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LovelyJubley

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I always close my hens in at night, despite them being in their runs first thing in the morning and of course overnight. I just don't want to take any risks, even if they are minimal because we have a fox problem! I get them up at first light (that's 4am in the summer!) and shut them in when they've put themselves to bed...to be fair the 4am thing is crazy, and most people don't do this, but it's my choice and I don't mind

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ditto but I get up at 6 in the summer.

I personally prefer the classic. easier to clean...although the Go has less draft holes.

I dont have clincal OCD but do sort of with the chooks. I poo pick beds every morning. Also often need to swap the bars of the cube for clean one.. Yet the classic bars are smaller and easier to clean in a bucket or sink.

I dont use the drawers for the cube any more, just open the back.

I poo pick the runs whenever I am there, am ocd about it!!!

I have a really bad case of moorehens too.

I currently have Mum and three large chicks in one Eglu. My two pure "babies :lol::lol: ) in another. and 5 ex battys way down the garden in a cube, Also 2 girls living in a crate ndoors.

I can get them all up and out, check bums & crops AND poo pick all the coops. maybe swapping bars.... all in 30 minutes..

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Another question:

 

What illnesses/conditons are chooks most likely to succumb to? What things shall I have on standby in case of said complaints?

 

Worms are quite common - just worm them twice a year with Flubenvet (it's the only licensed wormer), or when you notice they have worms (I found small worms in the chooks poop one day :vom:) My experience with illnesses has been bad for me, but that's just being unlucky! My chooks did get 'softies' (soft shelled eggs) when they started laying, which is completely normal, until the girls get back into laying (they also do this if they are ill, so it could be a symptom, but always make sure they have mixed grit available). If you are ever unsure, this forum is always here to help! I don't know what I would have done without the help of some people on this great forum!

 

It might be worth looking around your local vets to see who is good with poultry because sometimes you may find you need to see a vet right away, so when the time comes to book an emergency appointment, you have already done your research. Chickens hide illnesses well (it's to protect themselves, so they don't seem weak) so sometimes they suddenly seem sick without any warning.

 

The best book in my opinion is the Haynes Chicken Manual - there are a couple of out of date things but generally it covers 'everything' and is really easy to use.

 

Regarding Auboise - I LOVE it. I have sprinkled some on top of the woodchip I have down to help with the damp and it's doing a great job! However, I have NO idea how to pronounce it! I call it 'ore-boys' which I know is wrong as my local poultry farm call it something different entirely, but I can never catch how they say it, and I am too embarrassed to ask :oops:

 

- You have changed your username haven't you? Or am I going crazy? :lol:

 

x

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Welcome to chickens I am a new convert starting 3months ago.I got 10exbattery chickens and have found them very addictive am planning to get more posh birds in the spring (I am thinking of Mrs Pepperpot )My chicks are on bark over grass and I pick poo each morning and night even with 10 chicks it takes no time to clean coop and pen.

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I always close my hens in at night, despite them being in their runs first thing in the morning and of course overnight. I just don't want to take any risks, even if they are minimal because we have a fox problem! I get them up at first light (that's 4am in the summer!) and shut them in when they've put themselves to bed...to be fair the 4am thing is crazy, and most people don't do this, but it's my choice and I don't mind

[/quote

ditto but I get up at 6 in the summer.

I personally prefer the classic. easier to clean...although the Go has less draft holes.

I dont have clincal OCD but do sort of with the chooks. I poo pick beds every morning. Also often need to swap the bars of the cube for clean one.. Yet the classic bars are smaller and easier to clean in a bucket or sink.

I dont use the drawers for the cube any more, just open the back.

I poo pick the runs whenever I am there, am ocd about it!!!

I have a really bad case of moorehens too.

I currently have Mum and three large chicks in one Eglu. My two pure "babies :lol::lol: ) in another. and 5 ex battys way down the garden in a cube, Also 2 girls living in a crate ndoors.

I can get them all up and out, check bums & crops AND poo pick all the coops. maybe swapping bars.... all in 30 minutes..

 

That's a great routine! :D I think everyone has some 'OCD' type ways in the way they do things - nothing wrong with that! If I could poop pick the run, I would, but I have an ME/chronic pain condition so bending is very hard for me. Just trying to poop pick the Eglu Go kills me (but it's good exercise for me, so must be done, I just take my time!)

