Recent content by ralleia

  1. ralleia

    Why I’ll Never Free-Range My Chickens Again

    On spying a coyote or fox trotting through the horse pasture towards my chickens, I am able to sprint towards it, slip through the three-rail fence hardly knowing how I did it, and charge the furry varmint. I love the look on their face when the notice the crazy middle-aged woman coming at...
  2. ralleia

    Why I’ll Never Free-Range My Chickens Again

    We free-range part of the time on our eleven acres. Due to past experiences, we do supervised free-ranging, but of course there are lapses in supervision when someone goes inside for something, and we would lose a chicken periodically. Of course it is usually everyone's favorite bird, and my...
  3. ralleia

    Wry Neck or something else?

    It's definitely runny, which suggests that it's mostly urine and she isn't eating much solid food? Any respiratory symptoms like wheezing, sneezing, or coughing?
  4. ralleia

    Accidentally got some liquid medicine in the lungs

    I took two of our older hens to the vet for different undiagnosed issues today. The vet prescribed both a one-week course of antibiotics and painkiller to see if some of the symptoms would improve. Neither bird has anything acutely wrong at this point though. It's my first time administering...
  5. ralleia

    Source for standard silkies (non-bantam) in the U.S.?

    Silkies come in standard and bantam sizes in the UK. The U.S. generally only breeds the bantam. I am looking for a source for standard-size silkies on the U.S. side of the pond.
  6. ralleia

    Source for standard silkies (non-bantam) in the U.S.?

    Is there somewhere to buy standard silkies in the U.S.? I haven't been able to find a source in my searches thus far.
  7. ralleia

    Vertical (gravity) vs. horizontal (spring loaded) watering nipples

    Last night the temperatures dropped to -8 °F, the first real test of our horizontal nipple system. I went out this morning when the temperatures had risen a few degrees. Three out of four of the chicken nipples had iced up. The one that didn't might not have could be un-iced for two...
  8. ralleia

    Chicks reared by hen v. brooded "artificially"

    Ever since we established our first batch of hens about 10 years ago, I have allowed a broody to rear all the chicks. We would order chicks to arrive around the time that a broody's eggs would hatch and then have her adopt the whole batch. It has worked out well and is significantly less work...
  9. ralleia

    Running water to the coop

    Horizontal chicken nipples--very interesting! I have the vertical kind on a short length of PVC off an insulated thermos. I had hoped that a water heater in the thermos would keep the nipples from freezing, but no joy. I will have to try your design, because the heated fount we us when the...
  10. ralleia

    Winter-only lean-to coop attached to permanent hoophouse?

    In the winter, humidity is low in the hoophouse. Any rise in air moisture during the heat gain of the day becomes condensation on the plastic, which then "rains" back down to the earth. So the humidity ends up being essentially the same as the outdoors, since each night the hoophouse eventually...
  11. ralleia

    Anyone ever bought chicks from bomgaars?

    We buy all our feed from Bomgaars, and our hens (and chicks when we were raising them) did fine. We haven't bought chicks from them yet, since our local store didn't exist until after we already had the chickens. But we will likely purchase chicks from them this spring and will let you know how...
  12. ralleia

    Question about feeding eggshells to chickens?

    If I understand correctly, both eggshells and oyster shells are the same form of calcium, which is calcium carbonate (CaCO3). So there should not be significant difference in absorption. But since the chickens will also require calcium for their bones and other bodily functions, their calcium...
  13. ralleia

    Rooster 'dance' explanation please/

    Quite the contrary. When we first got chickens, we bought chicks from a relatively new hatchery that had quality issues (two arrived dead, one live one had wry neck, etc.). The orpington rooster we kept from that batch turned aggressive, and we ate him after he spurred me while I had our infant...
  14. ralleia

    swollen padding? what is going on with my silkie's feet??

    What is the size and shape characteristic of your roosts? I've been studying roost design as we are building a new coop, and came across a very detailed article describing research results into how the size, material, and shape of the roost affects chicken feet and their sleep. There was...
  15. ralleia

    My flock are in danger of birds!

    There is inexpensive lightweight bird netting that is used to protect fruiting crops from birds. The main challenge would be setting it up over the area that needs protection. Fiberglass posts and zip ties to attach maybe? How big of an area are you protecting, and is there a fence around the...
Top Bottom