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Everything posted by rachel84

  1. I have this with one of my girls sometimes - I've just given them the Beryls Friendly Bacteria from the Chicken Vet website and this gives them a real internal boost especially if they've been a bit stressed. It stinks but they seem to love it! She has been much better since with much more normal poo. Might be worth a try and won't do any harm
  2. Ok thanks @Beantree - the chickens are still eating the food, I must be getting the slugs out quick enough. I'm going to give the feeder another full empty and wash out over the weekend and I might try and seal it up a bit better. Putting the feeder up out of the way is ok in winter but they are up far earlier than I am in summer so I think i will try and find a more permanent solution.
  3. Mine took a couple of weeks to learn how to use it but all fine since. Slightly different question - I'm struggling with slugs infiltrating mine and eating all of the chicken food. I pull out handfuls of them and get rid of them but a couple of days later and there are probably 10-20 back in there. Has anyone else had this issue and managed to stop them? Thanks,
  4. One of my girls is moulting badly at the moment - she had large bald patches all down her head, neck and back and they are just growing through again. She loses a lot of hers in one go and it looks like there has been a massacre in the run whereas some of the other girls just look a bit scruffy for a bit so perhaps that could be it?
  5. We inherited a Pekin boy and he was lovely natured but they are all very different I think. He used to sit in the house with the girls to keep them company when egg laying and was never aggressive towards them or me. He was quite vocal but it was quieter and higher pitched than the full sized cockerel I had previously - I think the noise bothered me more than the neighbours which is why I never got another, I was fed up of being woken up a 4am! I had six girls at the time and they were full sized so he did struggle a bit with their size but he didn't bother them too much. If the noise is ok, are you able to see how it goes for the next 2-3 months and decide whether it will work out with your numbers?
  6. I think I might be in the minority on here but I personally agree with lifting restrictions and going back to normal. I find the media sensationalising the figures every day to scare people incredibly misleading and not helpful. Perhaps my views are different as I am (fairly) young and not at any great risk but I think at some point we need to ignore daily cases and worry more about whether the NHS can cope with the levels they are experiencing. I'm not sure the long term damage to the economy, NHS waiting lists for other crucial care not to mention education should be playing second fiddle any longer to a virus that is increasingly under control (serious illness and fatality wise) through a decent vaccination program in the UK. I hope my viewpoint doesn't offend anyone - it is not intended to and I am very conscious that others do not share my opinion when I am out and about.
  7. I've had two cockerels now - the first was a gorgeous blue laced red wyandotte, he was a big lad but soft as and he had a lovely deep crow although he was loud. He used to crow a few times from about 4am and then occasionally at random points during the day. The next was a Pekin I inherited when he had to be re-homed due to noise! He was much more persistent in his crowing but he was quieter and higher pitched as he was so much smaller - almost sounded like a cat meowing loudly sometimes. Also lovely natured and used to sit in the house with the girls when they were laying to keep them company. I do miss having a boy sometimes as they have been so sweet but the girls couldn't give two hoots about being an all female flock again and I don't miss the racket at 4am!
  8. I have 3 girls that stop laying over winter and their combs shrink back during the 'off' season and then get larger and go red again once they come back into lay - they have 'normal' combs so it is easier to see.
  9. I had a feather pecking problem a couple of years ago and resorted to bumpa bits which did resolve it. I left them on for a month - i put them on all of the hens, not just the ones I suspected and it did stop them. I still see the occasional bit of pecking but none have bald patches anymore and they are all nicely feathered! Just keep an eye on them as I did have one that did not cope at all and I had to remove it early as she was struggling to eat and drink. I put them on after they had gone to bed which seemed to help too.
  10. You could have a look at the shooting clothing websites such as Ardmoor - anything designed for the ladies shooting lot tends to be nicely made and up for the rigours of the countryside. I have some jackets by Baleno and they are excellent.
  11. I have two BC Marans and they are big girls with stocky legs! Mine give up laying for about 5 months over winter along with my blue egg laying girl so tend to put on a bit of extra bulk but it comes off in summer when they start laying the occasional egg so I don't worry too much (they are about 3 years old now). How big is their run? I scatter a couple of handfuls of their pellets in the run every morning to encourage them to scratch around and forage a little more but it is fairly large with different levels and a decent height perch to make them flap about a bit!
  12. He is a handsome chap! Where are you based as you may be able to rehome him?
  13. It does sound like she might be broody - I'm sure someone will be along to advise on this. The more dominant hens do tend to assert their position in the hierarchy occasionally - mine do the same. They will give a quick peck and a chase if there is nice food around or if they find something interesting when free ranging. As long as they have plenty of food they will cope - I used to worry about it but it is just their way of keeping some kind of order. I have 6 girls with one obvious head hen, three middling ones and two bottom of the pile. Unless you see a lot of aggression and persistent pecking drawing blood I would let them get on with it. Hope that helps.
  14. I need to dose my girls with Ivermectin - do you need to get it down to the skin? Thanks,
  15. I would solve with an air rifle probably if nothing else is working and you aren't averse to shooting things - I tend to tackle the rats when we get them in the same way. On the plus side, wood pigeon is lovely to eat.
  16. Have you tried giving her Beryls? I was recommended this especially if she's had antibiotics at all as it will help get the good bacteria back in her system. You can get from the chickenvet website - it stinks though so beware!
  17. Are you sure she is not just broody rather than sick? Is she aggressive when you force her out of the nest box?
  18. I think tagging on to this is to not impose our own views of society on to the chickens! I remember being horrified at how they treat each other originally but it is their way and how they have evolved to keep order. Having said that, it doesn't stop me from sneaking an extra treat to the lowly bottom of the pecking order chook 😂
  19. Trust your instincts! After a while with chickens you learn their little tells is something is not right. I learnt this the hard way over the last few days after my cockerel became lethargic at the end of last week. I brought him in over the weekend to keep an eye on him and to make crop checks easier. As I suspected, crop not emptying and after much trying it would not improve. Straight to the vets Monday and, despite my own niggling doubts, was convinced a crop emptying was all that was needed and he was fine otherwise. So a large bill and a few hours later I brought him home with very little aftercare instructions or advice. By the next morning he had collapsed and died shortly after. Needless to say I was not impressed and wish I had stuck to my guns treating him at home and culling myself if I thought he was suffering/not improving. It is very easy to doubt yourself and my recent experience has taught me to trust my own judgement and knowledge of my flock!
  20. Completely agree Major - one of my favourite tricks is using half lentils and half mince for lasagne, chilli etc. It actually makes a lighter and tastier meal plus it goes twice as far! I think a lot of people don't know how to cook these days but am encouraged to see more of a trend in cooking and awareness of where meat comes from. The only 'ready meals' I buy are from a lovely lady (Glorious Game if anyone is interested) up North who makes meals at home using pheasants from the season using ingredients I would use too. Always happy to support a small business and it means I don't have to cook on a Friday!
  21. I always buy meat from the butcher but recently found out through the grapevine they were buying in cheap meat from Europe to increase profits. Needless to say I have now changed to another butcher who I trust but I still see queues outside of the other one as people assume meat from a butcher is good. I still find it very difficult to buy local chicken though.
  22. Just in Scotland in shops as far as I'm aware.......
  23. I'll see if I can get a photo of her later - she is looking patchy further back now as well. It is like a long moult - starts at the front and works back. They currently have Lifeguard in their water once a week which does have Biotin in (just checked). Is this ok? I should have said, in previous years she has gone more or less completely bald apart from most of her long tail feathers and wings and patches here and there so not wearing off the feathers.
  24. One of my girls goes mostly bald every year - at first I thought she was being plucked by the others and fitted bumpa bits. Then I thought maybe lice but nothing. I finally worked out last year that she starts losing feathers when she comes into lay in early April and will only re-grow them once she stops laying September/October time. I'm boosting vitamin supplement in their water at the moment to try and keep her feathered but they are starting to go again starting round her neck and chest 🙄She is the only one - the rest are fine!
  25. My pizzas were always a little soggy in the middle until I started sprinkling a little bit of semolina on the baking tray first - crisp all the way to the middle now 😀

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