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Rhona R

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  1. …really difficult to find! I nearly posted here last night, upset that we'd lost our lovely new Araucana, but now I can post a different story! The hens are usually in their walk in run, and I'd let them out to FR in the garden. This little flock are quite new, and lovely natured but a bit skittish. Something spooked the Araucana, and she flew next door which is not a big problem. I went round to fetch her, but she panicked and flew up into their clematis plant. Now this bush is about 20 feet long, 8 feet high, 4 feet deep in places, and very dense but I just assumed we'd find her. We searched for 24 hours in the bush, before deciding that she must have wriggled through to the other side and got away. She's tiny, it was very cold last night, and we are on the rounds of several foxes. I was very upset, and thought that was it. I went for another look this morning, not at all hopeful, when after around 15 minutes of poking with a cane, I heard a clucking sound, and after another 30 minutes searching, found her! She's fine, but hungry, but was obviously fairly snug and protected in there. I can't believe we got her back! Just wanted to post a happy story, and share the good news! P.s. I love Araucanas, they're one of my favourite breeds, but in our experience, they don't half live a more eventful life than the average chicken… p.p.s My theory is that as she was surrounded by around 2 feet of highly perfumed clematis, it might have confused the fox's nose, or am I being really fanciful about that??
  2. Thanks all. I really do appreciate your comments. I've visited a few neighbours gardens, but no sign. Two carcasses have turned up though… Apparently another neighbour lost their chickens last night too. I feel so guilty for not protecting them. I'm pretty tearful about losing them. How attached we get, eh? It is a brand new Omlet walk-in run. It looks like the fox jumped on the top and one of the narrow side panels came off. The clips didn't do their job really. We might try to find something to secure the rest, as the plan is to get some new hens in a week or so. Thanks again guys.
  3. Hi, hope everyone's had a good Christmas. We left out chickens out in their walk in run yesterday whilst we visited on Boxing Day, got back extremely late at night, too dark to see anything. This morning, we found all chickens gone, the feathers of two everywhere (five hens), but no blood and like I say - just two types of feather. A panel was hanging off the run, so pretty obvious that something got in. Our garden is small, not too many hiding places, so if any girls escaped, I don't think they're hiding out. I remember a fox attack as a child and there was blood everywhere…I find this a bit baffling, but possible, I guess. What are the chances of some of our much-loved pets having scattered and being okay? Could a fox have got them all? Our three little kiddies are very sad, but I'm relieved there's no bloodbath for them to see. Sorry if I'm asking the obvious, it's just upsetting, and I'm clutching at straws I guess.
  4. Thanks all - advice much appreciated. Think we'll re-introduce mum this weekend, and the chicks when the walk in arrives, they'll be about 11 weeks then. We'll leave the nursery up in case it doesn't work out, and we can keep the little ones separate for a bit longer if need be.
  5. At the moment we have two runs, one with two chickens in, the other with hen and her three 7 week old chicks. THe mother hen has always pecked at one chick, it stopped and then started again two weeks ago. The mother hen seems quite irritable with the chicks during the day, and paces up and down all evening, although they snuggle up together at night. This is our first batch of chicks. When we take out the hen to free range, the chicks seem much calmer. Should we separate them altogether? We could put the hen back with the two chickens (she was always bottom of the pecking order) and just let the chicks remain on their own. Were getting them sexed at nine weeks and then the plan is to introduce the remaining chicks to the flock. Will it be harder without their mother being introduced at the same time? Not sure what to do for the best and appreciate any advice.
  6. …sorry, should have added that the chicks are one week old. The pecking started on day 3, I think.
  7. Hello all, this is my first post although I have been bit of a lurker for years! We have just hatched our first chicks from bought fertilised eggs, following one of our chickens becoming broody. We have three chicks, and two are happily thriving. The third (a different breed to the others) is getting pecked by the mother. The chicken (an Araucana) has previously been the calmest and most affectionate of our chickens, so we're a bit surprised to be honest. The poor thing is not thriving like the others - it looks smaller and scuttles away whenever she comes near. The Araucana seems to hunt for the chick so she can peck it. At the moment, they are living on the floor of our greenhouse with a broody box and plenty of space. Our regular hen house is an eglu classic, in which we have two other hens. We're trying to ensure that the chick is getting access to food and water. The internet is full of different opinions; it will improve, it won't improve, we should separate the chick, we shouldn't etc. The only good thing is that the chick is allowed to snuggle up underneath it's mother at night, so it's not being completely shunned. It's so upsetting to watch, and I feel awful that the poor thing is not happy. Any tips?

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