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delphzzzz's Achievements

Freshly Laid Egg

Freshly Laid Egg (1/19)



  1. Thanks for all the replies. I've now set up a motion activated wildlife camera - I've got it taking pics after the chooks are in bed at the moment, but I'll start doing daytime too. So far I've got a robin, a couple of cats and 2 human family members! Will keep going and let you know if something interesting turns up.
  2. Jam - you're probably right about them just staying on their vantage point perch instead of bothering to go to bed. But I don't think you can 100% rule out red mite. Disinfectant doesn't necessarily get rid of them unless you blast every little crevice, and neither does powder on the bars and bedding. Have you tried investigating at night? During the night, when the chooks have been in bed a good while, rub around and under the bars with white paper and see if there are red streaks from squashed mites. Also, put your hand in the coop and leave it there for a while, red mites will detect your body heat and crawl on you!
  3. My lot usually stare down the local cats until said cats go away! One of the ex-batts chases them off too, quite assertively.
  4. Thanks for the replies. One reason I thought "not fox" is that our garden is surrounded by other gardens, all fenced, and to get into ours a fox would have to pass through several other people's gardens, and all the fences, without being noticed by any neighbour. I take the point though that they can squeeze through small gaps. The injuries in the chick pen can't have been caused directly by a fox getting in the pen, the gap underneath was tiny. Mum and chicks both had injuries to their faces. I really don't think it was mum pecking the chick as she had a worse injury herself, but it could have maybe been caused by a fox/other animal trying to get them and the chooks flapping around in a panic. Still odd that the fox left no traces, and got away through neighbours' gardens without being noticed. I'm thinking of getting a webcam!
  5. One of my girls was killed a couple of months ago, when we were on holiday. Our neighbour was looking after them, couldn't find her in the evening at shutting-in time and when we got back next morning we found her dead in the shrub border. She had been decapitated but her body had been left behind. We have never seen, heard or smelled foxes in the garden, the neighbours haven't seen one for years, and I'm wondering whether this was a small predator like a ferret or stoat. We had an incident this summer when we had a broody with chicks in a pen, when the hen made a lot of noise one morning and when we went out she was staring out towards the pond vegetation, shouting. She was bleeding from just above her beak and so was one of the youngsters. There was a small gap under the run and I wondered whether a small predator had got in. We reinforced the run and it didn't happen again. Yesterday just before shutting-up time there was a big flurry of alarm calls and I saw our cockerel fly down from a shrub looking panicked. The chooks all ran up to me chattering. I'm thinking there might have been another encounter with some animal. I'm now thinking of getting a WIR, but I see the Omlet one has large mesh on the upper half so I'd need to reinforce it if we have small predators around. Does anyone here think they've had a problem with small predators? What did you do? I suppose I could cover the WIR with 1/2" weldmesh but that looks as though it could be difficult. Suggestions welcome!
  6. Long shot but just in case.... Today I found a hen in the street near my home in Didcot, Oxfordshire. I keep chooks but can't take any more just now. It's being looked after by a neighbouring hen-keeper who has a spare coop/run. I'm told there was a re-homing of free range hens today, so it's possibly an escapee! If anyone happens to know someone who has lost a hen in this area, please let me know. It's not a breed I've seen before - it's an interesting buff/brown colour, not an ISA Warren or anything like that.
  7. Thanks luvachicken. All went well after the second chick hatched. The other 2 eggs were duds. Speckles looks after the chicks really well - even tolerates them pecking her face! They are now 7 days old, healthy and active. Speckles is an ex-caged rescue hen. It's amazing really, to think that she was hatched in an incubator, lived in a cage and had never even seen a chick in her life. We gave her the hatching eggs as she was persistently broody, and despite the initial wobble she's now a perfect mum. All the mother hen behaviours are there - sheltering them, calling them, feeding them tiny bits of the lettuce we give her. Lovely to see.
  8. Update: we carefully put the chick back under her when it was dark. This morning it's all quiet and while we were watching a female CLB popped out from under her. It was right in front of her so she can see it, and there was no violence! Fingers crossed she's accepted the other one back.
  9. We've had 4 hatching eggs under a broody hen, due to hatch today. Today, while we were in the garden, the hen came out of the broody coop to eat and drink - we peeped under the coop lid and there was one chick (a male Cream Legbar) and another egg pipping. The chick was dry and fluffy so must have been out for a while. Unfortunately, when the hen went back in the coop, she immediately attacked the chick. She looked as though she meant business - flinging it in the air - so I took it out. When she sent back in, I tried several times to carefully put it back. Each time she attacked it - one time it did get under her, but she went for it after a few seconds. We've brought it indoors and are putting together a brooder box. We've shut her in now, because I can only think she attacked it when she saw it with the eggs because she hadn't seen it exposed before - obviously it had been under her. Does anyone have any advice on how to stop her going for the other chicks? Is there any chance I can get her to take the first one back - maybe if I slip him under her at night? Delph

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