last year and it works well. Previously we used leaf mulch, which also works, but the blackbirds make a mess digging for insects. Long job but it saves a lot of watering over Summer.
  12. That's the worst case I've ever seen; poor girl. Could easily happen if the wormer doesn't kill the eggs, so the dose on the 11th killed the worms and later the eggs hatched. Flubenvet is administered over 7 days to cover that problem, so your instinct was right Cattails and they will need more than one dose because these will have laid more eggs.
  13. Best not interfere @Beaudyne, because it's too easy to quickly lose humidity and get the chick stuck to the membrane. Was the day you put them in counted as day Zero?
  14. I know absolutely nothing about Silkies, apart from they can't fly (is that right?). But i can understand your concern @Annabel, because their stance leads me to think they may be cockerels. As said you won't be certain for a while yet; when you get the first egg. On the positive side I would have expected them to be crowing at 18 weeks, but perhaps Silkies are late developers? We had a leghorn crow at 4 weeks (or try to).
  15. The new potatoes still look very sick so won't do well, but the beetroot is showing just 7 days after sowing. Put 3 courgette seeds into pots 8 days ago and all are up, so one of our neighbours will get one. Last year we put three in the compost heap and had double the yield stated on the label, so far too many. Our tip is a very quiet place @Daphne, so no queues or bad tempers. Having said that there is a little cockerel with two hens wandering around on the lawns around it, so sometimes noisy. Yes we do have an assortment of containers and in three different locations as well. Just luc

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