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Everything posted by SueChick

  1. Hi everyone. I have had hens for a long time now but I haven’t seen this before in that both of my new hens (24 weeks old) have started laying some thin shelled and some completely shell-less eggs? Has only just started over the last week or two although they have been laying beautifully since about 18 weeks and it’s been on/off over the last fortnight. I have just started worming them and my original 5 year old and they are 3 days in on flubenvet pellets. In the past when I have had the odd softie or thin shell I have used limestone flour but I have read recently that calcium can cause kidney issues if you over do it. So could I ask you lovely hen friends how to tackle this please? They have free access to grit but the treats may have crept up a bit too much recently due to loud clucking which my family have responded to by feeding them treats! The hens have learnt this quickly and have clucked even more! So I have stopped the treats anyway for the worming and will keep them to a minimum from now on but should I be doing anything else to increase shell quality? Thanks a lot everyone.
  2. Yay all done! I held them and hubby cut and it wasn’t too tramatic thank goodness! Thanks for all of your help xxx
  3. Thanks everyone for your great advice. No she’s not white - I have purposely avoided white hybrids with Leghorns in them because I know they can be very flighty and our garden just doesn’t suit that. I have never had to re-cut after a moult either so it should only be when they are young thank goodness. I appreciate all the advice and have also watched lots of YouTube videos as well so hopefully we are good to go today! Wish us luck!! Shes the lady on the left - named Fred by my 19 year old son who likes buck trends and name all of his hens male names!
  4. Hi everyone. I am after a bit of advice please. We just picked up two beautiful hybrids from an Omlet recommended breeder who we have used before and they have settled in wonderfully (although still separated currently from our old ladies as a slow intro). Yesterday one of the newbies exhibited amazing flying capabilities of the likes I have never seen in 13 years of chicken keeping! She flew from ground level to land on my shoulder with absolutely no run up - literally a standing start! When we collected her I asked the farmer to clip their wings but he said they don’t do that anymore as they feel it is safer if the birds can fly away from a dangerous situation. Has anyone heard that before? I hadn’t. I didn’t think much of it because I have other birds without clipped wings, but now am regretting not pushing the matter because I am now really stressed about her free ranging in the garden and losing her over into next door’s garden who has a big dog. Also, although my little dog is separated from the hen area I think our flying lady will clear those fences too and get chased and stressed by our dog. So I am in desperate need of some help please with wing clipping as I have never done it and am terrified of the idea! Is there anyone in here near enough to us (Walderslade in Chatham) who would be happy to pop over and help us? Happy to pay for services in petrol money and/or homemade cakes! Thanks in advance everyone.
  5. Thanks for your reply. I have sent the poo off for analysis at the chicken vet place online. 0 egg count and 0 coccidiosis. She was given two courses of antibiotics, one course of anti fungal and two of anti inflammatoires! And has had about 6 weeks of pro biotics (Avipro). Not sure what else to try! The problem with keeping her clean is that when I wash her off she only stays clean for about half a day. By the end of the day, it is covered again. She does dust bath which helps of course but my theory is - is it worth washing her every day if more is going to be there or is it better to leave the spray in place (or perhaps it’s not even that effective any more if more poo has dribbled on top of it and she has dustbathed?). It’s so difficult to know what’s best. Her skin gets quite sore of course due to the poo so I would rather wash it and reapply a barrier cream to stop it being so red but then I’m scared about washing the spray and getting fly strike! Arghh!!! You see my dilemma?!?
  6. I am really in need of some advice please here because I am so confused and at my wits end with one particular lady of my flock. In April I collected my first ever rescue hens - 2 of them - and I was so excited to be able to help but wow has it been a steep learning curve! Anyway, the help I need with the one I have left (the other has to be PTS unfortunately) is this:- Since getting her she has had a dirty bottom. I have tried two different vets and more money than I would want to admit and still we are no closer to a solution. I don’t think we will ever sort it actually. She lays normal droppings all of the time but in between dribbles white poo down her bald little bottom poor thing. She is otherwise so fit and well - inquisitive, naughty and so funny and lays huge eggs so I have decided to leave her alone now and not traumatise her with anymore vet trips. Problem is - flies! I’m so worried about fly strike. The vet prescribed F10 spray and my confusion is this:- it says it’s water soluble and should be reapplied if the hen goes in the rain but then the vet says I can only use it once per week but also to keep her bum washed and clean!!! How on earth do I do both? Wash her daily but not reapply until one week is up? What is the point of spraying at all? Confused is the word! Any help out there please? I don’t want to lose her to fly strike.
