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  1. Yesterday I collected three lovely new bantams - two silkies and a wyandotte. My other 5 happy healthy bantams are now aged 6 and 7 and have stopped laying and I haven't had a chicken live beyond 7 yrs 9 months, so I don't expect this lovely flock to continue for ever. My three newbies were a bit hot and stressed after the car journey. The buff silkie (Buffy) worried me a bit as she just kept sitting down, but I thought I'd leave them to recover. The other two, a cuckoo silkie and red pencilled wyandotte seemed happy enough pottering around and pecking at the ground. They have their own eglu and tunnel and I will only introduce them to the others in the WIR when they are well settled. This morning, the grey silky wouldn't leave the nest box and when I encouraged her out, she just sat on the ground lethargically. I put a trails cam out to check what they were doing during the morning, and I have footage of the other two, particularly the new top hen, pecking her. They obviously sense something is not quite right. I worried that she might be dehydrated as I'd not seen her drink or eat anything, so I gave her 4ml of water using a little syringe and popped her on her own in a small enclosure with a green eglu. She did seem to perk up and started pecking the earth. I gave her seed treats and she seemed to eat some of them. I also threw layers pellets down, but I can't be sure if she had any or not. The water I gave her seemed to make a difference and she looked quite perky. I left her a couple of hours, then as she had started to sit down again, I picked her up, gave her some time on my lap and another 3ml of water. She is sitting on the ground again. I think she is just stressed out. She has done a poo which looked absolutely fine. I've felt her body and her crop is quite empty. I got my Nutri-drops out of the cupboard only to discover that their best before date was July 2018! Obviously I've had no problems with my hens for some time. I ordered more from Amazon but they won't be delivered until 8th - 12th April. Should I risk giving her a dose of the out-of-date Nutri Drops? I've looked at the ingredients - Don't know what they are. Minerals and such like. Can they go off? Has anybody done this or am I just being really stupid to even think of it. If it is stress, will she just perk up tomorrow? She was fine when she arrived, but just seems really poorly now. Why did I collect chickens on an Easter weekend when everything is shut!!!! I attach a picture of her when she arrived (the cuckoo grey one), and another two of her sitting hunched as she is now. Has anybody else had this with a new hen? Do they recover?
  2. Hello lovely omlet club, Hope you don't mind I have a few questions.... As some of you are aware my heart and flock has had a bit of a battering in the last few months. Just said goodbye to a girl last night, not fully sure of the cause and lost one to mareks in may. So now we are down to 3. So I'm thinking whilst there's lots of chicks about of adding to my flock.... But there are a few things I'm not sure on (sorry for all the questions): 1. Stress. I think I have mareks in the flock; we couldn't confirm as my daughter needed to bury her precious chicken. But I'm wondering if I'm taking too big a risk adding to my girls with the stress it may cause them. Am I overthinking or could I risk causing them to succumb to mareks? Would love to hear from others who have added to their mareks positive flocks. 2. With mareks do I vaccinate new comers? Are there risks to my current girls who are unvaccinated? 3. What are the best, least stressful ways to add to your flock? 4. What breeds would you recommend for hardy, friendly chickens that could be mixed with cream legbars? Thanks so much for your time. Any other thoughts or comments are much welcomed. Thank you!

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