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Keeping hens and ducks chat.

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  • edwink
    edwink Posts: 2,981 Forumite
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    edited 14 November 2022 at 5:35PM
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    Cheery_Daff said: We've only bought eggs once since we had chickens (when we had a lot of visitors at once!) but now we've only got 2 layers and they've slowed down for winter, we're only getting a couple of eggs a week so we might have to consider it. Outrageous! 

    Popped in to say, did you see edwink and Hoppy made the MSE Top Forum Picks list for the week??

    https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/team-blog/2022/06/forum-highlights-4-november-2022/


    Hello to any new people popping in, you're very welcome to stick around and chat about hens and ducks 😁 Do introduce yourselves and say hello!

    It's been windy here too, and the chickens don't like it, but nothing much we can do. Our coop has a solid roof, not tarp, so at least it doesn't flap about, but we're quite exposed on the top of a hill so the wind does still whip about a fair bit.

    We've finally started the process of another extension 🙄 This one was meant to be simple 😂 More 'outdoors' than the others, with just mesh sides (and a solid roof of some kind). The current one has mostly windows at floor level to avoid the worst of the wind, which is great in winter, butnot great in summer. The top half of all the walls is mesh so it's not like a greenhouse (although they'd probably prefer that in this weather!)

    Anyway, I stupidly bought MASSIVE bits of wood, about 18 months ago now 🙄 and they're so unwieldy we've yet to actually construct the darn thing. 4x4 inches I think, and I think 10 foot long 😂 Completely ridiculously over engineered but there we are. So I need to dig some giant holes... I was thinking it would be easier than the last extension, which is on breezeblocks, and also completely overengineered, but apparently not. 

    Here's a picture (from before the flockdown) with the rough dimensions laid out itn garden canes. The existing run is actually quite light and airy inside despite how dingy it looks from the outside!


    I'll post better pics as we're building it - might take a while as the weather is vile so they won't be using it much anyway. I'd love to see pictures of everyone else's set ups!
    Aww, Bless you Cheery I hadn't noticed the mention of Hoppys black egg on the forum.  Well spotted that lady!  And, thank you for putting the link on too. much appreciated.  You really are on the ball at the moment and I seem to be lagging right behind. Been rather busy outside with Hoppys hotel etc and disinfecting everything so we can allow the hens to go in the duck run to give them more space now they are in Avian lockdown again. There appears to be a lockdown every year now sadly.

    I see you have more plans for your hen run. I think it gets addictive if I'm being honest. That's how we got to the size of ours over the years.  Please do put some more pics on here so we can all see your progress, progress only if the weather allows I guess this time of year.

    We are in the process of filling in the pond now hoppy has gone as she was our last duck, bless her. We have plans to add more trees around that area and plant wildflowers and some daffodils. We already have 17 fruit trees in and around that area so the more the merrier, we think. Thought it would look nice and colourful and give us somewhere nice to sit and enjoy the area now the ducks have all gone. We will make it really nice for them and us. Not the best time of year to be out there especially lifting a huge 10ft by 12ft soggy wet carpet out of the bottom after the pond liner was removed. We are making progress but looks like tomorrow we will be rained off according to the weather forecast. 

    Have been spoiling the hens as they are in lockdown and today for lunch we gave them some Quorn curry mixed with wholegrain rice.  Honestly, those girls and curry would bite my hand off for it given half the chance. There is me sitting on the bench breaking the bits of Quorn up and they are snatching it from me before I've even squashed it before breaking it up. Why not spoil them eh? especially as they are not allowed out to free range properly for the next 4 months. But, at least it is nice and dry in there for them while the weather is pretty vile.

    Just to say hello and welcome to anyone who has popped in to see what our thread is all about. We have some with hens on here and a number of others who post who don't keep hens but obviously like our furry friends and the antics they get up to. Anyway, if you are new on here do say hello because we are a friendly bunch maybe slightly quirky and a bit nutty at times but definitely friendly. 

    Edwink x
    **3.36 kWp solar panel system, 10 x Ultima & 4 x Panasonic solar panels, Solaredge Inverter **Biomass boiler stove for cooking, hot water & heating **2000ltr Rainwater harvesting system for loo flushing - **Hybrid Toyota Auris car **1 ex-battery hen - RIP Pingu, Hoppy & Ginger ****Hens & Ducks**** chat thread. http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5282209
  • SisterAnna
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    So sorry to learn that you have lost your dear Hoppy Edwink. She had a lovely carefree life with you and Mr. Edwink and I am sure could not have wished for more. I really do feel for you because I know you really adored that little duck. I didn't know she laid black eggs either. Wow, what an unusual egg colour x
  • edwink
    edwink Posts: 2,981 Forumite
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    So sorry to learn that you have lost your dear Hoppy Edwink. She had a lovely carefree life with you and Mr. Edwink and I am sure could not have wished for more. I really do feel for you because I know you really adored that little duck. I didn't know she laid black eggs either. Wow, what an unusual egg colour x

    Aww, thank you so much.  Yes, she definitely had a carefree life here, bless her, we did spoil her and I do miss her.  

