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Keeping hens and ducks chat.

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  • edwink
    edwink Posts: 2,979 Forumite
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    Hi everyone

    Quick update and our little ancient Biscuit.  She is fine and doing OK, thankfully.  If we are a little way behind her chosen bed time she still visits the ground level hospital hut but as soon as Mr Edwink opens the outer coop door she comes running out to see him every time now. And, he lifts her up, gives her night time cuddle and puts her to bed in her little cosy shelter in her hotel for the night.   In the mornings he goes up and opens the little coop door and out she comes and bounces down the three outdoor steps and straight to her food trough. 

    There is definitely nothing wrong with her and her appetite is still good so that's all positive.  Just old age I guess and not wanting to climb the three outdoor steps or is going to the hospital hut at bedtime knowing full well she will get a nice cuddle and be carried to her proper sleeping shelter.  Method to her madness I think.

    So all in all doing well and spent time out of the coop today when the sun was shining for a while just foraging in one of the flower beds near to the house so we could keep a close eye on her. So we are both happy with how she is doing.

    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: 2,979 Forumite
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    edited 2 April at 9:53PM
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    Saw this article from BBC news online today. Worth reading for those against any poultry being kept in cages. It's not being done soon enough in my opinion but it is a start I guess but looks like some countries are lagging behind already.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-68718569

    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: 15,805 Forumite
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    Sigh, how many years is it going to take before hens are out of cages?? 2030 indeed, and 2035 in some cases. Will be interesting to see if Germany do actually ban cages in 2025, and what the consequences are - I bet they aren't half so dire as they're being made out to be by the industry. 

    Glad to hear Biscuit is still doing well :smile:

  • White_86
    White_86 Posts: 2 Newbie
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    thanks for sharing....
  • edwink
    edwink Posts: 2,979 Forumite
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    Hi everyone

    My little Biscuit is doing really well, thankfully.  We now have a slightly different routine for her for bedtime, her choosing and it works, clever girl she is, bless her.

    Mr Edwink goes up slightly earlier than normal now to lock her in safely for the night and her preferred way is to go to the ground level hospital hut and as soon as Mr Edwink opens the 2 latches to the outer run door she comes running out to greet him and stands by his feet just looking up at him, 😘.  He picks her up, gives her a nice nighttime cuddle and carries her to her sleeping shelter inside her hotel and pops her in.  She shuffles the shavings about making herself a comfortable laying space for the night and nestles down and then she sleeps.  In the morning Mr Edwink goes up opens her little "let me out" door and out she comes on her own, no lifting out involved, and she bobs down the 3 outdoor steps, no problem and straight into her food and very eager to eat.

    We couldn't want for more really from an ancient over six year old ex-battery hen and she is managing well.  So it was just the 3 steps going up into her hotel that she was starting to struggle with as we suspected.  So she adjusted her bedtime routine herself and knew we would be there to assist her. So she uses the hospital hut like a waiting room for a few minutes until Mr Edwink arrives to put her to bed. 

    She is such a happy and independent little chook but just needed a little helping hand because she is aging,

    Mr Edwink has mainly taken over her care as you will probably have noticed from my updates on Biscuit but I do go up and see her when I can but I'm still not 100% myself health wise yet. She does spend quite a bit of time on the grass by the house where we can keep an eye on her but if it is raining we keep her in her run which is huge anyway and she stays dry in there.  So she has the best of both worlds really and that's what we want for 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
  • Cheery_Daff
    Cheery_Daff Posts: 15,805 Forumite
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    Aw bless her 🥰 It's so funny how they train you, isn't it? Our oldest hen, Bessie, somehow managed to train us to let all the other hens out of the coop in the morning, then give her a handful of oats as 'breakfast in bed' before she would descend the steps 1😂 If you ever forgot she would stand there with a stern look and an occasional noise until you came back with them 😂
  • edwink
    edwink Posts: 2,979 Forumite
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    Aw bless her 🥰 It's so funny how they train you, isn't it? Our oldest hen, Bessie, somehow managed to train us to let all the other hens out of the coop in the morning, then give her a handful of oats as 'breakfast in bed' before she would descend the steps 1😂 If you ever forgot she would stand there with a stern look and an occasional noise until you came back with them 😂

    I think hens are a lot more intelligent that people give them credit for.  They certainly know what they want out of life, that's for sure and good on them.

