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UK Member Please SAy HI - Page 62

post #611 of 1808

Hi and welcome from me too.


In a lot of respects old brick or stone sheds are better as they are more predator proof. My hens use an old stone stable. I find rat traps baited with peanut butter are very good but you have to make sure to put them somewhere that the chickens and any other animals can't get at them. Rats can't resist peanut butter!


I use straw on my block paved concrete floor. The chickens love to rummage through it, but I haven't tried sand so I can't comment on whether that would be better. I also use straw in the nest boxes. I've tried shavings but they tend to scratch it out all over the place and if you have a sand floor I would imagine it will all get mixed in if they do that. I also sprinkle a bit of Diatomaceous Earth (DE) down on the floor before I put straw down and use a soft brush (a dustpan brush is good) to dust into all the nooks and crannies where mites hide... but wear a mask or scarf over your face to prevent breathing it, if you use DE. I change the straw out and clean up once a month or so. Oh and drop boards under the roosts are a major benefit if you don't have them already.


Can you post photos of your girls so that we can see what breeds you have? Like you, my chickens get to free range every day. I've had a couple of fox attacks but thankfully not been too major and the chickens would take so badly to being penned in when they are used to their freedom, that I don't have the heart ot time to build them an enclosure.

It is wonderful getting to know all their little characters and finding out what their favourite treats are. It's funny how different their tastes are. Mine live apples. If I cut an apple in half and hold it out for them, they will demolish it within a minute. You have to hold tight as they can be pretty enthusiastic. My neighbours hens, on the other hand, wouldn't touch an apple even though they are penned up.


Anyway, I must stop rambling on and get on with some chores.


Best wishes



post #612 of 1808

@Yorkshire coop


Hi Kim


Gosh! 10 for Christmas dinner. That would put me into a tail spin! Thankfully my sister (who doesn't cook) had the sense to marry a wonderful man who does, so we all go to their house. He is a fantastically generous host. I used to rent a field nearby or stables and take the horses and stay over for a few days (it's only 30 miles away) but Boxing Day is actually more of a family tradition than Chrismas, so it saved me travelling over and back twice and enabled me to have a drink, and my sister and I could ride out together. But now that I have to get back for chickens and Ian (who spends the day with his family) but hunts of course on Boxing Day, so I travel back and forth twice and have beasties to do before I go and when I get back.


Good to hear that you didn't have any problems with the bad weather other than a bit of ice. I guess you haven't had the time to get Harry out much recently. My sister is coming over today so I'm hoping we will get all 3 youngsters out two at a time. MeMe will go twice. They will be hyper again as they haven't been out for a fortnight!


I did 2 more cockerels yesterday, so I'm slowly getting through them. They look so big until you get them plucked! Going to skin the next one to see if it's any quicker. Much as I want the livers to make some pate, I find eviscerating them quite difficult as everything is so well adhered. It's so much easier just to cut the legs and breast off and discard the rest but my contribution to boxing day dinner is home made chicken pate, so I really need them!


Anyway, I think that is all my news for now. Hope all is still well with you.


Best wishes



post #613 of 1808

Hi Barbara frow.gif

Got the number down to 7 for "C" lunch so should be a little easier but all the same a bit hectic. The other half is good at cooking so we will do it as a joint effort and try and do as much prep as possible the night before. C eve always seems as busy as the day, have to try and get the dog hair all vacuumed up before we have visitors, they will still get a warning of "Beware of the hair" though.

That's a fair bit of traveling for you there, critters do take some looking after don't they!! Can't remember the last time we got away anywhere either. It's hard to find someone who will look after chickens, dogs, cats and Harry horse all at the same time. Do you go to the hunt too? New Year's Day hunt round us always met at the local pub in the village where I keep Harry. Always had a really big turn out and I went a couple of times (not on Harry I hasten to add) I borrowed a friends hairy cob!! Not sure what has gone off this year but apparently they are meeting somewhere else. Will have to get my feelers out and find out what has happened.

Your right, I had not ridden Harry for a couple of weeks hide.gif Did get out in him yesterday and he's was good which was a relief, got my riding head on again so we are going again this morning big_smile.png
Did you get yours out? How was it? Hope they were not too wild!!

Good on you with the cockerels, nice to hear you are getting through them. Love a bit of pate! Bet your homemade is delicious!! All the work must make it taste even better!

Think that's about it for now, must get out and let the chooks out!! Then off to tackle Harry again!!

Have the most fab Sunday Barbara big_smile.png

post #614 of 1808

I've got this new app that can edit pics so I've done a couple of yours for you. Hope you don't mind and that you like them big_smile.png

Did one of Harry too ~

post #615 of 1808

@Yorkshire coop


OH WOW! They are brilliant. I love them. Thanks so much for editing and posting them. Harry looks very handsome and totally chilled.


