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Everything posted by Beantree

  1. In my experience Murray, 2m2 is the minimum area per enclosed hen before you get problems. Now that does also depend on the characters, but usually you get a bully, even in a tiny flock and usually you get one that is so timid it won't fight back. Perhaps you could have had three youngsters in there, but it is too late to introduce another and also impractical, as the newbe will certainly be bullied and likely seriously injured or killed. New birds should be added as bonded pairs; they will have been in 2 week quarantine together and you certainly couldn't put 4 in that run of just 3m2. If your hens are happy now I would keep them that way. Perhaps if you lose one in the future you could add two youngsters for company of the loner; something we've just had to do.
  2. Beantree

    What has happened to the forum?

    That's a great run. I'm seen one of those frames collapse with snow load though, so perhaps some temporary posts in the centre would be an idea if snow is forecast. We have to do that with our runs.
  3. Need to add that they will have to be kept out of sight of any hens or they will fight, especially this time of year.
  4. Yes, they struggle to balance on anything too small. Ours have 3" wide perches which they grip at the front and then settle their keel onto their feet overnight. None of our chickens roost standing up.
  5. Beantree

    Dog owners travelling to the EU beware!

    Just adding a link to the UK Government site, in case you haven't seen it Patricia. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/pet-travel-to-europe-after-brexit?fbclid=IwAR0VZvT5VOUqqFDnwd4JpQli5UwFrAz14ZV5Sw75IBLNzO_YU7cMD_nq0mM Seems a 'no deal' is unavoidable now?
  6. Beantree

    Dog owners travelling to the EU beware!

    We were advised by a friend not to have a rabies jab done as "it knocks them about a bit", although our little monster has shown no ill effects at all. We don't have an effectivity test done here; they 'assume' after 3 weeks the vaccination is effective and therefore just work on the dates. Now she has had two annual vaccinations the time period between them is extended to two years and then every three. Seems we're working to a different system?
  7. Beantree

    Dog owners travelling to the EU beware!

    We've just had an update to the French requirements for a driving licence exchange. Seems making it as difficult as possible is their way of removing the backlog of applications! It has occurred to me that you may need an International Driving Licence for your trip as well Patricia?
  8. Beantree

    How old is your oldest hen?

    We have 5 wyandotte hens who will be 9 years old next month. They are all healthy and show no signs of keeling over yet; we may even get a few eggs from them as we had some last year? The last of our neighbour's flock of Dutch bantams died last year. They hatched the flock so know exactly how old, but I know she was just over 16.
  9. Beantree

    Electric fencing advice - what height?

    Our chicken mesh has 30mm holes, but isn't that strong really. Great for keeping chickens in, but it can be torn through by anything powerful like a dog or fox. So it's important that the electric fencing is reliable and regularly checked using a tester at points all around. The earth circuit is great even in dry Summers because of the outward turned bottom skirt. Takes a while to build an enclosure because our 3 tensioned wires strung from the corner posts are counterbalanced by wires to pegs in the ground outside the enclosure. Tensioning is done with double adjustable hook units. This means the posts take no real load and won't move, which is a problem here as the ground gets boggy and posts with any strain on them tip over. Our mesh was bought in England (far cheaper) and needs two rolls to cover the sides. Hang the top roll first then the bottom roll fixings go through both rolls (need an overlap). You will need a frame and mesh door in somewhere of course. Easy to trim undergrowth under the bottom electrified line as well. For peace of mind and low maintenance the build effort is worth it.
  10. Beantree

    Electric fencing advice - what height?

    Problem with electric netting kits is they sag between the posts, so the height quoted won't be achievable along most of it. There is also a big problem with the netting shorting to earth, made worse by vegetation. If you want a system that works properly you will need the same as us; galvanised mesh fitted to 6' posts with the bottom foot turned outwards. the mesh acts as the earth circuit and is surrounded on the outside by strands of electrified wire set at 9" and 18" from the ground with an additional wire set at the top of the fence to stop anything jumping onto the mesh and climbing over. Best to suspend the mesh from tight tensioned wires and have one at ground level; you can buy rings for this purpose. This means the fence mesh is quite loose and is a further deterrent to climbing. We had this in place for 5 years without problems in an area with foxes all around and are now constructing another one.
  11. Beantree

    Permission to access my property?

