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    •  
      CommentAuthorChicken Wing
    • CommentTimeOct 25th, 2008 9:40am (Oct 25th 2008)
     
    Can anyone advise me on how lower temperature chickens can survive at? As one of our new hens the White Star (Snowdrop) seems to be feeling the cold and is huddled up under the Eglu looking very sad. She is the smallest of the hens and I get the impression that her feathers don't seem quite as thick as the other three. She is also a lot slighter than the other hens. Does anyone have any ideas as to what might help?
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeOct 25th, 2008 12:24pm (Oct 25th 2008)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    As long as the chicken is not a young chick or very old, they should be fine in temperatures above zero degrees Fahrenheit, so about -20 c? Obviously if it gets towards 0*c, close the coop door tight, give them lots of straw / bedding material etc to keep them warm and happy...

    Is she definitely just cold and not showing signs of other illness?
    •  
      CommentAuthorChicken Wing
    • CommentTimeOct 27th, 2008 9:47am (Oct 27th 2008)
     
    Many thanks for the advice Red I have put extra straw in the bed box so they have been a little warmer I think. My last 2 hens had a privileged life as they were in a large brick shed ajoining the house and had a frost buster radiator for the frosty evenings set on just above freezing.
    I'm sure Snowdrop is happier now that she can be warmer at night and she is now first to leave the run in the morning.
    Once again many thanks for your help
    :thanks:
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeOct 28th, 2008 10:21am (Oct 28th 2008) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    No problem, glad Snowdrop is happier :001_smile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorChicken Wing
    • CommentTimeOct 28th, 2008 10:43am (Oct 28th 2008)
     
    Snowdrop is a lovely hen she is such a petite little hen she is sometimes known as the little ballerina. Although I have just chased her around the run for approx 20 mins trying to get an elder leaf out of her beak without success. She ate it before I could get to it!
    I just hope that it doesn't do her any harm as apparently all of the elderberry bush/plant is poisonous and contains a cyanogenic in the shoots, bark, and leaves.
    "I will have to keep an eye on her for a few days I think"
    :sad::fingerscrossed:
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeOct 28th, 2008 4:25pm (Oct 28th 2008)
     
    Well the bereries and flowers aren't poisonous, so I don't reckon the rest of it'd do her any harm. Unless she chops one down without asking the witch first, of course.
    • CommentAuthorollie in UK
    • CommentTimeOct 28th, 2008 5:28pm (Oct 28th 2008)
     
    I just had a look on Wikipedia and it is fascinating.
    I just love the words "mucilaginous taste" referring to the dried flowers.
    Elder is not so poisonous as may be thoght but can have pretty drastic effects unless you know what you are doing!

    Culpepper declares, 'purgeth the brain.'

    The fresh root of S. Canadensis has been found extremely poisonous. This is an American variety.
    •  
      CommentAuthorChicken Wing
    • CommentTimeOct 29th, 2008 9:40am (Oct 29th 2008)
     
    Thanks for the info Ollie. Snowdrop looks fine this morning so I hope that its a good sign.

    CC Do you know any witches I can get permission from before we trim the lady of the forest(Elder) back?

    Just glad my snowdrop is going to be ok. Can't help being a bit of a worrier!
    :sad:
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeOct 29th, 2008 2:48pm (Oct 29th 2008)
     
    :) No, not personally; I always just ask generally! I thought YOU might be a witch...:)
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeOct 29th, 2008 9:09pm (Oct 29th 2008)
     
    I know a witch!! She's a white witch - does that count? I can ask her tomorrow if you like!
    • CommentAuthorollie in UK
    • CommentTimeOct 29th, 2008 9:37pm (Oct 29th 2008)
     
    CW said:- "know any witches I can get permission from before we trim the lady of the forest(Elder) back?"

    I have been known to practice such things... eg.,
    Today in shopping mall, folks walking straight into me, even one couple from behind - proving I have powers of invisibility!
    G'daughter calms crying babies in cafes etc by throwing them a 'magic hug'.

    So trim away at your elder....

    Blessings.
    •  
      CommentAuthorChicken Wing
    • CommentTimeOct 30th, 2008 9:28am (Oct 30th 2008)
     
    Thanks for the blessing Ollie

    Poor Pumpkin chicken she has been outcast by the other hens and they won't let her eat with them they keep pecking her face and she walks away from the food. I sat in with her this morning and kept them away from her for a while but I don't know if this is a good or a bad thing as it might cause them to think I favour her, making it worse!
    Feeling like the mother hen at the mo trying to sort out the conflicts arising between them. :milly_hen:
    •  
      CommentAuthorneil
    • CommentTimeOct 30th, 2008 10:12am (Oct 30th 2008)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Probably the easiest way to ease the pecking-order tensions over meal times is just to put another food bowl in.

    You'll probably find that whichever food bowl the most hens are eating at magically becomes the only food worth eating, but if Pumpkin is chased away from the first bowl at least you know she can find something to eat at the second.

    I don't think chickens bear grudges when it comes to favourites, though maybe that's why Tilly is sometimes horrible to Milly...?

