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Keeping hens and ducks chat.

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  • edwink
    edwink Posts: 2,968 Forumite
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    edited 12 July 2023 at 9:36PM
    starnac said:
    edwink said:


    The start of her dust bath without my help, they are old but still keep themselves clean, bless them x

    Mine do this. I never thought to cover them over. Thank you. I will try it
    I just sprinkle the soil over them slowly, they help mind you. While I'm getting flicked with soil by them flapping their wings I just get handfuls and sprinkle the soil on their backs and it soon piles up. When I had more than a few hens here I actually covered 3 of them that were all in the dustbath together. I just left them all covered with soil just with their heads sticking out of the soil. When you dig in and feel the soil on a hot day it is really cool and that's why they like it. And, if they are calm and really chilled out I give them a back massage too. When they are covered in soil I just very gently move my fingers over their back so I am rubbing the soil into their skin which is good to keep the mites away.  That's why they dust bath anyway to keep themselves clean. Clever little things they are.

    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
  • starnac
    starnac Posts: 5,917 Forumite
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    That is really clever. I love how animals just know what they need. 
    Goals for September
    Declutter 10/20
    Money Made £56.52/£200
    Overpayments £0/£200 not this month as need to put into savings instead
  • edwink
    edwink Posts: 2,968 Forumite
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    Hi everyone

    Hope everyone and their feathered friends are ok.

    Sadly I knew this day would come that we are now down to one single hen. I was dreading this and now it is here I shall do all I can for her to stop her feeling lonely as we don't want to get any more just yet. We lost her pal during the night, I am sure it was down to her age as they are both old for ex-battery girls, bless them. So now we only have little Biscuit with us. I was dreading this!

    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
  • sammyjammy
    sammyjammy Posts: 7,376 Forumite
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    edwink said:
    Hi everyone

    Hope everyone and their feathered friends are ok.

    Sadly I knew this day would come that we are now down to one single hen. I was dreading this and now it is here I shall do all I can for her to stop her feeling lonely as we don't want to get any more just yet. We lost her pal during the night, I am sure it was down to her age as they are both old for ex-battery girls, bless them. So now we only have little Biscuit with us. I was dreading this!

    Edwink x
    Oh Edwink thats so sad, I am sure you will keep your remaining hen happy, just think of the wonderful second life you gave them all x
    "You've been reading SOS when it's just your clock reading 5:05 "
  • starnac
    starnac Posts: 5,917 Forumite
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    Aw Edwink, I am so sorry to hear this. You have given them all a wonderful retirement. 

    Are you planning to have a break from chicken keeping for a while?
    Goals for September
    Declutter 10/20
    Money Made £56.52/£200
    Overpayments £0/£200 not this month as need to put into savings instead
  • edwink
    edwink Posts: 2,968 Forumite
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    edited 22 July 2023 at 1:09AM
    edwink said:Hi everyone  Hope everyone and their feathered friends are ok.

    Sadly I knew this day would come that we are now down to one single hen. I was dreading this and now it is here I shall do all I can for her to stop her feeling lonely as we don't want to get any more just yet. We lost her pal during the night, I am sure it was down to her age as they are both old for ex-battery girls, bless them. So now we only have little Biscuit with us. I was dreading this! Edwink x

    Oh Edwink thats so sad, I am sure you will keep your remaining hen happy, just think of the wonderful second 
    life you gave them all x



    starnac said:
    Aw Edwink, I am so sorry to hear this. You have given them all a wonderful retirement. 

    Are you planning to have a break from chicken keeping for a while?

    Thank you ladies it means so much when I am supported on our lovely chicken thread especially when I lose one of mine. It is hard, isn't it? I will do my best to keep little biscuit occupied, bless her. Todays spoiling has been cheese spread out of the container which is now hers, chopped apple, and broken pieces of dandelion. Also, a big bucket of new straw shavings this morning in her run to scratch about in. She has been out of the run for most of the day and has had a nice dust bath and followed me about when I was pottering. She was chirping away, love her.