    Edwink x
    **3.36 kWp solar panel system, 10 x Ultima & 4 x Panasonic solar panels, Solaredge Inverter **Biomass boiler stove for cooking, hot water & heating **2000ltr Rainwater harvesting system for loo flushing - **Hybrid Toyota Auris car **1 ex-battery hen - RIP Pingu, Hoppy & Ginger ****Hens & Ducks**** chat thread. http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5282209
  • edwink
    edwink Posts: 2,981 Forumite
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    More about bird Flu in the news today with more detail about what is happening and why it is so bad this year.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-63464065

    Edwink x
    **3.36 kWp solar panel system, 10 x Ultima & 4 x Panasonic solar panels, Solaredge Inverter **Biomass boiler stove for cooking, hot water & heating **2000ltr Rainwater harvesting system for loo flushing - **Hybrid Toyota Auris car **1 ex-battery hen - RIP Pingu, Hoppy & Ginger ****Hens & Ducks**** chat thread. http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5282209
  • Cheery_Daff
    Cheery_Daff Posts: 15,950 Forumite
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    Hi all,

    A small bit of hopeful news - the British Hen Welfare Trust are tentatively doing a few rehomings after a break (and consultation with Defra of course).

    I signed up for notifications for our nearest places yesterday, and got an email today... and we may have signed up to get a couple of new ladies in January... 😁

    Of course, everything might change by then, so who knows. But we're down to 3 now, and it feels rather small for a flock...

    That said, Mr Cheery carried them individually into our house today for a bit of variety 🙄😂 Given that I was presenting in a zoom meeting at the time, that was being recorded, 3 in the house felt like rather too many!! 😂
  • edwink
    edwink Posts: 2,981 Forumite
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    Cheery_Daff said:  Hi all,
    A small bit of hopeful news - the British Hen Welfare Trust are tentatively doing a few rehomings after a break (and consultation with Defra of course).

    I signed up for notifications for our nearest places yesterday, and got an email today... and we may have signed up to get a couple of new ladies in January... 😁    Of course, everything might change by then, so who knows. But we're down to 3 now, and it feels rather small for a flock...

    That said, Mr Cheery carried them individually into our house today for a bit of variety 🙄😂 Given that I was presenting in a zoom meeting at the time, that was being recorded, 3 in the house felt like rather too many!! 😂

    That's really nice news Cheery that you are going to add to your flock. This Avian Flu is a right pest but fingers crossed that the rehoming can go ahead. I know what you mean when their numbers go down and wanting to get some more. These rescue girls are the sweetest hens ever, bless them.

    All ok here except for being snowed in a bit. Our car is thoroughly covered and we are both not going anywhere today. Mr Edwink has cleared a path up to the hens so we can get up and down from there safely.  It is dark in their run with all the snow on the roof, I really do feel for them. I have given them some warm pasta today for lunch and on other days have given them porridge which helps to keep them warm and busy scratching around for it in the straw. Also, gave them extra straw shavings on the ground of their run to help keep them warmer.  

    Hens are very good at maintaining their body temperature, to be honest, but I always feel that a bit of extra spoiling them brightens their day a little.

    Stay safe everyone.

    Edwink x
    **3.36 kWp solar panel system, 10 x Ultima & 4 x Panasonic solar panels, Solaredge Inverter **Biomass boiler stove for cooking, hot water & heating **2000ltr Rainwater harvesting system for loo flushing - **Hybrid Toyota Auris car **1 ex-battery hen - RIP Pingu, Hoppy & Ginger ****Hens & Ducks**** chat thread. http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5282209
  • twopenny
    twopenny Posts: 5,896 Forumite
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    Apologies for butting in briefly but this seems to be the perfect place to ask.
    I've been buying my eggs from a local rural place because the money goes to the Ukraine. Also they are delicious and free range.

    The last ones the yolks were incredibly pale and the whites wouldn't mix completely with the yolks.
    So i bought organic free range from the locall health food shop and found the same. Though the wites mixed a bit better.

    What's going on? Is it because they have to be indoors, or winter or the food. Not getting plants?

