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New Eglu owner...My story!

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I thought I would write and thank everyone who has given me advice and helpful tips re hen keeping. I originally got my Eglu back in the Bird Flu Panic days, in fact my Eglu arrived shortly before the Cellardyke scare and as we live fairly close to Cellardyke I held back on getting any hens. Then fate took a hand and an old chap we knew offered me a pair of Scots Dumpies to get me going. They settled in well, Harry Houdini ( due to his expertise at running away!) and Tallulah initially had to be persuaded out of the Eglu with a helping hand on the rear end but they soon settled into a life of luxury. Harry crowed loundly from about 4am and Tallulah just enjoyed the amorous attentions from Harry and all the nice food and tit bits we gave her. Eggs however were few and far between, the first was laid after about three weeks and was the size of a walnut and contained no yolk, in fact all four eggs have been the same , no yolks although they are now slightly larger and more egg shaped than the wee golf ball that came first. We have now had Tallula for 7 weeks and at this rate we are hardly going to get enough eggs for even a small omelette on a weekly basis! Sadly our neighbours have complained about Harry and his antisocial behaviour (and it was bugging me too!) and we had to part with him last week so Harry has now left home. We decided to get two new wee hens as company for T and on Saturday two little Ginger POL Hylines arrived, I had read all the differing advice about how to introduce them and in the end decided just to put them together and see what ensued, in fact it has been a breeze, Tallula adopted a bit of an Attila the Hen stance for a short while, gave Daisy a very noisy peck on the neck and since then apart from moving Poppy on from the best dust bath and best bits of treaty food there have been no further incidents. The first night we had to gently persuade them into the Eglu at 10pm with Tallulah who had gone to bed at 6.30 as usual but they went in with the aid of a long broom and settled in really well. No eggs yet but they should be laying in 7 to 10 days... we hope. Hopefully Tallulah will see what a real egg is supposed to look like, I was going to take a photo of her first egg in the Eglu egg box but you could hardly see it. So thats that, can anyone suggest how long I should keep them in the Eglu run before letting them free range properly?

8) So thats it, it is 28.5 C here today in Fife, something of a record!

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:) What an interesting story, thank you for telling us, Jillus. I'm glad that you've persevered in chickenkeeping, despite the obstacles along the way!

I'm sure it will be more rewarding now, having the 2 newbies with Tallulah.

Don't be surprised if you wait a bit longer that 10 days for an egg, but I'm sure you'll be getting better ones before too long.

I'm so glad they've settled in so well together, it was a good idea getting 2 new, not just one. Most people wait a week before freeranging, but it depends a lot on what the garden is like (whether they could get lost!) and I'm sure your instincts will tell you when they're ready. Hopefully Tallulah will show them around.

So really, 5-10 days, depending on what day you will be around to see them.

Look forward to the next instalment. :D

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Hi Jillus, welcome to the forum :D


I would keep the chickens in the run for a week before leting them out to freerange.


Aren't Scots Dumpies strange looking birds (well mine is). She has quite a large body and short stumpy legs. Daisy lays 6 days out of seven, her eggs are largest of my flock.


Sometimes it takes a chicken a while to get into a routine of egg laying and the eggs will get bigger. Does Tallulah have access to your garden? She may have made her own little nest under a bush or some other hard to reach place.


What a shame Harry had to leave. Somewhere nice I hope.


Record temps up here too, and I have been stuck in a very hot kitchen for 6 hours :roll::evil:

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Thanks for the advice, Tallula has been in the run all along as when Harry was with us I was not happy for him to be out and about. We had a bit of a hoo haa the night he arrived as he flew out of the carrying box and into the stream, over into a field full of nettles and thistles and after an hour and half we managed to get him back, well, with the aid of a large blanket thrown over him when he was in a briar patch. I was covered in nettle stings, my husband was highly unamused at getting soaked when he fell into the stream trying to catch the flying and very noisy and pretty angry cockerel. After that he seemed to hate humans and I think his very early crowing was revenge, he also used to leap out of the Eglu when I opened it in the mornings and immediately crow the loudest I have ever heard before I could get even five feet away! But I will keep the girls in for the next week or so and then let them out, I wonder if an intermediate netted area might be a good idea to let them get used to the bigger world.

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I have to admit that I let my girls out for an evening stroll yesterday, after only getting them on Saturday - after a scorching afternoon spent huddled in the eglu, they deserved a potter in the cool shade, I think!


However our garden is very small and well-fenced, and I supervised their wanderings closely since we have poisonous leaves (tomato, sweet pea) around :shock: In a large open garden, I guess you'd want to wait a bit longer...

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This forum is just so useful, I would never have thought about a tomato or potato plant being poisonous to my girls. They will be able to free range everywhere as we have no fences in the garden just access to a lovely orchard and field full of delicious stuff, hopefully they will steer clear of my veggies. I am going to take up the tip about netting as the area is so large they may wander off at first, get lost and fall prey to our resident lady fox. I have started whistling when giving them their afternoon treats and corn but I am afraid my whistle is particularly weak. I thought I might get a Haggis Whistle I saw recently in town, it is supposed to be for calling haggis off the hills but who knows.........yes, I do know haggis don't come when you call, I think they sell the whistles for the American tourists we get at this time of year up here!

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Interesting that tomato leaves are supposed to be poisonous - I have had to move my plant out of reach as they were eating all the leaves. Likewise with the potato plants.


They are both members of the nightshade family (as in deadly nightshade) - just look at how similar the flowers are (if your potatoes got that far - our Charlottes came out of the ground before they flowered).


Deadly Nightshade












Pepper (sweet or chilli)




Anything with that flower shape - 5 pointed petals with a central "spike" - is likely to be poisonous in most of its parts :( That tomatoes have fruit which is edible (and delicious) even when raw is one of nature's miracles :D

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:D Whoopee, we got our first egg from either Poppy or Daisy, we had been away overnight ( to see Il Divo , who were fantastic) and had left the girls to put themselves to bed, the run was well weighted down against the fox, when we came back the three of them were all sunbathing and in the egg basket was one lovely brown egg, a few chalky spots on the shell but a decent egg nevertheless, Tallulah take note! Can't wait for this to become a regular happening.
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