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emmaw298

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About emmaw298

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    Chicken Eggspert
  1. thank you so much for replying and the advice. it's very exciting, but I'm anxious at the same time!! I'm just not quite sure what to do with dad duck, but hopefully something will seem obvious at the time!
  2. My little call duck has been sitting for 21 days now and from candling the eggs, it looks like I might have a few ducklings next week now! I've not raised ducklings before, but from what I understand mum duck will know what to do and I just need to keep them safe and clean, with the right food and water. Does anybody have any tips please on types of feeding and water bowls needed for the first few weeks? I am planning on feeding with chick crumbs - is this right?? I have a separate pen and run for them to start with and will assess how the dad duck reacts before allowing them to mix together. what is the best bedding to use for the ducklings?? I am planning on putting a shallow pool of water in the run from day 2 (like a painters tray or something). Do the mum ducks usually keep the ducklings warm enough without needing any intervention from me? Thanks for all your advice - I am finding it hard to locate much information on raising ducks who hatch naturally as much of the info is geared towards rearing in a brooder. Thank you!! ps - hopefully will be some beautiful call duck babies available shortly, so PM me if you're interested. mum and dad are 'trout' colourings (similar to mini mallards).
  3. Hi there, I am so upset/annoyed/sad - my elderly hen Gloria, who I had been nursing in the warmth and feeding porridge to for the last few days, was this morning snatched and killed by something. I had only just popped her outside to go and join the others for the day and she was walking down to the free range gated section. I was only inside for 5 minutes and suddenly heard a big commotion - hens and ducks all going mad! Gloria was nowhere to be seen and after some searching and following a trail of blood and feathers, through next door's hedge and into the woods behind, I found her with her head missing but still intact. I feel so angry - she had only been out 5 minutes! We have had this happen once before (about a year ago) and we have CCTV and although I never be quite sure due to the clarity of the image, I had a feeling it was next door's cat. These images look to be the same animal, definitely cat sized. We found a wing and a foot last time but nothing else. The cat has been hanging around our garden a lot again recently, watching the chickens but always runs off when it sees us (or the dog!). I am quite sure that the cat is the guilty party again, although the removal of the head is also making me think perhaps mink as we live near a stream and are fairly rural. When I just returned to bag up the body, it had been disturbed and some of it insides eaten, the hole where the neck was was more hollowed out, and a bit of damage to the sides had been started. I had seen a bird of prey circling a short while ago, so it could have been that. Anyway, now I have ranted a bit I am really writing to ask for advice on how to make my fences higher. There is a section of the garden that contains the eglus and they free range in the garden there, but the fences are only 3 ft high. Can anybody please recommend where can I buy chicken wire/tall fencing that is 6ft or more, in order to make a walk in run? Thanks for your help
  4. Thanks all for your helpful comments! I have kept them in the run this week and they do seem to be improving (less scared when I approach etc...) I let them out again for the first time today and they LOVE being back on the pond. I love their little antics - particularly the tail waggle! Fingers crossed for a seamless transition to bed tonight! (will try out your tips thank you).
  5. So I took the plunge and got my first 2 ducks this weekend! Very excited, even though the new pond looks very DIY and not at all the designer water feature I had in mind I am now the proud owner of Dilys and Daphne - two pretty little khaki campbells at point of lay (no eggs yet...) I had read that ducks tend not to go to bed at night like chickens do, but I had not been prepared for the palava of the last 2 nights! Chasing noisy ducks round the garden in our pyjamas in the dark two nights in a row now (can't imagine what the neighbours must think ) My OH has already lost patience with them and the chickens have now gone up remarkably in his estimation - all previous antics now forgotten! I didn't want to leave them out in case we received a visit from the fox, but as they are not used to humans yet (they are not used to the interaction anyway) they kept running away at full pelt and boy are they fast!! So today I have attached their house to the eglu run and kept them in that all day, with two big sinkbowls of water to sit in (which they did). I figure if I keep them in there for a few days they will eventually recognise their house as their own and go in at night and also feel a bit safer - they are sharing the garden space with my hens and there has been a bit of a stand off so far... Do you think it is ok to keep them like this for a few days? Are there any treats I can give them to get them to like me?? Do they like the same treats as chickens, sweetcorn, pasta etc?? do they need grit? (I am assuming they do and have mixed into the pellets) any other tips please?? emma x
  6. nice!! thanks for the advice - i'm trying to seek a second eglu (without roost bars!) as we speak!
  7. thanks both for your helpful updates - love your WIR setup! is it ok to let ducks and chickens sleep in the same place too? guess there's any issue with the roosting bars though thinking about it..?