    We were having a glass of wine in our garden AndyRoo, when movement caught my attention. A man with a clip board was standing looking at an electricity pylon at the side of our garage. Even our dog didn't spot or hear him and there was no car nearby. Turns out he was surveying for a new network and does have the powers to just appear without notice; it's a condition of having electricity here which gives them the right to go anywhere, on foot or in service trucks. They are coming this month onto our land to replace and remove pylons. As you can imagine after weeks of rain the ground will be pretty much wrecked and it is down to us to re-instate it; a job which could take many months. They can also cut down any trees that get in their way; fortunately there is access room around the orchard! Thought it was worth mentioning as it puts that chap just looking for litter into context. Don't get too stressed about it as it's not worth it.
  12. Beantree

    Water softeners, what's your experience?

    You can get electronic water 'softeners' which prevent furring of the pipes and particularly the elements of kettles or showers. They fit in the supply pipe runs and are either magnesium based (and need replacing annually) or mains powered. Perhaps that would work on the shower? We have to use neat vinegar for descaling the loos here because any chemicals kill the septic tank enzymes. It works but is very slow.
  13. Beantree

    Water softeners, what's your experience?

    You can't drink the water from a salt softening system because of the salt level and drinking hard water is good for you apparently. Every house is different but essentially softened water usage needs to be kept to a minimum, so no flushing toilets with it. A simple system next to the washing machine would be around £500 installed. Anything more complicated will require some re-plumbing and consequently costs will rise.
  14. Beantree

    Has anyone spotted actinic purpurea?

    Last Summer I notice that the skin on the back of my hands was getting easily damaged and was slow to heal. I started using factor 30 sun cream and the skin condition has improved dramatically. I'm not alone with that problem down here. An awful lot of people have skin issues, which I think must be down to the sun exposure.
  15. Beantree

    The Weather Thread #9

    Strong West winds and heavy rain down here as well. Just seen the chickens trying to walk across the yard and it's one step forwards and one sideways. Thunderstorms are a possibility and the next week looks rather unsettled, so no gardening yet. Our last houses had Velux windows in bedrooms; to be honest they don't really work very well as being woken up by rain in the night, particularly in Winter, was regular and unsettling. Blanking out all the light in Summer was a problem as well, even with the proper blinds fitted.
  16. Beantree

    Frustrating weekend ahead

    I'm not keen to climb ladders handling glass either ajm200 and I don't have any of your issues. Think it may be something to do with meeting a steel erector many years ago. He fell off the steelwork and went through an allotment greenhouse roof; it took 200 stitches to piece him back together!!! Here glass roofs are not possible because of the size of the hail stones. I'd use that double layer rigid plastic panelling instead.
  17. Beantree

    Frustrating weekend ahead

    Not sure you should have removed any glass ajm200, because that is the main structural strength. Glass should be removed from the top down and fitted from the bottom up. Hope it's not in a windy spot? If it is can you put some back in?
  18. Had the same problem at Morrisons a few years back. The 'free range' label disappeared from the scotch egg labels, presumably to save costs? Needless to say I didn't buy any.
  19. Beantree

    Weird behaviour

    Had something similar happen a month ago Sarkymite; two hens refused to go into the coop and were obviously distressed. Checked the coop and nothing in there so put them to bed. In the morning we fitted weld mesh over the air vents. They still won't go in on their own though, even after a month. Suspect it was either a mouse or a small bird, because we have no rats (our dog can smell them and goes crazy). Problem is they can go in through the open pop-hole anyway, so incidents like that are bound to happen. A few years ago we found a dead sparrow in one of the coops; appeared it had received one hard peck to the head.
  20. We use 2" x 1" treated lath with the corners rounded off. They are set low in our case (about 12" from the ground) because all our flocks are old now and hip injuries are a regular problem. Whist they can fly up to a high perch, some of them are rather fat and landings are no longer gentle; more like a crash in fact!
  21. Beantree