Well done on riding out twice. Have you been out since? You put me to shame as I haven't been out since my sister was here last week. I'm afraid they were totally wild and it was pretty hairy going! My sister thought that we should take the lads out together first and then MeMe and Rascal again for the second hack, as Rascal has quite a significant odema on his belly and sheath with standing in. As I've previously said, we come out onto a busy main road. My sister is able to get on in the yard but I have to close and lock the gate once we are out so I get on at a stone mounting block 25 yards along the road. Meanwhile my sister is trying to stay on Rascal at the gate who is rearing and snorting and shaking his head and surging forward whilst traffic is giving him a wide berth. Once I was on, there were sparks flying from Rebel too. By this time the school was coming out and cars parked everywhere and the horses were diving and broncking and it was just crazy. Thankfully we managed to stay on and not make contact with anything and get onto a quiet back road up a steep hill which took a little bit of edge off them but we had antics all the way round. I was amazed neither of us hit the deck! Got home just before dusk, untacked  Reb and threw MeMe's saddle on and off we went again. She was like a steam train but at least it was reasonably controlled and in a straight line. Oof course Rascal was less hyped second time around. We got back in the dark but had lights and reflective gear on. Untacked, threw some haylage at them, a quick brush over, locked the chucks away and home for a cuppa and bite to eat. I was so shattered I fell asleep on the settee at 7pm and couldn't even be bothered to have any tea. Had to go back out at 10pm to do evening stables and then crashed again.


The next day I had to be up early to get my lot done before heading up to the farm to help Ian with his horses. The meet before Christmas, we have the job each year of delivering Santa to the hunt meet. Ian was on 3 days before, cleaning and preparing harnesses and carriage as they hadn't been used since September. It takes us about 3/4hr to drive them to the meet, half and hour waiting for Santa to deliver presents to the children there and then 3/4hr home. Considering that we hadn't driven Ernie and Archie together for 18 months they went incredibly well and behaved impeccably, especially considering there are so many people and cars and horses and hounds..... of course they are used to that with being hunters, but still, it's exciting for horses. As well as being groom, I was allocated the job of blowing the coaching horn as we approached the meet to announce Santa's arrival. Having practiced most of the way in the carriage when there was no one except Ian to hear me and been appalling, I was hugely relieved not to hit any bum notes when it mattered! 


Anyway, I think that's all my news of any interest..... except that one of my pullets has come into lay but I haven't figured out which one yet (a lovely little brown egg which I'm guessing is from one of the welsummer crosses) and some of the others are coming back into lay and I found a couple of sneaky nests.... one had 10 eggs in it and the other 12.... so things are picking up on that front at last.


Pleased to hear you're not now catering for so many (7 is definitely less daunting) and that you have a husband who helps out with the cooking. That must ease the strain. I have offered to do honey and orange glazed carrots and braised red cabbage and bread sauce, so that is my contribution to the Christmas meal. All can be made the day before and reheated. I had to do an Anika Rice impersonation yesterday, frantically running from one supermarket to the next to source a red cabbage as they were almost all sold sister had requested braised red cabbage and I couldn't let her down! Thankfully they had two left in the final supermarket in town before I had to extend my search further afield. Phew!


Must head out now, to lock chucks away and haylage ggs and see if I have any more little presents from my pullets.



Seasons greetings and best wishes to everyone (and their chucks and ggs) here on the thread. 


Sincerest regards



post #616 of 1808
Hi Barabara frow.gif

I'm glad you like the pics highfive.gif
It's a neat app, there are loads of ways to edit your pics!! Just didn't realise how much you could do on it. I've only just got going with the App Store and the like, I'm a bit of a technophobe so it was all a bit daunting but feel better now I'm up and running with it. I've even managed to figure out YouTube and get vids on it!! Shocked my self with that one th.gif

Oh no your ride sounds like it was a bit wild barnie.gif I'm glad to hear you got back safe and sound, I bet you were ready for that cup of T big_smile.png
I applaud for getting on after locking the gate!! Harry is a pain in the backside getting on if you are not at a certain mounting block, we have two at the farm but he will only stand still at one of them. Now that was one of my pet hates with him when I first got him, racers are never taught to stand so he thought it was free for all with getting on him. More than once in the early days he set of with me on like a sack of spuds!! Thankfully now I can manage on my own at the right one, another of his weird quirky ways!! I've been good and been out on him again today with a youngster from the farm. He was good but because he had never been out with him before he was insisting on trying to constantly sniff and nuzzle him hmm.png
Got round ok and the 4 year old was good too so a nice ride. I've also clipped him out now I've got my riding head in again, he looks awful and has some serious lines in him and my saddle patch is way wonky but we don't go any where so he will do. At least he's not a Woolley monster anymore and he's coming up like a shiny penny now the hair is trapping all the grease in.

