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Keeping hens and ducks chat. Hens & ducks names & how many eggs do you get per day.

edited 7 April at 4:05AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
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  • orangecrushorangecrush Forumite
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    Hello everyone!
    @Cheery_Daff your new ladies are lovely!  How very exciting.  It seems like you've done a really good job settling them in together - I'd love to try to get more but I don't think we have the space to give them two areas so maybe if we get a bigger house we'll add some more?! 
    I hope Chippy gets better, I think they are quite susceptible to stress aren't they?  And this crazy weather won't be helping.
    @Edwink - Bertie is a beauty, bless him!  I imagine you do really miss him, he sounds lovely.  I still miss Rusty, she was so friendly and cuddly. 
    As for me, all is well!  The ladies were in the hen [dog] house lately as they managed to get through my netting and ate ALL my kale plants!  They had a good go at the rhubarb too and then once they'd trashed the veg bed they broke though the netting to the herb bed too... they ate an entire dill plant, then the apple mint seemed to be their favourite, maybe we will get minty eggs?!
    My son is getting to be quite the hen keeper and he's just turned 2.  He wants to go and give the chicks a snack before bed, and put them in their coop every night.  Every morning before nursery he says we have to water the chicks (he means give them water, not pour it on them haha) and he asks if there are any leaves (I feed them my bolted radish seedlings as they appear).  Then we check of eggs and he goes off to nursery!  It's so great seeing him interested in their lives.  He's much kinder to the chickens than he is to the poor cats...
  • Cheery_DaffCheery_Daff Forumite
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    Aw, your son sounds like he's developing a real bond with your hens orangecrush, how lovely!  <3 You'll have to put him on plant guarding duty! Pesky creatures, eating all your food. Ours (touch wood) are well and truly fenced out of the veg patch for now, although I'm just waiting for them to eat all the gooseberries before I get round to picking them... 

    Much nonsense last night - the old ladies had gone to bed, I was in the chicken run on a video call to a friend, but we talked a bit too loudly and Rusty got back out of bed... She chased the new ladies - and Chippy ran to me (for safety I assume) and flew up and sat on my head! :open_mouth::joy::joy: It was SO funny :joy: My friend was laughing and laughing, and so was I, until Rusty ran at the other two, and one of them tried to join Chippy on my head, and there was a lot of flapping and scratching and squarking and getting feet stuck in my hair, and eventually I tipped them all off, abandoned my phone call, shut the older ones in the hen house with the door shut, and left the young ones in the run on their own. 

    Went back later and found the new ladies all huddled up on top of the hen house together, very cute. They were right above the door (which I'd shut, to stop the old ones coming out and harrassing them again), so I'm hopeful that they might be learning where to go to bed... Going to do better supervision tonight and sit there as the old ones go to bed, and see if the new ones follow... We'll see... They were certainly a lot easier to catch once they'd already gone drowsy!



  • edited 30 June at 4:34PM
    edwinkedwink Forumite
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    edited 30 June at 4:34PM
    orangecrush said: The ladies were in the hen [dog] house lately as they managed to get through my netting and ate ALL my kale plants!  They had a good go at the rhubarb too and then once they'd trashed the veg bed they broke though the netting to the herb bed too... they ate an entire dill plant, then the apple mint seemed to be their favourite, maybe we will get minty eggs?! 
    My son is getting to be quite the hen keeper and he's just turned 2.  He wants to go and give the chicks a snack before bed, and put them in their coop every night.  Every morning before nursery he says we have to water the chicks (he means give them water, not pour it on them haha) and he asks if there are any leaves (I feed them my bolted radish seedlings as they appear).  Then we check of eggs and he goes off to nursery!  It's so great seeing him interested in their lives.  He's much kinder to the chickens than he is to the poor cats...
    OMG😮, Sounds as though your hens had a right old feast of all and sundry from your veg beds.  Quite honestly hens are complete and utter hooligans 🤣🤣🤣.  I would have told them that there were NO treats for a month at the very least after eating all that. We had all of our veg chicken wired off from our girls but a few of them still flew over it from time to time.  I remember more than once seeing a trail of trampled spinach and lettuces amongst other things.  Following the trail by eye, I would then see one of the hens chomping on something oblivious of me standing there whilst I was trying to decided which way to go that would cause the least damage to catch her.  More veg used to get flattened with me trying to chase and catch them and I often wondered if it would be better to leave them in there for the day and wait for them to come back to the chicken wire boundary when it was their bedtime.  But, saying that I always thought that if one got in and I left her there the others would see her and would try to get in there too and no doubt succeed. 
     
