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Everything posted by Beantree

  1. Few days ago something spooked our 6 new hens during the night and we had three soft-shelled eggs dropped off the perches; presumably a fox or foxes trying to get into the enclosure by the coop. Result was we only had three eggs laid during the day. OK, we know we need to get the electric fencing installed as soon as the ground is soft enough for the posts. Then no more dropped eggs until today when I found four dropped; all the yolks were intact and all the split membranes were with them, so no double yolkers. The big mystery is four eggs laid today in the nest boxes as well, so as we only have 6 hens how did that happen? Now on rare occasions we've had hens laying two eggs in a day before, being a normal egg followed a few hours later by a softie, so eight eggs from six hens is remotely possible I think, but not with the soft shelled egg laid first surely? We'll be closing their pop-hole at night now until the electric fence is completed, which hopefully will stop them being disturbed. Any explanations will be gratefully received.
  2. We use water based wood primer and then one coat of white exterior oil based gloss on our plywood wood floors, but you can't apply that when the coop is in use because of the fumes and drying time. We don't wash ours down weekly though; perhaps just once a year and we don't use disinfectant either, just weak washing up warm water.
  3. We use it and it works, but we only give them layers pellets and don't feed them anything else. Just one dose should see a result after about a week. Best added to the water in their drinker at the concentration suggested, so use a small drinker as it doesn't go very far. You may find that the Nettex, bran and kefir are unnecessary and may be causing the problem?
  4. Bars and restaurants close from tonight in M*****ille and the owners are still protesting. However a study on the TV this morning showed that you are 2 ½ times more likely to catch Covid in a restaurant and 4 times more likely in a bar; places to be avoided because social distancing is frequently compromised. Haven't heard of that 'long Covid' Patricia as it hasn't been mentioned here. I do remember a friend had flu and thinking it was just a cold went jogging; that put him in hospital. Sorry to hear about your niece though. There is a new and hard hitting government advert running at the moment. It shows three youngsters ignoring social distancing and then takes you to grandmothers birthday party where they all give her presents and a hug. Next shot she's in intensive care and the Doctor says she's already on 100% Oxygen, so it looks like she's going to go.
  5. We've had two eggs from one hen in a day many times now Keri from different hens, but the thing in common was the first egg was perfect and the second had no shell, so laid too early. Then no eggs the next day because that egg had already been laid. Just sorted itself out without any treatment from us. Soft shelled eggs can result from disturbance during the night. We had one coop last week with 3 eggs dropped from the perch; presume it was a fox frying to get into the run, so electric fencing is a job that needs doing soon.
  6. She's beyond help I think and should be PTS if she hasn't gone already. Poor condition stock from the breeder and should be their responsibility. Sorry, but there are too many jokers selling bad birds to make a quick profit at the moment.
  7. I think the original post referred to the flare-up of the inoculation viruses caused by a temporary collapse of the immune system as a result of stress; in this case moving home. The symptoms disappear when they settle down, so after a few days. In your case it may be different, but you haven't given enough detail. The other possibility is a respiratory infection, or the onset of one. In my experience this is the result of exposure to fungal spores and they can arise from wet bedding, wet run surfaces, or in our case condensation on the underside of roof of the coop which caused mould growth. Check the underside of the roof and the other options and clean as necessary. If the symptoms don't subside in two days she needs a vet for antibiotics and you need to find the cause.
  8. It was an article covered in the news this morning Daphne, so I can't help with an internet search as it's probably too early to be on there. Slow results seems to be a problem everywhere, including France, so a bit pointless opening new testing sites I think? Normal health testing is still going on here, so I can't see any evidence of switching to Covid testing, which must need specialist equipment anyway. Also featured on the news was the UK starting panic buying again, something the French can't understand. The reporter showed a picture of a woman with a shopping trolly filled to overflowing with only toilet roll. They do have regular features here from reporters based in London; John Bercow had a fair bit of coverage as has BoJo.