    Gardening thread

    Looks like honeysuckle to me Patsylabrador; the scent will confirm that. We have no bulbs coming up aside from Orchids as it has been rather cold and wet. We have a 'proper' quince tree but, although the fruit is huge and plentiful, the grubs get into them all. All the trees and bushes are still lifeless here, apart from the honeysuckle being visited by a huge fluffy bumble bee. Might all be different in a few weeks?
  22. Beantree

    What have you all been making...part two...

    Been making candles, for no other reason than we have a bucket full of wax bits; remnants of candles that won't burn properly because the wicks have disintegrated. This is something I've never tried before, so some trial and error occurred. Started with some free coloured glasses from a local supermarket; collect stickers with purchases until you have a card full to exchange. Next the wick. Ended up using brown string (from the shed) which draws the wax very well (too well really) but doesn't burn away so needs trimming. I may try the cotton string next? Next was melting the wax in a tin placed into a pan of boiling water. The wick was held to the bottom of the glass with a metal weight and the wax poured in. Problem was the amount of shrinkage of the wax pulled the wick down so it had to be tied up tight during cooling. Needed 3 fills to get the wax level at the top. They burn OK and were basically free, so a good job for cold wet weather when gardening is impossible.
  23. Beantree

    Old chickens

    Chickens do realise they are behind fencing and are 'safe', so don't get alarmed by anything on the ground. Here ours only alarm when there are airborne predators, even the youngsters. Old chickens do slow down a lot anyway and their eyesight can start to fail, so perhaps they can't see the fox at a distance? We had a problem last month with two oldies that couldn't see their black perch anymore, crashed into it, fell off and got spooked so won't go into the coop now. We have to put them in every night and the perch has been wrapped in white tape, which they can see. No idea how long it will take for them to go back in on their own: perhaps never?
  24. Beantree

    Bitzas/cross breeds

    For a random breed mix as described you'll need to find someone with a mixed flock of hens purebred hens and an unrelated cockerel selling eating eggs Hellis. They do exist as we had such a flock at one time. A chap came along to buy eggs and asked if they were fertile, because his friend wanted a cockerel and some hens. We didn't get chance to tell him some were pure bred Transylvanian Naked Necks, so perhaps his friend had a bit of a shock when they hatched? But I don't think you will be able to buy what you are looking for as garden hens and unfortunately hatching and rearing can be an expensive minefield. We also had Wyandottes either way with Orpingtons, which turn out very strong and fluffy as we discovered by accident. Looking back on it we were a bit daft selling eating eggs at £2.40p a dozen when TNN eggs for hatching were worth £36.
  25. Beantree

    Dog owners travelling to the EU beware!

    The Irish passport backlog for British applicants was reported on French TV Patricia, but they didn't say how long it was? I have just renewed my British passport and was quite surprised to say the least. The £105 fee was a surprise as well, but it did include courier costs for the new passport and the old one sent separately. From posting my old passport to receiving the new one was 10 days, 8 of which were mail times both ways. All done on line, the most difficult part was the photograph; they won't accept ones from a booth and want to crop them down from a larger photo which must have a plain background and no shadow? Took several hours messing with lighting, step ladders and a tripod to get an acceptable one. It's very difficult to get into the French system AndyRoo, made far more so by the UK's S1 system being discontinued, which left both of us 12 months without health cover. No cover for dependents abroad and no transitionary cover either, so when you leave you are on your own. The French healthcare system is complicated, with the Government paying 70% and top-up insurance 'sometimes' paying the rest. But without the basic Government cover, getting 100% private would cost a fortune! Easy to see why the migrants head for England.