  8. Hi there! Having kept hens for a couple of years now, I have decided to branch out to ducks too. I know they are a lot messier but I am hoping I can keep them in the same bit as the hens where the garden is already quite trashed! My questions are: - is it ok to keep hens and ducks together, I've read some mixed reports on this - what is the minimum amount of pond they need and does this vary according to breed? - are the layers pellets that ducks eat the same as that given to hens? I would really appreciate pictures of people's set ups if possible please!! Many thanks in advance for your help Emma x
  9. thanks clucking mad, me too!!!!
  10. thanks for all the kind messages guys, the remaining four all doing well - apart from a few squabbles round the food bowls! Kinda nice though as my very old lady peggy, the only one remaining from the original gang who was always bottom of the pecking order before has now decided she will be top of the new one and enjoying every minute of it!
  11. Thanks for your help both but sadly Betty died on Thursday night - I think she died of dehydration in the end as her crop just kept filling up and not emptying and she became very weak and unable to stand. I sat with her and she died quietly. Unfortunately one of my old ex batts Gertrude died the next day too (I think unrelated and more old age) as I found her curled up in the eglu - Peggy, her housemate, flew out of the eglu faster than I've seen her move in ages that morning! So now I am down to 4 and Peggy has chosen to accept the new additions all of a sudden - I guess faced with companionship or loneliness, although not her original housemates, she has decided that they are better than a life alone (rather begrudingly I might add..!) thanks again, emma
  12. One of my new ex-free-range-farm hens has developed sour crop I saw her eat an entire piece of straw last week and unfortunately didn't make it down the garden in time before the whole thing disappeared down her neck. Thought at the time, oh dear... Next day, as suspected, impacted crop so started massage with olive oil and made a trip to the local fishing tackle shop for some maggots. After 3 days and no success, yesterday morning her crop was very enlarged and fluidy and booked her into the local vet- which isn't brilliant for chickens but I knew what I needed to ask for so hoped it would be ok. However, saw a new vet who didn't think it was sourcrop but more like peritonitis as she was also a bit swollen underneath. Explained that in my experience (though somewhat limited) often with crop problems the gut becomes inflamed too and therefore fluid accummulates in the area, but vet quite adamant not sour crop as no smell and more likely a systemic problem and therefore wouldn't prescribe antifungals but suggested antibiotics - did ask for both at that point but vet not keen. Got back and poor Betty was so despondent and dehydrated by then I syringed some fluids into her and heard a strange gurgling sound so decided to try holding her upside down over the toilet and lo and behold loads of brown, putrid stinking gloopy fluid started pouring out - including all the dead maggots Betty kept shaking her head and consequently had brown stinking gloop all over the bathroom and shouted down to my partner not to come upstairs as the scene was quite horrific and don't think he'd ever use the bathroom again if he knew! Poor betty with her head down the toilet and gargling and gurgling all this stuff out - reminded me of my student days and holding my friends hair for them while they too inspected the toilet bowl! Was worried she would aspirate so carefully squeezed out the rest and kept her completely downright so would not inhale any. Put her back to bed and she looked so miserable and hunched I didn't think she would be alive this morning - but she is and I drained some more off again this morning. She has made some slight improvement in the last few hours, drinking a little bit and taking a bit of live yoghurt from a spoon. Only problem is crop just keeps filling up and doesn't seem likes it draining, plus can still feel some hard lumps in there which I guess is still that piece of straw. Not sure she'll pull through but she certainly seems relieved to have had the crop go down. Giving her the baytril but also got some daktarin oral gel I'm trying. If she is still alive tomorrow will call the vet and ask for some proper antifungal treatment like nystatin. Bit annoyed its already cost over 30 pounds so far and not yet received proper advice or treatment! Keeping my fingers crossed for now...
  13. Hi all, thought I would feel better if I shared with you that I lost one of my ex batts today quite suddenly. She hasn't been well for months so no surprise really but she seemed ok yesterday then today I got back from work to find her looking very unwell indeed, very hunched, laboured breathing, swollen crop and yellow fluid pouring out from behind. Phoned the vets immediately knowing she needed to be PTS and took her straight up. The vet offered me the option of antibiotics but said it wouldn't change the prognosis as he could feel a large swelling inside her that was probably a tumour. I thought she was eggbound a few months ago as I could feel a swollen lump when massaging around that area but nothing ever changed or disappeared so I guess it was a tumour all along. I opted for her to be PTS, knowing it was the right thing but was very tearful when the vet carried her away. It also cost £56 which I was quite shocked at! We had her for 20 months out of the battery farm - not sure if this is normal for ex batts or not? Now down to only 2 so going to start thinking about getting some more except only got the one eglu and a bit worried about integrating some new young and feisty birds to my old ladies now. RIP Hettie - you had a good ol' life in the end xx
  14. I don't think the vets in Evesham is on that list - do you know how to add it?? going back there tomorrow night for some advice on one of my poorly ex batts so fingers crossed...

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