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Everything posted by Mar1a

  1. My gingernut IS my aggressive hen. There is no denying that. And she has been since we went on holiday in September and they boarded at the farm we got them from. Before that, she was the loveliest little thing ever I think separating the bullied hen isn't a great move because reintroducing her to the bullies could make things worse. I'm sorry I don't have wise words for you. But you're not alone
  2. My girls live in a WIR, but on an allotment site. They have been flooded out twice in recent weeks. The roof is already triple tarpualined. The sides which receive the most incoming weather already had polycarbonate sheets between the layers of wire to protect them from the worst of the weather. We ended up putting temporary guttering on both sides to collect the water from the roof. Admittedly when it rains we have to empty the collecting buckets several times a day but I'm just glad that they aren't getting wet inside the run. Inside, I collected as much surface water as I could, dug the garden fork in a few hundred (it seems like it!) for improved drainage and put several buckets full of sawdust to soak up the worst of the muddy bits, moving on to straw as soon as the straw shop was open the next day. I just clean out and replace the straw every couple of days. The girls are helping out by digging around in the straw and it keeps them ultra happy Hardwood clippings aren't really an option for me because of access and distance from the road issues, so for me, straw is the next best thing.
  3. She's been in jail 3/5 days so far this week. But we have noticed a weird sort of pattern. She's only laying about once a week. On the day she lays, she's as chilled as a chilled chicken! I've noticed it like that for the last three weeks. Am I clutching at straws here or is there an actual correlation?
  4. Just to update - both miss bully and her victim have been throughly inspected and no evidence of anything that shouldn't be there, although a pulsating vent is something that I hope not to have to see again for a long time! We kept miss bully separate from the others today. The one she's been picking on was like a different girl! So laud back and chilled out we let bully out for 20 minutes before they went to bed, but not before using anti peck spray on the other one. She was a bit tense and miss bully seemed very withdrawn but there were no problems Tomorrow will be a repeat of today and hopefully, she'll behave herself. I want to wait and see if this works first before going down broody cage route - with the changing clocks, I won't see them during daylight hours during the week I watched one of my girls lay her egg today. Absolutely fascinating! And boy do my girls love pumpkins
  5. Yes, they had much less room so I dread to think how bad it was while they were there In my defence, we had absolutely no idea that this could or would happen if we had even an inkling, there is no way on this earth that they'd have gone there
  6. We supplied their food so know they were eating the same as they normally would
  7. Before we went on hols, my girls all got on perfectly. We put them in boarding while we were away and ever since, one of my girls has become a horrid bully she picks on two of the others, one very much more so than the other. She will go out of her way to go and pick on her She so wasn't like this before we went away. Would putting her in broody jail in the big run work? I've read that taking her out of the equation for a few days should do the trick but I'm not in a position to be able to bring her home into my garden - both my landlord and my cat (not to mention the other cats in the neighbourhood) we both work full time and can't be here to keep her safe. Little miss bully has pretty much stopped laying. I thought at one point she might be starting to moult as there were lots of ginger downy feathers around but I've seen no sign of that for a couple of weeks. The hen she's picking on the most is a shadow of herself there hasn't been any blood yet but it's only a matter of time before there is. Do I have only the two options of broody jail or re homing?
  8. I have a frame run like you're describing. It came with two rolls of mesh with different gauges. I bought a third roll with a tighter gauge to double up all round. Cost me £30 and covered the whole run, including the roof. Nothing's got in yet, and believe me, they've tried
  9. Chickens, yes, children maybe I hate worming week. I just give them marriages layers pellets that contain flubenvet. It's torture for me not to give them any treats but it's worth it after the five days
  10. Not the best pic but it gives you ( hopefully!) an idea
  11. My girls live in a wired run on an allotment. We've got tarpaulin over the roof which has been fine in terms of keeping the girls dry and giving them shade, but I'm getting to the point that I need a solid roof. The run is all metal frame. It's 1m at its lowest point and about 2.5m at the apex. What sort of roofing material would be best, given that I don't have any wood to screw it in to? Am I better using a clear (ish) type to allow valuable light in over the winter? The sides are half open - there is polycarbonate sheeting around the sides that are most exposed to the weather. It also needs to be fox proof... Ideas please? Thanks
  12. Thanks ivermectin is next on the list to try - we are keeping up with the nettex/diatom/dusting/garlic/scrubbing bit for the mo. They're off on hols next week and will be staying an extra day to give us chance to do everything we want to get done but can't because they're there Every day we are doing something to combat red mite, and it seems to be working because this morning there were barely a few and they weren't red
  13. I was dusting the girls today and noticed that my almost terminal broody is nekkid underneath. It looked quite red too. She hasn't been broody for a couple of weeks and we have stopped making them sleep in the house because it just wasn't happening for them and while we have done everything we can against the red mite we can't sit there hand on heart and say that we have completely git rid of it. Any ideas why her belly is so bare?
