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Posts posted by sarkymite

  1. Rat was my first thought, but would she still be unsettled hours later?

    I've just done a 2nd walkabout and though she is quieter than she was she is still clucking and stamping about. But it's only her. I didn't open the coop this time to look as I was worried I might frighten her some more.

  2. Hi all

    A weird one. Tonight at about 7 I popped outside back door to pull some carrots for dinner (I've got containers near the back door). I heard bokking and alarm calling so ran up the garden to the chooks yard. 5 birds all in the coop and asleep but the 6th, Wilma, who is one of my two oldest ones and is the head bird and usually very placid and tame, in a real panic flapping up and down the run and shouting the place down. I shone my torch in for a while and talked to her but although she calmed a bit she wouldn't go to bed, just stood there alert and anxious, so I went into the WIR and she ran straight to me, clucking. 

    I picked her up which temporarily caused even more alarm and she then calmed completely as I held her. She did not have any obvious injuries or issues (though it is dark) so i walked around to the side of the coop and popped her in via the egg port, shut the door, shut the coop, and all went quiet.

    I've just gone up now to do a walkabout and I could tell things were still unsettled as I approached the coop, she was clucking and stamping about. So I opened the egg port to peek in. The other 5 are all in classic roost mode, sleepy and confused and there she is stampeding up and down, wide awake and bokking/screeching again. I shut the door, talked to her for a bit from the other side of an air vent until she calmed and then left her to it but I could hear she still wasn't settled.

    What on earth could be wrong with her? I can't see any obvious signs of being disturbed by predators and anyway wouldn't they all be upset if it was a predator?

  3. For the original poster, Maxinet. I have risked consuming eggs during and after ivermectin-based treatment. 

    I researched online and having found it is used safely in humans all over the world, and calculating that the quantities in each egg would likely be very small, i decided that for me personally, I didn't think it was risky.

    However, I made sure that we did not sell, or give away, any eggs during the suggested withdrawal period given by my vet. I also would not have allowed any children under 16 to consume them during that time, just in case. It's one thing making an informed personal choice and risk analysis, but different when giving them to other people.

    It's personal preference in the end I think.

    • Like 1
  4. Definitely lice, having dealt with this myself over the summer! 

    The nit casings didn't really disappear even after treatment (though some came off with repeated warm baths) and Wilma's feathers oy went baxk to normal.after her moult.

    I used Xeno spot on* which I bought online. I can't remember which dosage but i think it was the Xeno 450* ?? Search my posts and you'll find it.  The dosing info seemed excessive in terms of the amount that needed to go onto each bird so in the end I took advice from a vet friend and just emptied one capsule on each bird. It worked fine and i repeat dosed 2 weeks later to be sure they were gone. 


    * should have said, i think it is not licenced for poultry in the uk - though it does contain dosing info for poultry on the box. 

  5. Lewis, I had also wondered if she had got lost and was perhaps roosting in or under the small tree that is in there. We don't routinely check the run enclosure itself as it is large fenced area - we just count our birds into the WIR/coop. So if she had for example been hiding in the undergrowth, we wouldn't have known.

    I had a look when I got home (it was my partner who found her) - She was a very pretty pure breed of some sort, not a heavy bird, and her wings were not clipped. Its not impossible that she could have made her own way in from elsewhere and then been caught by our nightly visitor. I feel terrible for her owner, whoever they are 😔

  6. Hi ajm200. Ours were almost certainly locked up safely when this one was left in our yard. It seems to have been left overnight.

    Mr Fox is a very regular visitor to our garden- you can practically set your watch by him, so we are pretty vigilant anyway, but I think it was just quite shocking finding someone else's poor bird like that. 

    I have no idea if we have local area FB pages etc... guess I will be doing some detective work this evening!

  7. ... this is a bit grim. 

    My partner has just found a deceased chicken in our fenced chickens area. But it is not one of ours. It has clearly been taken by a fox or other similar sized predator.

    I was unaware that anyone else in the immediate area was keeping hens, but I am acutely aware that whoever they are, they are likely to be presently very upset and wondering about the fate of at least one bird. I wish I could find out who it is (not that that would do any good).

