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    • CommentAuthorSonja
    • CommentTimeJan 10th, 2011 8:23pm (Jan 10th 2011)
     
    Would love some advice on my lame hen. She is a Black Rock and I have had her 3 1/2 years with no problems. A few weeks ago, I noticed she was a bit lame on one foot.
    I have had a look at it and cannot see any visible problems....she is flexing her toes so dont think it is broken and she has not suffered any injuries as far as I know
    Dont think it is bumblefoot as there is no swelling underneath...the only other thing I thought it might be was scaly leg but not sure if this would make her lame. The other leg/foot is fine as are the other hens.
    She looks very well apart from her hop! the poor thing as resorted to sleeping in her nest box as I presume she cant hold on to her perch all night with one foot.
    Any advice would be much appreciated....

    Sonja
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeJan 10th, 2011 9:52pm (Jan 10th 2011)
     
    Hi Sonja and welcome to the forum! I don't have hens so can't help, but be reassured that someone will be along soon and might have some other suggestions for you. I hope she feels better soon.
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeJan 10th, 2011 10:53pm (Jan 10th 2011) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    :welcome: Sonja.

    Sorry that your hen is having problems.

    If it is scaly leg mites then that is a very easy problem to solve! It can cause lameness in very severe cases, but I think if it was that bad then you would have noticed it as it is quite easy to spot - all the scales are raised on the leg and some may even fall off. Are the scales on your chickens' legs raised? If the answer is yes, then it is almost certainly scaly leg mites - the mites live under the scales and push them upwards.

    This is a photo of someone's chickens on the forum when they had scaly leg mites:

    As you can see the scales are raised from the legs and several have actually fallen off.

    Treatment for scaly leg mite simple. Gently wash off as much dirt as you can from her legs using a toothbrush and warm soapy water (just a little soap) - do it gently and do not remove any scales! Then try covering her legs with a layer of vaseline in a seven day cycle until the situation is resolved. This cuts off the oxygen supply to the mites under the scales. If her leg has not improved within a few weeks I would advise a visit to the vets...You can treat all the birds in your flock this way, even if they aren't showing signs of mites.

    If the scales on your chickens legs aren't raised then I doubt it is scaly leg mite. It could be something as simple as that she has twisted or strained her ankle / foot. How high are the perches in the nest box? As she is quite a heavy breed and not a spring chicken anymore (ha, sorry, couldn't resist!) the perches shouldn't be any higher than 40cm where possible. Heavy or old chickens (6+ years) find it easier to injure their legs and feet by jumping from high perches, so the lower the better!

    Finally, just as a precaution, you might want to keep an eye out for symptoms of Mareks.It's a horrible disease and I hope not the cause of your chicken's injury. The diseases causes tumours to grow on the chicken’s organs. It can also cause paralysis of the legs and wings (sometimes the paralysis will disappear several days later, although the chicken will not be cured) and can make the colour of the iris change from the usual orange to a cloudy grey blue colour. The chicken may lose weight too.

    Sad to say there is no treatment for Marek’s disease, and unfortunately the advice tends to be to have the chicken humanely euthanized. There is a vaccine against Marek’s but this must be administered when the chicken is one day old, and is only on offer to large-scale chicken farming organisations. I did read something about a health tablet being helpful, have a read of this thread a few posts down:
    http://www.hencam.co.uk/hencam_forum/comments.php?DiscussionID=394

    And this thread might be useful to read too as it has some info:
    http://www.hencam.co.uk/hencam_forum/comments.php?DiscussionID=484

    A vet appt will help determine if Mareks is the problem.

    Do you have a rooster? Sometimes a hen can hurt her leg (such as by jumping from a perch) and the rooster showing his affection can make the injury worse. If you do, maybe keep them separate until her injury is healed.

    Also, make sure you are feeding them the correct feed (Layers Pellets) to be sure she hasn't got weakened bones due to a poor diet.

