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Everything posted by Beantree

  1. They covered the riots in Holland quite extensively this morning Cattails. I saw a big pile of bicycles burning in the street!!! They are complaining here as well; about the curfew 6.00pm to 6.00am, about the ski lifts being closed in a season with the best snow for years, about delays in the vaccine programme. We've only just had the first person vaccinated in our town. Administered by our new Mayor, who is a retired Doctor. Which leads nicely into the topic on Jeremy Vine this morning. 'Does the EU vaccination shambles prove Brexit was right?' We have a very aged population locally, so we're well down the list anyway. Isn't the Pfizer vaccine made in Belgium? In which case why can't the EU get hold of it? The Italians are threatening legal action. My Aunt in the UK has had her first jab. She said it was given at a local industrial park, only took 15 minutes and had no side effects. Her follow-up is scheduled for 3 weeks she was told, because of her age group. She was given vaccination centres miles away initially though, so hopefully the second will be in the same place and on time. Moderna has stated that their vaccine can cope effectively with the new strains, but haven't delivered it yet. The French vaccine, which is on the same basis as Pfizer, is a year behind and another French producer has abandoned their vaccine project completely.
  2. It was mentioned somewhere recently that ex-batts are very aggressive and don't mix with ordinary breeds? Something to look into perhaps Nic?
  3. Mixing breeds in the incubator may give you some problems with the air sac development Lewis. Shell porosity, so the rate water evaporates from the white, may well be different for all of them. Having said that, the only ones that ever caused a massive problem for us was Wyandottes, which had to be taken out from a Orpington batch and run totally dry in another incubator, because the air sac wasn't developing at all. Haven't got a wish list at the moment, but we were thinking of some colourful Brahmas. Ayam Cemani are quite 'spooky' looking and round here may be difficult to spot.
  4. She looks like a copper/black Marans and is clearly ill. Her neck colouring is exceptional as often, as ours, they only have a few copper feathers. All you can do is your best and unfortunately that often doesn't work. Well done with the broody. Bad luck to have one so young, as we did last year. I agree with the others. Best find another breeder and if they can't or won't show you the parents, walk away. Yes you have had some bad luck, but if it's any consolation when we started our luck was even worse.
  5. Amazing job AndyRoo. I'm very impressed. Reminds me of a visit to a flat in Stoke-on-Trent to buy something off Preloved. Place was immaculate, with a very big glass 'coffee table' in the middle of the room. On closer inspection it was actually glass tank, with a Monitor Lizard in it!
  6. Whilst rehoming a cockerel is a nice thing to do, I'm not sure your two girls will like it. It is nice to have a proper flock, but there are lots of downsides. Noise has already been mentioned and there is a real risk of injury to the hens. Coupled with the extra feed, extra mess and the effect of reducing the run size per bird I'd say don't do it.
  7. The situation here is getting worse and we've had some clarification with respect to outbreaks and zones. All mayors in this 'county' are authorised to initiate a precautionary slaughter 1km radius around an outbreak and all movement is restricted within 10km, but might be increased to 20km soon. The alarming thing for us is that ALL birds within 1km are to be slaughtered and that specifically INCLUDES those classed as pets. We've had a drive round and there are no ducks or chickens at the two farms within 1km of us fortunately; perhaps they have decided it's not worth the risk at the moment? But we have re-thought our plans of restocking when our oldies have gone. The intention was to get 'ornamentals', so a flock of brightly coloured Brahmas (popular here) and build a new enclosure in the front garden. Faced with the risk of a truck just turning up with a team and slaughtering all of them we've decided against it and will cease keeping 'pets' and just have the Cou-Nu for eggs. We will have a lot of redundant equipment.
  8. My first thought was fowl pox as well. No idea how to treat it and it will need a vet for the drugs anyway.
  9. Chicken poo on its own is too strong and needs to be diluted with ordinary matter and well composted. We are producing ours ( about 500 litres a year) mixed at 1:5 (or more) by weight. At the moment we have too much poo and may have to keep a separate store for later in the year when we have more garden waste.
  10. Immunity lasts 8 months they say here, so you need to have the first injection of your second vaccine 7 months after the first is active and that will be completed 4 weeks later if you get the second injection at 3 weeks. But they are messing about with the timing of the second injection so it's getting rather confusing? One thing is clear though; you won't know if you have immunity as it isn't 100% effective. You will have reduced the odds of getting Covid substantially, but will still need the do all the mask, distance and hand washing stuff. Now they are talking here of improving the security, particularly from the English and South African variants, by using FFP2 masks only. Only talk at this stage thankfully, because the clip they showed on the TV priced them at 3€ each! First stage with the car is to bleed the system as it may be just full of air from letting the reservoir get too low? We're trying to avoid giving the garage a 'blank cheque'. You have to pay at the Renault dealer for a diagnostic visit as well. Fortunately we have a second vehicle which is in good shape (apart from a slow leak on one tire). Still have to fix the heating; always plenty to do here. Sure he's worth it Daphne. He escaped earlier and we just picked him up and put him back in. So friendly, the benefit of being hand reared, which is rare in itself.
