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Everything posted by Beantree

  1. Very impressed with that @AndyRoo. Reminds me of my Grandparents house in Rugby, which I used to visit with my parents as a child. They had a building like that with a run at the front and an apple tree inside it. Another memory from there is that of watching my Mother dressing a fresh hen for dinner, which I presume my Grandfather had just killed and plucked. I remember her fishing out an egg! Bet I haven't remembered that for decades; amazing how living in such a quiet simple place allows you think.
  2. Our latest arrivals were 16 weeks old and started laying at 22 weeks. When Ermintrude had laid just 6 eggs she went broody, so your girl certainly isn't too young. It was easy to get her out of it, by removing her from the nest box during the day and at night when she tried to sleep in the box; took about two weeks. BUT, she went broody 6 months later and kept going for a month. In the end we had to move her to a coop and run in a different location and because it was then impossible to re-integrate her, she remains there. Quite happy on her own really, because she was terribly bullied by the others for being 'different'.
  3. I am very reliably informed that goats won't always behave like that so we will stay with the boring washing line @Cat tails.
  4. That is a great video; they must have a security camera in place? To stop buzzard and hawk attacks in our top enclosure we have hung washing lines across the top of it. Whilst a bird of prey could drop in, it would be unable to fly out and they must be intelligent enough to realise that. This is a system we've had in place for over 5 years without any incidents. I can see now an alternative would be to have a goat.
  5. Another possibility is the chest feathers getting wet. Some chickens take too much of a beak full and spill some when they tip their head back to swallow, or the drinker may be overfull. Wet feathers are very attractive to a potential feather plucker, but they can also be over-preened by the hen herself to the extent that they snap off at the base with continual bending.
  6. Could be something as simple as a dust allergy @Bertiebloobell. We have hens here that sneeze and cough as a result of dust from the pellets. The vet is correct: microscopic amounts of the antibiotic can be in the egg yolks and can create an allelic reaction to antibiotics in humans. It doesn't sound to me as if it's something contagious. I don't think you need to separate her, but now re-introducing her might be a problem? You are incredibly observant and all credit to you. Good luck with your chicken keeping. I think you have a great future potential to help others.
  7. The cards didn't go. I had a last second change of heart when we got to the communal recycling bins (they don't collect from every house). We've decided to go through them all first. Took our dinning table and six chairs to the charity shop and that was difficult, but we've nowhere to use it here and it's been standing disassembled against a wall for 4 years. The chairs took up a lot of valuable space. Rarely used in England, but it did see 4 years use in our last house, so it was worth bringing over.
  8. First rain for three weeks so we're inside starting a new project; 'de-cluttering'. We didn't end up buying a typically big French house, realising from experience how much effort it is to heat and maintain them. A small house here is the same price, so as a result we did bring a lot of things that are now getting in the way. A large box of chicken feathers which contained some lovely cockerel tails, but which would be a magnet for dust and spiders if we put them on display. 25 years of Christmas, birthday and anniversary cards to each other; two A3 sized boxes of them which have never seen the light of day until today. Other things that we have 'just in case (of something)'. Sure it will be an on-going project now as there are plenty of boxes with contents of which only a tiny fraction has ever been used since we got here and I know the garage has some things in that will never be repaired or used again. Someone told us that your possessions increase to suit the space available and I think they are quite right?
  9. Calcium addition on its own can do more harm than good. It is necessary to have Phosphorous as well, as that is used in the transfer mechanism of Calcium from storage in the bones to the egg shell.The ratio is 8:1 and if that isn't achieved the chemical system is out of balance. Perhaps she will moult this year? If so the rest will do her good and her eggs may be fine afterwards?
  10. It used to be pretty straight forward with just a few 'pet' chickens moving between EU member states. A vet could to the testing and it was just a case of driving over with them. Any more than 6 I think and it got a whole lot more complicated with official export paperwork required. But post Brexit the only way to get an answer is to contact Defra. They should be able to tell you what paperwork you will now need at Customs and you can take it from there.
  11. Makes a much neater job if you don't cut the first two, which are the two shown already cut on the video frame above. It has no effect on the flight inability but means the cut feathers can't be seen when the hen is walking around.
  12. Worth considering is the difficulty introducing a single hen as a replacement; extremely problematic and my advice would be not to attempt it. A refund, if you take that route, is the best option. Our neighbour 200 metres away has a Dutch Bantam cock has a high pitched crow that wakes me up at 3.30am, whereas our two very large cocks don't start crowing in reply until 7.00am. It is very much 'luck of the draw' with the noise aspect. We have no background noise here to mask any crowing whereas in England the traffic noise was louder than the cockerels, so they went unnoticed (to have a conversation outside you had to shout).
  13. And we've has exactly the opposite @Daphne; almost no military flights at all this week. Perhaps one helicopter and one jet fighter. I think the effort has been diverted to getting personnel and equipment to Guadeloupe and Martinique where Covid has totally swamped their health systems. Both are in severe lockdowns now, but as so often, too late. With no critical care units available they have had to fly some over, together with the staff and extra people for a rush vaccination programme. They are flying some of the critical cases back here for treatment in Paris.