The carriage and coaching horn sounds fab!! And delivering Santa! I bet it was fun and I'm sure your horn playing was great. Sounds like a good thing to do and something different. Ernie and Archie sound like a good pair, 18 months not doing it together then being well behaved is great going.

I've still not got any eggs plus to my horror the other morning I heard a crow coming from one of the coops somad.gif I'm just not sure what to make of this as non look like cockerels and no one is acting like one. They are about 7 months now. I just don't know idunno.gif
I'm thinking it could be my dominant over powering frizzle cross pullet tricking me, I've been reading up on females crowing when you have no cockerel in the flock. She rules roost over all of the and even the dogs when she is out in the garden so I'm hoping its her pretending fl.gif Time will tell I guess!!

Your food sounds fab!! Are you sure you dont want send some down here? We went to Tesco this morning at 5 for a final fresh shop before it got too busy, hate shops at the best of times unles it's the horse or chicken shop wink.png Could stay all day in them!
All done now barring the bread from our local shop tomorrow.

If I don't speak to you before have a lovely C lunch and a fab time!!

post #617 of 1808

hi yer yorkie

                    you ok i hope you and yours are sound  funny you should say about one of your hens crowing  i was walking my dog on the back field 

              and i heard a cock crowing i knew the woman so i asked her about it she told me her old fellow used to keep bantams before he passed on

             and she said all but one had died and that the one that was left had started to crow i asked my pal who has been breeding poultry for years

         and he says it happens a lot a hen takes over the cocks role     anyway got my first egg off my cream legbar today powder blue shell

      just waiting for my barnevelder  then i will have a full house but she is a bit young yet so next year 




      anyway merry christmas and a very happy new year  hohoho



post #618 of 1808
Good morning and Merry Christmas to you all!

post #619 of 1808
Hope you all had a good day yesterday big_smile.png

We had a lovely day, too much food and too much to drink but a fab time. I'm paying for it this morning sickbyc.gif Feeling a bit rough so I'm hoping some fresh air when I go do Harry horse will pull me round a bit!!

I've posted a few pics from yesterday here ~

@shell shocked

I've read a fair bit on this hen crowing lark and I'm hoping this is what is fl.gif
My two smooth blue who could be contenders are squatting so I've pretty much ruled them out (Maybe) I'm still thinking it was the frizzle cross pullet, I've not heard anything since.
post #620 of 1808

Hi Kim


It looks like you and your family had a lovely Christmas and I'm so impressed with your decorations.

I hope the bad weather didn't cause you any problems. There was a bit of flooding near my sister's house which caused their sewage treatment plant to break down, so we had to go easy on flushing the loo, and the roads were pretty hazardous driving back in the dark with all the water standing on them but on the whole we had a great time. Thankfully, there have been no flooding issues at home... and keeping fingers crossed it stays that way. Being right in the bottom of the valley with a stream (old mill race) running along the side of the house, it's always in the back of your mind, but we've always been very careful about ensuring that there are no obstructions down stream to reduce the risk.


Proud to report I rode Rascal out on my own yesterday and although there were one or two rather dodgy moments when he got a bit hyped, we both made it back home together.... he is now on an all time world record for managing not to ditch his rider.... I'm not entirely sure if that is reassuring or that the odds are slowly stacking against me and it is therefore more likely to happen next time. My sister always puts a positive spin on things and she recons my riding is just improving!


Delighted to report that egg production is on the increase and at least 3 of my 5 young pullets have come into lay. I got a whopping 6 eggs yesterday!! 2 little brown ones which I think are from the two blue marans crosses. The other 3 are welsummer crosses I think.... Two of them have crests which I would guess have come from the legbar cockerel but they aren't barred, so maybe they came from my legbar cross hen down at home who will have been crossed to a welsummer roo.... I really need to keep notes on which eggs I set next year.... this last year I didn't even make a note of hatch dates. One of these two pullets is extremely pretty and appears to be double laced..... I have absolutely no idea how that could have happened! Anyway, the other pullets egg was green.... but no sign of an olive one yet, which was what I was hoping for from the welly/legbar cross.


As regards your crowing, I started off with a trio of exchequer leghorns and after about a year one of the hens started crowing with the rooster. He was a very dominant bird and fertile since I have offspring from him and she continued to lay eggs until sadly she was killed by a dog, so it didn't seem to be a hormonal imbalance as some suggest..... she just seemed to enjoy dueting with him!

Hope you have a girl who just likes to sing a different tune rather than an under the radar roo.




Best wishes to everyone  for the New Year and hope it's a successful one in your hen houses!





Edited by rebrascora - 12/30/15 at 5:56am
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