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Shilojo

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  1. Back from the vets. Leg is just bruised but we have some antibiotics to give her for her graze and we just need to keep it clean, which we have been doing, and use the antiseptic spray we used yesterday. I've got some poultry tonic which I'll give them in their water too. Hopefully she'll perk up in a few days.
  2. Well I didn't get home in time to see her last night. She made it up the ladder to the eglu ok last night but this morning needed some encouragement to leave and struggled to get down the ladder. She laid a soft shelled egg this morning (probably the stress?) but isn't moving much and she seems to be avoiding putting weight on her injured leg. The graze doesn't look too bad (perhaps from fox's claws rather than a bite) but she's finding it difficult to move. When I appeared she tried to come to me but sort of flopped forward. I've given her some corn and we're trying to get a vets appointment for this morning.
  3. Just got a call at work from my husband. He'd let the chickens out to free range around the garden and a fox managed to get one. She's alive but he says she looks pretty traumatised, wouldn't even eat a grape(!), her leg is at a funny angle and there's a gash on it. He says she can move it and it doesn't look broken but she's walking with the foot turned in a bit. I've said to clean wound and put some antiseptic on it but I'm concerned about the leg. No other signs of injury. Any ideas? Feeling a bit shook up myself and I wasn't even there!
  4. Wow Lewis, look at all that grass in your run. How do you do it?
  5. At first we used to have to herd ours back in (generally a two person job). Now though they just go in of their own accord when we tell them to. Never ceases to amaze us when they do that!
  6. Thanks Dogmother. We do worm the chickens but hadn't thought about the children. We are scrupulous about handwashing though. Will look into it. We do use Bokashi (when I remember). Maybe that's why the smell never gets too bad. Or perhaps my nice is just desensitised due to a baby in nappies and a toilet-training toddler!
  7. Forgot to say that I know chickens are known for wreaking gardens but, in one like ours where it's all big shrubs and trees and no delicate bedding plants, they're actually a godsend as it means absolutely no weeding whatsoever! Free eggs and no weeding; it's almost worth a pooey lawn!
  8. Thanks all. I think you're right and I need to restrict their free ranging to only part of the garden. I hadn't wanted to do it at first as partitioning off part of the lawn wouldn't give either us or the girls a decent space and it would look odd (our garden, in order from the house out, is roughly half lawn, quarter beds with lots of big shrubs/small trees and quarter wilderness behind a hedge which the girls love). The run is currently taking up part of the lawn so that it's near the house but I could partition off the beds and wilderness and herd them there when it's time to free range. Long term we plan to clear the wilderness part a bit and plant some fruit trees there so we could also relocate the run at the same time. Only downside is that we would no longer be able to see them from the house which would be a shame, but worth it for a poo free lawn for the children to pay out. As an aside, I have never poo picked our run. They're on wood chippings so that I rake over it once a fortnight and I use biodri roughly once a month. I only notice a smell if it's been a good few days since I last cleaned out the house. Am I doing something wrong?
  9. We've had three hybrids since March that we allow to free-range around our medium-ish suburban garden most days - time varying between 1 hour and all day. When we got them I was prepared for the devastation they would wreak, and it's not been too bad really as we mainly have big strudy shrubs that seem to withstand even the most determined assaults. However, I was completely unprepared for the sheer volume of poo on our lawn. We poo pick every week or so and then mow the lawn and hose down the smeary bits but I still seem to have a lawn which could best be described as a chicken toilet. Trouble is I have two small children (2.5 and 11 months) and it's really impacting on our use of the garden as I'm increasingly reluctant to let them play out. It didn't seem so bad earlier in the summer, maybe because we were usually out with the chickens so the chickens seemed to keep more to the beds to avoid the rampaging toddler. Today I thought that we'd take advantage of the late summer sun and go out this afternoon but I've just spent over 1.5 hours poo picking and hosing and I'm still not happy to let the children out to play. What do other people do? I'm considering a bigger walk in run and letting the girls free-range less but not sure how big this would need to be. To be honest, I've even considered re-homing. We have lovely photos from last summer of the toddler running around barefoot and naked in the garden all summer with his toys but I know that we wouldn't be able to do this next year with my youngest because of the poo. Or am I being too fastidious? When my oldest first learned to walk we took him to the park with his brand new, never worn outside shoes and the first thing he did was step in dog poo. I'm fairly sure that a good amount of the poo I'm picking up isn't even from our chickens! Sorry for the essay. Any advice or tales from experience would be gratefully received!
  10. Next door's builders said that a fox was determined to get into my Go Up earlier today (broad daylight). They kindly chased it off but said it was going crazy and looked like it would manage to get in. I know that the eglus are supposedly fox-resistant so I guess I just wanted some reassurance and/or any tips to make sure that I keep my ladies safe. I've put a few bricks down on the skirt to weigh it down and I'm planning to try to get my husband to wee around the garden this evening . Is there anything else I could do? Thanks
  11. Margaret eventually worked it out and they are all tucked up in bed. Clever girls! I missed the actual ascent as I was putting the human baby to bed but she was having a good nosey at the view from inside the Go doorway when I shut them up. Hope it meets with her approval. Not worried about an early waking. The toddler gets up between 5 and 6am so chickens should be easy peasy. I know that we might not get an egg for a little while as they're in a scary new place, but still slightly excited about checking tomorrow. You never know!
  12. Well, panic over. Hillary suddenly flew up to check it out, followed closely by Angela. They've both been in and out a few times and are now ready for tucking up in bed. Margaret is still inspecting the run but we'll give her a bit longer before giving her a helping hand. Hopefully now that the other two are inside it won't be long before she works it out.
  13. We got our new ladies home today and they've spent a couple of hours in their run, but now it's dusk and they're showing no signs of working out the ladder to the Go. Stupid question, but do we just put them into the Go Up and then hope they work out how to get out when I open the door in the morning?
  14. cat tails. One reason we put off having chickens for so long was not wanting the early starts to let them out etc. Now that we have small children 6am is a lie in (sob) so letting them out at dawn really isn't a problem!
  15. Thanks Cat Tails and sorry to hijack your thread Hampshire Gardener.

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