  9. Welcome to the forum Brent. Perhaps they have started their moult and will stop laying over Winter, as normally happens. There is no magic trick to make a hen start laying again, simply because hens can only lay on average 600 eggs in their lifetime, which is how many they have in the one ovary that works. Now that's an average figure and doesn't account for any physical problems. We've had plenty of hens stopped laying at 3 years, plenty that didn't give 600 and plenty that didn't get to 3 years; we even have one at 10 ½ who has never laid an egg! So perhaps she has simply run out?
  10. Sums it up very well DM. Going crazy in France now. A second wave is in no doubt and a new system of risk designation by Departments (Counties) has been started. Coloured nothing, pink, red and black corresponding to the number of infections per 100,000 being <50, <150, <250 or >250. M*****ille (black) has been locked down again amid much protest, having a figure of 499 per 100,000. Hospital facilities there are already stretched. There were again over 13,000 new cases in France yesterday and the number of people in reanimation (intensive care) is now back over 1000, having risen from 3000 and 300 just two weeks ago. There are now about 30 departments in 'red' and even our 'backwater' is pink after a care home was tested and 43 of the 58 residents and 13 of the 30 staff tested positive. I hope the UK has reacted quickly and effectively enough.
  11. Well here it is! After just 20mm of rain in 9 weeks the temperature has plummeted and its pouring down. Forecast lady says to expect a month and a half of rain over today and tomorrow and in the mountains 40cm of snow. Summer feels a long time ago already.
  12. It looks sheltered to me. If it is out of the wind they should be fine out at night.
  13. If in doubt bring them in; better safe than sorry. They don't look very big or well feathered and they can be getting cold during the day. Excessive cold runs them down and they can get ill. Without seeing the coop and its location I can't be sure leaving them out is OK at the moment. We bring our more fragile adults in at night if we feel it necessary. The handling will be beneficial long term as well.
  14. Turns out not thinning the carrots worked out OK; just dig out a section and discard the tiny ones. The parsnips are doing really well now that the South side has been covered in moss (gathered from the fields) to stop them drying out. Last week of tomatoes have been discarded because the skins split. We had this problem last year after some rain and it happens with cherries as well. Still some on the plants to ripen, but with the weather set to turn cold and wet I doubt they will get a chance. Lost most of our Kiwi fruit to sunburn, after the 6 weeks drought caused the leaves to fall off and removed their shade. Nearly everything has finished now so it's time to prepare the beds and then put membrane over them to stop the weeds growing, then plan what's going where next year. We have an extra bed after deciding strawberries are really a waste of time and water and we are better buying them from the market.
  15. That sounds horrendous Daphne. I remember getting caught up in a fire on Zante which had been started deliberately to discredit the current Political Party. Slowly following a police car leading the way, because the smoke was too bad to see the road properly, a bush alongside spontaneously combusted in the heat and burned my arm. Shouldn't have risked it in an open top car. Still no rain and the forecast is still too vague to know if we will get any. We're watering all the bushes we want to save, so our bill is going to be pretty high!
  16. Apparently the French situation is the second worst in Europe, Spain being close first and UK a fair distant third. Portugal is way down the list. M*****ille and Bordeaux are under restrictions, both having massive infection rates around 275 per 100,000 people. Both are saying their health support is near overloaded so why have they left it so late to tighten up? Hopefully the UK hasn't made the same mistakes as our numbers were at the same level just two weeks ago. Can't help thinking tourism has been a factor, especially as the season has been extended into September because of record late bookings. We're still staying tightly locked up. Friend asked if he could visit and stay over but I reluctantly had to say no. He's a pretty high risk with both working, two children who were both at school, but now one is awaiting test results and the school is closed because one pupil tested positive.
  17. Very smokey this morning; made my eyes sore. Soon cleared again to 22C and cloudy. Might be 31C later but, unlike Summer, it does now cool down in the evening. BBC says storms down here on Sunday and as usual the French forecasts are rather vague, so waiting and hoping.
