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Everything posted by Beantree

  1. We've just lost a hen to the same condition. Her sinuses became infected. The nose plug was removed by applying Vaseline to soften it and it came out on its own, but too late unfortunately.
  2. Think you will find they eat a lot more than 0.5Kg a month. A large fowl can eat 1Kg a week and although bantams are supposed to be a quarter of the weight ours eat half of the large ones, so that would be 0.5Kg a week each. So you could need 14Kg before they lay? My practice is to keep them on rearers pellets until the first one lays.
  3. Ignore what Brinsea say as they haven't a clue in 'the field'. The egg shell porosity dictates the humidity and published figures are just a UK average. We have successfully hatched dry here and it's dry anyway. Our house humidity was around 75%. Check the development of the air sac to be sure and adjust the humidity accordingly. Good luck.
  4. We've been at phase 1 for three weeks now and it's at that time, if there is going to be one, a second wave will start to show. Well today they changed the reporting, so no mortality, no hospitalisation figures and just a statement to say the number in intensive care is lower than it was a week ago. That says to me that the rate of infection is going back upwards. Problem is the Country is in such a financial and psychological mess, returning to lockdown is impossible anyway. We've had demonstrations here as well; an ethnic minority death 4 years ago has had new evidence of Police custodial brutality presented.
  5. Just been out to peel the carrot leaves out of the soil. More hail due tonight Daphne, but only yellow alert. Having said that after 3 days of Orange alerts and nothing, the forecast went to yellow so we took the car out from storage. Hail an inch or more diameter arrived in the night; stones shattering on the roof tiles woke me up. Unfortunately the car, made of rather thin metal nowadays, was decorated with craters which fortunately can only be seen viewed at certain angles. Still no parsnips! After a second sowing of leeks only three survived the rain. Tomatoes are flowering, but it's gone cold here so no bees for pollination. I'll get the paintbrush out tomorrow, weather permitting.
  6. So we went back to the tip with an internet booked appointment (all very efficient and organised now): we can go once a week and not more often. Greeted by the same 'jobsworth' at 3 metres, no masks and our window wound down. She spotted our cute dog and rushed over, stuck herself head first through the window of the van to fuss her !! So much for social distancing.
  7. Well we had our thunderstorm. Two inches of rain in 15 minutes added 1200 litres to the water butts but has battered the veg somewhat. Couple of beans collapsed, half the beetroot seedlings flattened and one tomato plant stem bent. Fortunately no hail, which would have been far worse. The ground was so dry it has all soaked up though, so no more watering for a while.
  8. I wouldn't strengthen the ACV mix HRJ as they won't drink it. We tried this years ago and at 15mL per Litre they stopped drinking as much and at 20mL they stopped drinking at all. Not drinking in this weather must be avoided. Perhaps you should stop the ACV completely for a while and see if it's that which is upsetting the digestion?
  9. Thunderstorms with hail are forecast for the next four days so the tomatoes have been covered with 'debris netting', something we bought from a scaffolding supply company to sub-divide a chicken enclosure. Very tough stuff and UV resistant; lets the rain through but not hailstones and makes a good windbreak as well. Not seen it for sale anywhere else. Comes in various colours but the green is the least obtrusive. Before we left England I bought another 100 metres of it, so we have a lifetime supply and could cover the entire vegetable plot several times over. We have a self-seeded squash plant on the compost heap or, to be more accurate, covering the compost heap. It's now 5 metres across in just three weeks. Planted a second sowing of French Beans as the first lot had flowered and we have 17 of 20 up in four days. No sign of the parsnips though. Our Agata early potatoes are great and will definitely be repeated next year but they will all come up together when they are still small.
  10. I caught Bluebell 'red handed' with Lily's egg last week. She had taken it out of the nest box and had just started to eat it on the floor of the coop. I took the white egg out and replaced it straight away with a white pot egg (ceramic). Went back a few hours later and the egg had been moved about a lot. Next day Lily laid another and Bluebell left it alone and hasn't touched one since. Guess the memory of a sore beak and headache linger for quite a while.
  11. There is an awful lot of vegetation in those poos and some other stuff that looks like mucus. It doesn't seem well digested and perhaps their gut flora is 'wrong'. Avipro Avian will help with that; we use it a lot. Have they got grit?
  12. I personnaly would have them on Smallholder Rearing pellets until the first one lays, then switch to Layers pellets, but that's not so important. i don't think you can assume they have been wormed and certainly not with Flubenvet. It's not cheap to do and breeding for sale can mean keeping costs down. To my mind the important thing at the moment is the crop issue. Just check it in the morning, at which time it should be an empty sack. Would be helpful if you could get a photo of the nighttime poo without the bedding. It should be solid with a white surface layer. Lifting her head up tightens the skin around the crop to move the contents. If her crop has a solid lump in it in the morning she must only have water, as food feeds the sourness. Let her drink and then gently massage the crop for a short period. Keep repeating this and hopefully by the end of the day the lump will have broken up and the crop emptied. It won't do her any harm not to eat for a few days, but she must drink.
  13. You will occasionally see red 'stringy bits' in droppings which is shed intestinal lining. Two things bother me though HRJ. Firstly that is a lot of lining and secondly the poo with it looks watery and 'slimy'. That's an indication of sour crop. You need to be sure they are eating and drinking, that their crops are completely empty in the morning and full and not too firm at night. If there is food left it will rot in the crop and go sour. What we usually find (and this is common) is that they ate too much without drinking enough and couldn't digest it all. A hard lump forms in the crop and stays there. The chicken then drinks a lot of water and starts twisting their neck and shaking the crop to no avail. Simple to resolve, if that's the problem. As said, when were they last wormed with Flubenvet? Have they ever been?
