Big Fat Renee

Hi keepers, the end of an era, Big Fat Renee has passed away. She was a force to be reckoned with, a Light Sussex, an ironic name for such a bird, she was huge, the same as the two featured in the ‘Chicken Police’ vid below. It was very sudden and quick, she was standing in the middle of the garden, and then gone, a heart attack is all I can think happen, it was over in a matter of seconds. We think she was at least 5 years old, hard to know exactly as we got her as an adult, she was an ex show bird, we should have called her ‘Lola’ based on that. Her character will be sadly missed by us, but I don’t think the rest of the flock will miss her to much, she was very greedy, and stood over the feed so none of the others could get a look in.

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Your Feedback

Hi Keepers, the most viewed post on this site is Egg Bound Treatment Works, it has also had the most responses or replies,  this came through yesterday and I wanted to share it with you all, incase you didn’t see it in the reply section, it was posted by Penny.

Penny’s Post

I have just had the same problem with one of our chickens, If she is dragging her behind, walking like a penguin & has her mouth open she is in pain, she is most probably Egg Bound. Don’t give up on her I never did.

Firstly do the warm water bath as suggested above, (Must hold. her bottom section under the warm water for at least 20 minutes.), then remove her, put on a plastic glove & oil your index finger with Vaseline or Olive oil.  Shove your finger in the vent & move it around to oil the inside of the vent as well as the outside. Dry her off as well as you can & put her in a separate cage away from the other chickens as they will just peck her & she must be kept warm & quiet so she can relax.If you can bring her inside all the better.

Then lastly go & get a Thick Towel put the towel in hot water or warm the wet towel in the microwave for a few minutes. Then wrap the towel in a plastic bag (I used two bags) It will keep the towel warm for a few hours, also will keep your towel clean. If you have a hot water bottle you could also use that wrap that in a dry towel, make sure it is not to warm as you don’t want to burn her. Put this under the chicken in the cage, she will straight away climb on top of it, (You will also notice that she will stop panting.the warmth helps to ease the pain).

 Our chicken was like this for 3 days & I had to repeat this procedure twice. I also took her down to the chicken run every morning & every night for her to stretch her legs & have some food.Also see that she has water at all times available in her cage. On the 3rd morning I looked in her cage & there it was ONE HUGE EGG!! & One happy chicken & An Even happier owner, never give up. “While their is life there is hope” Cheers Penny.

I welcome your feedback, as it helps us all learn more and in turn be better carers for your birds.

Bird Brain Not So Small After All

Hi Keepers, someone recently sent me this on Facebook, I found it interesting and thought you might too.

Minorca Saves The Day

Hi there keepers, recently as some of may have read, we have had no eggs for the first time in nearly two years, last winter didn’t seem to effect

Manuella

 the girls laying like this winter has. As my other half was doing alot of baking last week, she had go and buy some eggs from the supermarket, free range of course, I must admit I had a slight feeling of guilt mixed with disapointment.

Well this may have been just the prompting the hens needed, as no sooner had we bought the eggs, infact we hadn’t actually cracked any of them, when Manuella our Minorcan started laying again, as we were told by the chicken breeder we bought our hens from, Minorca’s are winter layers. So when all the other breeds are closed for winter, in steps the Minorca to bridge the gap.

So I urge to invest in at least one Minorca, so you have a nearly constant supply of eggs all year, not only that, they are also such a beautiful bird, distinct colouring, black feathers that emit all the spectrum of colours when the sun hits them,  they have these delightful white wattles that grow near the ears, and a floppy large red comb to top them off, Manuella Gonzales Conchita, her full name, is one of my favourites in our small flock.

The Joy Of Eggs

Hi there readers, eggs eggs eggs, I cannot say enough about the quality of the eggs our hens produce, as I’m sure other keepers will relate, the taste, colour and nutrience is far above the mass produced varieties that fill our supermarket shelves. I have written previously of the health qualities of the home grown egg or organic egg, mainly the omega contents can be up to 500% more than that of a supermarket egg.

The second best use of the eggs is giving them to friends and family, it’s great to hear the responses from those who are so used to the pale tasteless battery variety, I hope that it will encourage them to buy organic eggs, or better still get some of their own hens.

 It costs less than the price of 6 organic eggs  to keep 3 hens per week.  

eggs eggs eggs

Finally Renee Lays

Hi there, we have had a Light Sussex hen now for a good 10 months, we got her as a hen, she was a show bird, and the breeder saad she wasn’t sure if was laying, anyway we took her home, she looked like a good hen. She’s a big girl, and it has taken her a while to be accepted by the flock, however she wasn’t laying, and I mentioned to the other half, how she might be nice for christmas, bit of sage n onion, well funny thing is she starting the very next day, I swear they can understand us, now I just have to get her to stop doing her rooster impression in the mornings and we’ll all be happy.

 Renee

Renee

Egg bound Treatment Works

Hi there keepers, firstly appologies to any out there who have missed my regular postings, I have been very busy at work, and therefore haven’t had the time to post daily.

Anyway on to the business of trapped eggs. If you read the previous post about Daphne having this problem then you’ll already know the treatments that were suggested to me, but I shall go through them again for those that haven’t read the previous posts on the matter.

After catching the afflicted hen, and placing her under your arm like a rugby ball, head out the back, bum facing up, try the following.

Fistly inspect the vent to see if the egg is trapped at the vent, also look to see if they is a white discharge from the vent, if so this is just the urates passing around the egg, meaning that the solids are trapped behind the egg, futher up the tube.

Now to try and aid the realease of the egg, it is suggested that you don a rubber glove, preferrably( for the hen), that you lubricate the finger with vaseline, ky or olive oil, this will make it more comfortable for the hen, and add lubrication to help the egg past easier.

Inside the vent there are two passages, the top one  is where the egg comes down, word of caution this next detail wasn’t in anything I read, there may(probably is) alot of trapped wind, so you might not want to be looking to directly at the vent when you insert the oilled finger.

So apon entering through the vent you want go immediately up, when I did this I thought I could feel the top of the egg, but only just at the tip of my forefinger, I just very gently massage around the egde of the egg, it did feel soft shelled. It ‘s important not to break the egg, as this may lead to futher complications. I imagine this method alone would only work if the egg was trapped right at the opening of the vent.

The other method I incorporated with the above, was the warm bath, this sounds easier, I thought, well what you do is fill the basin with very warm ( warmer than hen body temperature), then sumerge the lower half of the hen in water, ensuring that her vent gets a good clean, and hold her in in there for 20 mins, this is a long time to hold a hen still in a basin, but it needs to be 20 mins to work, 10 mins won’t always do it, so the longer you can hold her in there for the better, this just generally helps all the muscles relax, loosens everything up. Daphne even closed her eyes for a little while during her second warm bath.

After the bath I gently dried her with an old towel, and let her back out in to the garden with the others, and the very next day her tail was up again, as we let our hens free range I didn’t find the offending egg. So if you have a hen that bum points to ground, try these methods first before taking an expensive visit to the vets.

Daphne our silent shaver

Daphne our silent shaver