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    • CommentTimeAug 12th, 2013 11:53am (Aug 12th 2013)

    Keeper of the hens

    Sorry to everyone who keeps chickens as this will make you itch and your skin crawl (it does me everytime I think about it)...

    Noticed that Elsie still hasn't grown feathers after her moult in certain areas, then also whilst checking on the girls whilst they were roosting last night I saw several specs of dust moving on the camera lens... except they weren't specs of dust :(

    So at 10pm last night I had to half empty the shed to reach the Diatomaceous Earth right at the back. This has been liberally sprinkled around the coop, nest box and dust-bathing areas (as well as on the poor chickens themselves!) Had to run upstairs for a shower just in case I'd picked up a few "stowaways"...

    Hopefully this will have an effect very quickly - I think the hot weather we've had recently has caused the mite population to explode - fingers crossed the DE puts a stop to them.

    I'm itching now just after typing this!

    Happier news - we visited Scarlet + Lyle on Saturday and went for a walk on the promenade (though some of it was blocked off due to a woman found dead on the beach that morning - nice) - it's good to see that they've moved in and so close to the beach!
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeAug 12th, 2013 2:28pm (Aug 12th 2013)
    What's their new home like; are they going to be happy there, d'you think?
    Sorry about the mites; and you're right - I DID have a scratch as i was reading your post!:face-smile:
    • CommentTimeAug 12th, 2013 6:43pm (Aug 12th 2013)
    Me too, and I don't have chickens!

    Hope they've enough space for you to spend some time there!!,
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeAug 12th, 2013 6:54pm (Aug 12th 2013) edited
    Neil, thanks for letting us know that Scarlet and Lyle are all moved into their new home...A dead woman on the beach..ummm..I hope it wasn't a murder or anything.

    Mites make me itchy at just the mention of them, I'm forever throwing DE on everyone..chickens, horses, geese, ducks..any thing that is alive and could get mites, gets dusted...All together now, gang lets hear a big..."EWWWWWWY"!! next we'll do synchronized scratching. :face-smile:
    • CommentTimeAug 14th, 2013 10:00am (Aug 14th 2013)

    Keeper of the hens

    Sorry for making everyone itch :)

    Yeah Scarlet and Lyle are settled in now - the woman found had been "on a night out" so it could be an unfortunate case of skinny dipping or drunken swim gone wrong.

    Scarlet's Internet will take up to a month to sort out (nothing happens quickly when you desperately need it!) so she'll be cut off unless she can find some wifi somewhere... When we took them for the meal on Saturday my phone had a really weak wifi connection and the first thing she did was try and get on the forum but it dropped - felt rotten for her as she's missing you guys and is looking forward to posting all the news of the move and pics of the dogs and walks on the beach etc.

    They're in a nice fishing cottage and Morecambe is close enough to us that we can easily get there in a couple of hours and visit for the day.

    Lynn, I agree! DE sprinkled everywhere, the only thing I worry about is breathing the dust in - I must get a dust mask for cleaning out and using the DE. Do you use a mask or are you just careful with the DE? Should I be worried?

    Did anyone see the bedroom cam last night? Were there still little specks moving across it? When I first noticed it there were about four at a time. :(

    Itching again!!!
    • CommentTimeAug 14th, 2013 7:58pm (Aug 14th 2013)
    Glad to hear they're settling in well and missing us like we miss them!! :biggrin: she'll have lots to tell us when she gets back on line.

    (Scratch scratch!!)
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeAug 16th, 2013 6:53pm (Aug 16th 2013)
    Neil, a dust mask is a "must have thingy", if you are using DE. The first time I used it I didn't use a mask and I felt like a was choking to death.

    I sure hope Red can get hooked up quickly, sure miss her.
    • CommentAuthorollie in UK
    • CommentTimeAug 16th, 2013 10:59pm (Aug 16th 2013)
    Ugh!!! Those mites on the camera lens. Ugh, Ugh, Ugh!
    And I thought I was looking at "Fairy Men" the fluffy seeds of some nearby plants, floating around.
    • CommentAuthorollie in UK
    • CommentTimeAug 17th, 2013 10:22am (Aug 17th 2013) edited
    Elsie having a long dustbath this morning. She doesn't look at all happy though, her bottom seems sore.

    Just look at the size of that hole she has squirmed into the coop floor!
    • CommentTimeAug 17th, 2013 7:37pm (Aug 17th 2013) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    Chickens don't really look 'happy' when dust-bathing, though I suppose it's a sign of contentment (they do it when they don't feel threatened, it's nice and sunny etc) - or maybe when mites are bad I suppose!

    We thought Milly was dead once as her head was lolling on the ground, her eyes were glazed, eyelids drooping... turns out she was just enjoying a particularly large dust bath...

    I've still no idea why her bum is bare - if it was mites you'd expect all the hens to be the same. I think she had a bad moult, then one of the other hens (little buggers) have been pecking at her "helpfully"...

    You can buy stuff to paint on that is supposed to stop pecking in chickens but it's a bit manky but we might have to resort to it.
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeAug 18th, 2013 1:18pm (Aug 18th 2013)
    Poor girl; you should buy her knickers!:face-smile:
    • CommentAuthorollie in UK
    • CommentTimeAug 19th, 2013 11:21am (Aug 19th 2013)
    "Feather knickers" = saucy Ostrich?

    Sophie is giving really violent digs to Elsie's new bare patch above her tail.

    How about isolating Elsie to give her chance to heal? She's getting nowhere as she is.
    Logistics problem of a separate co-op though.
    • CommentTimeJun 13th, 2014 5:06pm (Jun 13th 2014)

    Keeper of the hens

    Wouldn't really help as then you'd just cause more issues when you went to re-introduce her - it would upset the balance again...

    After growing lovely new bum-feathers, she's moulting again and lost them!!

    Seems she's just really bad at moults, and the other chickens don't help...
    • CommentTimeJun 13th, 2014 7:21pm (Jun 13th 2014) edited

    Keeper of the hens

    She's moulting already?! Have the other two joined in? I think when they moult depends roughly on when they were born or something...

    Do you remember how Tilly especially always used to moult in the middle of winter, lose most her feathers, and it took her months to regrow them?? :rolling:
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeJun 14th, 2014 5:17pm (Jun 14th 2014)
    Sinead's moulting again. She's semi oven-ready to look at!
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeJun 15th, 2014 12:05pm (Jun 15th 2014)
    That sounds great cc, a self plucking