 

I just wish I could get moorehens :cry:

 

I have to admit, I am considering taking out the GO bars and filling it all with Auboise as the girls prefer 'nesting' and have never taken to perching hmmmm!! :D

 

By the way, LovelyJubley , I do want to add that the big thing I have learnt with chicken keeping is that you learn a LOT as you go along. I have changed many things (food, feeders, dust baths, many many things!) after finding my chickens preferred this and that, or I found my situation meant that buying a certain item made it easier to clean the girls out when I was so adamant that I needed just this one thing when I started it all. For example, I have gone through many feeders/drinkers and I think I am still wondering if I should change again...!! :lol:

 

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I agree Mrs B. I did lots of research before I got my chooks. But am forever researching new feeders, chicken health etc. (Somebody just picked up feeders and drinkers that I only used once on freecycle! :roll: ) You will learn so much more once you get your girls and you will find your own way. Last weekend my chooks were sunbathing and my other half was laughing and reminded me that the first time my ex batts did it I thought they were dying!!! :doh: It doesn't matter how much research you do they will always challenge you at some point. But most of the time they are a joy to have around. But they are hard work sometimes :roll: I have just had to order 4 roll up paths to put over the lawn for the winter as it has turned into a mud pit, my patio looks like a feather duvet has split over it as 2 are moulting, there is poo everywhere as the 2 new girls keep escaping the FR area so they all have to be let out, one has just spent 10 days in the spare room as it was sick and is now ignoring me(?) and I have a rat problem on top of that :shock: And to cap it all I am not getting any eggs!!! However........ I wouldn't change a thing. I spent an hour this morning with a cup of coffee watching them in the snow after I had put warm water out at dawn and they make me smile every day, even when its cold, wet and muddy. LovelyJubley, do research as much as you can but be prepared to change your mind and do what suits you and your chickens. From my experience you will try different bedding, try all different types of feed, treats, cleaning regimes etc but if you start your chicken journey you won't regret it and there is always a friendly and knowledgable bunch of experts on this site as i have found out myself over the last 2 years :D Good Luck!

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I want to ask even though I shall be ordering How To...Chicken Books, what is the crop? What can go wrong with it? Why check the bum?

 

I'm sure others will be able to help here too but this is my non-medical two pennies worth:

 

The crop is the area where the food is stored inside the chicken before it goes into the main area of the gut. From the outside you can feel it when it is full towards the base of the neck.

 

Chickens can get an 'impacted crop' - when the food inside does not pass on through and mounts up. This can be caused amongst other things by long blades of grass blocking the passage and not letting the food pass through. From the outside the crop will feel rather hard and will look swollen. You can give your hen a little bit of olive oil and then massage it to loosen things up but this has to be very carefully done and if your hen is looking dejected and is clearly unhappy then it is probably best to take her to a vet.

 

Chickens can also get 'sour crop' - this is when the crop gets infected. It can be caused by the above condition remaining un-treated and then triggering an infection. The crop will feel spongy and your hen will be looking very unhappy. It is hard to treat and can be fatal. In the early stages, however, your hen may respond if you feed her some bio yoghurt.

 

As for the bum end - you can look there for worms (though these might be easier to spot them in the poo) To avoid these you should give your hens regular worming and as others on here have said, Flubenvet is the only liscensed product. You can also look there for lice as they love the fluffy feathers around that region. To prevent these you can put some louse powder like Diatom in her dust bath. You can also check the bum end to see if your hen has been eating the wrong things and is loose. A dirty bum does not a healthy hen make :(

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I have just had to order 4 roll up paths to put over the lawn for the winter as it has turned into a mud pit,

 

Ooooo very interested in those!!!! Could you please tell me where you got them from and cost??? My lawn was turning in to a mud bath, so I sited the cube and run, but of course now I creating track paths to and from it's winter site!!!!! :roll: There's always somethng!! :lol:

 

Sorry to highjack the thread!! :oops:

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I want to give you all big sloppy wet kisses for all the advice and tips you've given me! You've all been very patient with my questions. If there was a Bunch of Flowers emoticon, I'd give it!

 

Yes, I had to change my username. The original breached terms and conditions of the forum as it was the name I used on my EBay page. **bashful** I never read T&C's.

 

I applaud you Grandmashazzie in taking on 10!!! Ex batts. Very "Ooops, word censored!"le to do so, but for a first timer, you're far braver than I. if you bought the hens around 3 months ago then I'm assuming they've settled in now and are comfortable with their new life. Do they still look as sorry for themselves and raggedy as when you first got them?

