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RIP Wendy aged 4, & request for advice for finding a new

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Dear All,


After 4 years of happy living together with out lovely two hens, named Wendy & Tinkerbell, this midday we just went out to find Wendy dead in the run javascript:emoticon(':cry:')

Crying or Very sad (they'd both been let out into a larger run earlier this morning). There was no sign of a fox or similar attach and we just think that she just died of a heart attack. We got both of them in June 2003 so they were already getting on a bit, and whereas Tinkerbell, a Madame Bluebell, had been growing increasingly fat (and laying less), Wendy (a Gingernut Ranger), who had been continuing her daily laying up until yesterday, was definitely getting skinnier. So we think it was probably just the an old age thing. Although Wendy had always been the skinnier of the two (by a couple of kgs, I'd say) she'd always laid the bigger eggs, and I somehow think that her poor body just couldn't keep up with production (a true workalcohololic, if you ask me).


Unless anyone else has any other suggestion, we just blame old age and, having just emptied a bottle of wine toasting her, we will bury safely her tomorrow.


However, despite our grieving and feeling that Wendy is irreplaceable, this has now left us thinking that we will need to look for a replacement because we're sure that otherwise Tinkerbell will die of loneliness. So we'd like to ask if anyone out there has experience of a similar nature, where 1 hen out of 2 died after quite a few years, where they might have had to replace the dead one with another one, and if they think that it is a good idea or not?!? My gut feeling is that it might be better to get 2 hens rather than 1 as a replacement, but we have a Mark 1 Eglu, which I believe can only take 2 hens maximum (and Tinkerbell is definitely a large hen!).


Also, has anyone got an recommendations for wher we might be able to get hens from? We'd ideally like another Gingernut Ranger, and we live in Teddington. I know there're quite a few folks with hens in the area (they seem to be quite popular in the Teddington/Twickenham area), so do any of you have any good experiences with farms/breeders where we might be able to pick up another hen (or two) we'd be grateful to hear from you.


Any advice would be greatly appreciated!


Many thanks!


Kind regards,


Anette, Tim & Lukas, aged 3 and three quarters, and a grieving Tinkerbell, aged 4 and a bit...



Photo of happier days, taken just last Marchjavascript:emoticon(':cry:')

Crying or Very sad:


Wendy & Tinkerbell in their Eglu run (Wendy's the brown one, and Tinkerbell is the grey):



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Oh dear... I'm really sorry to read your post. I am new to chicken keeping so am not ina position to comment on what may have caused her death but it does sound as if it was probably old age bless her!

I hope someone can soon advise youas will be best to doas regards getting some company for the other chicken. RIP Little one. :cry:

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Thanks very much for your kind words, which we very much appreciate. She was a very plucky amd strangely affectionate hen (she loved being tickled), who will be sorely missed.


Regarding the replacement issue, I'm thinking as well that it might be better to get two new ones rather than just one, but are concerned about our Eglu being big enough. As I said, it is a Mark 1 (one of the first made), and I believe that that was designed to just hold 2 hens rather than 3. However, I think it might take one large hen and a couple of Bantams.


Has anyone had any experience with mixing Bantams with large fowls. Do they get on? How would the pecking order work out? I take it, size is probably not necessarily an issue, since with our two it was definitely Wendy who was top dog despite being so much smaller, but then again bantams are significantly smaller.

Any views on this???


We've now looked in the Wiki and found a couple of suppliers nearby that we might try, but would still appreciate some advice on the replacement issue.


Many thanks again!

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I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I had a similar problem with a remaining hen who was pining. I have got another youngster (like you have a Mark 1 eglu) and am gradually getting them used to each other. The old girl who has always been very sweet and gentle is definitely giving the new girl a bit of a hard time but hopefully with a bit of patience they will be ok. I am lucky in that I have a big run outside the eglu run so can keep them separate and just put them together when they are asleep.


Whatever you decide it will take a bit of time - of course you could always get another eglu and get more hens :lol: Good luck!

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I have introduced bantams to big girls...and I found it was fine :lol:


after I had done it, I read that it wouldn't work :roll:

and come to think of it....one of our bantams was purchased from a very mixed flock that included small, medium, large and even a turkey :shock:


I would say get two bantams so that any bullying is more 'shared out' and follow the advice given on this forum for introducing new hens.

Do they get to free range?

from what I understand, sleeping space is not the issue. certainly my chooks take up less than half the eglu when they're all snuggled up at night. Space to rummage about in the daytime is the real concern.

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:( I've just looked at the photo of the lovely pair and share your sadness about Wendy. Four happy years though, I'm sure you'll have some precious memories of your first hens together.

