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Beantree last won the day on September 5

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About Beantree

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  1. They certainly won't roost at 24" and it's too high for most anyway. Whilst they could get up there landing on the floor afterwards is likely to cause injury (hip problems with Orpingtons are common). As ours got older (and heavier) their perch came down to 6". They grip the perch at the front and rest their keel on the perch (ours are 4"), so if the edge isn't well rounded it will be uncomfortable. Only problem I can see with roosting on the floor is poo on their bottom feathers, which we found a big problem with Orpingtons anyway; frequent washes and blow-dry to avoid fly-strike. You don't really have enough floor space for landing there. I'd move the perch position to the bottom end (12' from the back and 9" high) and put the nest box near the pop-hole. Make some hangars so the perch can be easily lifted out and this will make cleaning out simple. I've always struggled picking up Orpingtons as their centre of gravity seems all wrong and their wings get free easily. Certainly take a 'head under your armpit' approach, which some chickens prefer and others don't. The only Orpingtons we had that liked being picked up, in fact enjoyed it, were cocks. They used to peck our legs util they were picked up to sit on our laps and then nod-off. I'd not pick them up until you have a technique that works, otherwise they will become more fearful. They are too big to restrain the legs between the fingers I've found, so just rest the keel bone on your forearm and clamp the wings to your side. Food and water should be outside under a covered run, otherwise it will get messy and rodents may be a problem.
  2. Beantree

    **Thread of little facts & things**....3

    We have Dutch friends here who left Holland to escape the pollution caused largely by intensive animal farming. In fact there are a lot of Dutch down here, together with Scottish, Belgian, American and of course English. Nearby there is a lovely and quite big Dutch-owned camp site complete with a fairy-tale style chateau. Our friends tell us that during the holiday season they take weekly deliveries of an articulated lorry full of Dutch foodstuffs. I needed to paint some brackets orange and rummaged through a dusty box full of small cans. Found a rusty can of Humbrol Enamel which I know is 50 years old, so didn't expect it to be much use when I opened it. To my amazement after a good stirring the paint applied well and dried perfectly! I also found tins of water-based paint which had rusted through in a few years; perhaps because they were stirred with a screwdriver which scratched through the protective coating on the metal?
  3. Chickens lose a lot of heat through their feet and with Winter coming wet flooring will freeze. I'd certainly do as Cattails suggests.
  4. Beantree

    Where in the world

    West of Ireland, specifically Feakle in County Clare. Very green because it rains a lot and was unspoilt. What stopped us moving was the house prices went crazy and a lot of unsympathetic house building in the countryside spoilt it; by the time they closed the planning loopholes it was too late. But the people are lovely and so is the Guinness. We lived in a forest in the Dordogne Cattails. Lovely in the heat of Summer but the rest of the year it was dark, cold and damp. We are now surrounded by open fields and love it, although it is really too hot in Summer nowhere is going be perfect. Whether we can remain here is another question? Seems not yet being resident for 5 years may become a problem?
  5. Beantree

    Longer days with a light

    We tried that Peter but found that the mess in the coop wasn't worth the trouble for the extra eggs. Water spilled and full of shavings, feed knocked over and all the bedding scratched and messed. Problem is a coop is too small an area for chickens to be active in it. We were also told that the hens must have a 'laying break' of at least two weeks anyway, otherwise their health suffers.
  6. Beantree

    Gardening thread

    We have a quince tree which last year produced fruit which rotted and fell off. The few good ones were brown inside, so we didn't expect much of this tree. However this year it has cropped so heavily that more than half of the fruit was removed to prevent the branches breaking and none have rotted. One fell off this morning weighing 562 grammes and when cut in half it was perfect. There are still dozens on the tree, some of which are even bigger. What do you do with them? Seems we have residents in the vegetable plot; field voles, some of which are quite big. They now have acquired a taste for beef tomatoes, having already eaten the carrots and beetroot from underground. Tempted to let the terrier in but suspect she will do more damage than the voles, so it looks like traps are the only option. Apparently we should have cut back the grass for at least 5 metres all around the plot which stops the voles coming out from the fields, as they don't like to be exposed for that distance. So now the grass is cut, too late for this year but hopefully will solve the problem for next, once we have caught the residents.
  7. Beantree