    Leave your chicken be for a few days, check that she is eating and drinking as normal, and see if there are any other symptoms. Try not to let her do a lot of scratching or roaming - if she free-ranges but you have a coop and run then lock her in there with your other chickens for company.

    If there is no improvement within 4 - 5 days I would get a vet appt and see what they suggest.

    Sorry for the long post, i hope some of it helps :face-smile:
    • CommentAuthorTrevs Mum
    • CommentTimeJan 10th, 2011 11:50pm (Jan 10th 2011)
     
    Wod Red that is an awesome amount of help info there.You are such a treasure dear girl and so helpful.:biggrin:

    Welcome Sonja, we are very fortunate to have Red she knows so much and has helped many here on the forum.:face-smile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeJan 11th, 2011 4:49pm (Jan 11th 2011)
     
    Red, get that book written!:face-smile:
    • CommentAuthorSonja
    • CommentTimeJan 11th, 2011 6:31pm (Jan 11th 2011)
     
    Dear Red,

    many thanks for your prompt and comprehensive reply!
    I will have another look at her legs, having gone through your reply,I am thinking it might be a sprain or similar. I dont have a cockerel so can discount that and the perches are quite low.
    She does free range but has been keeping closer to home since her injury. Apart from her foot, she seems very bright and is eating and drinking as normal.
    I feed them on layers pellets and a bit of corn as a treat and of course they have scraps of veg, spuds, pasta and bread etc so dont think it is her diet.

    Anyway, will keep an eye on her as you suggest and if she doesnt improve, will take her to the vet.
    Thanks again for your help,
    Sonja
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeJan 11th, 2011 8:30pm (Jan 11th 2011)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    No probs Sonja, hopefully it will just be a sprain and will heal in a few days :face-smile:

    TM, :blush:

    Posted By: chief chickenRed, get that book written!<img src=" />

    It is written :bigsmile: I just don't know what to do with it now :/
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeJan 12th, 2011 8:05am (Jan 12th 2011)
     
    Publishers! Find one who specialises in animal care but doesn't have a chicken book.
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeJan 12th, 2011 2:06pm (Jan 12th 2011)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    It's annoyingly difficult...there are very tempting sites offering to find the perfect publisher for you, but obviously they would like you contact and bank account details please :001_rolleyes:

    (apologies Sonja for thread-napping, if you have any other questions or problems with your chucks feel free to jump back in ;) )
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeJan 12th, 2011 9:06pm (Jan 12th 2011)
     
    Don't fall for those con-men, they wouldn't help you. You have to send it to various publishers but check out if you need to protect it first. I have a rat book that is actually photocopied pages stapled together, but because the author is recognised as an expert in her field us rat owners are prepared to pay $7 with $5 shipping from the US. A bargain! There is nothing like her book out there though - the rat care books are useless in comparison.
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeJan 13th, 2011 1:18am (Jan 13th 2011)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    You don't have to tell me about that...I refuse to look at any website that even asks for my email address, never mind anything else! And I never pay for things online with my credit card, I borrow Lyle's...very cautious, everyone always laughs at me :bigsmile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeJan 13th, 2011 9:38pm (Jan 13th 2011)
     
    Better to be safe than sorry! :biggrin:
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeJan 14th, 2011 7:55pm (Jan 14th 2011)
     
    Unless you're Lyle...:D

    Posted By: Red And I never pay for things online with my credit card, I borrow Lyle's...
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeJan 15th, 2011 11:17pm (Jan 15th 2011)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Haha! Yeah I owe him almost £200 at the moment because of bills and stuff :mouse:
    • CommentAuthorjane rowlinson
    • CommentTimeMar 12th, 2011 7:59pm (Mar 12th 2011)
     