But, you're right, Tinkerbell will grieve, and if it were me I would get two new young hens.

Personally, I would have thought 2 GNR s or other medium birds would be fine, with either a run extension, or, as you suggest, access to extra run space in the day. I currently have 8 hens (incl. 2 big ones :roll: ) in 2 mark ones. Now, this is a squash, but only short term. However,by choice, my 6 hens used to cram in together even though it was 6 in one and none in the other Eglu! I think 3 would be fine for sleeping & laying.


Well, Tinkerbell may not accept them at first, but hens are social creatures and in a couple of weeks I'm sure you'll notice she appreciates the company. The pecking order is mostly over food, so it helps to perhaps have 3 feed stations so she can't hover over them all at once. Also shared corn on the ground I find helps to establish the idea of shared feeding and showing them that there is enough to go round! They'll soon be foraging together.

You'll miss Wendy, but I'm sure a couple of newbies is the way forward.

Best wishes, R.I.P.Wendy.

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Hi sorry for your loss, I've just lost a hen too this week.


I would suggest contacting Omlet. They have just emailed me a list of 5 breeders based on my postcode.


I'm too much of a newbie owner to pass on any advice, but when I made enquiries with a breeder this weekend I got loads of good advice on the phone. So passing it on 3rd hand, they told me in their opinion younger hens were better to introduce to my 3 hybrids. But I can't take them too young, they have to be old enough to roost in my eglu. They also said pure breeds might be picked on by my hybrids but could suggest some pure breeds or bantams that would hold their own. They also warned me off some breeds that I was originally interested in, as they were fast and difficult to catch.


I hope you get similar good advice once you explain your set up, requirements and existing birds to someone.


PS. see also the Omlet Wiki info below http://wiki.omlet.co.uk/index.php/Chicken_Breeder_Directory

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Awww. Poor Wendy. But what a fantastic life she's had. No wonder you celebrated her life with wine. compared to most chicken she lived the life of luxury with her companion :)


Lovely picture and let us know what you do with getting another chicken.


Big hugs to you.

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Thank you very much for your kind words and for sharing your experiences regarding finding and housing some new company for our poor Tinkerbell (who's been waking us (and our neighbours) up at dawn break calling for her friend :cry: ).


Having put Wendy to rest in a safe place (for her and anyone else) yesterday, we've now decided to go for two standard size hybrids, and we'll see how we get on with out current Mark 1 with all three of them - they do get let out into a larger run every day, so hopefully we'll be okay - if not, we'll get a run converter.

We'll be getting them from The Poultry People in Milton Keynes, partly because they operate organically, and partly also because they have both Bluebelles and Gingernut Rangers in their flock, and therefore have some awareness of who they get on with or not. We definitely do want to get another Ranger, and thought we might also go for a Speckled-Belle (unless another breed takes my fancy when I go up to collect them).


Now, all I need is a strategy for introducing them to old Tinkerbell without too much trouble...

Luckily, there're lots of relevant posts out there that will definitely help me work something out. Although Tinkerbell is quite large, she's also quite old and definitely rather docile, and I guess the two new girls are going to be in the same boat with regards to getting used to their new home with its existing resident, so hopefully the fighting won't be too bad.


However, if anyone out there has any particularly good experiences about the best way of introducing two new youngsters to an old hen that they might like to share, I'd of course love to hear from you.


Many thanks again to everybody!



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I've just introduced 2 standard pol chickens to my remaining hen Daphne following the sad demise of her pal last week. She was moping so much that I panicked & went to the nearest chicken seller - this was not a good idea as I seem to have a couple of reject birds. They didn't look so bad until I got them home & compared them to Omlet hen, but I needed to get it sorted before our holiday. Still you'll be alright with the organic breeder.


The introduction went fairly smoothly. We got them home late in the day & put them into the run after Daphne went to bed, or so we thought. She got up & harrassed them into the eglu & eventually went back to bed. The next 2 days we let her out early & they stayed safe in the eglu until she'd gone, then they had the run to themselves. We found it best to let them into a temporary run near to bedtime & put them back after Daphne has gone in. The third day we let them out late in the afternoon & left them all to find their own way to bed, but were very late, as if waiting for someone to make the first move.


Daphne spent all the time hanging around the run, & even now they're all out they're still not straying far. Daphne occasionally runs at Dora, the larger of the 2 new ones who runs fast enough to get away, but has accepted Daisy.


My only problem is that Daphne stopped laying when the other hen was so ill, & hasn't restarted. I wonder how long it takes to get over this sort of stress, that's her not me.

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