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Everything posted by PickleHen

  1. Thank you for your suggestions. Will look into bump bit to help her shake the habit and the curtain suggestion too!
  2. We have an egg eater. This behaviour started a coupe of weeks ago and with a new baby we are having timing issues with getting to the eggs as soon as they are laid. We only have two hens and I am almost certain of which one is the culprit! I have read the suggestion of filling a shell with mustard, which I will try in the coming days. We are already using two fake eggs in the eglu nest and I am ensuring they have a diverse diet, including layer pellets and fresh produce. Any other suggestions? TIA
  3. Oh thank goodness for this news. Our two have just started ignoring the treats and devouring their eggs, despite me making every attempt to collect them as quickly as possible after laying. Hoping this horrible habit stops now. It is also a perfect time (Easter) to introduce our daughter to her pet hens. they have been locked up since she was born in November!
  4. Thanks for your suggestion. Not sour crop as she hasn't any of the symptoms. She and the others had their last course of Fl-vnt about 4-5 months ago. I have just however taken her outside for some fresh air and ranging in the sun and caught her up into of my lilly pond bowl, slurping the water! i have never see her or the others do this and i wonder if she had been helping herself to this prior to falling ill and whether she has picked up something from drinking from here! I will continue with the vitamin tonic in her water, but can someone confirm i should also try to purchase some nutridrops, or are these essentially the same form of remedy, just in a concentrated form?
  5. Our last remaining re-homed retired from laying hen (she has two more recent addition sisters) is showing some signs of being poorly. Miss 3.5 years certainly eats like the others do when free ranging and will consume healthy treats, but she is not at all interested in the usual grit and layer pellets. She has lost significant weight and is constantly drinking! Her waste is almost like water, barely any solids and mainly clear! I saw her close her eyes a few times earlier today and tuck her head under her wing so I know she is not herself. We have set her up in a cage indoors with a corn cob and the usual items of necessity and she seems quite happy, but I still cannot fill her water dish quickly enough.I have added some hen tonic to the water, but don't think there is anything further we can do. Any other suggestions welcome!
  6. Our rehomed hen has been in semi retirement for about 6 months, she is absolutely healthy and bright and lays a soft egg every few days. She eats like the rest of the group and happily free ranges and challenges the others for treats when offered so our only concern is her squeak! For months she has had a periodic high pitched squeak, which i thought was a sneeze or hick-up but as she has been otherwise absolutely fine, we didn't feel the need to worry. Over the past week the squeak has become almost permanent throughout the day, a squeak arriving every 10 or so seconds. She continues to look healthy and happy, but this must be quite tiring for her now? Any suggestions as to what this might be and whether there is more we can be doing for her? Thx XX
  7. My Hen Jabba The Cluck ceased laying some months ago and there is evidence to suggest that her laying days are done and she is in now enjoying retirement. I have spent two full days at home as I have a bad chest cold and was very surprised to hear her shriek and carry on whilst the two other flock members were nesting/laying today. Boy has she got some lungs on her....... I screamed down the stairs and out to the run thinking something was wrong or about to be very wrong, to find her squarking for England! Is it normal for other hens to announce another ladies hard work ? Perhaps she is a little jealous?!? Very glad that she calmed down quite quickly afterwards. If that was to continue my neighbours would not be happy! Thx for your thoughts!
  8. Crickets seem to be the gift of choice. Our girls are petrified of the swing..... for now!
  9. I am sorry to hear this. Perhaps it is worth letting the neighbours know so they can check their gardens as well. Maybe leave them some food to leave out to coax them out! I hope some are out there hiding and very glad there was not too much visible carnage to have to hide from the kids. Whatever got in obviously was a serious mission!
  10. Our ladies received the chicken swing. They are not at all interested in it.... but hopefully this changes!
  11. Having only homed hens since rehoming in October 2014, it would appear that at least one of our ladies is about to molt for the first time since joining us. Small feathers are dropping from her and she has definitely stopped laying. She seemed out of sorts last week so we separated her for a night and made sure she was eating and keeping fluid up and now she is back to her old self, albeit looking a little on the thinner side and she has ceased laying. I will ensure they all get more protein to help them through their seasonal wardrobe change, but is there anything else I should do?
  12. Has anyone tried Hipeak organic layer pellets? Keen to keep to organic feed but would like to source a cheaper and local option www.hipeak.co.uk/prods/peak-lay-2-pellets-in-20kg-bags.html
  13. Looking for variety of distractions for the run whilst the integrated girls get settled. Is beetroot foliage ok for chooks? If not, my wormery will not turn them down
  14. Our two joined a week today and it has been pretty had to watch some of the behaviour, but sadly it's natural and on the plus side I am seeing some improvements, though small on a days by day basis. They are completely fine free ranging from day one and then I had the two news in broody cage for night one. Day 2 free ranging together before splitting for a few hours and then I popped them into the eglu very late of night and there was no dramas until the morning. They were then separated by the broody cage when we were out but vis able to each other. Day 3 we had a turn for the worse and the bully stood in and attached at any possible time. Relentless. After watching this behaviour for 24 hours we decided that we could let this continue and we put bulky in the broody cage and left the other three to it. This arrangement for 24 hours really helped. The squabble still and it is difficult to watch but it is better than the replica scenes from Fight Club we experienced earlier in the week. This morning they were all quietly waiting for their food three in the run and the other newbie popping in and out of the eglu periodically. I am buying a lot of lettuce and cabbage to add distraction to the run fir when they do need to all be in the run together and they have separate sources of water and food, though bully does her best of guarding both! Vaseline for their combs is essential. We are applying at least twice a day. It sounds as though every intro is different and tough for at least a week or so but often longer. Hope you ladies improve relations and mine also keep heading in the same direction!
