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majorbloodnock

Reintroduction and what've I missed?

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No idea if anyone here still remembers me, but looking at my profile it says I joined in 2009, so that must be when we bought our Eglu Cube. That said, we haven't had any chickens for the past 5 years since we never managed to find time to put in place something fox-proof when we moved to our current house.

Now, things have changed. We have been considering for a while getting some ducks - and probably will soon too - but some of our neighbours asked if we were interested in rehoming some chickens. It's a bit surreal in a way since neighbour's ex wife is heading emigrating now the lockdown has eased a bit and the hens she got recently for an egg supply need a new owner. Net result is that we're about to take delivery of a flock of six birds that only started laying about a month ago so are both young and healthy. Since we only got asked a few days ago, it's been quite a busy week dusting off our Cube, but I have to say I'm amazed. Although it has a few bits of metalwork that are showing signs of rust, the coop is basically just as fit for purpose as when we bought it eleven years ago. Not a bad investment.....

So now, of course, it's all systems go planning a walk in run whilst the girls ruin our back lawn inside some electrified fencing. We're rather looking forward to reminding ourselves how to look after a flock and, given I make all our pasta fresh and my son has an addiction to Spanish tortillas, we will certainly be enjoying having a steady supply of fresh eggs again.

As for here on the forum, what's changed? I see a few familiar usernames, of course, but I think it's a couple of years since I last posted anything.

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Welcome back - nice to see you again! I remember you and your avatar!

Wow, what a return to chicken keeping......and amazing that the Cube has survived hibernation so well. When do your girls take up residence?

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Tomorrow morning. It's going to be fascinating seeing the reaction of our two cats too; I think it'll be like feline TV.

Still planning on getting some ducks at some point soon, but it'll be interesting to work out how to incorporate the two birds' living quarters together. So many questions, so many possibilities.....

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Welcome back from me too - I definitely remember your name.

Make sure you send us some pictures of your new girls.

My cube also looks as good as new and I've had it for 11 years now 😮

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Looking at your profile, seems you joined about six months ahead of me. Did you get your Cube at that point? I have to say I'm impressed that a version 1 of a product could last that well; seems the design team did pretty well indeed.

Oh, and yes; I will definitely try to remember to get some pictures posted.

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Welcome back!  I look forward to more foody talks on here now!

Good luck with your new girls, I'm sure it will come back to you in a trice.  I have friends who acquired 4 hens about a month ago, as complete novice owners.  They have a homemade coop and their flock is on the range.  Mum loves the birds already, their 2 young daughters handle the birds and are learning all about chickens, and Dad helps out and does a lot of the heavy practical stuff.  I hover about electronically, with advice if needed.  Its the best thing, seeing a new generation develop an affinity for birds.  However, you must be super-excited about ducks, it would be a complete new challenge to me, I know very little about keeping them, except they can be messy, and very noisy if you happen to choose call ducks!

 

 

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Agreed; call ducks are not on our list. We're looking primarily at reasonably prolific egg layers, so something like Campbells or Buff Orpingtons would be good, but not so inbred they're likely to get health issues. I don't think there'll be too much issue with mess given we can provide a reasonable amount of space and a dedicated corner of the garden for avian mud and dust, but we've a lot to think about.

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7 hours ago, majorbloodnock said:

Looking at your profile, seems you joined about six months ahead of me. Did you get your Cube at that point? I have to say I'm impressed that a version 1 of a product could last that well; seems the design team did pretty well indeed.

Oh, and yes; I will definitely try to remember to get some pictures posted.

I still maintain that Omlet's first models were the best quality :)  My classic is now 16 years (or so) old and still going very well when it's pressed into service for intros or sick bay.

Good to see you back Major

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I too think the Mk1s can’t be surpassed for quality.  I have two.  One green one I bought direct from Omlet 12 years ago as reconditioned; the other blue one, was preloved from a lady who sadly had developed Parkinson’s.  That must be about 15 years old.  The green has faded but the blue seems not to have done,  Both pristine apart from the odd rusty screw.  Sadly all I have presently are 3 bantams.  Once lockdown truly over, I will think about restocking.   And I do remember you.  I think you had some wonderful recipes? 

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Thanks for the welcome, all. Yes, I have posted a recipe or two, but that might do better for another thread just now.

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On 5/15/2020 at 1:11 PM, Luvachicken said:

....,

Make sure you send us some pictures of your new girls.

...,,

You wanted a picture; here you go.

This one only has the two girls on top of the run. We managed all six a bit later on. 

8D4DF9E6-BF6F-48FA-AF1E-2E058235FD70.jpeg

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11 hours ago, eggysoldiers said:

Oh I love the blue cube! Never seen that colour! The girls look happy. 

Actually, I haven’t seen a single squabble or peck at each other. The delights of a new flock and plenty of space, I suspect.

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OK, so now the girls have been with us for about a month, I thought it might be time for a second picture which would also show the progress of the walk in run.

If you compare with the photo earlier in the thread, you'll see the delapidated old shed is now no more, a couple of shrubs have been taken out, the ground has been levelled and so we haven't really lost much space at all. The structure is up and the mesh is on, but the fox-resistant skirt is still to be put on, as are the roof and the loops of electric rope. All wood used has been salvaged from somewhere else, so the only outlays have been the wire mesh, the wood preservative, the tarpaulins (yet to come), the electric fencing rope and the various screws/staples/fixings.