    I do hope your black rock is better.
    My little rooster Roger arrived in a sack as a rescue and despite having badly deformed feet enjoys pottering about the garden with his girlfriends - 2 black rocks and a bantam.
    He has had very bad scaly leg which a vet recommended treating by immersion in surgical spirit. This had limited success, and when a new holiday feeder saw him she suggested we use a commercial product. This certainly has removed most of the scales but left him with soft pink legs and feet. Two weeks ago I returned from holiday to find him staggering and unable to roost on his perch. I took him to see another vet who clearly thought I was mad bothering with a chicken but,as he looked bright and was eating and drinking normally prescribed antibiotics and a suppliment powder. Roger improved almost immediately and was back on his perch after a couple of days.
    This evening though at bed time, I found him roosting on the floor again and was rather unsteady when I put him on his perch. I have just been down again to check, and phew, he is roosting happily on the perch, but . . . whats happening? Has anyone any advice please?
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeMar 13th, 2011 11:20am (Mar 13th 2011) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Not a clue I'm afraid...

    Can you post a photo of his feet? So he is able to usually roost, despite his feet being deformed?

    I'd suggest using Vaseline on his legs, it'll clear off any remaining mites but will soothe any painful sore patches too.

    There are things you can add to chickens' water and food to help give them a boost; a product called chicken spice comes in a powder which you can mix in with food or treats and is supposed to help them recover from moult or illness. Apple Cider Vinegar can be mixed in with the water and gives them a general boost. Chopped garlic can be added to food or water too, and has the same health benefits as it does for humans. For stressed or ill birds a little sugar added to the water can be a great piclkk-me-up also.

    Other than that I'm not sure what to suggest. Perhaps have a look for a vet who specialises in farm animals, and might have a better idea what is wrong and how to treat it.

    :welcome: too by the way!
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeMar 13th, 2011 1:11pm (Mar 13th 2011) edited
     
    Ohh poor little Roger his poor little legs and feet must have been so painful after the immersion in the white spirit. It would have stung really badly and possibly burnt his skin. They are probably all soft and pink now because with scales gone the second product reacted with his already damaged skin, He hasn't the protection of the scales anymore so will be subsecptible to infection so the anti biotics and suppliments should be benificial.
    The vaseline suggested by Red will certainly help to protect his legs from the cold and any more invasion from the leg mites, there is also a product called citricidal that you can get from the omlet site that may help.... check it out

    https://www.omlet.co.uk/shop/shop.php?cat=Chicken+Keeping&sub=Vitamins+and+Tonics&product_id=207&product_name=Higher+Nature+Citricidal+-+45ml

    You add that to the water but dont add it with the cider vinigar use one or the other. The spice is added with the food so that is also a good idea and certainly won't do any harm. I use it once a week for my hens.
    For future reference Frontline is a good way to get rid of leg mites and any other sorts of mites that may be present and isn't painful for the hen. Or just use Vaseline as that will smother them but it takes a tad longer to work.
    • CommentAuthorjane rowlinson
    • CommentTimeMar 15th, 2011 12:10pm (Mar 15th 2011)
     
    Thank you for your help - and the welcome to hencam.
    Roger has always been able to perch despite his feet, and roosted with his girls.
    I think now I will lower the perch as perhaps it is jumping off the existing one onto the wooden floor may be a contributing factor to his problem as he is quite a weighty boy.
    Meanwhile I have coated his legs in Vaseline and will obtain some of the products you recommend. Funnily enough the Apple Cider Vinegar was recommended to me as being useful for ladies of "a certain age" so we will share the bottle!
    Today he is supervising his flock and crowing away - long may it continue.
    • CommentAuthorollie in UK
    • CommentTimeMar 15th, 2011 7:35pm (Mar 15th 2011)
     
    There are quite a few of us ladies "of a certain age" on here Jane. You're in good company.
    Welcome.
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeMar 15th, 2011 9:27pm (Mar 15th 2011)
     
    Welcome to the Hencam, Jane..I'm one of the "of a certain age" too. I hope your Roger will be getting better very soon.
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeMar 15th, 2011 10:27pm (Mar 15th 2011)
     
    :blushing:Ha! You're talking to a woman with power surges once an hour...:blushing::rant_red2:
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeMar 17th, 2011 8:16pm (Mar 17th 2011)
     