    What a lovely story about you and your little boy with the hens. I think it is adorable that you are teaching your little boy about your hens at such a young age.  Aww, bless him I bet he looks forward to going to see them when he gets up in the morning and before they go to bed at night.  When we pick our radishes we always twist the leaves off and give them to our girls because they love them.  Be careful with rhubarb leaves with your hens though because the leaves contain Oxalic Acid which is toxic to hens but apparently they would need to eat quite a lot of the leaves to have the toxic effect.  Sounds like your hens found your kale plants and dill much tastier though especially as they demolished the lot.  They do say hens know if something is toxic and as a rule, they will leave it alone.  There is still plenty of time to sow more kale this year if you have seeds left but obviously you'll have the netting to sort out first which is probably a time consuming job in itself.  Honestly, these hens are complete and utter hooligans sometimes  🤣🤣🤣

    Edwink x
    3.36 kWp solar panel system, 10 x Ultima & 4 x Panasonic solar panels, Solaredge Inverter
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    Hens & ducks chat thread
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5282209
  • PyxisPyxis Forumite
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    Shame you didn't film that, Cheery! You and the hens could have been youtube stars! 🤣
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  • edwinkedwink Forumite
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    Cheery_Daff said: Much nonsense last night - the old ladies had gone to bed, I was in the chicken run on a video call to a friend, but we talked a bit too loudly and Rusty got back out of bed... She chased the new ladies - and Chippy ran to me (for safety I assume) and flew up and sat on my head! :open_mouth::joy::joy: It was SO funny :joy: My friend was laughing and laughing, and so was I, until Rusty ran at the other two, and one of them tried to join Chippy on my head, and there was a lot of flapping and scratching and squarking and getting feet stuck in my hair, and eventually I tipped them all off, abandoned my phone call, shut the older ones in the hen house with the door shut, and left the young ones in the run on their own. 
    Went back later and found the new ladies all huddled up on top of the hen house together, very cute. They were right above the door (which I'd shut, to stop the old ones coming out and harrassing them again), so I'm hopeful that they might be learning where to go to bed... Going to do better supervision tonight and sit there as the old ones go to bed, and see if the new ones follow... We'll see... They were certainly a lot easier to catch once they'd already gone drowsy!



    OMG Cheery definitely much nonsense with your lot 🤣🤣🤣  I couldn't stop laughing when I read what yours had been getting up to.  The reason that your new hens were on top of their house is that at night hens will always find the highest place to perch for the night.  Obviously your new girls thought you were not coming back to get them into bed so jumped up on the roof and decided to sleep there 🤣🤣🤣 

    You are right in that they are easier to catch once they have gone drowsy.  Our headcount here was a bit of a nightmare when we first got our girls so we had to wait until they were on the perches and nearly nodding off before we could carry out the headcount properly.  If we didn't do it that way we were forever counting their heads because they kept changing places, bobbing up and down and squabbling. It made it very time consuming and jolly hard work trying to count them all.  Now it is very easy. they go to bed, we count them, lock their door and job done. Thank goodness for that eh?.  It won't be long before your new girls get into a routine with your older girls.

    Edwink x
    3.36 kWp solar panel system, 10 x Ultima & 4 x Panasonic solar panels, Solaredge Inverter
    1 Cayuga duck Hoppy & 23 ex-battery hens - RIP Pingu :love:
    2000ltr Rainwater harvesting system for loo flushing - Hybrid Toyota Auris car

    Hens & ducks chat thread
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5282209
  • Cheery_DaffCheery_Daff Forumite
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    Well, 5th night and we had a breakthrough - the new ladies took themselves to bed in the hen house! 

    Couple of false starts. The older ladies went to bed much h earlier, while the new ones were in their separate quarters, so I let the new ones into the main run. Bonnie was bravest and went into the hen house. All was quiet for a bit... then she. Clearly got a bit too close to one of the others, there was a bit of squarking, and she came back out.

    Left them to it for another half an hour, and when we went back, Bunty had gone in, but heard us and came back out again 😂

    We sat really quiet and still, and after experimentally hopping on us a couple of times, all three ladies rather comically went up the steps to the hen house at the same time, like they REALLY wanted to go to bed but knew the others were in there, so they were egging each other on 😂

    Little bit of muttering, but by that point the others had been in bed for well over an hour and were quite drowsy. Waited for 10 mins after shutting the door but all peaceful.

    Progress!! 😁

    Part of the trouble I think is the new ones are quite young... when we last mixed new hens, they were all rescues, and when the older ones pecked them they just pecked back and it got sorted out quickly. This time the old ones just have to look at the new ones and they're flapping off or jumping up onto us. I'm sure it'll settle down. They're certainly showing interest in being outside... Mr Cheery has built them a secure outside area that they can potter around in so we'll leave them in that for a bit tomorrow. Not letting them proper free range til they get a bit less jumpy... we literally have no fences so we might never catch them again 🙄
  • edwinkedwink Forumite
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    Progress indeed Cheery. Looks like your new girls are finding their feet ok which is excellent.