  14. We took the felt roof off the house and replaced it with a plastic one. That's destined to become an onduline roof when we come back from our hols. The next box lid is next for replacing. That will be done after our hols too as the girls will be on their own little holiday
  15. Thank you DM - we used the ready to stuff yesterday because the concentrate still hasn't arrived but it's done for the moment and we will do it again at the weekend. Another lady on my site got her chickens shortly after we did. I took at look at the coop the other day at her request, and it is infested with RM her poor girls I was amazed to see such a poor standard of care. I gave her a list of everything she needed to do and to get and I haven't seen her since, until today. I asked her how the problem was and she said "i poured hot water on it" her "co-keeper" was there too and he didn't bat an eyelid I can't believe that people can be so cavalier about it. When we first realised we had a fix problem we looked at their run and it is so sloppily put together. When we first found out we had red mite, we made sure they were aware of it so that they could take precautions. Did they listen?? And they want me to take them up on looking after our girls when we are away?? Are we 'eck as like we go in less than two weeks and have had two different groups of sitters fall through. We are investigating boarding this weekend. Least I know they'll be well looked after
  16. Well, powdering them was way easier than I thought it would be! We watched a lot on YouTube and went with lying them down on their backs, holding their legs and giving them a good checking over and dusting. It was difficult to catch a couple but we managed it What was even more amazing is how chilled they were afterwards! There was the usual clamour for their blackberries, but after that, there was barely a peep from them! They were so relaxed it was unbelievable! Fingers crossed they'll head straight to bed in their house tonight - that git taken apart today, cleaned, nettexed and dusted. It's a brave mite that shows its face in that house now
  17. Thank you They're going into the house now with less encouragement each night tomorrow is nettex and powdering day. I'll be a lot happier once we have got that done! Couple of the girls have always even resistant to say the least about being picked up. I'll certainly be making a note of the ivermectin in case we need it.
  18. Yup, I'm having to deal with both at the same time The girls were sleeping atop their house, which to start with was fine because it was mega hot and I was happy they were safe. Then we realised they had a red mite problem so we completely removed the roof of the house and replaced it with a plastic one, as well as scrubbing and treating the rest of the house. And then came along Mr Fox, so we knew we had to make them sleep in their house again. We had been religiously checking for mites in the house and were happy that we couldn't see any. We made their run and the outside of it extra secure. On Saturday we went to do the weekly deep clean and pulled the nest box apart. No prizes for guessing what we found. So once again, apart comes the bedroom and nest boxes, perches replaced with new ones on top of a plastic stand and the ends covered with plastic too. Last night was absolute torture trying to get them to go in the house. They tried everything possible not to go in, not realising that they had a new bedroom and new everything else. I have got some nettex spray on order. I have scrubbed everything in the nest box and bedroom with garlic. There is garlic in their water. They've been eating (or rather, stealing!) garlic to eat. What else can I do? They live on an allotment, and so there is no access to hot water unless we take it in a flask. No electricity at all. Dusting them thoroughly is very difficult because we have been trying to catch them to get them in their bedroom, one or two of them have become very wary of us and run if we get anywhere near. I already diatom the hay in the nest box, their bedding, their perches and their dustbathing spots. We are planning an almost military operation to get their whole bodies done. This is so depressing. Keeping hens was not meant to be filled with dread upon every visit, not knowing what problem is going to hit us next. At the height of fox-gate, I had a broody too, although chucking her out of the box daily, she snapped out of it by herself, which is a huge relief because I didn't want to put her in broody jail while the fox was trying to get at them, it would have been like using her as bait I'm sorry, I've rambled on, but you guys are probably the only ones who have any idea how I'm feeling and how to fix it! We go on our hols in two weeks so I need to have it all sorted so their sitters don't have the same troubles
  19. I have a WIR and we've just recently started getting foxes jumping on the roof. Fortunately, I made sure the roof was double wired when we put it all together because of this exact thing. There is very strong wire dug down to 12 inches all the way round, soil then tramped in as hard as we could, then 12 inches of skirt coming out, and bricks and paving slabs all the way round. TBF has no chance of digging it's way in. The run is double wired all the way round, with polycarbonate sheets in between on three sides, but that's more to protect them from the weather than the foxes, but it serves a good double use. We have just this week put plastic spikes along the edges of the roof to try and stop TBF from jumping up onto the roof. At the mo we have double layers (I clearly like doubling up on everything ) of tarpaulin covering the roof to keep the run dry, but before the winter kicks in, the tarpaulins will be replaced with a solid roof. And still I don't think it's enough.
  20. We had a red mite problem with our girls, but because they're on an allotment, we have to be "creative" with steaming and such like. They spent a good couple of months sleeping on top of their house, which we were ok with because we were happy they were relatively safe from predators. But the TBF (the b-word fox!) decided to try and get in through the roof so we have gone back to making them sleep in the house again where we can shut the door and they are double locked away.
  21. I use marriages pellets with added flubenvet. They don't get anything else to eat during that week so all they have is those. I get them from Farm and Pet place. If you're getting them for the first time, they'll ring you to go through some questions then send it out really quickly.
  22. I just had a text from APHA to say it's confirmed
  23. I have looked at those. It doesn't make a lot of sense to me. We decided that we would take our own action if and when it becomes a problem locally, which to be fair, isn't very likely because I don't think there are any places to be concerned about within a 15 mile radius, and that's a small scale bird farm. 25km is the exclusion zone that we will set ourselves.
  24. I had a text alert about it on Friday. While it's too far away to affect us, it did make us have a conversation about what we would need to do if we were within an affected area and how close geographically it would have to be to us before we started to take proactive action.

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