    Try to get the whole apple cider vinegar if you can Jane as it is much better for them than the one from the super market. You can usually find it in the horse section of your pet feed store. It is fit for human use as well and hasn't killed me off yet !!! Glad Roger is feeling better now. I hope you will join in with our chit chat it is nice to meet new people.
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeMar 17th, 2011 9:59pm (Mar 17th 2011)
     
    How do you take ACV, NN?
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeMar 18th, 2011 5:07pm (Mar 18th 2011)
     
    I don't take it as such CC although my Mum used to. She would have it in hot water with a little sugar. I use it in chutneys, salad dressings, Vinegrette and such. Pickled garlic is lovely done in it.
    • CommentAuthorjane rowlinson
    • CommentTimeApr 5th, 2011 7:41pm (Apr 5th 2011)
     
    Just come home from holiday to find Roger quite improved. Putting Vaseline on his legs has worked a treat and not only do they look so much more comfortable, there are only a few scales remaining.
    Like me, all four are now on ACV, an organic version I finally tracked down in the health food shop.
    It proved difficult to alter his perch in the existing hen house, so I put an upturned wooden seed box under his roost with a folded towel and some newspaper on it and now when he jumps down in the morning it is like jumping onto a sprung floor and hopefully does not jar his joints as much. I am so happy to see him resume his patrols round the garden dedicatedly following his girls like a solomn little white ghost all day long before leading them all home to bed.
    My gardening season has now started in earnest, and whilst I have truly appreciated the help and company of my chooks, it became clear to me on Sunday that it was time to corall them again for the summer. Carefully nurtured broad bean plants were back kicked into the hedge, the top of seedlings were expertly nipped down beyond the point of recovery, dust craters have appeared all along the edge of the lawn by the path - true it is beautifully dry and dusty, but still . . . there are limits! Happily there is a large area that is just meadow grassed and I plan to make a large and moveable enclosure there so Roger will be able to rest up a bit more and enjoy the summer.
    Before I close, I removed two very large ticks from one of my cats last night - do these vile parasites attack hens too?
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeApr 5th, 2011 7:48pm (Apr 5th 2011)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Glad to hear that Roger is back to his old self, well done you :)

    As for ticks and chickens, in general chickens find them and eat them! If you're using DE (diatomaceous earth) that should get rid of them, and any other parasites, too.

    A link to buying DE from the Omlet store..
    https://www.omlet.co.uk/shop/shop.php?cat=Chicken+Keeping&sub=Mites,+Lice+and+Scaly+Leg+&product_id=230&product_name=Diatomaceous+Earth+-+100g
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeApr 5th, 2011 9:24pm (Apr 5th 2011)
     
    I'm so pleased for Roger - what a great outcome! I don't know about hens and ticks, but an easy way to get them off cats (you might already know this) is to cover the part that is outside the body in KY Jelly (vaseline probably works too). It suffocates them and they fall off. Frontline works too - one of my cats once had 153 (that I saw and counted) at one time. He'd obviously slept in a tick nest or whatever it's called!
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeApr 6th, 2011 6:32pm (Apr 6th 2011)
     
    Glad Rodger is well and happy again.
    Cripes that is heck of a lot of ticks on one poor old cat. I hate ticks I have had two on me in the past and they make me feel real sick. You dont really notice them at first and I felt no pain it is just the thought of them eating your blood ugh nasty little critters. There are usually plenty about if you are near deer.
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeApr 6th, 2011 9:44pm (Apr 6th 2011)
     
    Luckily he was young and healthy at the time. I found about a dozen at first which I removed with tweezers, but hadn't realised that he must've had lots of tiny ones too (or he went back for a second dose!)

