Saturday, 30 March 2013

Please feel free to ignore this post.
Apparently google reader is closing, so I am claiming ownership of this blog on the bloglovin' platform.
Nothing here will change really.

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Thursday, 28 March 2013

The Sun Shines

The sun has been shining today, even though it is still very cold.

The hens have taken the chance to all sit right up against the wooden shed to try and soak up some of the warmth without any wind.  They stretch out one leg and one wing and kind of sit on their sides!  They've loved the warmth today.
We spent some time with them finding worms and slaterbugs for them.  When they grab at a worm they go pick it up in the middle and then whack it onto the ground - seems like they do this to shake off the soil.

...and Rosie

I gave Rosie's bottom feathers a warm bath today, but I took a warm basin of water and 2 cloths and did it outside in the sunshine.  I thought she'd enjoy getting dried in the sunshine but unfortunately she was hunched up and seemed a bit depressed for the rest of the afternoon.  She did snooze up against the shed wall with the others though.

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Chicken Prolapse

My Mister has had a sore back and has been stuck in bed for over a week, unable to move.
Thankfully he is feeling a bit better these last couple of days, and he thinks he'll manage a shower and shave today - so I asked for some photos of him with his beard and the hens, before he shaves it off.
My Mister with Matilda
Mister with Rosie, our blue bantam Orpington
Usually he is clean shaven so this has been somewhat of a novelty.

And now, about the prolapse...

When he put our black Australorp Matilda back down onto the ground, I noticed a part of her bottom sticking out!  It looked quite scary and she did seem distressed about it, she was standing very still, made herself look quite big and seemed to be waiting.  It was a bit like a pink bubble poking out of her.

After I took a few photos of it (sorry they're blurry, I was a bit concerned) the bubble went back inside and she was back to normal.
I was glad to get a couple of photos though, because I have seen this happen to Matilda before.
Now at least I could research and find out what the trouble is.  
As Matilda's prolapse went back inside, I won't need to administer anything, but I will monitor her each day.
Looking at the list of causes on The Chicken Chick's blog post, I would say that the most likely for Matilda is that she started laying whilst too young or still to small.  Perhaps it would have been better to put her on growers pellets for the first month of her living with us, instead I put all four hens onto layers pellets.
Hopefully if she gets a bit bigger soon, then this problem will sort itself out as she gets a bit older.

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Life Goes On

Since I last wrote on my Chicken Diary, things have been going along as usual in the hen house.
The other hens don't seem to notice that Didee is missing and have continued to enjoy their little lives scratching, pecking, and inspecting everything that is new.  Our three remaining hens have been travelling around together as a flock of 3.  It is so nice to see their togetherness.
I am getting used to the idea that Didee is gone and spending time with the other hens does cheer me up.  I took a few feathers from her and have put them aside safely.  I saw another blogger named Tammy had a photo of cooking a recipe on her blog, and in the background there was a framed picture of a feather with a hen's name above it.  This looks like a lovely idea to memorialise my first ever hen to leave us.  So maybe I'll do that some time in the future, but not just now.

In the meantime...

We are measuring our vegetable beds so that we can buy some netting to protect them from the hens.  They just love anything that is new and bright green!  We let them out of the pen whilst we were in the garden.  They are so sweet, they follow us around a lot.  We find logs and stones to turn over so that they can spot any slugs or grubs to gobble down.  They must follow us with hope in their little hearts that we will show them a tasty treat.  Rosie our other bantam blue Orpington is bonding a lot more with the other two hens now that her sister is gone.  Such a sweet little flock we have.  Bizzy Lizzy is so keen to get to fresh greens that she pokes her entire head and neck through the netting to get at the green grass on the other side. 


Bizzy Lizzy our bantam Scots Dumpy has been laying every second day, and on the alternate days our black bantam Australorp Matilda lays.  Then at the end of the week they surprised us by laying on the same day, so we got two eggs.
Rosie still hasn't given us any eggs, it's been nearly two weeks now.  I do hope she will come back into lay.  I wonder if giving her the bath stressed her out too much and caused her to stop laying?

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Didee was our little Friend

Bizzy Lizzy and Matilda have been laying very well this week, but not Rosie or Didee.
 Our poor Didee.  Didee has died.
It is very, very sad and I am inconsolable at the moment.  
I know I will be alright soon enough, but right now I am too sad.  

We tried lots of things:
This week I tried giving her warm baths in case it was a stuck egg, and to help keep her bottom feathers stay clean.  I've fed her cheese and porridge in case it's a tummy problem, I've cleaned the house out thoroughly and moved the run to fresh ground.  I even put her on a hot water bottle so that she could conserve her energy.  But she has not been eating or drinking and I put her in the nest box in the afternoons, where she just sat.

Didee was our little friend and we will miss her very much.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

All is Rosie

The last few days Matilda and Bizzy Lizzy have really gotten into the swing of egg-laying.  It's amazing how proficient they are, despite it being their very first ever egg-laying season.  Such little miracles.
And then today... for the first time ever... we have three eggs!!!!
We thought Rosie was acting all nesty and now she is a layer too!
Our three layers - we're so proud of them!

She laid us a wee, long, pale brown egg on the ground amongst the kicked up moss, beneath their ramp.  Funny little Rosie.  Now she'll have to learn where the real nests are that the other girls use.  I'm sure she'll get the hang of it soon, as the other two worked it out despite no other hens showing them the way.

Our poorly hen Didee was looking a bit better today too.

Aaah, all is looking Rosie in the hen house today!