I wonder where those chooks are? They're very quiet!

Discussion in 'Poultry, Domestic Livestock, Pets, & Bees' started by ClissAT, Apr 20, 2016.

  1. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Recently from time to time my cluckles seem to disappear. Usually they chatter amongst themselves & come running when I whistle. [​IMG]
    But every so often I seem to 'loose' them.
    A bit later they turn up again in an apparently satiated & restful state & go about preening at a time that they would not normally do that. [​IMG]

    Well today all was revealed! They had found the bag of blood & bone! [​IMG]

    I buy it in a 30kg bag which is a great bulk buy for me but it is still a plastic bag.
    On occasion I have had rodents make holes & have a good feed. But the holes I saw in the bags today were different.
    Bloody chooks! [​IMG] There was blood & bone scattered all over the potting room floor & down in the cracks between the pavers.
    There were a few little mouse pellets in it but this mess was the work of 3 rouge hens! [​IMG]

    The trouble is, they are not short of food or protein. I do actually give them a little tray of B&B occasionally & they never eat it all so I felt they were getting enough.
    I guess they decided to do a bit of self-serve because they didn't want to bother me. [​IMG]

    Anyway I gave them some more outside today then cleaned up their messy feed site. I double bagged the B&B into horse feed bags.
    But I might be forced to build a wall & door for that section of the underneath of my house if they keep going in there to nick the B&B.
    I'll give them B&B more regularly in future as they obviously need it.

    [​IMG]
     
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  2. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member GOLD

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    heh, always up to no good when they disappear :feedchooks:
     
  3. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Naughty chooks! They have a knack for getting into everything. That's why I banned them from my orchard and garden because chickens make such a mess :)
     
  4. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Mine no longer make much mess anywhere. I make a dust bathing site for them & change it every week or so to whatever bed I am resting. They may scratch the lucerne mulch from around a fruit tree occasionally but that actually seem to do some good for the soil. So I tolerate that activity.
    Each arvo they await my grasshopper catching stance at each vegie garden bed whereupon they stick attentively to me so as not to miss out.
    Making myself invaluable to them for food seems to have stopped most destructive behaviour which was why I was aghast when I saw the B&B bag.
    I had to train them not to come in under the house because they would poop on the pavers & carpet I have lined the downstairs dirt floor with.
    That got under my skin so I got out the big leaf rake & hunted them along with it making a choo choo sound like I'm moving cattle along. They really seem to dislike that sound so it didn't take long to train them to stay away from under the house.
    Although I think it worked because it was a small area with one way in & out. Hunting them out of a whole orchard would be nigh impossible. Then yesterday I was actually raking mango leaves & guess what.... chooks scattering everywhere! :ROFL:
    I have also begun training them to recognise words. They now know 'watch out!' That means they will get wet or something will dump down beside them or similar. They now know they must scatter! :D however I also see that they must experience the 'catastrophe' occasionally otherwise they get blazee. So if I am hosing & it's a warm day & they will dry before roosting time I will actually sprinkle them right after yelling 'watch out!'
    They also know the words 'dinner time'. There's a few others too that they are getting good with.
     
  5. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    You're the Chicken Whisperer @ClissAT :twothumbsup:
     
  6. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    ha ha thanks Mark.
    I have been 'horse whispering' for 25yrs. I hate that phrase or name, it's quite false & cheapens the whole process which is very involved.
    I do like to experiment the techniques on other species with varying results.
    However the one species I find it rarely works on is humans!
    Humans are inclined to wait & experience the negative result rather than respond positively.
    I get into trouble all the time for apparently being too severe on people.
    For example a lady had a chook problem. She had 2 pens of birds, 1 egg layers & 1 showing.
    The showers got a special formulation that kept them in prime condition.
    The egg layers got a basic ration & continuously jumped/flew out to get to the vegie garden.
    I posted that she answered her own question.
    I was soundly castigated for being unsympathetic & in anycase it was the bird's faults & their wings should be clipped even harder.
    Well I'd like to put her in a pen & feed her only bread while the rest ate nice salad, fish & fruit for example.
    See how long it took her to have a change of heart.
    But who failed to respond to the stimuli & instead awaited the negative experience?
    Me of course! ;)
     
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  7. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Me too! Some people are idiots... And then they dare get their back up when someone calls them out like as if it's their right to be moronic whilst the rest of us are supposed to let it go through to the keeper and humour them - I say good on YOU :cheer:
     
  8. James P

    James P Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    cheeky chookies :tease:
     
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  9. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    It's been suggested to me that they might have been chasing the calcium content in the B&B.
    I do struggle to get them to eat enough calcium rich foods or grit or cuttlefish.
    They are too picky regarding the exact size of shell grit they will or not eat!
    Anyway I will feed them a bit more & see what happens.
     