    Overnight he started to go downhill pretty quickly - his nose, ears and gums went pale and he was very lethargic. It took me half a day to get some frontline because of vet prescribing rules, but once it was put on they started to drop off within an hour. Had to keep him in one place so that I could collect them up and dispose of them but they'd affected him so much he didn't want to move. They are vile things and look disgusting. Some were quite small but there were lots that were easily visible. Poor Joey, but he got over it OK.
    • CommentAuthorjane rowlinson
    • CommentTimeApr 6th, 2011 10:58pm (Apr 6th 2011)
     
    Another good day for Roger - long may it continue.
    Suppose the reappearance of ticks means that spring is truly here at last, but they really are disgusting things. I have a specially designed little tick remover from the vets which is quite good. However, if the cat moves whilst you are trying to twist the tick out you risk leaving the head embedded, therefore the sufforcating/Frontlining option is a good one. Do you apply as normal on the back of the neck or a dab on each tick? Poor Joey - what an experience - good job his mistress is on the ball. I have looked after feral kittens that have literally been drained of blood by fleas over time but ticks would be far worse.
    Back to hens, when cleaning out today I found a strange egg smashed on the hen house floor.
    Very thin shell (quite unlike normal) and much paler in colour. Is this the egg of a hen that has been disturbed on her nest whilst laying - can't understand why it was in the middle of the floor - or symptomaic of something else I ought to be aware of?
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeApr 7th, 2011 7:12pm (Apr 7th 2011)
     
    did it have a very thin shell or no shell at all Jane?

    Lucky you found the poor little cat when you did Kate. They lay in wait of a meal passing by in the long grass after they have fed and sated themselves they detach themselves and then digest and wait for another meal to pass by.
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeApr 7th, 2011 9:20pm (Apr 7th 2011)
     
    The frontline goes on the back of the neck as normal. The KY jelly has to go on each tick and completely cover the body that is exposed. Its slower, but some people don't like using chemical solutions and prefer simpler options. I've seen the tick remover tool but personally just used some pointy tweezers and made sure I got right in at the skin and checked to make sure everything was removed.
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeApr 8th, 2011 1:12pm (Apr 8th 2011) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    A shell-less egg (they have a rubbery translucent casing) are quite common and usually nothing to worry about at all. They look like this:



    They can happen in young or old laying hens, at the beginning or end of a laying season...rarely it can be because the hen's aren't getting enough calcium, so if you don't give them any oyster grit or crushed egg shells (wash them first) it might be a good idea to try that. You can feed them high calcium treats too, such as cheese or yoghurt.

    Very thin egg shells usually indicates a diet with not quite enough calcium too, so try the tips above too :)
    • CommentAuthorjane rowlinson
    • CommentTimeApr 10th, 2011 10:40pm (Apr 10th 2011)
     
    Another lovely spring day - Roger and the girls furiously creating new ankle threatening earthworks where ever there is loose soil and sunshine.
    My Black Rocks are almost two years old and yes, the strange eggs look just like the one in the photograph with a very thin transulcent shell.
    I provided oyster shell in the past but as it seemed to be ignored assumed that because they are free ranging for most of the year they are getting enough minerals etc as they forage around the garden. They get at least one treat of grated cheese a week too. Will put down some more oyster shell next to their grain.
    On the ghastly tick problem, I removed two huge horrors from behind Babette's ears last week and was surprised at the size of them so early in the year. It made me remember an even worse tick attack a few years back- my husband had been cycling and picniced in a field. As he was undressing for a much needed shower an extremely well fed specimen was found attached to his stomach!
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeApr 11th, 2011 4:20pm (Apr 11th 2011)
     
    :ack2:!
    My chickens rootle round free as well, Jane. I too lashed out on a pot of grit and was treated to very scornful looks and pointed spurning of said grit....
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeApr 12th, 2011 9:16pm (Apr 12th 2011)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    They will get enough grit (used to grind down food in their gizzards) but oyster grit / crushed egg shells provides them with calcium too. Try scattering it amongst other treats or mixing it with their regular feed. To be honest though I doubt they're suffering from a lack of calcium...but always better to be safe than sorry I guess :)

