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Chicken Eggspert

Chicken Eggspert (2/19)



  1. Hi all, So a week and a bit ago we bought two adorable little 4 week old serama chicks. They're living indoors at the moment, in a rabbit cage with heat. They're very perky, very active, eat loads and poo loads. I have been changing their litter once every 3 days or so. When I changed it on Friday I had run out of the wood shavings I'd been using, so I popped to Tesco and bought a pack of their "Everyday Value Softwood Shavings". It mentioned nothing of fragrance, or scent, or anything. When I used it I did think it smelt a bit like vicks vaporub, but (stupidly) didn't think any more of it. Then a day or two later on Sunday, we noticed that one of the girls eyes looked a little droopy (like the lower eyelid had fell?) and also there was a small amount of mucusy bubbles in there. She seemed absolutely fine in herself, and had no other symptoms, and it was just in the one eye. I washed the eye with sterile water and, after some research about the scented shavings, quickly changed the litter to Easichick. Yesterday it looked very much the same, but again she seemed fine in herself. I washed it with sterile water once more. I then noticed that the other chick has one eye which just looks a little sore, no droopiness, no bubbles, it just looks sore. But again, she is completely fine. This morning the droopy eye chick still looks about the same, and she still seems absolutely fine and the sore eye chick looks a bit better I think. No streaming nostrils as far as I can tell. So I'm really confused, and worried. I can't see how they could have caught any actual disease as they were a picture of health at the breeder's place and she had them kept undercover, with just their siblings. Then at our house they have only been exposed to each other. To me it seems likely that the scent and oil or whatever in the shavings has irritated their little bodies. Do you think that sounds like the case? If so, will they get better now that I've changed the bedding and removed the irritant? Do they just need a bit of TLC? Many thanks for any help, I am very worried!
  2. Hi all, We've had our two hybrid girls a year now and I am absolutely in love with them. Would really like to get more birds as I've been bitten by the poultry bug. We live in a very built up area (tiny garden, houses either side, at the back and all around) so lots of people are probably within earshot of the garden. Initially I was going to get a couple of Serama hens (frizzle feathered ones!) as I've researched and people generally advise that they are quieter than large girls like hybrids. However, the only place a 2nd coop and run could go is right by the back of my house, so consequentially right by the back of my neighbours house too. I know chooks only usually make noise anyway when they are laying, and I know Serama don't lay as much, so perhaps it would be okay? But then I worry will they "join in" if they hear my two big girls singing their hearts out just 15ft away? OR do I sigh and say goodbye to the idea of more chooks, and instead get a few quail? We've actually had quail before, before we had the chickens, so I know a bit about them. Last time we had Japanese quail but this time I'd like to try a fancier breed, like snowflake bobwhites or something similar. The cons with quail, as far as I can see, is obviously they are less "friendly" than chickens, and their poop is more prolific and harder perhaps to clear up, so cleaning out will be a bit more of a task. But then they are quieter, they are attractive birds still and would be interesting to watch, no doubt. So what do we think? I really am torn, I can think of positives and negatives for both! If I didn't worry so much about the noise, it'd be chooks. And "no more birds" isn't an option haha, this is the first hobby I've had that I genuinely feel connected with so I really want to pursue it! Many thanks
  3. Thanks for all the replies - I must admit I do find it quite amusing watching them explore indoors, it was a bit like hens on ice this afternoon though on the kitchen tiles, skidding about all over the shop but they didn't seem bothered by it. They've started following me everywhere when I am out in the garden with them, I walk off to go and grab something from indoors and I hear the pitter patter of tiny feet on the floor behind me. It's so adorable but I know they're only after food really. As soon as I say "I don't have anything" and hold my hands wide open they trill a little song of complaint and march off elsewhere. One day they'll love me for me! Haha.
  4. Hi all, when I went to the run to do the chores this morning I found 10 or so feathers (about 3 inches long) scattered about the place. They're all from one bird, Mary, as they're her colour. Do you think this is likely to be her natural moult or is it the result of feather pecking? They are coming up to a year old, judging by how old they were when we bought them in March. The feathers also weren't there last night when I put them to bed. Mary seems fine in herself and I haven't noticed any evidence of her being pecked by Billina, but then they are alone for the whole day so I'm not always there to see them. Any ideas what it is likely to be? Thanks.
  5. Eugh, treading on a slug must have been horrid. Bad enough stepping on a snail and hearing that sickening crunch underfoot My girls aren't the least bit interested in slugs. Snails, yes. Slugs, no thanks. They take one sideways look at those big fat orange ones and walk off
  6. Well, it finally happened. After being a strict chicken father for 6 months and saying "not indoors!" every time the girls appeared at the back door whilst free ranging, I finally broke and let them in today. More than that I found myself encouraging them to come further into the house, as far as the kitchen where I rewarded them with a cabbage leaf. Is there any inherent danger/problem with them coming indoors for brief spells? They're quite curious girls and I think especially with winter coming they might find a little wander inside quite interesting on a horrid day. We have wood floors or tile all over downstairs so I'm not worried about poo. Do any of you have any chickens indoors stories?
