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About BridieLou

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    Chicken Eggspert
  1. Gaping chicken and another with sour crop

    How is Titanic doing? We lost our last original hen to Sour Crop today. She was two years old. Poor little girl had a vet appointment at 4pm today but passed at 1pm. I've checked the other girls and topped up the grit so hopefully it's a one off. Not sure what caused it as they're not on grass and cleaned out regularly. I'm putting it down to bad luck, but will see if I can get some tonics for the other two. Any ideas on preventing sour crop?
  2. Second vote for Godmother suggestion. We've got a 3m run and bought a clear glass tarp online. Only about £20, great quality, and covers the whole thing (top and sides). Lovely dry chickens!
  3. We've just got a new Amber Star and a Cou Cou Marans (or Speckled Marans). The Amber Star is very docile, but gets picked on by teh others so has become a little jumpy. She's inquisitive but doesn't really like to be held. She's only new though, so she may change. Our fave is Audrey the Cou Cou Marans. She's an absolute delight. Makes glorious gentle clucking noises, and is so docile it's unreal. Very happy to be cuddled from day one. I would definitely recommend this breed. AndyRoo - do it!
  4. Dengie grass pellets

    Do you have any lawn elsewhere? Ours are on on earth so they don't have any grass either. But we mow the lawn every week or two and throw huge handfuls of freshly cut grass into their run. They devour it. Otherwise just green veg as the others have suggested. They seem happy enough with no supplements.
  5. Aubiose

    When we moved the girls in to the summer house during the bird flu, I used Aubiose and considered it no better than Easibed or any other wood shavings. Not sure what the fuss is about. You need to make sure your run is completely dry in order for it to be worth it. Any moisture will be soaked up. Mine are just on soil atm and it's the best I've had so far.
  6. Fox attack. Help - one left.

    **update** We picked up a Speckled Maran and an Amber Star on Sunday. All FRing happily, but quite a bit of pecking here and there. No blood drawn / feathers pulled (though I did spray Audrey with Scarper because Ailsa tried to peck her comb). Six days later and all are in the new run together! All three girls are laying and the pecking is minimal now. All eating and drinking happily. Audrey is an absolute superstar. Loves human attention and very happy to be stroked! An enormous thanks to all of you for your help and advice.
  7. 2 new Indian runner ducks - please help

    They are fairly destructive and you'll have a decent about of poo to have to clean up! Do you have a large pond for them?
  8. Great photos. How are they now? Any updates?
  9. What breed to get?

    AndyRoo - we went to an amazing farm on Sunday to collect some new girls. They were split into age groups (30 hens at 20 weeks, 30 at 24 weeks etc), and without fail the flightiest were the white leghorns! It's a shame because they're such beautiful birds. One for the farm, I think!
  10. What breed to get?

    How exciting! What breeds are the three you currently have? Pure breeds won't lay as many, but some are beautiful! We've just added a Speckled Maran and an Amber Star. They are both very handsome, should be very good layers and so far seem friendly. Though, they have been added to a lone hen so are currently being mercilessly bullied...
  11. Bumpa bits - how long for?

    I don't have experience of using them, but I was researching too and found that a couple of people said 3 weeks seemed to do the job. I think they can wear down their beaks a little, but they'll grow back. As you say, others suggest a whole month. Good luck with your hens!
  12. Fox attack. Help - one left.

    Hi all! Thanks so much for your help and advice. Husband and I went to Mantel Farm yesterday in Sussex and picked up two new pullets! 20 weeks, but big and lovely. A Speckled Maran, named Audrey and an Amber Star, named Amber. We let all three FR under supervision yesterday and Amber got a few pecks from Ailsa. Nothing too serious and she soon learned to walk off and ignore her. Last night we put the new girls in the run and at dusk they both went up to bed! We kept Ailsa out of the run - she's currently in a dog cage pushed right next to the chicken run with plenty of toys. We're letting her FR every hour to avoid boredom. Does this seem like a reasonable plan?! How long till we can pop them all in the run together? (We have anti pecking spray at the ready!!). Thanks so much everyone. X
  13. Fox attack. Help - one left.

    I feel hugely relieved. Thanks all for your help. We were going to buy a WIR anyway as we are getting the garden done and didn't want them free ranging once it's looking good. Their existing run is perfectly secure, but too small for full time use. We shall push the button on the bigger one today I think. Coincidentally, my cousins boss had two of his three hens killed on Wednesday night too. He was looking to rehouse his hen, Ketchup, so I may try and see if we can adopt her so Ailsa has a friend. Feels like serendipitous timing so maybe it's a sign... Thanks so much for all your reassurance about introductions. You've really put my mind at ease.
  14. Fox attack. Help - one left.

    Thanks Cattails. I didn't know that you could introduce one on one. Thought there might be serious bullying but I will reserach if you think it's possible. Feel so sad today. My poor little girls. I felt awful for the remaining one this morning. She never lets anyone touch her (unlike the other two), and would only stop crying when we picked her up yesterday. Poor thing. If anyone has experience adding 1-2-1 I'd love to hear.
  15. Fox attack. Help - one left.

    Anyone have any advice?