    Yes, we are going to have a break from chicken keeping for a while. Just so we can go away a bit and also spend some time visiting friends and family that have moved away. We have kept ducks and chickens for 14 years now and have found that they have restricted us from going on holiday. We did have a hen sitter who we paid to come and let them out and put them away again at night but she is 81 now bless her and hates driving in the dark. She allowed us to go away for a few days at a time which was lovely but we both feel we need a holiday or two at some stage. 

    Thank you again, ladies.

    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
  • starnac
    starnac Posts: 5,917 Forumite
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    The holiday thing is the one downside I find with chickens. My in-laws live 4hours away and we like to stay over for a few days when we visit as we can't go that often with work and school. But since getting the chickens I feel bad about asking my mum to look after them. Last time she rang me and asked if she could stay over in my house as she didn't want to drive home in the dark. (Thankfully I always change my bedsheets before going away as I like to come home to clean sheets! :lol: )

    We are thinking of putting a day bed or similar in one of our spare rooms (which the kids have taken over as a library) so that she can stay without feeling awkward about it. But I still feel like I'm putting on her with the dog and the chickens. The dog could go into kennels but my mum wouldn't be happy about that if she was planning to stay at mine. 

    It's something I need to get used to - either being happy with asking my mum or staying home while DH takes the kids to see his family. 
    Goals for September
    Declutter 10/20
    Money Made £56.52/£200
    Overpayments £0/£200 not this month as need to put into savings instead
  • edwink
    edwink Posts: 2,968 Forumite
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    Hi everyone

    Hope you and your hens are all keeping well.

    Just a little update on little Biscuit. Thankfully she is managing ok, I'm pleased to say. She is still getting extra treats every day to make sure she is encouraged to keep her weight up. Today she had a little grated cheese, some raspberries which she gets every day, and some Mealworms which she loves. We try and keep her treat food as varied as possible to keep her interested in eating. She is still eating some pellets in the morning but she is no longer laying and they are Layers Pellets so we give her lots of other things as well. Any excuse to provide treats eh? Yesterday she had some mashed potato and I only wish I had my phone with me to take a pic because it was all around her face and she was trying to flick it off but it was landing on me.  At least she enjoyed it though, bless her.


    I just wish the weather would cheer up here so she can come out of the run more. We leave the door ajar so she can come and go as she pleases. She got caught in a downpour the other day, love her, as she knew it had started to rain but for some reason just ambled back to her run which was quite a way for little legs, and then the heavens opened so I am shouting "Biscuit run, run, run" but she ignored me and carried on strolling up there. Honest;y that little hen doesn't appear to have the sense she was born with, bless her.

    Will update again soon.  Take care, 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
  • starnac
    starnac Posts: 5,917 Forumite
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    I love the image of you standing there shouting "Run Biscuit Run" :lol: That is so lovely. I have 5 ladies and they are constantly out in the rain. We built them a shelter in the run so that they could be outside but covered over but they still just amble about, getting soaked through. Then they look like sad little things with their feathers so wet. But I just can't get them to stay out of the rain. 

    I let them out into the wider garden the last time we had some dry weather here. I was pottering about so I thought I would let them wander in the grass for a while. DH at some point brought me a cup of tea so I sat on the steps to the top garden to drink it. One of ladies, Merida (she's always been the bravest one!) came over and looked like she was going to step up onto my lap so I moved my arm to try to scoop her up onto my lap. As I did so, she hopped onto my arm and stayed there like a bird of prey! It was hilarious. She sat there very happily for about 5 minutes until her sisters started arguing over something they had found in the grass and she hopped down to see what they were fighting over (a worm probably!) 
    Goals for September
    Declutter 10/20
    Money Made £56.52/£200
    Overpayments £0/£200 not this month as need to put into savings instead
  • Cheery_Daff
    Cheery_Daff Posts: 15,697 Forumite
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    Morning all,

    Edwink, so sorry you have lost another hen, and Biscuit is now on her own. Sounds like she is being spoiled rotten with you - just as it should be 😊 Bless her. I dreaded getting down to one as well - as you know, we rehomed our final two, but I never could have done it with any we'd had for more than a few weeks, we were far too attached. We are still very sad, but I'm glad our older ones went first in the end. 

    I do miss their funny little antics though, and having them pottering in the garden (and house 🙄) and jumping on my knee. Starnac, I can just imagine you sat there with one on your arm like an Eagle 😂😂
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