Chicken keepers of the world unite



  • I put up a 1m extension to the run today but they still stay in the same narrow bit!  


    But I found some red mite in the eglu even though I've been working hard to keep it clean. I've given it a really good clean and sprinkled powder all over.  Dusted 2 of the chickens with powder but couldn't catch the shy one. I hope I've done enough.

  • Sorry to hear about the red mite SD - horrid things. Your girls may well be reluctant to go back into the house at night, because that is obviously when they come out to bite them. Taking apart the Go and blasting it with a water power jet will also help if you haven't managed to get rid of them this time.

    Good luck.
  • Just been to check on the girls and they are all in the house. Hopefully I've caught the mites before they got too bad. Horrid things indeed. I clean it regularly too. Have hosed it all down but don't have a power jet washer yet.  Will have to get one I think (I'm spending a fortune on these girls!).  The Go isn't easy to take apart so wish I'd bought the classic now. Hadn't realised the cleaning difference.

  • Not sure the classic is easy to take apart either, having not actually done it. How did you spot you have mites? Keep looking for them, but haven't found anything yet.

    Unless you wanted a jet washer for other reasons then don't buy one just for this. Sure washing down with good hot water does the trick.

    Nice photo.
  • I spotted a few crawling along the top of the Go. Took the insulated top off and there were about half a dozen of them in the insulated space.  I assume it was red mite - they were red, little and crawling.  Didn't expect to see them in daytime on the top though so fingers crossed it was something different and the girls are okay.

    I was thinking about getting a jet washer for the patio when its had chicken poo all over it - especially if we want a BBQ in the evening. 

  • Chicken poo is pretty yucky, and they always do it on our patio too.

    Hows the running, you have any races entered?
  • Hi Hopeto - not much running for me at the mo.  Twisted ankle and whole foot badly bruised so I'm way behind with Liverpool marathon training. Also got a small matter of the Vitruvian half ironman in Sept too so busy biking and swimming. Can't bike at the moment either though, so just swimming.  What about you?

    Our garden is now well and truely trashed! The only flowering plants we have are those in containers too high for the girls to get to. We are using it as an opportunity for a re-plant. Put a load of lavender in yesterday which they don't seemed too bothered with.  Mr S tried planting out some herbs that he's grown from seed and they kept finding all ways to sneak up and pinch a bit.  It was really funny.  A few short light sprays with the hosepipe soon put them off though. Who'd have thought that chickens could have so much personality?

  • My lot got a bit wet this afternoon..    doh....! 

  • At the insistence of my 13 year old daughter, we are getting some chooks. Netting has arrived and I'll be building the pen this weekend. Some friends have given us an old coop that needs a bit of repair. Hopefully we'll have things ready for them in a couple of weeks.

    How good are they roaming around the garden? Will they dig up and eat the plants?

    edit: should have read through first - looks like we'll have to do a bit of chicken training if they are going to roam around.

  • Netting?   Do you mean for an enclosure...?   That won't stop foxes getting in at night...  our enclosure has two layers of wire mesh and goes 2 ft under ground and with a fully enclosed roof.   It now also has paving slabs under the gate as a fox tried to dig under the gate one night..

    For sure, netting isn't going to be enough...   unless, of course, you don't have any foxes to worry about,

  • kamoshikakamoshika ✭✭✭
    Hello. Thought I'd come and join in here. We got our chooks a couple of weeks ago. they've settled in pretty well I think, and at least one of them is laying. We've had half a dozen eggs so far - a couple of soft shelled ones and the rest normal.

     Here are the girls:


  • Lovely girls kamoshika.  The white one is like my Mavis.

    But Mavis is poorly today.  She's all hunched up and won't eat.  I let her out of the run to free range in the garden but she just pottered over to a sheltered corner and sat hunched up with her eyes closed.  I opened a tin of sweetcorn which the other 2 went crazy over but Mavis wouldn't touch it.  Any ideas what could be wrong?  I've checked her over, not sneezing, no discharge from the beak, body felt normal but not sure what I'm really looking for.  There was evidence of a soft egg in the hen house when I cleaned it out. At least I think thats what it was and hope she hasn't got yellow/white diarrhoea. Poor girl looks miserable.  The other 2 are there usual selves.

    Podro - your kids will love chickens.  Such lovely pets but what they don't eat in your garden they will dig up an alarming rate.  Mine have learned to keep off one bed now they've had a few sprays from the hosepipe.  They seem to have learned.

    DV -LOL at drenched chooks.  Awwwww

  • DV - netting = wire mesh. The entire area arounf the enclosure is either paved or concreted, so hopefully no digging under is possible.

    Managed to get most of the frame up yesterday, but rain has stopped play today.

  • I am pleased to say that chicken Mavis is now back to her usual self. image  I will take some more photos soon.  They are growing I'm sure.

    Anyone know how to make pickled eggs?

  • Glad to hear about Mavis.

    The odd weather has played havoc with hatching success this year, another frost this week! Our two broodies have only hatched three between them.

    Pickled eggs are dead easy. Make your ordinary pickling vinegar (I add extra chilli because I like it that way), hard boil the eggs, peel, place in jar and cover with vinegar. I add it hot, but I don't think that is necessary. They don't keep all that long, but that's no hardship.

    We are experimenting with freezing eggs at the moment. I would try the traditional water glass preservation if I could find some reasonably priced water glass.