  10. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Just because the chooks broke open the b&b isn't a sign there's a deficiency in their diet... chickens get into everything they are inquisitive animals.
     
  11. James P

    James P Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    That is very true, how is the rate of egg laying going? Although mine have just been through a moult, so I guess yours have too and egg laying is down anyway? They do need a fair bit of calcium for new feather growth :think:
     
  12. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Ours tend to slow down laying through winter (even though our winters are mild) but I don't recall them going off the lay for other reasons and we don't specifically concentrate on ensuring their diet is overly managed.

    All I have ever done is feed them a variety of commercial feeds, plenty of kitchen and garden scraps, and the odd shell grit or pecking block... we do nothing special although they do have a large area to range through the day.
     
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  13. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    When we got these ex free range commercial chooks 13mths ago they were halfway through their second lay.
    They never stopped laying after we got them home.
    Around late September last year the ISA type red hen started laying shell-less eggs & retaining eggs, got very sick with peritonitis & must've come very close to dying but got better & is now retired lady of leisure.
    The other 2 continued to lay pretty much daily until recently when the white hen started laying soft shelled eggs. I am wondering if she has come to the end of her productive life now too. Her normal egg is around 90g & I call them duck eggs!
    That leaves the black hen laying every 3rd day atm. I call this her laying holiday because it is the first time she has not laid daily.
    At this time of year I would expect them to go off for a while.
    So even though they get a heap of quality food of varying types with high protein component, it's no guarantee they will continue to lay.
    All I am doing is feeding them whatever they will eat because they wont eat standard chook food although they do eat grain.
    I grow a variety of seed crops & greens for them, feed them a meat 'spam' I make out of a variety of good byproducts, the B&B, plus there is not a single grasshopper left on my property because we go around every afternoon catching them.
    When I find those beetle larvae in the garden soil they get them too. So they are not lacking in good food.
    3 chooks 700x.jpg
     
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  14. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Just a little update on the bit of a whinge I had halfway down this thread where I made comment about someone whose chooks kept getting out due to lack of correct(or maybe empathetic feeding) feeding.
    It turns out the lady cut the remaining feathers off their wings but it made no difference so she is going to build a new prison worthy fence to keep them in.
    Her excuse for under feeding & neglecting her egg laying chooks is that she has 3 kids & run off her feet every day!
    Yet she has time to dote on the other pen of show chooks that are overfed, primped & preened for shows.
    Yeh right!! :facepalm:
     
  15. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Oh of course... she's the only person in the world who has children plus animals to look after so I suppose she has a great excuse for animal cruelty. :confused:
     
  16. Sasha Bushell

    Sasha Bushell Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I know this might be super late, but my family has always fed the chooks there own cooked and crushed egg shells back to them for calcium.

    Could be a try, also yoghurt that has gone bad was always something my mum did on purpose to worm them she says.
    Im not sure if that helps but thought i would mention it :)
     
  17. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Hi there Sasha, thanks for those thoughts.
    They do get theirs & anyone else's egg shells crushed for them which they consume readily.
    Yoghurt does not last long enough in my house to even think about going off! ;)
    But I have made soft cheese for them from a container of yoghurt that did go off.
    I'm a bit vague on what caused that container of yoghurt to go off but it must have been a mistake I made.
    They did enjoy that immensely.

    Unfortunately regarding worming, there is only one way that works & that is to use the appropriate chemicals.
    The various alternative anthelmintics have been scientifically proven not to work.
    Those little squirmy blighters are so hard to kill, nothing in it's natural state will help in the slightest.
     
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  18. Sasha Bushell

    Sasha Bushell Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Thats a shame isnt it that we cant worm them naturaly :(
     
  19. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    We can't worm ourselves naturally either unfortunately so if us humans get a tapeworm etc it's a dose of tablets of us! But I don't really worry too much about worming my poultry or giving tick treatments to my pets etc because these chemicals aren't too bad overall and do more good than anything (when used correctly of course).
     
  20. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    An update on the cluckle mob.

    We still have this thing about splitting hairs over exactly what is & what is not considered 'under the house'.

    They know 'under the house' begins at the carpet edge. But today is very hot being 36c right now so they are seeking coolth.

    Hence this photo taken 30mins ago.
    I could hear them from upstairs on the verandah but not see them. When I called down to them & asked if they were under the house I got an emphatic 'NO'! So I had to see for myself.

    The photo tells the story.
    Here's a small quiz. Can anyone guess what 'the great white god' might be?

    no we are not under the house.jpg
     
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