  14. The Agata potatoes we bought for salads. They were ready to harvest in the 60 days stated on the packet, but they were not the small waxy textured potatoes we expected. Some of them were so big we tried them for chips and they were OK. Boiled well though with good taste and texture. Not sure if we'll grow them next year. Maincrop is Desiree; planted just about all of the 5Kg we bought. Bad luck with the isolation though @Daphne. You are probably better off with the cooler temperatures though I think.
  15. We have two different powders made by Barrier i think. One is for red mite and doesn't work, the other is for lice and doesn't work that well. We use an unlicensed product called Johnsons (cat or dog) flea spray. A couple of squirts in the affected area (and no more) and any eggs are killed as are any lice passing through the area. Has always worked fine for us. You could also use Frontline spray (definitely not spot-on) but I would advise not. The dosage is absolutely critical and a little too much can kill the chicken (I know someone who lost two Orpingtons). We save that for Northern Fowl mites as a 'kill or cure'.
  16. The enormous poo points to her being, or going, broody. Sometimes we have had broody individuals that haven't exhibited the normal behaviour, but that have just flopped down in the nest box, or anywhere else. Letting you remove the eggs is normal; broodies don't guard the eggs as such, just the space they are in. All you can do is keep moving her about so she doesn't settle in one spot. If she is broody she won't lay any more eggs.
  17. That's a very difficult one @Narf. She sounds like a serious broody, but perhaps she is unwell? We have a youngster went broody after just a couple of eggs, so that is possible. Now she is permanently broody and we've had to re-home her (still here but a different enclosure). What are her poos like? Is she sitting on eggs?
  18. Been a great season really, particularly because it has been a lot cooler with far more rain than normal meaning we can work outside all day when dry. The squash experiment seems to have worked, because they are far bigger than previous years. The courgettes have gone crazy. Very little watering required so far so we have only used 800 litres of tap water compared to 7000 litres last year. All the early potatoes have been lifted and eaten; a bumper crop of Agata. The main crop potatoes are ready for lifting and based on the amount of foliage I expect a very heavy crop, perhaps 200 Kg. Second crop of French dwarf beans will start to be picked tomorrow; unlike the first crop every single one came up and there were no ants eating them. Second crop of beetroot is still a long way off. The only things needing water now are the beans, tomatoes, beetroot and the raspberries, which have been cropping for two months now and are still going. Huge crop of tomatoes on some plants, but we ran out of compost and 3 of 12 have produced very little. Onions are being lifted and dried under cover on frames (old chicken run panels). It's now a typical Summer, so very hot and dry and back to daily watering for a while. Might be 40C on Sunday!
  19. They might roost on top, but they prefer trees. Read somewhere that they will only roost in a coop if it is imprinted on them before they reach 6 weeks. They must have a huge amount of space and they are very noisy. Very high fences are required to contain them; they rear them here for the table at a farm nearby. They had some at a farm shop in England and they free-ranged without any fencing, which of course leaves them open to predators. We considered having some, but the noise problem ruled them out. Even though we had no neighbours it was going to upset us.
  20. I have been told that antibiotics will collect in the yolks and won't be destroyed simply by cooking. So your hens will get a potentially damaging overdose. So no scrambled eggs. Basically you should not give antibiotics to laying hens. If they are sick they have to go, or remain simply as pets. Perhaps the eggs can be composted??
  21. i don't know if antibiotics are destroyed by cooking? But the egg withdrawal depends on the vet, so anything from 28 days afterwards to never afterwards. Reason being that the egg yolks can contain minute doses of the antibiotic which can result in a human allergy to that particular one. Some people are allergic to a variety and may need treatment with that particular one as the only alternative. So if you do eat the eggs be vary careful who eats them.
  22. The two roosters may start fighting at any time, so be prepared to separate them. We have recently taken one of two brothers that started fighting at 3 months old and he was the loser, so quite badly injured in a few minutes.
  23. I don't connect sour crop to not crowing @Stu France. Perhaps you have a quiet one at the moment? We've had a few that couldn't crow and they were perfectly healthy. First thing to do is listen to his breathing; there shouldn't be any wheezing or gurgling. Then check his poo. To do that you need to know where on the perch(es) in the coop he is at night. It helps a lot if you have paper on the floor, not wood shavings and certainly not straw. Then post a photo. We poo check every day to spot any potential problems well in advance and so cover the floors in the coops with feed bags.
  24. Introduce him too early and he will be at best beaten up, could well be worse. Not before 20 weeks in our experience. Whilst they may accept him at that age he may become subservient to them and just behave like another hen to avoid repercussions. A situation that needs very careful monitoring. The hens choose their cockerel, so if he isn't up to the job and isn't helped in the introductions he may have a rather miserable and short life. We've just had to deal with the same problem and it wasn't easy. One hen now has a permanent beak bit because she decided to eat his comb and he let her! That's not the first time that has happened.
  25. Given that the ovary hasn't developed yet so there will be no yolks formed I can't see any reason not to eat the eggs when you get them. i can understand the instruction not to eat the chickens themselves, because there may still be minute traces of the drug in the flesh when slaughtered at 12 weeks'ish. Must say that stuff did work fast!

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