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Wanting to start keeping hens

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  • #61
    One of our new ones has been pecked to the point of drawing blood and a nasty wound on the back of her head. I’ve separated her into our second temporary coop. Is there a way you can separate her for a bit but keep her in sight of the others?

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    • #62
      Hello Stan. Not sure i have any means of separating them. I have observed them today and it seems to have calmed down a bit apart from one. She keeps looking under the other hens and pecking them. If a feather is plucked they all go mad for the feather. I have stopped giving a couple of handfuls of mixed seed for them to scratch about with as i have noticed a big reduction in the amount of layers pellets they are eating. The seed was just a cheapish bag that was meant to be for treats but i suspect they fill up on that rather than eat the layers pellets. I have stopped just in case they are not getting the right amount of goodness from the layers with the seeds? Hope that makes sense?

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      • #63
        ^ Makes good sense. Feather plucking may be associated with a calcium deficiency. The layers pellets should have all they need. But if you notice it continuing, you might want to consider grinding up some of the shells and feeding that back to them (mine will eat bits of shell of about 2 x 2 mm, so the bits don't have to be tiny) or getting some kind of supplement for them. Probably for sale where you buy the pellets. Good luck.

        You're being very observant and caring well for your birds.
        Living in north-east Spain, where the sun is too hot, the rain too torrential, the hail too big, the wind too windy and the snow too deep.

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        • #64
          My "old" hen picks on the 3 newbies that I picked up 2 weeks ago and one of the 3 is picked on by the other 2. This one I call Flo because she flies everywhere to escape. Up on top of the coop and the nest box and if she can't fly up, she goes under the coop or wherever she can find.
          She's also the friendliest and follows me round the garden like a dog at heel.
          Perhaps you could put some hiding places in your run, Andy? It looks a bit open and they do like to have quiet areas where they can escape. Maybe branches/perches that they can fly up to?
          I have an old coffee table with their feeders on and they dig around beneath it as well as under the coop which is up on pallets.

          Do you have a roof over any of the run? They like a bit of shade, especially in this hot weather and protection from the rain!
          Last edited by veggiechicken; 14-07-2019, 07:59 PM.

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          • #65
            Good idea VC I will see what I can come up with tomorrow.

            The run is 2/3 covered with a waterproof sheet that gives them shade and keeps them dry.
            Last edited by quietandy; 14-07-2019, 08:48 PM.

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            • #66
              Here is my run. 6mx3m and I have added a couple of higher perches. I am also going to raise the hen house maybe 12"-18" off the ground to stop any furries calling it home under there. I moved the house to that corner as you can see it's shaded from the mid day sun.Click image for larger version

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              • #67
                So the hen house is now 18" above ground. Mr Roland won't be calling under this home any time soon. Added bonus of shade and an extra area for the girls to explore.Click image for larger version

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                • #68
                  That's great, Andy. They'll love having the extra space to run around. My lot like to dust bath under the coop.

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                  • #69
                    It's looking absolutely FANTASTIC
                    If I'm not on the Grapevine I can usually be found here!....https://www.thecomfreypatch.co.uk/

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                    • #70
                      That is a proper beauty of a hen house. Congratulations. Your hens must be very happy.
                      Living in north-east Spain, where the sun is too hot, the rain too torrential, the hail too big, the wind too windy and the snow too deep.

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                      • #71
                        Hello. Time for my next question. I have been thinking about my dwarf fruit trees that are sitting in pots at the moment. Could I plant them in the ground of the chicken run? Would the hens eat the leaves and or the fruit next year? Was just thinking it would provide shade and interest for them. I have apple, cherry, plum and apricot dwarf trees if that makes any difference?

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                        • #72
                          They'll have a go at anything green - and jump for it! Only plant in there something you don't care about.

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