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rachel84 last won the day on May 27

rachel84 had the most liked content!

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About rachel84

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    Chicken Eggspert
  • Birthday 11/01/1984

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  1. rachel84

    Hen House Politics

    Thank you, I have also tried the isolation method first but found it just prolongs the minor squabbles they generally need to go through before finding their place so did choose not to do this as I have done the last few times I have introduced new hens. I am very happy with the way they have integrated and settled and bedtime now seems to have been sorted since it started raining too.
  2. rachel84

    Hen House Politics

    Thanks for the replies, I will give it a little more time before getting too concerned! I followed my normal procedure of putting them all in together and letting them sort it out - I keep an eye on them but it has never been violent. I always get my hens from the same place and they are fully vaccinated.
  3. rachel84

    Hen House Politics

    So we recently got 3 new girls to go with my existing 3 plus cockerel. They are settling in ok, not too much fighting and are slowly starting to integrate. The only real issue is bed time - the Light Sussex will fight her way in to the cube and put up with the abuse but the other 2 are more timid and have taken to sleeping on the roof. As it approaches dark either the cockerel or one of the girls will sit at the entrance and peck at whoever tries to enter until they give up. Is this likely to sort itself or am I going to need to invest in another house? They go in to lay but are not allowed in at night ๐Ÿ™„
  4. rachel84

    Longer days with a light

    Both of my Copper Black Marans have given up for this year already (more or less on the same day as each other too) - normally start again March time. Gladys will wait for the weather to be really cold, then moult and stop laying for winter ๐Ÿ™„Hopefully my new 3 will continue to lay over winter occasionally! I just accept it as a part of chicken keeping and try to have a few different breeds to ensure I get the odd egg over winter but certainly not on a daily basis!
  5. rachel84

    Feather Plucking

    I am going through this again - seems to be a yearly occurrence with the same poor girl going completely bald. We are about to pop the bumpa bits on the main one doing it and also one of the others just in case. It isn't particularly difficult but definitely a two person job. They never seem overly bothered by them however they do lose a lot of weight (and generally stop laying) and despite all of my efforts to keep their food topped up so it is deep enough they never quite get the hang of eating properly with them on. I try and let them loose round the garden more as they seem to be able to eat foliage more easily than their pellets. I've never found another way to break the habit unfortunately - I could dispose of the main culprit but she will stop for 6 months or so after each time so have persevered! She is now nearly 4.
  6. rachel84

    At my wits end with bullies :-(

    The more space you can give them the better really. I have 7 now and even though they have loads of space (probably 25-30m2 and 2m tall) I wouldn't want to have more than I do and there are still squabbles including 1 persistent feather plucker. If you can increase the run size a little and perhaps just start with 2 rather than 3 it might be the best way forwards? They are worth the effort and once all is settled it is very enjoyable to sit and watch them doing chickeny things.
  7. I lost two in the last couple of months as well, both were 3 - 3 1/2 year old hybrids - one had recurring peritonitis and I made the decision it was her time and poor Betty just fell off her perch quite literally I think. She was a little quiet earlier that day but otherwise had been fit and healthy until then so I put it down to old age. I took the plunge and picked up 3 newbies on Saturday and they are currently in a tense truce with my remaining 3 hens and 1 cockerel - they normally settle and sort themselves into a more coherent group after a couple of weeks. I would think as you just have 1 left any integration will be much easier. It is easy to doubt yourself but you have taken every precaution and sometimes things just don't go to plan.
  8. rachel84

    What have you all been making...part two...

    I did this one a little while ago and really want to draw more chickens! I keep getting distracted by other animals though - new camera on its way so I will use my girls (and William) as inspiration again soon I think......
  9. rachel84

    Yolk query

    Hi All, I've noticed more recently this year that Betty's egg yolks always break when the egg is cracked - they other chooks eggs all remain in tact but her's seem to have a very weak wall. Is this an age thing or is there an issue? She is about 3 1/2 now and laying well but I have started to not use hers for fried eggs now as they always split open. More of a curiosity than anything else but I wondered if there was a reason! Thanks!
  10. My vet recommended Beryl's that you can buy from the Chicken Vet website.
  11. rachel84

    What have you all been making...part two...

    Thank you all ๐Ÿ™‚
  12. rachel84

    What have you all been making...part two...

    Thank you Patricia! I used coloured pencils, I find them really enjoyable to work with ๐Ÿ™‚
  13. rachel84

    End of an era

    Sorry to hear that, we lost one of our original girls last weekend and it is always hard as they are such characters! Donโ€™t let one person stop you from something you enjoy, Iโ€™m sure there is a way around ๐Ÿ™‚
  14. rachel84

    What have you all been making...part two...

    I finally finished my Highland who I called Hamish so thought Iโ€™d post an update ๐Ÿ™‚
  15. rachel84

    Foot operated feeders

    We have a grandpas feeder and the chooks are fine with it, they learnt in about a week I would say. Iโ€™m not convinced that a fat rat couldnโ€™t open it as I often find squirrels on the treadle eating from it. I have also found mice in there although not sure how!