    Our WIR door is broken, a hinge snapped a week ago (it's only just over 2 years old - is that normal?!) So we are now battening down all the hatches, extra cable ties everywhere and the girls' free roam time is being seriously curtailed ☹️


  8. Omlet refunded me for my bumpa bits that were equally useless. Interesting that quite a few people have had the same issues.

    Still haven't managed to book on one of your courses... 🙄  Still plan to, one day!

  9. Yep i use Flubenvet.

    The older birds are definitely going into moult so I did wonder whether she may also, and I appreciate as a pure breed she won't lay throughout winter, I was just surprised at such a young bird stopping so early in Autumn, particularly after she had only just started. But I'm encouraged by what Dogmother says about her Araucanas - I'll be watching mine closely come early Spring!!  

    Also of course, I'm just not used to pure breeds as these two are the first non-hybrids I've had!! 

  10. Hi all, it hasn't been a great summer for eggs generally. I have two older ladies who lay inconsistently, two hybrids who should be in the prime of their laying lives but who this summer have been almost as inconsistent as the older girls, and then two Araucana pullets that are this year's additions.

    The bantam is slightly older and after coming in to lay in early July has been fairly consistent with 4 to 5 little blue eggs a week, though that's tailed off this last week or two, to almost none. The full size lavender bird came in to lay w/c 3rd Sept when she was just shy of 6 months old. She laid 3 full size eggs in the first 10 days, then 3 small ones over the rest of September (I can tell they're hers as they were round while the banty has laid egg shaped ones, and they are a slightly darker colour too and have usually appeared on same day as a banty egg). Since then, nothing. Zilch.

    She's in good health. We've been doing regular worming routine and have also treated for lice recently (treated them all though never saw any evidence of any on her). She eats well, drinks well, poos normally, is in every respect normal, except no eggs.

    Any thoughts? She is now approaching 8 months old. 

  11. I've got the Omlet one on order but there's been a stock issue or something which means I've been waiting a while. I had been going to get the Hentronix one when Omlet brought theirs out. Having read this thread I am wondering whether to go back to Plan A and get the Hentronix one instead... :S

    The reason I went for the Omlet one in the end was that it retro fits to the front of the Mk1 cube so the door opening handle on the cube itself isn't being used and so isn't sticking out sideways all night. I had visions of either me walking into the handle or wildlife fiddling with it. That would be preferable to something that doesn't work though. If anyone else has any experience with it do post!!

  12. Thanks Lewis. I will treat the bantam too, just as soon as I've worked out what dose I should administer! 

    The strength of this one is 450mg per pipette. Each pipette contains approx 20 drops, delivering 22.5mg of active ingredient per drop.

    If I follow the dosing instructions on the pack that's 1.5 pipettes on my biggest bird. This strikes me as a lot!

  13. I'm not sure if there are laws on space requirements but in terms of the council I think they'd only get involved if there are local bylaws saying you cannot keep poultry or if the birds are causing a nuisance through noise, odour or vermin.

    Space... well, if you think about how commercial producers cram birds in... I imagine the RSPCA would only be concerned about a set up that does not conform to minimum commercial standards (though I don't know what they are). Even if you are a hobbyist keeping only a few birds it is still classed as livestock and not pets. 

    I haven't been in your situation though and so I really don't know for sure. Maybe you might find something useful on the DEFRA website?  

  14. I agree with Mullethunter. They will absolutely trash your garden, so if you do move them you'd need to be prepared for that. At our old house we had a pretty small garden and it was impossible to keep the chickens out of beds/plants where we didn't want them to be, etc. At our current property we have enough space for them to have their own fenced-off area which is quite large - it's bigger than your garden. It was a thriving, rich lawn area when we moved in but less than a year after setting up the enclosure the grass was all gone. So if I were you, I would leave them where they are and just work on worrying about them less! 

  15. Hi all

    I know there's loads of old threads on this already but there's so much conflicting advice and info.

    I found lice and nits on one bird. Absolutely no sign of them on the other five, so am hoping I've found them early!

    I've got some Xeno 450 spot on. I have 2 questions:

    1) Dose. Pack says only for birds over 666g. Firstly, does this mean I can't treat my bantam? She weighs less than this. Secondly, pack says 1 drop per 100g weight. That's 31 drops on my biggest bird and between 15 to 20 on the others (except my bantam...). Seriously? A lot of threads are suggesting two drops per bird.