    **Thread of little facts & things**....3

    If it's a tiny school logo would it be possible to embroider one that would pass at a glance? It's not about saving the money, rather more about not being 'ripped off'. We've had the supply to the house re-routed and it now comes in on the opposite side of the house. Two new pylons put in and one taken out (4 months later which is very quick for here) leaving a very large hole in a lawn. All supplies are overhead cables here, unless you pay a small fortune to get the cables buried. The cables taken down were 4 bare conductors with glass insulators. The new ones are 4 twisted black insulated cables, which is a lot better for the swallows to perch on, to the extent that we had around 200 on them yesterday. They kept flying up because they were being buzzed by a sparrow hawk (I think). Today they have all gone; migrated perhaps?
  8. Beantree

    Gardening thread

    I followed the instruction of cutting roses back to the first outward facing bud Soapdragon, which works fine. However I cut some mildewed roses almost back to the ground and this year they were great, so this year all the roses will all get cut back hard. One thing we are using now is liquid fertiliser with added elements when bushes are watered; great results with that as well, although it is expensive. In the village where we used to live quite a few people moved into houses and immediately ripped everything out of the garden and paved them over. I suppose if you have a busy working life there isn't time for gardening and I know people who hate the repetition of pulling out weeds time and time again. i'm not a great flower lover preferring to eat what we grow.
  9. Beantree

    Empty crops at bedtime

    Older girls certainly do eat less, particularly if they are not laying, it's warm or they are coming into a moult. Many of ours (all old) started moulting and stopped eating much for about a week; as a result they lost some weight. Just check the poos. Mainly white and they are drinking but not eating. Green and they are stressed by something which can range from moulting, injury or something worse, unless they've been eating a lot of green stuff of course. Sure they eat something, but their appetite is reduced.
  10. Beantree

    The Weather Thread #9

    It's just 8C here this morning, which comes as a bit of a shock, but the sun is shining and with no rain forecast until Tuesday it will be a pleasant afternoon at around 24C. I was reminded of September holidays in France. Just outside Clermont-Ferrand (beautiful city in the middle of France) in an area known as the Volcans (volcanoes) woke up to a very hard frost and decided we should have camped under the trees. However the sun came out and just an hour later it was 26C and we were in T shirts. There were only three campers on the immaculate site, which surrounded a lake in a volcano crater. Well worth a visit.
  11. Beantree

    At my wits end with bullies :-(

    You haven't said how big the run is, but in my experience if you have less than 6m2 for the three, these problems are inevitable. The fact that this behaviour keeps repeating says to me that the run is far too small and needs enlarging considerably before introducing more hens. You should be aiming for 12m2.
  12. Beantree

    Maurice the coq wins his case

    We don't make any noise on a Sunday anyway Ursula123; a 'common sense' practice we bought with us from England. Unfortunately weekday lunchtimes are another issue because we have to work when it is cool enough otherwise we'd never get anywhere. Having said that our 3 neighbours are each 200 metres away, although being so quiet sound does carry. Perhaps we shouldn't use the two-strokes and the big mower between 12.00 and 2.00? Maurice was on TV at lunchtime and there were scenes from the courtroom with the place packed with his supporters.
  13. After 2 ½ years of litigation in the French Courts Maurice the coq has been allowed to remain to sing. New neighbours, who had bought a holiday home complained of being woken up in the morning. This complaint has been seen as further erosion by the wealthy into the lives of the countryfolk. and is one on a long list which sparked the 'Yellow jacket' protests. Other previous noise complaints are church bells, donkeys and cows! The complainers have been ordered to pay €1000 damages as well. The judge decided that, as no-one else in the village had complained, there wasn't really a problem. Hopefully this case has set a precedent, because there is now another filed by a new holiday home owner concerned about the excessive noise of ducks quacking in the adjoining garden.
  14. Chickens have spacial memory, so if you move their coop they may not be able to find it, especially if it doesn't match their picture memory. We discovered this when we moved a coop about 10 metres whilst they were free ranging. In the evening they were huddled on the lawn, in exactly the position where the coop was. After putting them into the coop they were fine next evening, having adjusted to its new location.
  15. Beantree

    A year already!

    Seems like we planted well, as the lunchtime news says that due to the heatwaves and drought the price of tomatoes has risen 30% on last year and the price of potatoes is up 50%!!! Makes all that watering worth it.