Jane and Kerry

…or Kerry and Jane – it’s up to you.

Archive for the ‘Chickens’ Category

Chicken update

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It’s about time we posted an update on our chickens. Sadly we lost Ginger in May (the vet seemed to think it was liver failure – she just stopped eating and drinking properly and slowly ran out of energy), then Ivy had to be put down a couple of weeks ago after she got a prolapsed oviduct.

We decided to get two new ones this week while we were off work, and ended up with a Buff Sussex and one that’s supposed to be a Rhode Island Red, but doesn’t really look like one. She actually looks more like the ‘Black Rhode Island’ on the egg box in the photo, but I can’t find any mention of that breed on the Internet. We reckon she’s a cross between a Rhode Island Red and something else (the man we got them from had hundreds of chickens of all shapes and sizes running around). They’re a month or so younger than the others were when we got them, and a fair bit smaller too.

Lucy Buffy Lucy and Buffy Lucy lookalike on an eggbox Four chickens

Anyway, we made the mistake of leaving them roaming round the garden with the others when we brought them home, thinking it would be easy enough to catch them if they didn’t go to bed of their own accord. We caught the buff one (who we’ve decided to call Buffy – original, eh?), but as it started to get dark there was no sign of the other one, who’s quite well camouflaged at the best of times. After spending about an hour with torches searching the hedges we had to give up and hope she’d found somewhere safe to roost.

The next morning there was no sign of her, and we feared the worst, especially as I thought I’d heard a squawk and flapping in the night (I got up and had a look round, but couldn’t find anything). Then next thing we knew, they’d both disappeared! I was relieved to find them eventually, both sitting in a hollow under a hedge. We put the one who’d been out all night in the Eglu run, but Buffy had run off by then.

The one we had managed to shut away seemed very quiet, and on closer inspection she turned out to have a cut on her back. I tried cleaning it, but it looked pretty deep so we took her to the vet. It seems she was bitten by a fox or a cat (not one of ours as they were all indoors!), but had somehow managed to escape. The vet found more bite wounds under her wing, as well as some other cuts and scratches, and we had to leave her there overnight.

Of course that still left one bird to catch, and it was obvious that unless we made a big net we weren’t going to do it until she went to sleep. We kept an eye on her as it got dark, and she started thinking about settling down in the hedge. Then there was a bit of a commotion as the tabby and white cat from one of the neighbouring houses appeared, and she flew up to a branch about five or six feet off the ground. We had to wait about 45 minutes for her to shut her eyes, then I managed to grab her and put her in the Eglu, although she obviously wasn’t very happy about it!

The stapled bite wound in Lucy’s back
We brought the other one back from the vet’s today, and she’s slowly recovering, with staples holding the wounds closed. At least she’s home now, and in the run with Buffy. We decided to call her Lucy, after the vet who treated her.

Written by Kerry

July 28th, 2007 at 1:51 pm

Posted in Chickens

Our thousandth egg

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We got our thousandth egg today, courtesy of Myrtle:

Our thousandth egg

Current scores: Myrtle 416, Ginger 398, Ivy 86 and Bluebell 100 (yes, we’re sad enough to keep a spreadsheet!)

Written by Kerry

October 11th, 2006 at 4:33 pm

Posted in Chickens

So that’s where they’ve been hiding the eggs

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We haven’t been getting many eggs lately, and none at all from Ginger (not unusual) or Ivy. Last time that happened, we eventually found a clutch of nine under a hedge, but I’ve been looking around in vain this time.

Until this afternoon, that is, when I looked a bit closer under a bush, and lo and behold:

Hidden eggs

I can’t help thinking there are some more still waiting to be found.

Written by Kerry

September 29th, 2006 at 3:08 pm

Posted in Chickens

Daft chickens

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There’s only so much value in an automatic door closer when you have to go out every night and lift three of them off the roof of their house and put them inside:

Chickens on the roof of their house

Written by Kerry

September 15th, 2006 at 6:32 pm

Posted in Chickens

New chickens

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We’ve now added two more chickens to our menagerie – A light sussex hybrid called Ivy (on the right of the picture), and a bluebelle called (imaginatively) Bluebell.

Bluebell and Ivy

Written by Kerry

June 17th, 2006 at 7:09 pm

Posted in Chickens

New chicken house

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Having decided to get another couple of chickens, we obviously needed something a bit bigger than the Eglu for them to live in. We ended up buying a Lenham 503, which has room for up to six birds. The chickens aren’t confined to their run during the day any more, but have the run of the garden (which means you have to bribe them with food to be able to get cars in or out!), and we fitted an automatic door opener which opens at dawn and closes at dusk, so they can let themselves out if we don’t get up early.

New Chicken House

Written by Kerry

June 11th, 2006 at 6:58 pm

Posted in Chickens