  7. Just to say we got our two ISA brown from Southmead Poultry and can't recommend them enough. Tracey was so helpful and full of advice for us, I know she recommended the ISA Browns for us for tameness, but all the girls there looked lovely! I want more already!
  8. Hi all, Just a quick question. I read somewhere that some folks successfully use wet wipes to clean some surfaces in the run and coop. For me I just like to give the plastic tops of the food bin and the feeder and drinker a clean every few days and it would be great if I could just keep a pack of wipes in there and use one of those. Does anyone know if that is okay and if so, what kind of wipe to use? Would baby wipes be okay? I know a damp cloth of warm water is probably more traditional but I'm a sucker for a short cut. Thank you!
  9. Haha the initial reaction was priceless. They ran for it initially but as soon as they saw what it was that had landed they leapt back three paces and started clucking like mad. What is it?! What is it?! They make me laugh.
  10. Hope this is allowed but here is a video of them enjoying it: And here is one of the kicking: Pardon my idiotic ramblings
  11. I have two ISA browns in a converted garden shed which is their run and the coop is also inside that, similarly to you my girls never wanted to actually go in the coop and sit on the perch, preferring instead to sit on top of the coop. For the first week or so of having them (back in March) I diligently went out and lifted them down and onto the perch, but they kept going up onto the roof. In the end I thought that actually it's their life and if they want to sleep on the roof then let them sleep there. They're fenced in, the shed is predator proof and they have another roof above them to keep them dry. I think I was getting more stressed than they were, as a newbie owner I'd read everywhere that chickens *will* take themselves to bed on their perch every night and it was frustrating me that they weren't doing what the books said they would do! Once I realised they were safe, happy and quite content sleeping elsewhere I stopped stressing and let them get on with it. Might be a different story when the cold weather comes though!
  12. Just thought I'd share this, it's probably been suggested already, but I have discovered a great toy to keep my girls "hen"tertained I took an empty small soft drink bottle (the 500ml kind) and cut a couple of small holes in the side of it with a knife and a pair of scissors. Then I third filled it with a mix of wild bird seed, dried mealworms and dried insect mix - you could use any treat really. That was the fiddliest part, I had to improvise a funnel out of a sheet of paper to stop everything spilling everywhere. Then I screwed the lid back on and threw it in the run. The immediate reaction was "GRENADE!!" but they soon learnt the game and fairly soon I couldn't tear them away from it. Billina started kicking it about all over the place, even kicked it at Mary once which Mary didn't appreciate. Good idea for the winter perhaps when they'll have shorter rations of outdoors fun time.
  13. Okay thanks guys, I feel the urge subsiding. They're just so beautiful and lovely, I want all the chickens! Haha, I've gone mad, stark raving chicken mad. What the neighbours must think I've no idea, looking out their bedroom windows and seeing a 6ft 7 man cradling a chicken in his arms, swaying side by side and singing edelweiss from the sound of music to it I will hold off until the spring and re-evaluate then
  14. I need to be talked off of a "want to buy another chicken" ledge here. We have two girls, very happy girls, very much loved and very loving towards us. They have a 6x4 coop and run unit, along with a 6x6 area of the garden that's theirs to destroy at will, plus they get to free range completely when I am about to supervise. I find they're easy enough to look after, I'm managing to keep everything clean and hygienic (I think) and no problems have arisen. My usual motto in life is "if it ain't broke, don't fix it." HOWEVER...... I've caught morehens disease and I really want another chicken! I know I can't because I'm surrounded by houses and the two girls are noisy enough, a third set of lungs could set the neighbours off. Plus that's a third bottom to do poos everywhere and a third beak to feed. All rational thinking points to it being a bad move. Yet I really want to! I should have listened to those warnings about this hobby being addictive! Change my mind folks, change my mind!
  15. Hi guys, Just wanted some opinions before I credit my girls with too much intelligence.....so every morning I get up at 6.15, go outside and do the girl's jobs, give them a few mealworms and then head off for work, leaving them to relax and head to the nest box at their leisure. They're normally very excited when they see me, pacing up and down at the door to get their wormy treats. I've noticed the last few mornings, at around 6.15 or just before, I'm actually awoken in bed by chicken noises, louder than their usual "casual chat" - it's definitely a noise that has a purpose. It can't be egg noise because they're not in the nest box or heading towards it. I'm convinced they've got so used to me coming out at that sort of time that they're calling for me to come down and see to them. I know chickens can't tell time and I haven't given them a clock, but I guess from the level of daylight they might know it's that sort of time? What do you think? I'd be really impressed if they were calling for me.

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