  • Latest pictures:

    This is Mavis wondering how to get down from a chair.  Took her ages - bless!




    And this is what is left of my flower border!  They've demolished it.

  • Podro - have your chooks arrived yet?

    Spent the weekend re-planting the garden with (hopefully) chook-proof plants.  But there is nothing more calming than watching a contented chick.  I came home from work all stressed today and immediately relaxed at the sight of 2 chickens having a good dust bath.  Then Mavis turned over almost onto her back with her legs in the air like a contented dog. Ah bliss. image

  • Who says chickens can't fly...?

    Something very funny just happened at dinner time..   one of my brave girls ventured into the house for the first time ever and while we were all at the dinner table she flew up and pinched some pasta from my daughters bowl..!    It was very funny, but we shooshed her away.....

    Cheeky bird...

  • I need to re-home my chickens...   image

    If anyone can provide a safe, loving and happy home for my girls then please let me know.   I have six.   I would like them to all stay together if at all possible.  Scroll back through this thread for various photos..  

    They are ex-battery hens, very healthy and they lay 4 or 5 eggs per day.

  • Awwwww DV - thats a shame for you.  I hope you find them a good home. image 

    My girls get more and more fascinating. I can't imagine not having them now. 

  • I need to re-home my chickens... image

    If anyone can provide a safe, loving and happy home for my girls then please let me know. I have six. I would like them to all stay together if at all possible. Scroll back through this thread for various photos..

    They are ex-battery hens, very healthy and they lay 4 or 5 eggs per day.

  • Boing.............

    Hope your chooks were re homed successfully DV.

    Doing a boing to ask if anyone can give me any tips for pecking. One of my girls is getting badly pecked by another.  I've tried 2 types of antipeck spray but it doesn't help and causes the bird distress when I try and spray her.  I then tried Vic vapour rub on the suggestion of another chicken keeper but that didn't work either. She seems fine in herself and just sits there perched content while the other pulls her feathers out! I've heard about some purple spray/dye but not sure where I get it from. Any help appreciated - ta.


  • When that happens to mine I usually isolate one of the birds for a while. If she is baddly pecked I will isolate the victim and give her a tonic in her water. Otherwise I isolate the aggressor for at least three weeks. It doesn't always settle things though. Being free range is helpful because it allows the "run away" option. You can buy special clips to put on the upper beak to stop pecking. I've never tried so I don't know how well they work.

    Last week was a bad week. I young fox killed both of our ducks during the day early in the week. Hopefully it will be shot soon. We have also had a massive influx of rats from the combining. They got into the house and killed four of my 3 month old growers. All the females were killed and only the male survived, with a bitten leg. The rats are now history (hopefully) but it was a grim sight.

  • Johnny that sounds terrible. Hopefully the fox and the rats wont return.

    My one of my four chickens laid their first egg yesterday, my daughter found it it was a lovely moment. I only got team BG (backgarden) two weeks ago so it was a unexpected surprise. The question is now who laid it - Bradley Chickens, Hen Anisley, Jess Hennis or Victoria Mentalhen. (She is a beautiful, quick mover and a bit sensitive.)

    Thanks for letting me share my chicken news with like minded people.

  • I think it must be Bradley Chickens after the successful year he has had !

    We had 3 ex-batterys but have just had to cull one of them (the good lady did it the old fashioned way image). She has now decided she wants a replacement but as her maths arent the best she seems to think that two will replace one. Are there any particular breeds of hens it would be easier to introduce to Winnie and Gretel ? Or do you have any tips to make it easier ?


  • katy briggs 2 wrote (see)

    The question is now who laid it - Bradley Chickens, Hen Anisley, Jess Hennis or Victoria Mentalhen. (She is a beautiful, quick mover and a bit sensitive.)


    Awwww, that made me smile imageimage

  • Congratulations on your first egg katy!  Love the names.  image Mine are Brenda, Amy and Mavis.  Brenda is because she is top of the pecking order so queen hen and if you know what Private Eye calls the Queen then you'll understand. 

    JA - thanks for the advice.  I was wondering about isolating, but the question is where to? I've got an eglu and large run so not sure where to isolate to. I suppose I could divide the run in 2 and just isolate during the day? Awful news about the fox and the rats. Nature is so cruel. 

    carerusm - 2 chooks for one sounds good maths to me. No idea how to intergrate them though, I'm a beginner myself. 



  • katy briggs 2 wrote (see)


    . The question is now who laid it - Bradley Chickens, Hen Anisley, Jess Hennis or Victoria Mentalhen. (She is a beautiful, quick mover and a bit sensitive.)


    Those names are fantastic..  LOVE Victoria Mentalhen  image

    I was able to re-home my six and they went back to Norfolk..  ironically which is where they came from.   Maybe one day I will get more, but it was the right decision at the time...


  • Thanks for all,your comments on my chicken's names, we had great fun choosing them.

    Dark vader - glad you were able to find your chickens a lovely new home. It must be sad losing them but at least they will be happy.
  • Carterusm. Your OH has the right idea about numbers! As for breeds, some are more docile than others, but ask about the strain rather than the breed. There are always more or less aggressive individuals. Our best layer is a real bully, but she lays an egg a day for most of the year so we can forgive a lot. It is always best to slip the new birds onto the perch in the dark so the old hens don't see them until morning. No matter what, there will be squabbles until the pecking order is established. This usually sounds worse than it is.

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