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Started by MsCharDonnay on Dec 4, 2016 4:45:35 PM

Starting this thread as we've just got two new chickens on our allotment, and I hadn't noticed another chicken/poultry thread.

MsCharDonnay - 04 Dec 2016 16:49:30 (#1 of 123)

If there is one, please direct me there.

In the meantime, I am thrilled with these new chickens. Went to a rare breeds farm off the beaten track and then some. We got a cuckoo maran and a black copper maran. They have settled in extremely well immediately with our original (recently bereaved) chicken who is a maran cross breed AKA Chestnut ranger.

Put them in together this afternoon. Was standing by with chicken wire, ready to erect a fence, but they all got along fine, apart from a quick introductory peck. Not sure whether the newbies are the same size as the original or whether they all look very similar so could be confused for old cage mates. Whatever way, it was great not to have to worry about segregation/introduction.

The new chicken stockist is great. THey also do hatching eggs and day old chicks so am tempted to get an electric hen and a range of different day old chicks in the spring...

Sunfish - 04 Dec 2016 16:57:46 (#2 of 123)

Ours are rescued battery hens. It's a genuinely heart-warming feeling to see their feathers grow back and their whole demeanour change with a bit of light, decent grub and freedom to roam. A thousand blessings on their little feathery bonces.

Apparently rare breed chickens get nicked quite a lot so watch yours.

Sunfish - 04 Dec 2016 16:58:04 (#3 of 123)

Good idea for a thread by the way!

MsCharDonnay - 04 Dec 2016 17:03:30 (#4 of 123)

Maybe I'll put a padlock on the coop... We keep ours at the allotment which has locked gates/CCTV so the biggest threat is the badger/fox, so sturdy runs/coops are essential. We've been very lucky so far.

Some of our neighbours on the allotment have ex-batts and get on very well with them. They seem to love their new way of life. The chickens love to wander about and scratch everything up for examination is enough to make the mind boggle at how anyone could stick them in a tiny cage. They are just not made for that life. Who knows, if I fulfil my plans to cover a couple of old polytunnel frames with chicken wire, I may have room for some myself, as well as having a selection of different coloured chickens.

And thanks. I couldn't see another poultry thread. At one time it was chickens for as far as you could see. At one point with egg hatching in real time. I miss those days.

rgtstoppedcounting - 04 Dec 2016 17:19:38 (#5 of 123)

Just don't buy an Eglu, is all.

tasselhoff - 04 Dec 2016 17:28:00 (#6 of 123)

And check the fencing and under the bottom for any risk of predators squeezing in.

Tadagee - 04 Dec 2016 17:38:42 (#7 of 123)


MsCharDonnay - 04 Dec 2016 17:39:21 (#8 of 123)

Got my eye on one of these, with an electric door opener!/Medium-House/c/15807019/offset=0&sort=normal

rainwoman - 04 Dec 2016 17:50:51 (#9 of 123)

That looks nice, MsC. I was browsing that site and came across a page with a picture of red mite on it. Hideous flashbacks...

MsCharDonnay - 04 Dec 2016 18:03:34 (#10 of 123)

Hello Rainy - I was indeed thinking of you and your hatchlings when I started this thread. Getting to suggest names for your cockerels was very diverting.

We seem to have avoided redmite so far by using hose-able plastic housing. Seems to last an age without any maintenance. Hence being interested in the Arkus. The automatic door opener would save a lot of hassle too.

rainwoman - 04 Dec 2016 18:14:11 (#11 of 123)

It's a good plan. Worth getting some red mite powder and putting it somewhere watertight, just in case you need it some day! Horrible things...

I'd forgotten the cockerel naming. Those were happy days!

Still dream about my chickens most nights. I'm envying you on the internet.

MsCharDonnay - 04 Dec 2016 18:52:48 (#12 of 123)

I'm really sorry you don't have your chickens any more. Not only for you, but because I miss hearing about them. I really did enjoy all the chicken talk. I was so jealous of you having an egg incubator and getting to see the chicks hatch themselves out.

MsCharDonnay - 04 Dec 2016 20:29:06 (#13 of 123)

The little ones didn't want to go into the coop tonight, so had to be coaxed in by putting a light in there and then waggling a stick at them. Hopefully they will get into the habit. Odd that they didn't just flock in though. Perhaps because we didn't put them in the actual coop initially and just let them wonder around the run. Anyway, all tucked in now.

I'm off to write wishlists on backs of envelopes for various day old chicks.

Very tempted by the range of millefleur bantams too...

rainwoman - 04 Dec 2016 20:41:30 (#14 of 123)

Would you be tempted by a millefleur pekin bantam, MsC? They're very beautiful - two different kinds of millefleur, I think, though.

MsCharDonnay - 04 Dec 2016 20:46:05 (#15 of 123)

There seem to be a load of them. Pekin, Barbu d'Uccles, Sablepoot - all beautiful. Very very tempted. Would like to get four to six of them in the Spring, if my coop/pen expansion plans go to schedule...

KizzyK - 04 Dec 2016 21:07:01 (#16 of 123)

Just don't buy an Eglu, is all.

Why? I have one of the big off the ground eglu's with seperate roosting and nesting areas and it was always great. No chickens at the moment but never had any mite or predator issues at all when I did.

Horray for thread chickens anyway, I miss ours but I need a break in animal responsbilities for a few years.

6to24characters - 04 Dec 2016 21:11:12 (#17 of 123)

I read that as a separate roasting area first....

MsCharDonnay - 05 Dec 2016 20:08:37 (#18 of 123)

Does anyone have experience of Wyandottes? I think they look lovely with their laced feathers, but am put off by the idea of having to wash their arses to prevent obstruction.

MsCharDonnay - 07 Dec 2016 15:10:28 (#19 of 123)

The double-laced barnevelder seems to have a similar look to a Wyandotte without the bum issues, so may go for that. Don't fancy washing a chicken's arse.

In the meantime, hot off the press, chickens now have to be kept "indoors" or at least out of contact with wild birds for 30 days until January 6th.

Mine are in a secure run to keep out foxes/badgers, so will put an extra all-encompassing tarpaulin over the top to prevent any bird poo falling on them.

MsCharDonnay - 09 Dec 2016 17:00:39 (#20 of 123)

As I continue to make chicken wishlists on the back of envelopes, I am thinking about hatching eggs and the possibility of buying an egg incubator as well as the cheaper and more natural alternative of putting some eggs under a broody hen.

I know that there is no guarantee that a hen will go broody. Our eldest hen (hybrid Chestnut Ranger) has never shown any signs (probably because she is a hybrid bred for laying?), but the new purebred copper and cuckoo marans might be more prone. I guess I'll have to wait until spring.

But of course, in the meantime, I am thinking about this as an excuse to buy a chicken who is extremely likely to become broody, just in case.

Can anyone suggest any particularly broody breeds? I have heard that you can put large bird eggs under bantams. Is this because bantams are more prone to broodiness? Anyone have any knowledge/experience, especially of the pros/cons of incubators v broodies?

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