  7. Hi - I had a bad bout of this a few years ago and it didn’t matter how many toys they had or space or anti peck sprays, once they learn feathers are nice it’s a hard habit to break! I used bumper bits but it didn’t stop it because they could still pull out feathers with them on! Amazing really. The only way I permanently broke them was the hens glasses (not the horrible ones that pierce the nose of course just the ones that attach in the same way as the bumper bits). They act as the opposite sight restriction to horses blinkers, ie, they can’t see directly in front of them and although that sounds really barbaric and harsh it really wasn’t. In fact, it was no worse than how they act with a bit on really, couple of days and they were unaware they were on them. I left them on for 6 weeks then removed the least likely to be the main offender’s glasses first and watched to see if the baldness reappeared, it didn’t so that hen didn’t need them again. I continued like that until I found a hen who whenever I took the glasses off would start it all again so she then wore hers for the rest of her life (long and happy life she lived with her shades on!). I know this may be controversial as some people don’t like the idea of them but it was much less distressing than watching a poor hen stripped to bald continuously. It also stopped the subsequent hens learning it from the older ones which had happened in the past. I hope this helps.
  8. Thank you - that’s great. Never heard of cankers but I have a vet appointment tonight to see if I can get an antifungal prescribed so I will ask him/her to check her throat too. My usual vet wants to check via a sample to see if there is Candida (thrush) present but if there is she won’t prescribe anything anyway so what’s the point of spending money to get the test done? If this vet will prescribe I will get it tested but I have already spent in excess of £80 trying to get to the bottom of it! (Sorry for the pun!). 4 vet visits and we aren’t really much further forward. I have bought canesten but I’m scared to use it as my vet said I could overdose her? Also really worried as what will happen re fly strike when we are away this summer if she is still like this and I’m not here to wash her off daily? Wow am I stressed about this one! UPDATE Took Hope to a new vet today and he was really good. He thinks it may still be a low grade infection rather than vent gleet because it’s not smelly like gleet is. That being said because we are going with more antibiotics (a more appropriate dose than we were given before) he is protecting her gut with an anti-fungal and when she is off the antibiotics, I have some friendly bacteria to treat her with - in fact I will do the whole flock anyway because once it’s opened you have to chuck it away if it’s not used and good bacteria is good for all my hens - especially my other rescue. thanks for your replies and I will keep you posted on the results.
  9. I really need some help from anyone out there with experience with vent gleet please. I have had chooks for 12 years now and this is a new one on me! 5 weeks ago I collected two rescues hens from the BHWT (ex-“free-range”). They were skinny and partially bald as expected but I thought they were otherwise fine. One had a runny bottom so I thought oh dear worms or stress or something and set about worming they and settling them in which they did really well. However the bottom didn’t clear up. It was red swollen around the vent and ran what looked like liquid poo down her bare red bottom (sorry but graphic!). Anyway, to cut a long story short after quite a few vet trips she has now been treated with antibiotics and anti-inflammatories as well as being tested for worms and coccidiosis (both clear). But still we have the yucky bottom! I bath it and squirt purple spray on it daily or every other day but we aren’t winning. So then I called the BHWT for advice and they suggested it was vent gleet and suggested I used canesten. I wanted back up if my vet before doing this but she wouldn’t give it because it’s a human drug which I understand but she also won’t prescribe a Chicken anti-fungal. I am not sure why. Lots of people have used nystatin given by their vets but mine won’t and I think she needs an internal anti fungal as well as topical as I don’t want it escalating to sour crop too. Todag I am going to do the Epsom salad bath to soak off the yuck and apply some canesten just on the skin until I get some vet and/or chicken people’s advice. What do you think? Here is a photo - sorry it’s yucky!
  10. Thank you for the great suggestions. The only issue is that when I have tried to do this before it has set up a bit of stumbling panic around the eglu and scared the life out of me because I thought someone would get hurt. I will give it a go though if you think sleeping together is a help towards calmer intros? Then it would worth a bit of a flap around? What do you think? Really appreciate the help thanks.
