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    • CommentAuthorchooksnpinkroses
    • CommentTimeAug 13th, 2014 9:11am (Aug 13th 2014) edited
     
    We acquired a 'new' hen yesterday. A lady I volunteer with had a lone chook that they didn't want and she has come to live at our house! I've named her 'Ollie'. At present she is 'settling in' in a little house on her own, but in a few days I'll let her out into her own yard and she'll be able to see and hear the other girls and start getting used to them. In about a month, I'll let her out with the others in the main yard. Apparently she is 10 years old, but I'm not sure they knew exactly and just plucked a number out of the air, Ollie doesn't look that old. We'll see how she goes. I'm sure she'll be much happier with company. :face-smile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeAug 13th, 2014 4:55pm (Aug 13th 2014)
     
    Well done you for rehoming her...how old do you reckon she is? I hope the others take to her all right - be a bit nervewracking for you! Or are you made of sterner stuff than me?:face-smile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeAug 13th, 2014 6:39pm (Aug 13th 2014)
     
    Yes, well done for giving her a home! I hope they all get on too - chickens like company, don't they?! 10 sounds quite old - how do you age a chicken? Cats and dogs it's by teeth, eyes and general body health. As hens don't have teeth, it doesn't leave much to work with! Let us know how Ollie gets on!
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeAug 13th, 2014 8:15pm (Aug 13th 2014)
     
    It's wonderful that you found a hen that needed re-homing, I hope Ollie will be happy with you and your flock for several more years. :face-smile:
    • CommentAuthorchooksnpinkroses
    • CommentTimeAug 14th, 2014 12:57pm (Aug 14th 2014) edited
     
    About 3 years ago an acquaintance was showing me her hens. One was 8.5 yrs old and looked really old. Ollie doesn't LOOK old, but I guess in some ways she seems old. She's pretty easy to catch! When I eventually let her mix with the others I'll keep a good close eye on them and if they bully her I'll have to separate her from them for a bit longer.:face-smile:
    • CommentAuthorchooksnpinkroses
    • CommentTimeAug 16th, 2014 1:27am (Aug 16th 2014) edited
     
    I let Ollie out into her yard yesterday for the first time. She seemed to enjoy it. After dark I went out to check that she was inside the house and lock her in (safe from foxes). She had somehow got out of her yard and was perched on the carry handles of the big portable henhouse that all my other girls sleep in!! Wonder where I'll find her tonight when I go to lock her up. :face-plain:
    It usually takes newies a little while to figure out where to go and even to jump up to the perches. I find the newies sleep on the ground for the first little while, unless I put them on the perches. Seeing as how it is winter here, I put Ollie up on the perch because it's too cold to let her sleep on the ground. :face-smile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeAug 16th, 2014 2:38pm (Aug 16th 2014)
     
    She obviously wants to hang around with the other girls! Does she stay on the perch once you put her there?
    • CommentAuthorchooksnpinkroses
    • CommentTimeAug 20th, 2014 1:00am (Aug 20th 2014) edited
     
    The next night when I went to lock her in, I found her perched on top of our 6' fence!!! It was quite a job getting her off because the A frame hen house is in front of where she was! Eventually she was securely locked in. Now I go down just before it's fully dark and put her in, lots easier than trying to find her in the dark. She seems happy, sounds happy, stands near the fence and looks out to where the others are. She'll have to stay where she is for a couple more weeks tho. To chiefchicken, yes she stays up on the perch in the henhouse till morning, when I put her up.

