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Keeping hens and ducks chat.
edited 27 April 2021 at 11:46PM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
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More bird flu in the news today
We have had hens since September 07, hatched a clutch of Light Sussexes, and kept Araucanas and hybrids, and have kept Runner and Campbell ducks, and quail.
The Smallholders’ pellets have gone up so much recently. The cheapest we can get is at the local farm feeds supplier at £14. Their mixed seed and grain scatter corn has almost doubled in price. Is it much the same everywhere? I miss the vouchers from Allen and Page, and the show price offers from the National and Federation poultry shows.
We reduced the flock, dispatching the oldest and least productive who had enjoyed the freedom of the garden, when the Defra regulations seemed likely to apply everywhere.
It was sad to lose the five year old Cream Legbar hybrids and the occasional pale blue egg, but if there was to be a national poultry feed shortage two unproductive, crotchety hens really had to go. They would bully the others in a confined space.
The two remaining seemed to settle to being confined in the run. We bought two pullets in August for eggs through Winter and isolated them in the second Eglu. We have just three hybrid hens now, two Copper Black and commercial brown.
They have laid all through Winter, though only a few on the shortest days. We freeze two dozen lightly beaten eggs in individual pots in case they don’t lay. One Winter we had just the quail eggs as they carried on laying with just a few hours extra light from a rechargeable shed light. An omelette took about 16 eggs, a cake about ten, though one was just right for an egg wash on a pie.
The poultry and egg auction at Penkridge Market has closed for good now. Another sad loss.
We have two little partridge Wyandottes that are kept as pets; named after elderly aunts Mary and Agnes.
Easy to keep under cover but they aren't happy about it and continually make a bid for freedom whenever they can!
Seems a lot of bother for two little feather babies but if the powers that be think necessary to track and contain bird flu we'll comply of course.
The proposal is that all domestic birds are to be registered. Is Defra planning to send men in biohazard suits to exterminate a child’s budgie if it is not registered?
I expect we will need a licence for a bird table next.
Welcome to our feathered friend's thread Nelliegrace and Doveling. Nice to have you on board with us.
Doveling that's Interesting about the bit you read in the guardian regarding rules changing and having to register all hens.
Nelliegrace thank you so much for the link
My girls are definitely happier free ranging and foraging. I wish the poultry lockdown would end. Lockdown seems longer and longer each year. I lost one of my ex-battery hens over the weekend. They are all getting on a bit for ex-batts, bless them
I was reading this article about homes in Hemsby sadly going into the sea so have started to be demolished. Halfway down the article, I couldn't believe that Hemsby Independent Lifeboat Crew had rescued 2 chickens from one of the at-risk properties.
I've read about the rescuing of dogs and maybe cats at times but chickens, aww how lovely of them to do that. That's 2 lucky chickens in that picture.
Hope you and your feathered friends are all doing ok. Mine have had a right old treat today because the sun had been on the lawn from first thing this morning we were able to get the lawnmower out for the first time this year. So that's 3 large buckets of grass cuttings for 3 hens. That should keep them extra busy because as soon as the buckets were emptied they were straight in the pile, bless 'em they are so easy to please sometimes. For the last couple of months, we have been giving them a whole bucket of soil dug up from anywhere around the place and they have enjoyed those too.
No news yet as to when the Avian Flu lockdown is ending, unless I've missed something in the news. Has anyone else heard anything?
Our hens are under clear tarpaulin and enjoyed the sun today. 15 eggs last week from the three of them.