  15. Thank you all. I am keeping the other ladies occupied without overstepping the point if spoiling them with treats. Both laying so that is good sign. I will contact Hen Central on Monday. Thanks for your king thoughts and suggestions! X
  16. We lost one our trio of re homed girls yesterday. We not entirely sure what was wrong but I don't feel we could have done more for our Jabba the Cluck. She joined us with her sisters 10 months ago and has been a constant source of amusement.... and scrummy eggs! I will be giving the eglu and run a extra strong clean today in order to do what I can to try and manage any risk of my other ladies falling victim, if it was more than old age that took their sister! They are quite distressed, they are searching for Jabba everywhere. It's getting me quite upset. Hubby has suggested adding to the group. We do only wish to have an additional two hens and I am quite keen to re home again. We rehomed through BHWT in October, but I believe they require you to take on a minimum of 3 ladies per adoption. Has anyone any suggestions for other charities we might be able to consider? Thanks in advance for any suggestions you have!
  17. 2 eggs today and they didn't seem too disturbed by the torture if not having the nest to sleep in last night. I checked on them before I went to bed and they were stacked up, as close as they possibly could be , without technically being in the nest. I wish I had taken a pic! Thanks for the advice!
  18. Oh my, I think I have 2-3 of these. I have never blocked the nest at night and all three of mine sumo wrestle for the space. I have had them for 8 months and didn't realise that I should be discouraging this behaviour I suspect starting the nest blocking now will upset the ladies, would you suggest that it is worth some upset and I start the retraining? Feeling really silly..... But I can't be too bad a Mum as I get 2-3 eggs every day! All thoughts welcomed!
  19. We have an Eglu Classic with 2 metre run and three lovely ladies. Almost daily I have to rake up the woodchips from outside the run and return them to inside the run. The girls clearly get their exercise throughout the day I don't mind doing this but wondered if anyone had a suggestion or solution to limited the volume of flung chips as this will also help my surround grass regenerate. Thanks!
  20. Oh this is exactly the patten and patch location of the feather loss of my chook that II posted about yesterday. Maybe it's a new season fashion tend I am going to keep an eye on her as I suspect there might be a chance my girl is broody. Always learning with these girls!
  21. Thank you for your valued thoughts. I do think she has been nesting more often recently so this may be indeed the reason for the feather loss, but there isn't many feathers in the eglu or run so it could just as much be the case that a hen is gobbling them up! I will keep a closer eye in them over the next few days, but like you said if they seem happy I shouldn't probably worry about their scruffy looking kit.
  22. It has been seven months since we rehired and I have to say every day I am rewarded with something amusing from our hens. Being new to hen keeping this has been an adventure for us as much as the feathered ladies! The hens regrew their beautiful feathers and excluding one pecking incident where the pecking order was still in question, they have not gone through a period of moulting. Over the last few weeks one lady has lost quite a lot of feathers from her chest and crop area and they are genuinely lost and not broken or stollen by the others. The other two don't seem to be losing but growing more soft feather that sit awkwardly between the established feathers. One of the girls is having run of laying us soft eggs though I am yet to determine who. In general they all seem to be in good health and enjoying the Spring weather. Could it be that the girls are going through a semi moult/ new feather phase? Thanks for your thoughts. Sarah
  23. Close call for our girls this week. Mr Fox took his chances whilst we popped indoors briefly whilst the chooks were free ranging. He caught Jabba The Cluck but as thie drama unfolded in front of my husband and friend, they chased the fox whilst Jabba frantically pecked at her attacker. Jabba was dropped and Mr Fox ran for his life. The other two hens were apparently hysterical and Jabba in an almost comatosed state with shock. Having previously read up on your former posts as to how you have all coped with such terrible situations, I was able to provide my husband with suggestions to get her through the day until I was able to get home. I missed the drama! Later in the night I got her to walk out of her recovery ward box in our shed to eat but she was very wobbly on her feet and didn't wiggle when I picked her up. She was clearly in shock so she spent the night in a stateliness Fortnum and Mason picnic basket by the radiator. In the morning she was more confident on her feet and I was able to check her over. I could not for the life of me find any actual broken skin wounds, but she has certainly lost a few. She stayed indoors yesterday and last night I found her having consumed all of her food and water and left her mark (nothing wrong with her digestion!) again I check her over and could not find any puncture marks. She was vocal by this stage and clearly walking around searching for the other girls. I took a chance and put her into the eglu with the others; despite the cold weather. This morning all three screamed out of the eglu as soon as I opened the door and were happy digging about in the garden. Jabba is still not entirely herself but, I suspect that it will uptake a few more days or more for the shock of the close call to shift. No egg from her yesterday or today but I suspect this is to be expected and given everything else natural seems to be in order I shouldn't worry. The lesson from this experience is that there will be no free ranging unsupervised for our ladies from this point forward. These events happen so quickly and I am not sure that chickens have the security of three lives! I also want to thank you all for the advice shared on his forum; it is invaluable in such situations and for new chicken shepherds, such as my husband and I!
  24. Happy to help out if you are in London. I am in NE London!
  25. Our ex-colony hens have now settled down and are almost entirely covered in new feathers! They have established a pecking order and in general seem very settled and happy. They were hen sat, at home, whilst we travelled over the last 2weeks and have seemed to have formed a new habit of pecking profusely at us when we come near. Fingers, hands, feet.... Basically anywhere they can get to! They have never been hand fed but it is clear they know who is responsible for their feed arrival! Other than laying out their food before they are let out of the Eglu hutch in the morning and perhaps ensuring I spend some more time handling them (which hasn't happened whilst we have been away) does handy one else have any suggestions? It doesn't really worry me but is likely to be not appealing to our visitors and small people who visit and want to enjoy them! Thx!

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