    Further to my comment on August 13th that Ollie doesn't look 10 years old. Milly who died earlier this year, was 8 1/2 years old and she didn't look or act any older than the younger chooks. I would be interested to know if there is a way to age a chook. I only know how old my chooks are because I keep a tally of all those details in a 'chook keeping' book, their ages, when they arrived, laying, illnesses etc.
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeAug 20th, 2014 7:36am (Aug 20th 2014)
     
    I really don't know of a way to tell their ages. I too keep a book on them, so I know how old they are. :face-smile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeAug 20th, 2014 6:04pm (Aug 20th 2014)
     
    A chook book! Like it...
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeAug 22nd, 2014 9:06pm (Aug 22nd 2014)
     
    She sounds very happy - are intros difficult? Is she likely to get chased/pecked/kicked/bullied?
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeAug 23rd, 2014 3:05am (Aug 23rd 2014)
     
    It's the Pecking Order being established. There's a lot of clucking and feathers and then hopefully it settles down!
    • CommentAuthorchooksnpinkroses
    • CommentTimeAug 25th, 2014 12:50am (Aug 25th 2014) edited
     
    Posted By: Kateb She sounds very happy - are intros difficult? Is she likely to get chased/pecked/kicked/bullied?

    That is very likely as I have one RIR who is a bully. Will keep a close eye on them and not allow things to get out of hand. Will separate for longer if needed.
    Several years ago we acquired a single, soft natured chook and she was picked on relentlessly. We then cobbled together a separate area and put her in there for a few weeks. We have kept this area to use when we need to. I just leave the gate open when we don't need to separate anyone. :face-smile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeAug 25th, 2014 9:58pm (Aug 25th 2014)
     
    Lets hope all goes well and they get on like a house on fire!!
    • CommentAuthorchooksnpinkroses
    • CommentTimeAug 30th, 2014 7:56am (Aug 30th 2014) edited
     
    Update. I learnt the other day that one way to tell if a chook is old is it will have longish spurs. Ollie has spurs aprox 3.5 - 4cm long, so that means she is as old as I was advised by the previous owner.
    3 or 4 days ago I noticed how lovely and red her comb is, then the next morning I noticed she had made a little depression in the laying box and later that day she would 'squat' if I went near her, like laying hens do. for the last 2 days, she has sat in the laying box for several hours each day, so we might actually get an egg from this 10 year old girl. I didn't think that would happen.
    Another point of interest; I didn't close the gate properly the other day and one of the other hens followed me into Ollie's yard. well, they had a little 'stand off' where they flap and jump towards each other, to show dominance I guess. :face-smile:So, she can stand up for herself. I will keep her in for another week or so.
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeAug 30th, 2014 8:52pm (Aug 30th 2014)
     
    Good, it sounds as though she's going to hold her own, doesn't it?:face-smile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeAug 30th, 2014 11:09pm (Aug 30th 2014)
     
    I bet you're going to be extra protective over her now that you know she is that old - I hope she fits in well and let us know if the egg appears!
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeAug 31st, 2014 11:14am (Aug 31st 2014)
     
    I have had hens that were 10 and never had spurs at all. Maybe it depends on the breed of the chicken.
    • CommentAuthorchooksnpinkroses
    • CommentTimeSep 20th, 2014 12:44am (Sep 20th 2014) edited
     
    Ollie is still separated from the others. A few times I've let her out and Tilly (6yo) has had a 'stand up' fight with her. When I open the gate now, Ollie stays in and doesn't want to come out. She has laid several eggs, but they all have no shell and she ate all but one. I was there when she laid it and was able to take it straight away. Have given her extra ground up egg shell to eat, but I think it's just a case of her being old. Some times when a chook gets older, in my experience, their 'egg laying machinery' fails and they lay thin or no shell eggs. they all get the same diet and it's the older ones who tend to do it. Maybe their old bodies just don't take in what they need from the food they eat. It's been almost a week since we last had an egg from her. She still sounds happy and is quite friendly. I've become very fond of her, she's my 'special' little pal.
    To Lynnw; I guess it must depend on the breed, Ollie is a white leghorn cross I believe. What breed was your old hen who had no spurs?
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeSep 20th, 2014 3:37pm (Sep 20th 2014)
     
    Can they meet through the mesh, Chooks? Perhaps Tilly will settle down with Ollie eventually. Red might have some tips - she's a mine of henformation!
    • CommentAuthorchooksnpinkroses
    • CommentTimeOct 31st, 2014 11:29am (Oct 31st 2014) edited
     
