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Pottage

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  1. I am a week into integrating a loan hen I inherited. She was a bit poorly when she came to me, so lived in the house for 2 1/2 weeks. During that time, the rest of my flock were able to see her through the patio doors. There was no hostility during this time, and they used to sunbathe together either side of the glass. Fast forward to last weekend when I let the new hen, Dolly, out for the first time and segregated the run so she has a separate part where they cannot attack her. Nugget, my head girl, is being evil to Dolly and will jump on her back and pull her feathers out given the opportunity. When they are free ranging, my husband and I are constantly with them so we can break up any fights before they happen. Now the fighting and screaming I expected, but Nugget (my top hen) has been in a constant state of severe stress ever since Dolly first appeared in the garden last weekend. She is not eating very much at all now, is quite withdrawn and quiet (when she isn't screaming at Dolly) except for her scared, quiet little "pop pop pop" alarm call. She and her sister Lola have screamed themselves ho"Ooops, word censored!" over the last week and when they do talk their voices are very croaky. I can handle the fighting and the yelling, but Nugget not eating is really worrying me (she's also my favorite ). Is this a normal behavior? Should I let her fight with Dolly and get it out of her system? Is there anything I can give her to make her chill out a bit? Thanks everyone.
  2. Thanks guys. I believe my vet is the same one Dogmother uses. I've spoken to him and sent him a list of everything they've had and he has recommended 1/2 a Droncit tablet. Slightly panicked about giving them the pills as he wants me to try them out on one first to make sure it has no ill effects How do I pick one? They are all my babies! I expect he is just being over cautious because it's off label, but I'm still going to have my heart in my mouth when I treat them. I use Bio Dri in their run, and have dumped loads of DE in the borders and under the bushes that they play and dig about in.
  3. I am honestly at my wits end with this now. I have 4 ex barn girls who came to me in an awful state, are are now almost a year on and I'm still battling with getting rid of their tape worm. They've had: Several doses to Flubenvet 1% (a double dose on at least one of the treatments) Panacur twice *not licensed for poultry - seemed to get rid of them briefly but they were back within a couple of months and the second treatment didn't even touch them and most recently, Equitape (a horse wormer!) as recommended by Retfords (contains Prazyquantil, not licensed for poultry) We started the Equitape treatment on May 11th, 0.25ml per bird. This was repeated after 10 days and again after another 10 days. The last dose was a week ago yesterday, and yesterday evening I found segments in their poo again There are a lot fewer segments now that before I started this treatment, maybe only one or two and only in the occasional poo rather than the 30 odd segments that were coming out in every poo previously. However, knowing that Prazyquantil works by paralyzing the worm my concern is that they have just been dormant for the last month and are all about to spring back into action. If anyone can offer me any advice I will be forever grateful.
  4. The Weeds are allowed to free range all over our garden when we are at home, and within a few weeks of having them there were holes so deep and wide it looked like they fancied a visit to Australia! We bought a bulk amount of garden netting, the stuff you use to keep birds and butterfly's etc off your veg, and have pinned that over the whole lawn now. It has helped, they still dig but because of the netting they can't make huge holes any more. The grass eventually grows through the netting so you cant even see it. The true test will come in spring/summer when we mow it properly for the first time since it's been down, I'm hoping the grass will have grown through enough because when we tried shortly after it was put down in the summer the mower just kept snagging the netting.
  5. This is the one she made with the brown cuticle
  6. I've looked at her egg from today and that has spots of dried blood all over the top of it. It's definitely blood because I can scratch it off with my finger nail Has anyone seen this with their hens, and know what could be causing it? I've had a look back through her eggs and they have some speckling but nothing like this. She laid a weird one on December 16th that had what looked like a repaired crack in it, or a very deep scratch (bottom pic). Not sure if it's related? She's a two year old ex barn girl and usually lays every day, though the last couple of days she's been every other day which I expect is just due to winter.