  14. We haven't got a cube but we do see some high temperatures. All the coops are shaded by trees and all are fitted with a 'summer door', which is weldmesh and secure. I think you need to construct something which leaves the door open but which won't let the chickens past it.
  15. Cool temperatures result in a late hatch Mullethunter, so I'd say your sensor is reading low as your last hatch worked out right. Curled toes is a lack of vitamin B (I think) in the hen that laid the egg. Our bantams run at 21 days as large fowl do so I don't know where your 18 days came from? Dead in shell may be due to too high a humidity in the first 18 days which didn't allow the air sac to develop so the chick couldn't manoeuvre to pip. Is your sensor at the same level as the Brinsea temperature sensor unit? I recommend you leave the unit set as it is and check the sac development to be sure your humidity is correct as shell porosity affects that; the 'standard' figure of 45% is just an average. We've run dry before now to get the air sac right.
  16. When we bought this house all the roses (there are dozens) were white, except one very scented red. After three years of chickens grubbing under them and fertilising them in the process the colours have developed and we now have pinks, yellows and oranges.I didn't realise the colours were influenced by the soil condition. We do cut them for the house, time permitting, particularly if rain is expected. To retain the moisture on tomatoes and potatoes we cover the soil with 5cm of leaf mulch. It makes a huge difference in the watering needed. In Autumn the leaves are blown into a heap and sucked up through a shredder then stored in a pile until Spring. They don't rot much. We're also going to try moss, because that doesn't seem to rot at all and we may be able to use it over several years. I've just sown a second lot of beetroot and leeks and a first sowing of parsnips. Problem is it is so hot and dry at the moment the rows keep drying out so, although they may have germinated, I've probably killed them by not watering often enough.
  17. You need to check all the others for cankers on a regular basis. The stress of a moult is sufficient to trigger it. One option, which we didn't have in France, is to treat the remaining hen with Flagyl, even though she may not have any symptoms yet so she doesn't have to be kept separate; speak to your vet. We bought a cockerel and the stress of the move triggered cankers during his 2 week isolation period. He was treated with Flagyl and made a full and rapid recovery. He wasn't infected anymore so we had no future issues with his hens. The problem is you can easily buy in stock carrying the parasite, or any other diseases like Mycoplasma, which is why a quarantine period is essential.
  18. Good vet decision I think as the cankers will be far more advanced than can be seen and reach a point of no recovery. These cankers are caused by a parasite which is passed on via feeders and drinkers. A hen can carry it and a healthy immune system will keep it in check. It's likely all your hens are carrying it now ChickenNutter, so be prepared for it in the future. If you are going to add hens they will need to be kept as a separate flock. We had this with a flock of Buff Orpingtons and they all went the same way but as the flock was kept completely isolated from the others it is no longer a problem for us.
  19. A tracker app has been approved for use here yesterday. No use to us as we don't go anywhere and haven't smart phones. We also have investigating teams doing the same job, which is how they keep finding infection centres; lots of Companies where a large number of staff are infected, infectious and don't realise it.
  20. Fluid in her airways could be a respiratory infection and these are often due to poor ventilation in the coop, condensation and mould growth. Her crop should be full after a morning feed and if she has been slow and not eating she will have lost a lot of weight. Vet examination is the way forward now I think. She may well have taken water into her airways as well, but that's not normal and she may have an underlying problem.
  21. Too young to moult, so that's not it neither is a worm burden. Something is slightly out of sync I think? The trigger to lay is ovulation, the release of an egg yolk off the ovary, the finished egg just happens to be there. So if there has been a change in her body rhythm that would explain it: the egg is being laid before the shell has been applied and that will just be down to her young age. Nothing to do with her diet; the necessary Calcium and Phosphorous needed to transfer shell material from storage in the bones will be in the feed. You could try a better quality layers feed perhaps. What are you buying at the moment?
  22. They are announcing the terms of the second stage of unlockdown today. Press reports so far are confusing to say the least. All the numbers are going down steadily though, although it's still too early to say whether stage one was safe and things could well slide backwards this week. We're staying in, except for essentials. Went to the chicken feed store to find that only 5 were allowed into the shop and there was a big queue outside. Things weren't helped by someone standing in the doorway chatting, so no-one could pass and maintain their distance.
  23. Have they been wormed with Flubenvet recently? We get the occasional one or two and it coincides with the onset of a moult sometimes. As their diet is fine I can't see there is anything more you can do. What breed and age are they?
  24. All credit to you Annabel for thinking it through properly. Hatching and rearing can be a minefield, particularly if you have a mains power failure or breakdown. We had both and the amount of time (and equipment) it takes to deal with those problems doesn't bare thinking about. Dealing with cockerels certainly doesn't get any easier with experience; for us anyway. Whilst we have all the hatching, rearing and backup equipment for any conceivable eventuality, it hasn't been used for 5 years and may never be used again.
  25. Half your hatch will (statistically) be cockerels, but you can get luck either way. Our first hatch was 13 cockerels and one hen. Our second was 8 hens and 2 cockerels. By the 7th hatch it has averaged out so, we had 25 cockerels and 23 hens. As said, before you start have a solid plan and don't be surprised if nothing hatches or if they all hatch and are all male. Of our cockerels we kept 3 and sold two, which were the best of the hatches, the rest we ate. Cockerels will start fighting from 12 weeks onwards and need to be separated, so plan for that.

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