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Checking chickens

Sunday 21 August, 2011

by Rosemary at 10:07am in Poultry Comments closed

It's been a chicken checking morning. We've been checking each chicken for lice, dusting them with louse powder and painting their legs with surgical spirit, for scaly leg mite. It's funny how some have no lice at all and a few carry a heavy burden - don't know if some are better at grooming themselves than others or if their feathers are different. There was no real difference between the BR and the Warrens, but we found our RIR, when we had them, were really bad.

They're starting to moult now - some look a bit dismal, poor things.

Free range Hubbards

Tuesday 9 August, 2011

by Rosemary at 12:21pm in Poultry Comments closed

Our Hubbards are now six weeks old and changing on to grower pellets. They are now also in the big run. We moved them yesterday and this morning, they made themselves a little dust bath. They are really funny - the extra space seems to freak them a bit and there's lots of stand-offs and chasing around. When they run, the Earth trembles - it's like Jurassic Park :-)

They were cleaned out this morning and got a new, huge drinker - they do drink a lot.

It may be counter-intuitive, but the better I look after them, the happier I am eating them.

Poultry update

Wednesday 3 August, 2011

by Rosemary at 2:12pm in Poultry 3 comments Comments closed

Just a quick update on our poultry - there have been a few things happen over the last few weeks that I just haven't had time to share.

We've lost about five of the old laying flock that we brought from Alloa last summer. None have shown any sign of disease so I'm putting it down to old age. We have had one live to eight years and one to six years, but I think these are exceptions. There are basically three groups - aged 3 years, 2 years and last year's lot. The deaths have been mainly in the three year old Black Rocks and the two year old Warrens. Touch wood, we've never gone this long without a fox or dog attack, so I'm not sure what the "norm" is.

Worming hens 2

Wednesday 13 July, 2011

by Rosemary at 1:31pm in Poultry 2 comments Comments closed

I've been using Marriage's layer pellets with added Flubenvet to worm our hens - first time I've used this product. One of the side benefits is that I now have a better idea of how many bags of pellets I'm using. Now, I know it wouldn't be hard to keep a note and check invoices, but I've just never got round to it.

I bought two bags of pellets with wormer. This morning, the feeders needed refilling and I had to open the second bag. I had a wee panic that I wouldn't have enough for the seven day required feeding period so was pleasantly surprised to find, on checking the planner, that this was day six, so a bag of pellets lasted five full days. The flock is about 30-32 birds. I'll just use up the pellets, which will give a 10 day worming period, then I'll worm test them. The pellets have quite a short shelf-life because of the added wormer.

Rainwater collection on the henhouse

Friday 8 July, 2011

by Rosemary at 3:01pm in Poultry Comments closed

Up until yesterday, we carried water every day to the hens. We have two flocks and will have three next year, so that's a bit of fetching and carrying.

A couple of weeks ago, I noticed that we had a water butt that wasn't being used and wondered if we could collect rainwater off the henhouse roof and use it for the hens.

Well, it's now set up and is working fine. Not quite sure how the overflow will work and if water quallity will be OK, but we'll monitor and make adjustments. It seems good enough, though, to replicate on our second house.

Worming hens

Friday 8 July, 2011

by Rosemary at 2:58pm in Poultry 1 comment Comments closed

I've been using Verm X for a while for the poultry but after a faecal sample showed a worm egg count of 350, I decided it was time to revert to Flubenvet. It's such a nuisance to feet though, so I've bought a couple of bags of Marriage's layer pellets with added Flubenvet.

I've put it in the feeders today and they'll have that for seven days. I'll worm test again and see if things are better. Naturally, I will keep you posted.

Hen weekend

Monday 30 May, 2011

by Rosemary at 1:20pm in Poultry 1 comment Comments closed

No, ah hivnae been up the toon singin,' "Hi ho kick the can". Strictly speaking, it was a poultry weekend but that didn't make such an interesting title :-)

We started on Saturday morning by killing the five 14 week old Hubbard cockerels. I don't enjoy this (if you do, I'm worried), but we do try to make it as stress free as possible for the birds. We give them a good life - twice as long as commercial broilers and they are kept outside, on grass- so we want the end to be as good as we can make it.

Dead Black Rock

Tuesday 26 April, 2011

by Rosemary at 12:46pm in Poultry Comments closed

One of the three sickly Sids died this morning. The other two are fine, but I had my doubts this morning. She came out and pecked around then settled in the sun; when I came back after feeding, she was dead.

The other two are going out with the rest tonight. They are now just over six weeks old and looking fine. I've just changed them over to grower pellets; normally I would have kept them on chick crumbs for another week or so, but the bag was finished and I didn't want to open a new bag for a week, then end up wasting the rest.

Outdoor chicks

Tuesday 12 April, 2011

by Rosemary at 9:13am in Poultry Comments closed

Sick chicks 2

Friday 25 March, 2011

by Rosemary at 11:16am in Poultry 1 comment Comments closed

Three chicks in the sick bay now. However, all eating and drinking - I've put some cider vinegar in the water to help their tummies and one was preening itself yesterday. No sign of scoots. All are unsteady on their legs though, so will stay where they are meantime.

The others seem in great form - I suspect the five got chilled when the lamp blew. The two that died were basically trampled. If I had got them out earlier, they might have survived.

In future, I will run two heat lamps overnight in the big box so that there's back up if a bulb blows. Lesson learned.

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