  11. Giving extra Calcium can be counter-productive because it upsets the Calcium /Phosphorous balance which should be (according to our feed labels) 8:1. Also needed is vitamin D (as said already) and that comes from sunlight or can be added with a little cod liver oil. The calcium for the egg shells doesn't come directly from the feed, it comes from storage in the bones, so there is a complex process there that could easily be upset. I think in a good quality feed there will be all that is necessary and giving extra treats too often could adversely affect the diet that is necessary for good health. They sell only oyster shell grit here simply because the practice of scatter feeding mixed grain only (not feed pellets) is still widespread, so the grit is the only way they get Calcium. But they do free range, so they are able to supplement their diet with insects and various flowers and weeds.
  12. Well there are clearly two sides of the coin when it come to vaccination programmes. I'd put Israel and UK on one side and France on the other. Seems to have stopped here because, contrary to what we were told only a few days ago, we haven't got sufficient stock. Supposed to be 600 vaccination centres and there are just 17, but they only have sufficient vaccine to give 50 doses a day each. I've given up hope of getting ours this year already. Another 'on the bright side' is surviving our trip yesterday to pick up our new boy (photos to come). I chose the word surviving because we had to take a big risk on the way back. Sunday afternoon everything is shut and we must get home before 6.00pm curfew. The brake alarm light came on intermittently 50 miles into our outward journey and by the time we got to our meeting point the brakes were feeling spongy. Checked the reservoir and no brake fluid ! We decided to stay off the motorway and head back on the 'B' roads. The brakes were getting worse and with 100 miles to go packed up completely. Fortunately we have a diesel car, so with extreme care using only the engine for braking we managed to get home. Don't know what the fault is but I bet it's expensive?
  13. Hand cleansing, distancing, not touching your face, sneezing into a tissue which is immediately discarded and masks which cover the mouth and NOSE remain the best defence against the virus. Israel has discovered that the first dose of Pfizer gives much less protection than the 60% originally thought; more like 50% or less, depending on which study is taken. They have 17% of new infections from people who have already had the first dose and on that figure it suggests that these people thought they were immune and dropped the social barriers. You may have heard there is some delay in supplies of that vaccine to Europe. Last report I saw was it was due to a shortage of little glass bottles? We have been assured that it won't affect the vaccination programme as there are sufficient stocks already delivered. No mention of side-effects since vaccinations started here, so I guess French News has decided (or been told) not to mention them anymore. On a lighter note we are venturing North tomorrow to collect a special little (huge actually) chap to settle down our new girls, who are a bit of a handful at the moment. He's a white Cou-Nu who has been hatched and hand reared by his current owner. She hatched two cockerels and now they are 20 weeks old they don't get on; this one was the loser, so he's getting a new home with hens of his own and won't need to fight for them (hopefully, as Miranda might be a problem).
  14. I meant the hybrids Luvachicken. None of the hybrids we have had lived very long, so 6 -18 months is all. They were all 'immunised' with at least three viruses and for the last lot we took in I got a detailed schedule of their treatments, which was a full A4 page of a dozen stages. There have been many reported cases where the stress of a new home caused these viruses to flare up and the birds have died within weeks. Best avoided I think. To add, it's not a practice done here so why the UK does it I don't know?
  15. Bad choice of words from me Luvachicken, i meant to say 'immunised', which is very different. As Lewis says, a dead vaccine isn't a problem and they use only that one here for Newcastle; it has to be renewed every year for showing birds. Our were immunised with a mixture of live viruses from each group of infections, mild in themselves but very serious if contracted simultaneously, standard practice with hybrids and administered either in the water or by a spray in the air in the coop. So the hybrids we bought were infectious to our pedigree flock. They were always sickly and didn't last long either. Best find out exactly what these chickens will have had.
  16. Had a look at Doctolib Ursula123 and I'm top of the list in phase 3 starting sometime in Spring. BUT we're not having the Pfizer and supplies in bulk of Moderna don't arrive until the end of June. At this moment I don't believe the timescales being quoted anyway. On the bright side we're supposed to be getting a vaccination centre set up in our little town. Perhaps half the population here is over retirement age, so over 62. Something strange on the UK news? Supermarkets are only just making masks compulsory; surely not? What's a 'mask exemption'? Unheard of here. We have to wear masks everywhere or risk being fined, so no mask and stay at home. Apparently the sale of masks and gel was price-fixed by the Government until last Sunday. Trouble is they didn't mention it on the news until Sunday morning and then all shops here are shut.