    They're still sorting out the pecking order so unless there is blood I wouldn't get too upset about the little squables, and maybe your part as mother hen will help too :)
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeOct 30th, 2008 5:23pm (Oct 30th 2008) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    CW, as long as their is no visible damage (such as blood or other wounds) then Pumpkin should be fine. For the first few days, all the chickens will seem to get along quite well...then all of a sudden the pecking begins! This is completely normal and is just because they are now trying to sort out the pecking order.

    Sounds like Pumpkin has been landed bottom - just make sure she has extra cuddles and treats away from the other girls! Time out of the coop away from the others is a great way to bond with a chuck at the bottom of the pecking order :)

    Adding another bowl or scattering food on the floor of the coop as well as in a dish is a good idea, as then Pumpkin can find feed even when she is chased away from one spot
    •  
      CommentAuthorChicken Wing
    • CommentTimeOct 31st, 2008 8:16pm (Oct 31st 2008) edited
     
    Thanks for the reassurance Red. I feel a lot better about it now. I've been putting in an extra bowl of food on the opposite side of the run for Pumpkin and she is now getting a chance to feed. She is allowing me to pick her up for a cuddle and seems pleased about it, she loves the sides of her face being stoked.
    :milly_hen::bigsmile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeNov 1st, 2008 2:03pm (Nov 1st 2008)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    That's good, you'll soon become her 'mummy' or the safe person she runs to where she knows she won't be pecked :)
    • CommentAuthorfrogdust
    • CommentTimeFeb 12th, 2009 8:51am (Feb 12th 2009)
     
    :hyper_chick::hyper_chick: i saw this thread and even though it is not a active one I will comment on it.:computer: C.W .....i hope your hen pumpkin is doing well. Oh and how is Snow Drop doing?
    •  
      CommentAuthorChicken Wing
    • CommentTimeFeb 18th, 2009 3:30pm (Feb 18th 2009)
     
    Hi Frogdust, Snowdrop is doing really well now she recovered from the leaf eating problem as we removed the bush concerned and now the run is leaf free. She now has another problem though together with Pumpkin and Blossom they are all picked on by Bluebell she seems to like plucking out there feathers and eating them. I have started hanging cabbages and cauliflowers in the run to try to stop it but she is still doing it and poor Blossom has a feather free bottom. I have given them more protein in their diet but although it has slowed it down it hasn't stopped it completely.
    I'm hoping that when the good weather finally gets to us that I let them out in the garden and free range it will clear up the feather pecking.
    :001_smile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeFeb 18th, 2009 7:40pm (Feb 18th 2009)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Hmmm, oh dear that's not good...

    Do they have enough room, they aren't pecking because they are stressed? I doubt that's the case but you never know...

    Otherwise the only thing i can suggest is to try and separate Bluebell :confused:
    •  
      CommentAuthorVictoria
    • CommentTimeFeb 18th, 2009 7:47pm (Feb 18th 2009)
     
    Ooh, Grizelda next door used to pull out and eat the feathers of the bantams she lived with. She'd probably still be doing it now if she hadn't been eaten by a fox. And that's most definitely not the solution to the Bluebell problem.
    • CommentAuthorfrogdust
    • CommentTimeFeb 20th, 2009 9:56pm (Feb 20th 2009)
     
    C.W---- what kind of bush was it? I have hedges in my garden too!
    Poor little Blossom ! :small-chick: I agree with Red >You may have to separate Bluebell:sad: Turning Bluebell in to a happy meal for Brer Fox(American folk tale character) is not a option!
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeFeb 21st, 2009 4:30am (Feb 21st 2009)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Just see if you can work out a way for Bluebell to be separated, if she is alone for 3 / 4 days the other chickens might figure out their differences and stop the pecking...that way when Bluebell returns, she will fight for her way at the top again and hopefully forget about the pecking!
    •  
      CommentAuthorChicken Wing
    • CommentTimeFeb 21st, 2009 10:22am (Feb 21st 2009)
     
    Thanks Red I think that separation might be a good idea but at the moment I haven't got a way of implimenting it. I will work on it and try to sort something out ASAP and see what happens.

    The bush that snowdrop ate from was an Elderflower bush/tree and apparently the leaves and bark are supposed to be poisonous. But snowdrop didn't seem to be affected by it that I can notice.

    As for Bluebell turned into a meal for Brer Fox would probably prove a little difficult as I should think she would put up quite a fight.
    "Beaks at dawn" I would think! :bigsmile:
    • CommentAuthorfrogdust
    • CommentTimeFeb 21st, 2009 10:31am (Feb 21st 2009)
     
    :028:
    • CommentAuthorfrogdust
    • CommentTimeMar 5th, 2009 6:07am (Mar 5th 2009)
     
    C.W - how are your hens ? Have they worked out the differences between them?
    • CommentAuthorfrogdust
    • CommentTimeMar 14th, 2009 12:57am (Mar 14th 2009)
     
    :weather_rain:my 4 chickens are miserble ! it has been wet cold and windy. the silly things will not stay in the coop ! they run about in the drizzle and end up looking like dirty wet mops ! I think I may have to put a lamp in the coop so they can dry off and warm up!