  11. Hi - it has been ages since I have posted in here and it’s so good to be back! I am really excited to be getting my first rescue hens ever! I have had hens from point of lay for about 10 years now and so I finally feel able to take on some rescue ladies and it feels lovely to be doing my bit. I am concerned though about the inevitable intro fights. I am able to keep them separate easily enough though but my old ladies (age 4 and 5) will have to sleep and lay in a cat box in the walk in walk run with access to the garden as the new ladies will be in the eglu classic with the run attached. However, the lady from the rescue centre said sleeping together at night would be fine and I’m wondering whether to do this as it would keep my old ladies warmer instead of the cat box. If I do let them sleep together however, how on earth do I manage to extract the old ladies from the eglu classic without the new ladies coming out and a big fight enusing?!? Sleeping together would be a great idea as I know I will be worrying about my ladies every time the weather drops over night! Any ideas please would be much appreciated.
  12. Mine love the pumpkins and eat it all up But I was just worried about feeding them the gourds? Are they safe?
  13. After a lovely trip to the pumpkin farm we are well and truly stocked up! Unfortunately the kids picked some gourds (misshapen and "Ooops, word censored!"bly small pumpkins) which the sign at the farm said were non edible. Does this mean just for us people or can the chicks eat them up for us? They certainly love the big pumpkins!
  14. I am not surprised she was trying to bath in a little bit of soil - mine are just the same - I caught one of my ladies dust bathing in literally a sprinkling of soil on the patio! Her sister was bathing in the soil around the acer tree which is in a huge pot and as the spills of soil landed below her on the patio Maggie was frantically gathering it up to dust in it! I wouldn't mind but I have made them a lovely dust bath in their run with especially bought play sand in it! Cheek!
  15. Good replies above - I would second the WIR idea. I had three girls in a 3 meter run and I had all sorts of feather pecking issues which is so hard to stop even when they move into a walk in run - it's like finger-nail biting! I love my set up now but if I'm truly honest I wish I had gone for a WIR and never bought the original omlet tunnel run - I have had three different generations of chooks overlapping each other for the last 7 years and they have taught each other the awful feather pecking habit which I am still battling to remove. Hope this helps.
  16. Thanks a lot for your suggestions - I hadn't though of cut/grow again lettuce - is that what it's called in the shops? Sunflower seeds sound interesting too - did you mean planting the seeds and letting them eat the shoots or growing them on a lot further? I did think of cress as that is very quick - do they like cress? Thanks for your help.
  17. I was tempted by this ornate plantar today and couldn't resist buying it for my ladies! Not spoilt at all! My mad thought process was that it would look lovely but also supply a good way for them to peck at a plant but not be able to dig out the roots - only problem is that I don't know what to grow out of it! Something quite fast growing I guess and something that they love to eat of course! Any ideas please?
  18. Handbags that's exactly what they are like at intro time!
  19. Yes I have found my Geeno blue to be a slow maturer - she is a hybrid from an aracuana and white star - and didn't until about 24/5 weeks old. That's the longest I've ever had to wait for an egg but my pretty blue eggs are worth it!
  20. Honestly this year is challenging me with new problems all the time. This time is a Huge slug problem in the grubs - I have thrown down loads of bird grit to reduce the problem and it works for a while but this morning all the pellets were absolutely covered in yucky slug slime! The girls were eating them as usual and now I'm worried if this is dangerous for them? Do other people have this issue? What should I do?
  21. My coop directly accesses an omlet WIR so I don't need to worry about horrible Mr Fox (thank God) when they are inside the run - I am guessing that the other people who leave their doors open have a similarly safe set up for the early morning.
  22. Hi - I leave mine open only in spring and autumn. In the summer dawn is too early and they started getting clucky at 5 am! Poor neighbors. In the winter I like to keep them all cosy so I shut them in. Hope this helps.
  23. Thank you - yes definitely worth waiting for. I am so pleased with her - she is first Geeno blue and she's so funny! She runs around like a little mad thing - literally gets the wind up her tail and runs around so fast she skids around the corners sometimes. Hilarious! She is quite small though so at the bottom of the pecking order - lucky for her she is the fastest runner then!
  24. Such a clever little girl - finally laying at 23 weeks old.
  25. So funny! She is saying "wasn't me - just try and prove it!"

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