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Everything posted by Beantree

  1. Beantree

    Notre Dame

    Apparently the roof timbers weighed between 3 and 10 tons each and, looking at the aerial photographs, there were hundreds of them, or perhaps thousands. It is incredible that such a huge and complex structure, with all that weight, was built 850 years ago. Unfortunately finding oak beams in France now could be difficult, as a large part (in this region all) of the ancient oak woodland has been 'thinned out' for fuel. However I am sure there must be oak woodland remaining somewhere in Europe. We have two very large and beautiful oaks on our property; one of the reasons we bought it. Hopefully no-one will turn up to cut them down!
  2. Beantree

    Notre Dame

    It's the only news item covered here this morning and is a National disaster. The Government has pledged 200M€ for the restoration, but looking at what's left it will be a very long job. I think the biggest problem will be finding enough craftsmen to do the work and they may be forced to rebuild the roof with modern materials.
  3. We converted a shed which subsequently became full of red mite. Because it was such a large surface area it was impossible to treat thoroughly and subsequently was abandoned. Plastic coop is the way to go.
  4. Beantree

    To worm or not to worm?

    ACV used continuously has no effect on worms whatsoever Nugget. What has a dubious effect is changing the water and so gut acidity randomly by adding a maximum of 1% ACV, but just for a few days every month. Personally we don't use it as we could see no tangible benefit and it isn't cheap. We've never wormed chicks. Usually wait until they are coming into lay, so around 20 weeks.
  5. Beantree

    Dog insurance v savings account

    There are two parts to dog insurance. Firstly, third party liability and secondly, medical treatment for sickness. We haven't got the second, but the first is automatic here as part of your home insurance. Perhaps it's worth exploring that third party liability aspect with your home insurers DM and then stick with your savings plan for the second?
  6. Beantree

    Hen or Cockerel ?

    Far too early to tell for sure, but I seem to remember the female's wings develop earlier than the males and the tail feathers of the males develop earlier than the females? The comb development of the males is greater than the females obviously, but early on that's not always a reliable indicator. Neither is who is fighting who.
  7. They like to flap their wings, so perhaps a thin run will be too narrow.There is also the issue of the lowest hen passing the others without being pecked. All our runs are square and that's what I would recommend. The top, if covered will need a central support.
  8. Beantree

    Next stage of greenhouse walk-in run

    That is heavy gauge weld mesh Ajm200; best cut with an angle grinder with a 1mm disk. You may find getting paint to stick to galvanised mesh difficult until it has oxidised a bit though? Reading to the chickens is a great idea as they respond well to being talked to. Old timers (and us) talked constantly to their chickens as it has a calming effect when moving around them. They usually talk back.
  9. Beantree

    The Weather Thread #9

    We had the first significant rain here last night and this morning for 3 weeks; it was an official drought in the far South of France . Thunderstorms and heavy rain due tomorrow and then the temperatures plummet from 5C and 20C down to 0C and 9C, which is a bit annoying because the courgettes have just gone out and the tomatoes were going to follow. In our spot a frost is highly likely.
  10. Beantree

    Gapeworm, flubenvet dose

    For gapeworm the flubenvet needs to go down the throat progressively, as the worms are in the surface, so pellets is the route. Wouldn't worry about the expiry date, as it's only a week. It would normally be effective almost immediately as we have discovered, so give her the pellets now and nothing else to eat. The powder is very expensive and you may well find the treated pellets the best route anyway; saves the messing about mixing it as well. This assumes it is tapeworm of course. They will gape if they have something stuck or have a hard crop that won't budge. If she's eating and drinking fine she will take the pellets and hopefully that will sort her out. If she is sneezing that's another issue which may well be 'hay fever' this time of year; we have one at the moment because her run is under a cherry tree which has just flowered.
  11. Beantree

    Red kite

    Ours get spooked by kites as well; guess they look just like buzzards to them. We used to put random posts in the runs to block buzzard flight paths but don't need to here as they are under dense trees.
  12. Beantree

    Thin shells

    Unfortunately this happens with ageing hybrids Acbruce, so perhaps there is nothing you can do? As well as Calcium and Phosphorous, which will be in the layers pellets, they also need vitamin D which they get from sunlight or as an additive. You could try some cod liver oil as a single 1mL dose carefully and slowly dropped down the throat. Not to be repeated for at least a week.
  13. Beantree

    Finding a Cockerel

    Orpingtons suffer in later life from chronic hip problems due to the show breeding of a heavy chest, so I would avoid them even though they generally have a nice nature. We have a very nice Wyandotte. I agree with Daphne, try reputable breeders as they will always have extra healthy cockerels.
  14. Beantree

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

    A while back the electricity man came to tell us about the work they were going to do to replace crumbling concrete pylons. Two things he was very surprised about. Firstly we had free-ranging chickens without any boundaries at all and secondly, that we lived in France all through the year, not just part-time like all the other English he had met.
  15. Beantree

    Take one whole free range chicken

    I'm reminded of a colleague who had to go to India on business. At the restaurant he ordered a half tandoori chicken because, even though he was very hungry, he was certain he couldn't eat the whole chicken on the menu. What arrived was something akin to half a pigeon! We used to eat a lot of pheasants as the local shoot just couldn't sell them and so we could have as many as we wanted. Avoiding the lead shot was tedious though. Fortunately we have sufficient room for 'pet' chickens, 'laying' chickens and 'meat' chickens, but whether we ever do the meat chickens I don't know, as I will find the process difficult. However chickens here are very expensive, typically 12€ a piece as they are all labelled 'farmyard' reared, which basically means they get outside for grass, sunshine, exercise and fresh air. How much grass they get varies as some fields are just bare earth and mud in Winter, but people are jumping on the bandwagon to make potentially big money and these 'farms' are now springing up all over the place. I'm sure we could save a lot of money, but more importantly, ensure even better standards of welfare. The local Cou-Nu are slaughtered at 12 weeks and are a very different taste and texture to chicken we used to buy in England. Some of these chickens are labeled 'antibiotic free' which implies the others are loaded with antibiotics; another major cause for concern.
  16. Beantree