 

This thread is proving invaluable and I shall print it out and refer back to it when nearer the time time to buy my hens. I already have my Word document saved on my computer with all my little lists put into sub categories and order. I'm beginning to run through names for my hens.. Quite fancy Cake and Custard for two hens. :) Jubilee sounds rather sweet and I'm toying with ideas for the last name, as I want 4 girls to start with.

 

Many thanks for the info Shabby. I believe in prevention better than cure as they say, so Im fully intending to regularly worm my hens as opposed to when I spot them **eeek!**

 

I wanted to ask: imagine I had only the Auboise in my run floor. No wood chipping. Would I still need to provide the dust bath in the deep sided tray for the hens, or not?

 

I've bookmarked your link good egg. I read through it later once settled with a cuppa. :)

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I wanted to ask: imagine I had only the Auboise in my run floor. No wood chipping. Would I still need to provide the dust bath in the deep sided tray for the hens, or not?

 

If you put Aubiose on the run floor (rather then wood chips) you'll have to make certain the run is totally rain proof or you'll have a soggy mess. :( A tarpaulin or shower curtain hung over the run top and down the windward side will help here. Aubiose is great for in house floor covering and one of my Polands constantly uses it for her dust bath, kicking, flapping and flicking it all out of house :roll: but I think hens generally prefer dried earth (earth from old potted plants works well). You can mix this in a low tub trug (colour to go with Eglu or Cube :wink: ) with some Diatom powder as a good preventative for lice. If your hens have free ranging time, you may, however, find that they'd much rather make their own dust baths under your shrubs and then you won't need to provide anything extra.

 

By the way - when considering breeds . . . don't overlook ex-bats. Loads of people on here have them and just love them :D

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Ah I see. Well in that case I shall trial Auboise in the hen house and nesting box, with wood chippings in the run as originally planned. Seperate dust bath. I say trial as I'm duly taking notes on how Original Plans seem to bite the dust round here! Ooh this is all so exciting.

 

I'm not writing off ever having ex batts entirely. I think I'd be more comfortable taking them on once I've got valuable experiance under my belt. Ive heard they can need more care and attention than non bats for obvious reason. Plus if I presented a group of batties to DH, I think he'd leap 6 ft away from them thinking they were diseased chicken zombies. Such is their shocking appearence. :( Poor things.

 

May I ask (this is for anyone who wishes to answer), what do you do when your chook dies? Does it go in the pot?

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Yes, the official defra line is double bag and bin I'm affraid. I can see why for various reasons. You would need to bury deep, or risk the chook being dug up!! :(:shock: Cats and foxes. Frozen ground this time of the year will make it very difficuly too! Also, unless you have lots of ground you'll possibly be limited to where and how many?? Also I think there's a disease risk, depending on why the chook died.

 

I've lost 2 girls for different reasons earlier this year :(:( Mary was poorly and at the vets, she had to be PTS and I had her cremated. Mandy had been failing for a few weeks and despite mine and the vets best efforts she passed in her sleep :(:( Unfortunately I was unexpectedly in hospital myself and it was a bank holiday, so poor dear hubby had to double bag her :(:( But realistically we are upset, but the chook is at peace.

 

I'm no expert and I don't mean to offend. :oops:

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Offend? Why on earth would your post be offensive? Helpful more like. I only ask as I've mentioned before I have a completely paved over back yard. No earth anywhere, nada. To bury a chicken would mean I'd either have to bury it in a friends garden (which would be a strange converstaion), or...cremate (unlikely) or the Double Bag. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

 

Hope all are well, especially to those oop North braving the cold temperatures and snow. I'm in the Midlands and we have a brisk chilly wind and a bit of ice first thing but otherwise usual winter weather.

 

I'm trying to save up for my chicken kit. :( I shall be buying most things second hand, so I'm estimating around £600 for the whole bundle, give or take. Tis the Cube that's gonna set me back a pretty penny.

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Well hopefully once your set up, it's just feed etc to pay out for. It's surprising how much you can spend!!! :roll: Shame you're not nearer, have all sorts in my garage!!! Various feeders drinkers etc! But really I'd say start with your cube, should come with glug and grub and your basics like feed, grit first aid kit. Oh and your wood chip of course, then you can get other things as and when you need them.

 

Oooo eggciting! :D

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