    I do find some hens so comical especially the young ones because when I introduced mine they almost tiptoed about until they were facing an original hen, then they would scoot off in a different direction.  I am sure they do that most of the time to tease the old girls.  I remember when we introduced our rescue boy Cockerel Bertie, the poor thing was getting pecked from all sides, they didn't hurt him but just let him know they were boss and not him.  I kept saying to the girls "you just wait until he is a few months older then you will know who is boss".  Of course, the girls ignored me and carried on annoying him but several months later he did show them, and then he got his own back, bless him.

    I really enjoy your updates Cheery, thank you x

    Edwink x 
    3.36 kWp solar panel system, 10 x Ultima & 4 x Panasonic solar panels, Solaredge Inverter
    1 Cayuga duck Hoppy & 23 ex-battery hens - RIP Pingu :love:
    2000ltr Rainwater harvesting system for loo flushing - Hybrid Toyota Auris car

    Hens & ducks chat thread
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5282209
  • Cheery_DaffCheery_Daff Forumite
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    Evening chicken chums, how are we all doing?

    A new adventure today - we had to leave all six chickens shut in the run together for a few hours while we went out 😮😮 

    We've been preparing for a few days... putting them all in the run from about 6.30 with the door open to the extended outdoor area so they have plenty of space. Then we sit in the run until the older ladies go to bed, then come back an hour later to encourage the new ones to bed (they go in on their own now, but they do go in and out several times, and it seems they won't stay in there until we come along to shut the door behind them 🙄)

    Anyway, today. We created lots of things to perch on, holes to run through, things to hide behind for the new ones. As many food bowls as there are chickens. Three water bowls, loads of treats scattered all over, and half a lettuce cut into pieces (this hasn't been touched at all, what a waste!)

    We could hear them squarking at each other as we left... 🙄

    Got back at 9pm, so they'd been lone for about 6 hours 😮 Beaky and Bessie were fast asleep - the older ones usually go to bed at half 7. Rusty was still up, but I suspect she might have heard the car and come out - she does that sometimes, even though she usually goes to bed with the others. The three new ones were still up too, being wary of Rusty...

    All four ran outside into the extension when we turned up.... but within five minutes the new ones had hopped into bed. Rusty then came in too, so rather than let her get in behind the new ladies and sandwich them in the middle, we opened the other door of the run and put her in next to Beaky and Bessie.

    Peaceful at last.

    So a slightly stressful afternoon, not least for us 🙄😮😂 But everyone is still alive, and nobody is bleeding, so I' counting it as a success.

    Don't have any more trips planned for a little while though, thank goodness 😂

    Hope you and your beaky pals are all good xx
  • Cheery_DaffCheery_Daff Forumite
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    Afternoon chicken chums! :smiley:

    How are we all? All is ok here - well, with the usual shenanigans of course. Bessie still isn't right, she's losing a load of feathers with this new implant (expected) and has swelled up again (not expected). She's off to the vet again on Wednesday - good job as she has now also done something to her foot. Oh Bessie!

    The new ladies are getting on ok. Rusty went through a few days of pecking them as they went into the hen house at night :angry: Naughty Rusty. She wasn't too bad last night though so fingers crossed. New ladies are having their first free range day today! They're not going far... and they're also not going far from the others - although keeping their distance a bit so they don't get chased... Very tiresome. Mr Cheery is out there supervising at the minute. 

    Other than that, all seems ok. We had our first egg from Bonnie the other day, and TWO eggs from the new ladies this morning! Not sure whether they've all laid now, or whether Bonnie's laid twice. All very cheerful though. Not eaten any yet - our visitors had the two this morning, and Bonnie's is still sat waiting in the kitchen. 

    Nothing much else to report, hope you're all good! 

  • orangecrushorangecrush Forumite
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    Hi @Cheery_Daff!  What a baptism of fire with the new ladies!!  Though it sounds like it all settled down ok?  Sorry to hear about Bessie though, hope she's doing a bit better today?
    All is going ok here!  We have agreed a sale of our house and are trying to find a new one - space for chickens is turning out to be very difficult to find!  We've put an offer on something so just need to cross our fingers that it's accepted, as it would have a nice chickeny space and a pond for wildlife, as well as some nice lawn for my son!
    We've discovered a little problem with the toddler being fond of the chickens - he crept up to their run and let them out the other day and we had no idea.  It was open all night, they could have been fox food quite easily!  We only realised as we found one of the clips that closes the door on the floor.  So, we need to find some toddler proof clips!  He was so sweet though, he is small enough to walk right into the run (we have an Eglu Go Up) and he takes bedding and puts it in their coop and says "night night chick chicks go to bed".  The chicks hunker down for him too now so they know he's part of the flock!  It's great fun.  My husband still says no more hens though :D
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