    I've tried researching the net but no clear answer.

    Could you help? I keep wondering and its driving me nuts not knowing.
    Thanks.

    viral kindness .....kindness is contageous pass it on

    The only normal people you know are the ones you don’t know very well


  • edwink
    edwink Posts: 2,981 Forumite
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    edited 18 December 2022 at 4:10PM
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    twopenny said: Apologies for butting in briefly but this seems to be the perfect place to ask.
    I've been buying my eggs from a local rural place because the money goes to the Ukraine. Also they are delicious and free range.

    The last ones the yolks were incredibly pale and the whites wouldn't mix completely with the yolks.
    So i bought organic free range from the locall health food shop and found the same. Though the wites mixed a bit better.

    What's going on? Is it because they have to be indoors, or winter or the food. Not getting plants?

    I've tried researching the net but no clear answer.

    Could you help? I keep wondering and its driving me nuts not knowing.
    Thanks.

    Hi twopenny

    Don't worry you are certainly not butting in at all. 

    It is difficult to say what is going on but from our experience when we rehome ex-battery hens here their egg yolks are incredibly pale.  But, once the hens settle in their new home with nice food, fresh air, and are generally healthier their egg yolks clearly change to orange. You would normally find that "freerange" hens would lay eggs with real orange yolks. 

    I am not sure why the whites would not mix in with your yolks though. I've never come across that before.  Maybe someone else on the hen thread might be able to help with that.  As hens get older they can produce eggs with the whites being somewhat watery but I've never heard of it not mixing in.

    Very often in the winter older hens stop laying completely or lay just a couple of eggs a week and they are not normally the best eggs at this time of year. Mine have stopped laying completely in this cold weather, bless them. Freerange hens are allowed outside as long as they have a roof over their heads and small wild birds can not get through the holes in chicken wire or whatever material hen keepers use for the structure of the hen run. So they are not physically shut indoors if they have overhead covering so they do get fresh air but obviously this time of year it is a lot colder for them.

    It is going to drive me nuts not knowing as well now 🤣🤣🤣

    Take care

    Edwink x
    **3.36 kWp solar panel system, 10 x Ultima & 4 x Panasonic solar panels, Solaredge Inverter **Biomass boiler stove for cooking, hot water & heating **2000ltr Rainwater harvesting system for loo flushing - **Hybrid Toyota Auris car **1 ex-battery hen - RIP Pingu, Hoppy & Ginger ****Hens & Ducks**** chat thread. http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5282209
  • twopenny
    twopenny Posts: 5,896 Forumite
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    Thank you for the try Edwink. I can't see the hens in the place in the lane as it's surrounded by a big hedge and no, never have I come across the whites thing.
    It was pre the freezing weather.

    The shop batch come from a large commercial farm I've been using for ages so that was a surprise to find too.

    Sadly the villagers who would sell eggs (and surplus veg) have been replaced by peeps who just want a pretty location. 

    viral kindness .....kindness is contageous pass it on

    The only normal people you know are the ones you don’t know very well


  • edwink
    edwink Posts: 2,981 Forumite
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    twopenny said: Thank you for the try Edwink. I can't see the hens in the place in the lane as it's surrounded by a big hedge and no, never have I come across the whites thing.
    It was pre the freezing weather.

    The shop batch come from a large commercial farm I've been using for ages so that was a surprise to find too.

    Sadly the villagers who would sell eggs (and surplus veg) have been replaced by peeps who just want a pretty location. 

    There is a farm about 4 to 5 miles away from us and they have high hedging around the boundary where cars drive through the lanes. They never take any notice of the Avian Flu lockdown and never have done from what I am told. My brother works there, not with the hens though, he has said the hens are all there out and about and have never been kept undercover during any government Avain Flu lockdown.  It makes me so cross as we are so small compared to that massive farm and we stick by the rules and always have done.

    Personally, we don't trust shop eggs so if our girls don't lay any we go without.  I wish there was someone like us locally who I could buy from, I really do.

    There is another hen keeper, Cheery Daff, who posts on this thread, she may have heard of the problem you are having with your egg whites. She bakes quite a bit so she might have some idea. Do pop back because she is often about on here somewhere. 

    Edwink  
    **3.36 kWp solar panel system, 10 x Ultima & 4 x Panasonic solar panels, Solaredge Inverter **Biomass boiler stove for cooking, hot water & heating **2000ltr Rainwater harvesting system for loo flushing - **Hybrid Toyota Auris car **1 ex-battery hen - RIP Pingu, Hoppy & Ginger ****Hens & Ducks**** chat thread. http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5282209
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