One trick I learned from my previous walk in run attempt is that I have a thin rope attached to the top corner of each door, routed via some big metal eyes to the uprights the hinges are on, and the ropes are attached to old (reasonably heavy) offcuts of wood. That means that the wood is pulled upwards when the door is opened and therefore pulls the door shut when you let go. It's no substitute for a bolt or latch, but if you're wandering out with one hand full of eggs, it at least guarantees the door closes behind you until you have time to deal with shutting it properly.

And if anyone's interested, it's basically an L shaped run which is approximately a 4.5M square with a 2M square taken out of the corner nearest to the Cube. That means there's plenty of room for the cube to go into the run (yes, the doors are wide enough) and for us still to be able to get to the door handle, the poop trays and the nesting box hatch. Plan is that we'll simply wheel the cube out of the run entirely when it needs a clean, and we can hose it down on top of whatever bit of veggie bed needs a bit of extra fertiliser.

 

IMG_0783_1024h.JPG

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Looks great!   I was going for a run like this, but ended up with an Omlet WIR.  Big mistake.  Not rodent or small bird proof so at some point I will get rid of it.   I too have a blue cube!  And a green one.  The blue has faded whereas I think the blue has held its colour.  

Welcome back to chickens! 

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Hello Major!  I pop in from time to time - and yes we have muscovies and I adore them.  Not so fond of the claws but they love to perch.  We lost one to the fox - but her wing tip ended up in our veggie patch courtesy of the crows.  Her remains will be laid to rest under my rhubarb plants.  But . . . we have 3 ducklings (one was Daisy's egg) and our lovely bantam light Sussex has been a super mum.  I have had to trim the drake's claws today - he was "persuaded" to sleep in a new batchelor pad (eglu classic) for the night and it made it so easy to trim in the morning.  

In a rush I purchased another duck house but it is nowhere near as good quality as the Flyte so Fancy duck house - muscovies are big (we have them to breed for meat which is lean compared with normal ducks) and the one that looked OK but was supposedly in stock took ages as the blooming virus kicked in.  If I had known it would take weeks I would have got in touch with Flyte.  I did ask if it was suitable for muscovies and was told yes, but no more than 20.  Turns out it is actually a Jim Vyse product and probably suit call ducks - definitely not 20 muscovies!  Duke has a job just getting through the door and as for cleaning it is a nightmare.  The finish is sloppy - but the Flyte so Fancy is superb.  The only fault is the door which drops down and the hinges needed to be stronger - my husband added more screws to hold it on and it's been fine ever since.  Currently got Dixie (aka Tasmanian Devil cartoon version) with a clutch of 15 eggs due to hatch soon and in the other one Cooter is having her second try after a failed effort earlier in the year - with 6.  So as we are short a house to keep Duke separate he is marched into the chicken run at night.    

I have 2 cubes - one is our 12 year old original and the other used to belong to Cookie Monster.   They are still amazing for the age, although I do have mine under cover as the weather here is rather extreme at times!  

I hope you get the ducks and enjoy them. Just wondered did you have Foghorn Leghorn avatar or some other cartoon rooster?  And to get you in the mooooood . . .

20200611_171609.jpg

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Thanks, Valkyrie

Yes, I saw in another thread the story of your duckling with a foster mum. I am indeed tempted by ducks, but now our flock is larger than we first expected, I suspect we’ll have to wait some time before we get any more birds.

Glad to see you back and to be back.

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Yes, settle yourself in with the new flock and when the routine is set, then perhaps a small flock.  Their bedding needs cleaning more than chickens, so I've adopted the deep bed system where I just lay more straw on top - works well for wet spells and then the first dry session I'm out there.  Also you can put duck poopy bedding straight onto your plants - it doesn't have to be composted like the chickens manure which is too strong.  Win win - their bedding is on my squashes, the hedging trees and around the comfrey.  

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You are most welcome Major - it's something I only found out after we had the ducks - since then it's been utilised all over!  I don't put another layer on top of the original, I tend to grab handfuls of straw and lay it on top of any poop.  Flat paddle feet squash it down and by the time they go to bed it is all dry anyway.  I did have old waxed/plastic tablecloth fabric which was supposed to be used for the kitchen cupboards in our last house - never got round to it apart from the veg cupboard.  The remains have been put into the bases of the duck houses so scraping bedding out is much easier.  Oh collecting eggs in the Flyte house is easy.  The Vyse one I pretty much have to kneel down and reach under a low roof.  I did notice Flytes do similar ones with a hinged roof for easy access to the interior.  Or get a bicycle shed and adapt it with ventilation holes/gaps.

Interestingly when the ducks wanted to lay eggs and were allowed access to the chicken run, they loved the cubes - which was of great annoyance to the chickens!  LOL!

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Progress is visible, if slower than I’d like. Mesh to go on the roof, half the mesh skirt to finish off at the bottom, tarpaulins still to put on top and electric fence rope to attach. Then that’s it.

 

9754FFDA-DC68-45F1-8F11-067E31544FB2.jpeg

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