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Moulting
Thu 6-Oct-11
2:29 pm
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Aly
Normandy France

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2 of my girls (chickens) have gone into moult and stopped laying. It started with the recent unseasonly warm weather. Anyone else have the same problem? I am worried they may not regrow their feathers before the weather turns cold.confused

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Thu 6-Oct-11
3:18 pm
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Hattie
Bucks/Oxon Border

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Hi Aly, 

Welcome to the forum; it's full of information & friendly people.

I wouldn't worry about your chickens, they will feather up in time for winter. They do not loose all their feathers anyway. If you want to help them a bit give them more protein rich food as extra rations. Always remember to do this anyway as we get into colder weather. 

Hot temperatures often trigger them to stop them laying....it has happened with my hens......luckily a few of them are still producing. Mine, which are Dorkings & Dorking crosses lay very few (or none) during the shorter days of winter & won't begin again till January when the days lengthen.

Hope this helps to ease your mind.  wave

Nadine /aka Hattie

 

"The beautiful is as useful as the useful...perhaps more so."

from Les Miserables

Thu 6-Oct-11
5:12 pm
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Aly
Normandy France

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Thanks, I have Buff Orpingtons. They laid the first eggs last December when it was snowing and have continued until now. I am getting one or two eggs a day. They are free range but I feed them pondeuse too (layers pellets I guess in English!) and a can of sweetcorn each day which they love.smile My ducks have also stopped laying so guess I will have to wait a while for them to re start. I am new to chicken keeping but am loving the experience and hope I need never buy a mass produced egg again!

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Thu 6-Oct-11
5:32 pm
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Hattie
Bucks/Oxon Border

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Try to give them some yogurt or sour milk. I give mine odds & ends of cheese etc. On very cold winter mornings they get warm porridge with Poultry Spice sprinkled into it (you could use any mixture of hot ground spices you have in the back of the cupboard).  The added protein gets them back into lay faster. 

I suspect you may not get eggs throughout the winter especially as the hens will be entering their second year of laying.

Try to give them plenty of cabbage leaves during the winter, hang up a string bag of them. Sometimes I get the rough outer leaves from my neighbours or from a market stall. It really helps with their health. I let mine free-range amongst the windfall apples  (I have several apple trees), this builds up their health....all my pullets have been bought up on them, for generations. They get so excited when the first ones start falling. If you can store some for the winter see if your neighbours have a surplus.

 

"The beautiful is as useful as the useful...perhaps more so."

from Les Miserables

Thu 6-Oct-11
9:00 pm
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Terrier
York

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As it's now autumn, my hens are now allowed in the orchard and garden, one of them nearly got brained by a falling cooking apple the other day...hilarious (sorry)

Fri 7-Oct-11
5:18 pm
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Aly
Normandy France

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I have lots of windfalls they are currently enjoying and I give them grated courgette along with the ducks which they all love i_am_hungry Will try the yogurt and cabbage though. Just hope to get an occasional egg as need them for baking.

One of my ducks is lame as is one of my chickens but both are happy and eating well and the chicken, Saffy lays an egg now and then. I have a lame turkey joining us soon folowing a call from another expat who knows I am a soft touch and has the turkey. She knows it will stay alive and not go in the pot for xmas with me!

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Fri 7-Oct-11
11:28 pm
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maggenpie
Cornwall, UK

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wave Nice to know I'm not the only one to take on lame ducks, metaphorical or real! No lame ducks here at the moment but I have two rooks and a jackdaw with four wings between them. The rooks are both blind in one eye and the jackdaw is so old she has cataracts and can hardly see at all now. My drake is partially sighted as well.

I have two laying ducks, khaki campbells. Last year's baby is currently on strike while she moults but happily this year's baby girl is laying every day. They both free range in my veg garden, recycling slugs and bugs to supplement their pellets but greedily gobble mealworms for titbits. Hopefully that will help the extra protein thing and the big girl will lay a few more eggs before winter sets in. They're not interested in cabbage, they prefer spinach but I have a few kale plants they can help themselves to. They weren't supposed to, but the little girl showed me how they get in there!

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Sat 8-Oct-11
6:06 am
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Hattie
Bucks/Oxon Border

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Ruth I love hearing about your various birds & their antics. You should write more about them. smile

 

"The beautiful is as useful as the useful...perhaps more so."

from Les Miserables

Sat 8-Oct-11
6:14 pm
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Aly
Normandy France

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My lame duck is also a drake and blind in one eye. They are all Rouen ducks as they don't fly so no heartache over them taking off! They look like giant mallards!

This year I have had a fledgling wagtail and a pigeon who stayed with me for a while until they had their flight feathers. I will take in any under dog, a few years ago I took in a friend of my youngest daughter who was having problems at home and she was part of my family for a few years. Nowadays it is the animal world smile

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Sat 8-Oct-11
10:38 pm
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maggenpie
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You're my kind of girl Aly. Nice to have another vegetarian on the forum.  smile

I've never had a wagtail to rear - lovely, fragile looking little birds.

 

Thanks Hattie, I don't have many poorly creatures around these days (thank goodness) but one day I might tell you about Little Jo the rook who chose freedom after 11 years, or the paralysed anorexic hedgehog or... I don't know, I shall have to have a think.

 

1+2 = my kind of maths!

Never assume anything - except an occasional air of intelligence.

Mon 17-Oct-11
4:50 pm
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Aly
Normandy France

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very excited after a week of nothing Ellie left me a beautiful brown egg this morningsmile

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Mon 17-Oct-11
5:32 pm
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Toffeeapple
North Bucks

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Eggciting!

I'll try that again!

Mon 17-Oct-11
9:00 pm
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Hattie
Bucks/Oxon Border

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Good for Ellie & even better for you.....ok  I hope she keeps it up.  smile

 

"The beautiful is as useful as the useful...perhaps more so."

from Les Miserables

Mon 17-Oct-11
11:16 pm
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Terrier
York

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Fed up with my hens at the mo, getting 2 eggs a day from 13 hens, 3 game birds and 2 cockerels (will let the cockerels off), the marans are moulting, the rest really don't have much of an eggscuse (sorry). Even cleaned out the hen hut today for them.

Tue 18-Oct-11
5:10 am
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Hattie
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A lot of hens get very moody when they are moulting, poor things. They need a bit of a rest & a little bit of coddling¦¦give them an extra bit of high protein food. Just remember they are loosing some of their warm feathers just as the weather gets colder. They use a lot of energy just trying to keep warm. Get some Poultry spice to add to some warm porridge for them on cold mornings. Also remember to give them an occasional cabbage throughout the winter as there will be less greenery around to peck at & they need it to produce eggs. Try to store some apples for them; they don't seem to mind them if they have brown patches on them.

If I have any milk which is going sour I give it to my lot & they just go crazy over it¦.it is so funny to watch them drink it, they can't get enough of it¦¦the claggier it is, the more they fight over it.  smile

 

"The beautiful is as useful as the useful...perhaps more so."

from Les Miserables

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