  17. The vaccinations run them down so they are less resilient Luvachicken. The new hens would shed the virus with the stress of moving; I know this because it happened to us, making our entire flock very sick and leaving us with a huge vet bill. The IB virus transmits in the wind and the necessary separation figure I was given was 1500 metres. I would advise against getting vaccinated birds.
  18. Quick calculation based on the current rate of vaccination in France and where we are in the queue; we'll be waiting 4 years!
  19. The Poultry Club of Great Britain has the breed club/ society contact details of Mr Ian Graham in Cumbria, however with the current avian flu outbreak I doubt anyone will let you collect eggs and posting them is very risky. They are pretty though.
  20. Well I spoke too soon about the Moderna vaccine. Apparently 50,000 doses arrived yesterday and are going to the seriously affected areas in the East of France. 8 million more doses are then due to arrive at the end of June!! Assuming they get here on time, we'll possibly get ours in August and won't be covered until September. Big panic here with the English mutation. They've seen the rapid spread in the UK and are trying to contain the few outbreaks discovered. A town in the Northwest is being 100% tested. There is a cluster in the Northeast which is all in the members of one large family group, so clearly they weren't following the Christmas and New Year rules. There is another outbreak in M*****ille. There are cases all over Europe though and also of the South African mutation.
  21. We had our snow, but it wasn't much more than Daphne had. Whilst it lasted all day, it was very light and didn't settle. Now it's just above freezing, dull and will stay like that until tonight when it clears and gets very cold, perhaps -5C again? Then tomorrow starts clear, turns to rain and we are back to normal Winter temperatures of 3C minimum and 8C maximum, hoping that some sun will make it warmer and save some heating oil. The pictures of snow in Madrid look terrible. Not had snow like that for 50 years they said. It's the wet stuff that sticks and brings down trees and power lines. We had a spell like that in Derbyshire 25 years ago when the power lines collapsed and left us without power for a week. Managed to find a hire centre with a generator fortunately, although it was 25 miles away, so we could get the heating working and have a few lights.
  22. Sure she had a very happy life with you Mullethunter. Seems we have acquired a feral cat, which is making life a bit difficult as our dog (terrier) hates them. It turned up a few months ago and because the weather was so terrible and hunting was impossible we fed it a little. Now it wants feeding all the time and we get ambushed in the outside store room to a mixture of purrs and hisses. Driving the dog crazy because it's too fast and climbs well; lives in the roof space over the house now. At least we won't get mice and rats up there anymore, but we do have a big snake Wintering up there as well and they make quite a racket when they meet.
  23. We had the same problem during the night and it almost stopped after we electrified the enclosure. We think they were being disturbed by foxes. However one still lays on the floor, despite using lovely soft moss in the nest box. She also lays during the night and to avoid broken eggs we covered the floor with shavings and laid feed bags on top. This acts as a cushion, so her eggs don't break on impact. Can't get her to lay in the nest box at all.
  24. Strange how this part of France takes a rather different approach, in some respects more radical and in others less so. Here it is affecting free-ranging commercial ducks. They are sold on that basis and the businesses certainly don't have the space to put them under cover. There are hundreds of farms either slaughtered because they have it, or slaughtered within a 3km radius of an outbreak as a precaution if the Mayor considers it prudent. The total now is 350,000 and the industry may well shrink further as it has after the last two outbreaks. Movement restrictions are only within 3km of an outbreak and there is no mention about chickens; certainly not 'pets'. If there is an outbreak near us (and there are several duck farms) I don't know whether our chickens would be slaughtered or not? A few years ago the local Mayor asked people with a 'basse-cour' (farmyard) to identify themselves, but as we don't sell produce we didn't need to. We've checked with the Mayor here and there are no restrictions in place at the moment. On that basis we're off to collect a cockerel from up North next week, as soon as the weather improves. Hopefully they won't put any movement restrictions in before that, but our route takes us quite close to a current restricted area and we obviously couldn't move through one on the way back. He will be quarantined for two weeks when he arrives anyway. I feel very sorry for UK domestic chicken keepers having to deal with the stress of confining their chickens, irrespective of where they live. It seems unnecessary, based on the approach taken here.
  25. Even colder this morning at -6C or perhaps lower, because the nearby city of Tarbes recorded -8.6C. Fleeced the Aloe Vera plants yesterday and hope we weren't too late; the babies around the bases might be dead from the frost yesterday but hopefully the main two plants have survived. Couple of years ago they closed down one of the nuclear power stations which was built in the 1950's and was well past its intended service life. This left France about 5% short of peak demand they said at the time. But despite all the changes with low energy light bulbs and the fact that a large number of business are not operating because of Covid they are saying that the system is overloaded this morning and can we try to reduce usage, so no laptop charging and no clothes washing they suggested? I suppose having so many electric cars now won't be helping either?

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