    Dirty vent and cream-coloured ‘flakes’

    The flakes are probably dead skin Rotherhamgirl, so in themselves nothing to worry about, but it can be caused by a reaction to their diet or a digestive problem. My first thought was worms, so when were they last treated with Flubenvet? Very important to keep those bottom feathers and particularly the skin around the vent clean as fly strike is always a possibility.
  17. Beantree

    The Weather Thread #9

    We've had a wet and windy cold spell and this morning it was only 3C until the sun came up. It's very still, no clouds and it seems likely the forecast temperature of 22C will be achieved. Starting to dig a hole for a nectarine tree; the ground will have softened with the rain but it will still need a pickaxe below 3".
  18. Beantree


    I'm the same as you Ursula; never ill really, especially now we are here and the stress levels have dropped. Fortunate really, as the sneaky changes recently made to the UK S1 healthcare system left me with no cover whatsoever for over a year. Problem is the top-up generally only covers treatment which the Carte Vitale covers, so without the card top-up was pointless and that card took a lot of getting. Everything is in place now though. Accepting the top-up could be a total waste of money, it could also be an absolute godsend if something does go seriously wrong and it is worth noting that in a serious car accident payments are met between the car and health policies. Just to explain to anyone reading this. In some cases you pay cash up-front and then claim it back, but which is now more often done automatically as the systems are linked, so no cash changes hands, although the doctor visits are €25 cash which then is credited to your bank account over the following weeks. The Health department pays 70% of the nationally set fee and the top-up pays the remainder, so 30%. But, if your treatment is over the national charge level you will be left short unless your policy covers more, so say 150%. It is all very complicated initially and if you are not in 'the system' you will need to pay cash up front; even the French struggle with it! Hope you get sorted Ursula. Far better chance and far quicker here I think, than in the UK.
  19. Beantree


    Fortunately both our Doctor and Dentist speak English Ursula123. You need to be very careful with that hernia, because they can get nasty, so excessive movement or lifting must be avoided. Although it may stabilise there will always be a weakness there unfortunately and in my case neither side settled and both required operations. One was due to lifting and the other a car crash. The operation is simple enough, recovery is very quick and both have been totally successful in my case. They used to stitch the muscles together but that wasn't always successful so now they use a mesh which becomes embedded and holds everything together. At this stage you need to make sure your healthcare is adequate as in my case they didn't cover surgery within 3 months of the start of the top-up assurance contract.
  20. Beantree

    Recommendations for France?

    I've done Boston and New York Alisgirls. New York was disappointing; felt like being on a film set. Very scruffy place, although it was a long time ago, when the twin towers were still there. Statue of Liberty was overcrowded and the underground covered in graffiti. Boston was surprisingly small and a haven for pickpockets, but there is a heritage walk around it which was enjoyable. I remember taking a picture of a mounted policeman who insisted on posing with a drawn revolver! Neither place I would visit again, in fact I didn't like America in general. The small northern New England States were very pretty though and Niagra falls was great, especially from the Canadian side.
  21. We don't clip wing feathers anymore because flight capability is required if there is a predator attack, but in your case SueChick flight is the danger, so you have no choice. You may find that once they start to lay, having eaten far more and carrying developing eggs, they stop flying due to the extra weight. But I think this year you will have to do it. We were given two with wing(s) clipped because they were flyers, but they have feathered up after the moult but have lost the wish to fly. Mistake usually made is to clip both wings, because the idea is simply to destabilise them. Good idea to leave the two end primaries on as it does look far neater, but we've had them in the past where they could still fly up so had some of the secondaries clipped as well. Start with the primaries and see what happens. The two aforementioned had primaries and secondaries clipped on both wings, the stubs of which cut me badly when I picked them up; they did look a real mess poor things.
  22. Beantree

    bumpa bit help!

    I was just about to post that the water needs to be warm; about 40C I'd guess at. They can get used to then very quickly or get very upset and try to tear them out, which they can do with injury. You need to watch her for the first hour. We've had to take one out before now, let her calm down and refit it later (in practice they break coming out, so fit another).
  23. Beantree

    Lame chicken

    Anything stuck in her pad or between the toes? They will curl their feet up if they are unable to stand on that foot at all, so it could be a knee or hip injury. Anything she could have fallen off or is the perch high and the floor hard?
  24. Beantree

    Recommendations for France?

    Even experience flyers get nervous over the Carcassonne airspace AndyRoo. The area is notorious for strong winds and I've had a few frights myself. Once the plane hit the runway so hard it bounced back up into the air and had to re-approach the runway for a second bone shuddering landing. Then there was the time the crosswind was so bad we were descending towards the airport building, then at the last moment the plane slewed sideways and hit the centre of the runway! The wind gets worse in Winter so perhaps that's why the service stops? Think there is a train service from Toulouse to Carcassonne. So you can go TGV most of the way now.
  25. Beantree

    My hens drink too much

    We had this problem with two new young hens with a single oldie; they were bullied off the feeder and drank instead. It became a habit which only stopped when the oldie died recently. Another possibility is they have a crop impaction which is going sour, so check their crops are completely empty in the morning. Could be worms as well. Perhaps just get a bigger drinker as Summer is on the way and running out of water must be avoided. In Summer we give ours washing bowls for water as well. Perhaps you could double up on the feeders?