    2) Egg withdrawal. Ivermectin is used all over the world, very safely, in humans. Provided I don't sell them, do i really, really need to withdraw eggs for a week?

    Looking forward to hearing your opinions folks.😁

  16. Thanks Dogmother. I wrote the reply below days ago and for some reason it didn't post!

    I am pleased to report she is absolutely fine. There is no wheezing, crackling or bubbling, no shortness of breath and no laboured breathing, and her runny nose appears to have abated, though she does still sneeze occasionally.

    She seems wonderfully healthy at the moment and rapidly growing from a slightly "ugly duckling" looking youngster into a really magnificent hen. She's not skinny anymore either- has filled out nicely.

    So not clear what was causing the runny nose but best guess an allergen of some kind.

  17. Oh dear! I have a screecher - so you have my every sympathy. It's an awful noise! Thankfully mine doesn't do it continuously, otherwide she'd have to go. Mostly she does it when she's cross at a wood pigeon in her line of sight (though it's variable whether she gets cross with them or not) or when she's laid. She's older now and doesn't lay all the time, maybe only once or twice a week. Never thought I'd be grateful for less eggs :D


    45 minutes ago, The Dogmother said:

    Hi Sarkymite, I have spoken to Cotswold Chickens, they apologise for not getting back to your later calls; and tell me that after the initial call, you phoned twice, after hours  - 5.30pm and 6.15pm, when Anthony was out on the tractor and didn't hear your calls. When he saw that you had rung, he thought that it was probably too late to disturb you by then. They are around all day today and happy to help you with this if you wanted to ring them again. 

    I don't know your location, but I am 9 miles form their yard and working from home today, so could help you out by fitting the bit correctly, but you will need to bring your bumpa bits along as I have pliers at home, but no bits.


    Hi Dogmother

    I initially spoke with Anthony on Saturday and he said Monday between 6 and 8 would be fine and to just ring him when I got there. I thought it sensible to call before setting out just because it's a long drive for the bird, and didn't dare set off when I got no answer in case he had forgotten I was coming and/or changed his plans- knowing he was doing me a favour rather than it being "in hours".

    Anyhoo- best laid plans and all that!

    I'm at work until about 6pm today and then a 40 miniye commute home, so would struggle to get to you until quite late. I'm also very worried i may have caused some bruising to Wilma's nose so am wondering if she should have some time to recover from yesterday's ordeal before trying again. Lastly (not that I've been awake half the night thinking about it...) I am wondering whether the reason this isn't working is that the bit is too small?? I got ones that I think said were suitable for medium size birds (the ones on the Omlet site). She's just a regular brown hybrid and I would call her medium sized. But the size of bit compared to her face looks nothing like the one in the Cotsword Chickens YouTube video. It's much shorter, and compared to the width of her face seems narrower than the one fitted to the bird in the video. 

    I covered the worst-affected bird in anti-peck spray again last night, shut her in the coop to do it at around 9.30, then lifted her back out the egg port, forgot I had the door shut, so when I went to close all the doors (hens and greenhouses) at half past ten, I had a queue of fast-asleep chickens on the ladder... :$

  19. Ok so long story short, I was supposed to drive over to Cotswold Chickens tonight to get a bit fitted on Wilma, the nice chap there agreed for me to come this evening. I tried to phone before setting out as it's a fair drive for us at 40 mins each way so stressful for the bird. I got no answer, on 2 attempts 45 mins apart, so decided to have last ditch attempt at fitting bit myself.

    Miraculously fitted it, though did pinch the skin over the nostril at one side, but managed to adjust it and it seemed to be in the right place . She was standing bolt upright looking utterly hacked off, and occasionally trying to shake herself so hard she was losong her balance. I sat and watched for a while and within 15 mins she had somehow "adjusted" it so one side wasn't properly in the nostril anymore and she had scratched her face in the process of trying to dislodge it. One side was now sitting on the outside of the beak instead of in the nostril (hard to explain), and she was bleeding a little where she'd scratched, so I had to grab her and take it off again.

    I think we are both too traumatised to try again :(

    Now just thinking I'm going to have to douse all 5 other birds in anti-peck for when we go on holiday, but it seems to upset them far more than it deters her :(

    She's not vicious. Just seems to spend all night eating feathers :(

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