  18. They won't starve themselves Heidihill. We changed one of our feeders to a 'trigger' unit (because of the sparrows) and it took 2 weeks for them to work out how to use it. I used to go into the run and show them how it worked once a day, so really they ate almost nothing in that period. I would stop the crumble completely and just use pellets. Perhaps try pellets in a dog bowl on the floor? You may be right about the new feeders; they don't recognise them yet.
  19. Due to be 35C here today and I may have to water the chicken runs again but, on the bright side, nothing is growing, even the weeds have stopped. So dry we can't risk any petrol powered equipment yet, in case a spark from the exhaust starts a wildfire, although there is only a little to do anyway. 25C is my ideal as well DM. Spring and Autumn are usually lovely, Winter is short (2 months last year) and Summer is far too dry and hot and pretty miserable unless you are on holiday. Finally solved our data allowance Ursula123. Sosh have an offer ending today of a 80Gb phone SIM for €16 a month which fortunately works in our mobile Wifi unit. Obviously the free calls and texts that come in the package can't be used, but we don't make/ send any anyway. We've just got to see the SFR contract ended, which had to be done by letter.
  20. Complained about the rain last post and now into the third week without any. The trees are really struggling and we've been leaf blowing already to tidy up. Nine weeks, a heatwave and only one inch of rain. This morning we had mist in the valley, which is unexpected as they don't start until late October usually. But then I caught the smell of smoke and thought someone had been silly enough to light a bonfire out of season and with a very high risk of it spreading. But the smoke disappeared quickly and i thought no more of it until I saw the news. Turns out it was smoke from the fires on the East coast of America which has been carried over the Atlantic and then stalled over most of France. I can still smell smoke and it's due to stay for the next week at least apparently.
  21. It sounds like some kind of digestive impaction/ blockage. It may be in her crop or further down, so is her crop empty? Green can be a result of what's been eaten, stress or infection, so if her crop is clear and there is no abdominal swelling (which may be peritonitis), I'd think the vet may want to prescribe a course of antibiotics? It's possible that internal inflammation due to infection is obstructing the digestion? The first thing I'd do here is stop her from eating; just give her water. I must add that we don't have the option of vet treatment here, so you've got a better chance of helping her than we would have.
  22. Mites can be brought into the coop by the hens. They can drop off wild birds and can also be brought in with new arrivals. They feed on the hens blood at night and hide in the coop during the day, otherwise the hens would see and eat them. The answer is to clean the coop regularly (red mites multiply at an alarming rate) and look out for signs of them or their activity. They usually cluster around the ends of the perch, but are very small and it needs good eyesight or a magnifying glass to spot them. As you have a plastic coop they will be much easier to deal with, should they arrive. I'm not a fan of chemicals and avoid using them wherever possible; our solution to an infestation is a steam cleaner. We haven't been troubled with red mite for years now and if you stay vigilant they will never become a major problem, but chances are one day they will arrive. So in the meantime clean regularly and keep looking.
  23. A light is not necessary in Winter C&C, they will just go in earlier, sleep longer and come out later. Adding a light can be used to extend the laying period, but I wouldn't recommend it. Chickens need a break from laying for the benefit of their health. Also putting a light on (early morning only) will need a coop large enough for them to move around and eat and drink. In our experience the resulting mess in the coop isn't worth the extra eggs.
  24. Based on my observations the ceacal ducts store digestive enzymes and are emptied once a day by a healthy chicken. They do make a great starter for a bad septic tank, if anyone has one.
  25. There won't be any big crowds this year Daphne for the Tour as parking on the cols is forbidden and the start is behind barriers. More doom this morning with 7400 new cases detected yesterday and hospital admissions rising. Spokesman for the Health Department said cases are rising exponentially and a second lockdown hasn't been ruled out. Mask wearing everywhere is now the norm, everyone has hand gel and knows the distancing rules so why we are in this situation puzzles me?

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