    I seem to remember we put a dish of grit in our girl's coop once, shortly after they stopped being free-range. They totally ignored it so we mixed it in with their corn and pellets, and a lot more got eaten that way.
    • CommentAuthorvolka
    • CommentTimeApr 28th, 2011 2:31pm (Apr 28th 2011)
     
    Hi Jane - it's a bit of a late answer but one of my girl's leg scales got quite dry and cracked and she started wobbling about as well, despite eating and drinking normally. I found the spray on scaly mite liquid worked wonders but as it was during a rainy season, once I sprayed her legs (which she seemed to enjoy), I waited till they were dry (which she also enjoyed as she got to be carried around for 5 minutes) and then applied a coating of vaseline to keep the medication in and the water/dirt out. You do have to re-spray every 5 days as that is the mite's breeding cycle. Regards, Volka.PS: Bracket was up and about like normal 48 hours and showing no signs of re-infestation.
    • CommentAuthorjane rowlinson
    • CommentTimeOct 4th, 2011 10:59am (Oct 4th 2011)
     
    A sad goodbye to Roger this morning.

    He had benefitted greatly from all the kind advice you had all be kind enough to offer, and enjoyed the summer with his girls. Yesterday he was pottering about happily in the last day of warm sunshine we are likely to see for a while, although he did go into roost rather earlier than usual. This morning when we opened up he followed the girls out onto the lawn, sat down and was gone. He was my first little cockrel and a real character - I shall so miss watching him patrolling the garden and his selfless devotion to his girls.

    Thank you all for your help and advice earlier this year.
    •  
      CommentAuthorneil
    • CommentTimeOct 4th, 2011 11:42am (Oct 4th 2011)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Oh my god that's so sad, and poignant. :face-crying:

    I'm glad that (with your help) he got to spend the summer with his girls and it's especially touching that he enjoyed the last day of summer for the year...

    Definitely sounds like he was a real character, and that he had a really good life with you.
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeOct 4th, 2011 3:36pm (Oct 4th 2011)
     
    Bless him, what a lovely way for him to go. Sorry for your loss, Jane. :heart:
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeOct 4th, 2011 10:26pm (Oct 4th 2011)
     
    That is so sad Jane, but it sounds like he had the best life possible with you and his girls. I am sure you will all miss him, but he will be up there at the bridge having a good old crow with the other lads! :heart:
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeOct 5th, 2011 9:40am (Oct 5th 2011)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    I'm so sorry to hear about Roger; I'll bet his girls will miss him too! He sounds like he was a great leader of the flock, and will be missed by all :heart:
    • CommentAuthorjane rowlinson
    • CommentTimeOct 5th, 2011 12:28pm (Oct 5th 2011)
     
    Thank you all so much - really appreciate your messages. The garden seems SO quiet this morning without the little fellow crowing!

    Lots of happy memories of him though.
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeOct 5th, 2011 8:30pm (Oct 5th 2011)
     
    Oh, Jane I'm so sorry for the loss of your dear little rooster Roger. I think my most beloved and entertaining chickens have been the little roosters.

    RIP Roger.:face-crying:
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeOct 6th, 2011 4:50pm (Oct 6th 2011)
     
    Hi Jane sorry to hear about your Rooster, it is so sad when they die, you gave him a lovely life so celebrate it with your happy memories.
    • CommentAuthorjane rowlinson
    • CommentTimeOct 9th, 2011 8:27pm (Oct 9th 2011)
     
    Thank you all so much - miss him so much. His girls are gardening with me again, vigourously digging up the bulbs I had planted over his grave this afternoon. Hey ho.

    A new problem - and I would appreciate some (more) advice please. Our family has grown once more by the addition of two twelve week old Cochins. They are small, sweet and timid, but seem ok with our two rescue rabbits within an enclosed yard - they are even unfazed by visits to the yard by our four cats who are totally hen friendly. However, Mother is nervous - I have been reading about the breed on the net and wonder, how do you give this breed a fab life in the garden without getting them wet?Are they so goofy that they will inevitably be attacked by two birds with attitude no matter how old they are when I introduce the two parties?