    Ollie is still doing OK. She still lays occasional eggs with no shell. Sometimes I open the gate and let them all mingle. The others come and scratch around or dust bathe, but they pretty much ignore her, haven't seen any more 'arguments'. Tilly goes near Ollie but doesn't look like she wants to 'argue'. Ollie is wary though and gets out of Tilly's way.
    Ollie skinned one foot a while ago and it is taking a while to heal, but it is finally improving. She still limps and I don't really want her to be in with the others permanently till she is fully better. She is happy in her yard. She can see the others through the fence and often stands at the fence to be 'with' the others. When I do open the gate though, she stays in her yard. I guess it might be because she is older.
    In the beginning I thought that Gina (RIR) would be the one who would bully Ollie, she hasn't at all. So you never know do you?
    We've only had her for 2 1/2 months, it seems longer. She's still my special little friend, she's pretty docile.
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeOct 31st, 2014 12:06pm (Oct 31st 2014)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Bless her, what a nice update :)

    Sorry to hear about her foot, but I'm glad it's improving.
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeOct 31st, 2014 5:56pm (Oct 31st 2014)
     
    I#m sure they'll all get on eventually....I bet she ends up living in the house with you...:D
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeNov 2nd, 2014 12:28am (Nov 2nd 2014)
     
    I hope your little Ollie's foot will get better soon...CC is right..she would make a nice "house chicken" :face-smile:
    • CommentAuthorchooksnpinkroses
    • CommentTimeDec 26th, 2014 11:54pm (Dec 26th 2014)
     
    Ollie has gone to the big chook house in the sky. Her foot was very slowly healing and then one day I discovered she had a prolapse. She had laid an egg just a couple of day's prior. I had a previous chook to the vet once with a prolapse, he said he could try to fix it but it would keep on recurring. (he was a bird expert vet). So I had him put that chook to sleep. I saved the middle man and put Ollie to sleep myself. I hate having to do it. It was the first time I didn't cry! We had her for 3 or so months. I knew she wouldn't be around for too long when we got her, being 10 years old. It's always sad to lose one of our family. She is now buried in the edge of our asparagus bed...:face-sad::face-crying:
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeDec 27th, 2014 3:45pm (Dec 27th 2014)
     
    Poor Ollie - and poor you, Chooks - especially at Christmastime. Still, she had a lovely life with you, didn't she? :heart:
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeDec 27th, 2014 4:44pm (Dec 27th 2014)
     
    Is that a prolapse like we can get a prolapse? Poor Ollie, but 10 sounds like a good age to me and you gave her a good home in her twilight years. So sorry for your loss. xx
    • CommentAuthorchooksnpinkroses
    • CommentTimeDec 28th, 2014 2:39am (Dec 28th 2014)
     
    Yes, the prolapse was her vent. It's never a good time to lose a loved pet is it. The only way I could tell that she was old is that she was so sedate in nature and her foot was taking so long to heal, just like old people.
    We were going to dig up the asparagus bed because it is quite old and not really producing much anymore, but now that Ollie is at the edge of it I might leave it another year and see what we get from it next spring. I won't be surprised if we get a good crop next year. We will be able to thank Ollie for it if we do.
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeDec 28th, 2014 3:05am (Dec 28th 2014)
     
    Chooks I'm sorry to hear you lost your Ollie hen, but I know you gave her a good life.:heart:
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeDec 28th, 2014 12:41pm (Dec 28th 2014)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Aw chooks I'm sorry to hear about Ollie... :bighug:
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeDec 28th, 2014 2:56pm (Dec 28th 2014)
     
    I look forward to hearing if your asparagus is a good crop - I have heard that happen before. Will you let us know?
    • CommentAuthorchooksnpinkroses
    • CommentTimeDec 30th, 2014 12:44am (Dec 30th 2014)
     
    Will definitely let you all know about the asparagus next spring. (September) Cheers.:face-smile: