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Everything posted by rachel84

  1. 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.
  2. I need to dose my girls with Ivermectin - do you need to get it down to the skin? Thanks,
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
  5. Are you sure she is not just broody rather than sick? Is she aggressive when you force her out of the nest box?
  6. 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 ๐Ÿ˜‚
  7. 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!
  8. 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!
  9. 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.
  10. Just in Scotland in shops as far as I'm aware.......
  11. 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.
  12. 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 ๐Ÿ™„She is the only one - the rest are fine!
  13. 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 ๐Ÿ˜€
  14. Aww thanks guys, that's really nice of you to take the time to look ๐Ÿ™‚
  15. I haven't added my crew +7 (Gladys, Camilla, Fern, Iris, Henrietta, Josephine and William) =2367
  16. I have some ivermectin drops for the Rabbit so thought I would dose the chooks as well after this thread. It is the 1% version - how many drops do you normally use for a standard sized hybrid and also for a Bantam as I would imagine a lower dose would be needed. William is a Pekin and he is quite a lot smaller than my girls. Thanks!
  17. Thank you! It's not the easiest time to be running your own small business like this but hey ho! Glad i'm not breaking too many of the chicken keepers commandments!
  18. Yes, they have a handful of mealworms and corn every evening along with a handful of mixed grit (a handful is between 7) - i may encourage them back into their run if i've let them out with a few mealworms too. Occasionally greens if we have leftover bits and very rarely leftover rice or pasta (probably less than once a month). I put a supplement in their water once a week as a vitamin boost and that is about it. I don't think that's toooooo bad?! ๐Ÿค”
  19. I always used to buy a 5kg pre mixed pellet bag and my 4 girls at the time would pretty much get through it all. Have you tried searching for the 5kg bag?
  20. I find I get the best results if I give them a dig around 2 or 3 times during the cooking process - more evenly crispy. I actually deliberately use a tray they stick to a little bit so I have to scrape them off the bottom as this makes them even more crispy. Lots of salt and pepper too :-)
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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™„
  24. 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!
  25. 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.

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