  7. Does anyone know much about the cuticle, the liquid they coat their eggs with they are just laid? I managed to get Steve's bum fresh this morning, and noticed that rather than being clear the cuticle had a brown tinge, almost bloody, kind of like what the end of a period looks like (sorry for the tmi!). It dried as quick as the clear one does, and I've had a look at her vent and it looks healthy and she is fine in herself I just wondered if anyone else had seen this and if it's "normal".
  8. Our run is on soil, with glavanised mesh stapled to the bottom of the whole thing to stop foxes digging in. On top of that they have about 6" of aubious. Means they can still have a dig around for bugs that come up through the soil but are as safe as they possibly can be from predators.
  9. Well, mine have been told in no uncertain terms that they are not going to die, ever, because it will break Mummy's heart. I wouldn't be able to put anyone in the bin You wouldn't do it with a cat or dog. You are not the first to ask, there's a whole long thread here http://club.omlet.co.uk/forum/viewtopic.php?t=78354&p=1092944
  10. I work in London, and this was started up a few months ago. The idea is you sponsor a hen, then spend the odd spare lunch time with her cleaning the coop and collecting eggs and stuff. I think the idea is it will help calm stressed out city types. I think all these projects are lovely ideas http://inmidtown.org/our-work/chicken-coop/
  11. I have a Snugglesafe to chuck in with The Weeds when it is forecast to gets really cold, less than about minus 5. I think I just worry too much though as I know of people with Eglu's that leave the pop hole open all year so the hens can come and go as they please. I am told they should all be fine, I guess afterall we use bird down in coats and duvets to keep us warm. Vaseline on their combs is an idea if we have a spell of very cold weather, it stops them from getting frostbite (though again, this is apparently nothing to worry about and any black frostbitten bits will shrivel up and fall off eventually).
  12. I have a *very* clever husband, and 4 incredibly lucky little girls, even if they don't realise it yet. They moved in Saturday, which they were not overly impressed about. Bedtime was interesting, lots of walking up and down their old run wondering where the coop had gone (the new run is right next door ), and some very indignant boking I would be lying if I said the fact it is very roomy for 4 girls, and we now have a spare temporary run hadn't crossed my mind...
  13. Oh, I wouldn't just be able to leave her suffering like that poor little thing. I'd certainly pop round - you don't need to go in their garden just have a chat on the doorstep. If it were me, I'd be really pleased that someone was looking out for the health of my chooks, even if I had already noticed and was treating them. I'd pop round and be apologetic, and say I had been watching their gorgeous hens and explain what I'd noticed. I can't see how anyone would be offended by that, unless they are a complete a-hole. I disagree with Beantree I am afraid. Whilst I am no vet, I would have thought gapeworm was far more likely than something relatively uncommon like Mycoplasma. Especially if you haven’t noticed these symptoms in any of their other birds. Anyway, if it *is* something contagious you have more likelihood of wild birds transferring it to your flock that standing on someone’s doorstep having a quick chat.
  14. But anyway, we digress. Yearly bloods is a stupid demand (Lola was being tested for white blood cell count, for cancer. Negative, thank God). I would certainly challenge the council. That said, before you create too much of a fuss I would check your house deeds. I’ve previously lived in properties that specifically state you can’t keep poultry, or anything other than a “conventional cat or dog”. It’s quite common in houses built after the 1950’s apparently. I don’t really know who would enforce this (the chicken police?), but it will probably pay to get all your facts together and not leave anything they could blindside you with.
  15. Oooo I think Lola must have been very lucky then because she didn't bleed at all after she had had her sample taken. Clive did took hers with a hyperdermic, whist the nurse held her down, then I had to hold a bit of cotton wool on the vein for a bit until it stopped bleeding. No blood anywhere other than in the pot. I was shocked at the amount he took as well. He just kept going and going with the sample! I was looking at my little chicken and thinking she couldn't have much more left in her

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