    I had a Speckled hen we named her Fleck and what a complete an utter menace she was and the most stubborn hen I'd ever had.  Speckled hens are actually known for being broody hens and boy she took advantage of it.  I would go up and have a head count around the place and yep she was always no where to be seen foraging out and about like the others.  But, I found her time and time again sitting on all the eggs that had been laid that day and whilst removing them from underneath her she used to scream and quark at me literately and bite my arms and nipped me pretty painfully at times.  I used to remove the eggs and take them indoors and go back out to try and get her to go out for some fresh air but she wouldn't budge. I'd have to lift her out by carry her and place her down on the outside of the hens run and she would then run as fast as she could still screaming her head off, you should have heard her, she'd flap her wings everywhere too, she used to get so cross with me.  But, she wouldn't eat whilst sitting on the eggs and lost weight every year doing this all the time and she had to eat, of course and only ate if I took her out of the run.  As soon as she'd had something to eat, food I'd especially got for her from their feed store she would go running back up to the run and straight back into the nesting box waiting for another hen to lay an egg so she would start the process off again and later in the day I had to do the same again. Literately, I'm not joking, as soon as i'd turn my back she would be off and running back in again but in silent fashion unlike her normal screaming bad temper. I just guessed she was being clever and sneaky and didn't want to bring attention to herself especially if I was still about outside. I used to often hide behind something and watch her and catch her in the act.

    I adored that hen she was such a charter but I would have left her on them, no problem, if only she would eat as well.  I'd tried leaving her with food whilst she sat on the eggs but she would never touch it, ever.  So she did worry me to a certain extent only because her weight would drop and she was incredibly stubborn with it too. 

    I missed that little hen when she went. aww, our dear little fleck.

    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
  • White_86
    White_86 Posts: 2 Newbie
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    Use chicken wire or hardware cloth to create a barrier around your garden. Make sure the fence is at least 2 feet tall and extends below ground to prevent digging.
  • edwink
    edwink Posts: 2,979 Forumite
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    White_86 said:
    Use chicken wire or hardware cloth to create a barrier around your garden. Make sure the fence is at least 2 feet tall and extends below ground to prevent digging.
    Hi

    It's been quiet on here lately so it's nice to have a newer poster. Thank you.

    I have all this in place and more to be honest. Everything is so secure here for my hens or should I say just my one little hen at the moment, bless her. All of our boundaries are very secure with high fencing because my hens have always been Free Range girls for 14 years now.  Their night time run is 26ft x 16ft and the chicken wire boundary is cemented into the ground on all sides so nothing can or could dig anywhere around the boundary to get in by burrowing. The chicken wire is 7ft tall and the run has a chicken wire roof across the whole top of it too, plus now has a perspex roof over that because of the constant Avian Flu lockdown restrictions we have had here in the UK.

    The girls hotel as I call it is attached to the side of their run and even that is totally covered in chicken wire, even the whole roof. So nothing could ever get in there either plus it is on a concrete base so no digging under it could happen either.

    We have had to do all this because we back onto woodland where we live and know there are foxes and badgers about.

    I'll see if I can find some pics to put on here of our set up. That might help others who maybe thinking about keeping hens in the future and obviously would want to keep them safe.  Thankfully, we have a lot of space here that's why their run is so big but it doesn't need to be that big at all.

    I'll see what I can find and post some.


    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: 2,979 Forumite
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    This is not the best clear picture but gives a good idea of where the hens sleep at night. the hens hotel is at the left of this picture behind the big door. 


    **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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