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chicken henry

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New member first post
« on: June 13, 2013, 09:10 »
Hi all
         A little about myself and my experience of starting back with keeping chickens I do hope that you will read all of my post as it contains some advice and a warning to all keepers of chickens .

After suffering a heart attack in 2008 I was forced into retirement from my specialist engineering job, so with lots of spare time on my hands and being now a little limited as to what I can and cannot do physically I decided to keep a few backyard chickens, as a family we always had chickens and almost grew up with them so was taught lots as a youngster,

I took my time and thought about the best way to provide the most rewarding home and care for my chickens as I could possibly provide, after much thought I decided to build my own chicken coop with all the good ideas gained from searching the net and seeing what others had done for their hens.

I designed my coop with the view of being easy to keep clean and as a modular design so it could be easy to take apart if needed to be , as you will see in my pics I have tried to make things easy for me to cope with my disabilities from my heart problems , trays that slide out from either side to make cleaning and washing easy every part of the coop can come apart if a deep clean needs to be done , ventilation was done with two high vents and a roof that can be opened in hot weather if needed .
Detachable nest box with four nests in and I used cat litter trays so makes it very easy to keep clean and fresh for my hens, the coop is bolted together in six sections, floor roof, front back and two sides. All perches are removable for cleaning and maintenance.

So all this work took me almost a year to complete and get ready for my new hens to be happy in I stocked up on all the usual items before getting my hens , shavings straw , medicines, tonics, searched for all I may need and made my stock of essentials up for keeping healthy and happy chickens . 

Search many web sites for which company I would use to get the best hens for my needs.

Finally decided that one supplier looked very good but was quite some distance away so we travelled to this supplier and got six hens two Sussex. Two Columbian blacktails and two blacks. we picked them out from a large selection from this company I did watch the hens in their outside run and selected what I thought were the best looking and fittest from around fifty or so mixed flock .the company had stated that all vaccinations had been given and they would not sell any birds that looked ill or unkempt. So trusted their experience and advice.

We got the hens on a wed and took them home to introduce them to our new coop,
By the Friday of the same week it looked like we had a few poorly hens which I initially put down to change of environment so treated them with tonic and gave them chance to settle them seemed to be ok with the coop and their run on the sat of the same week we had all the hens very poorly so contacted the company which I got them from and was told boss is out will get him to call you back told them it was urgent!
Come Sunday we now knew we had some very sick hens on our hands very lethargic sneezing and breathing very poor with open mouths and gasping for breath. Again contacted the company what sold them to me for advice and help left two messages on answer phone to please contact me urgently tried all the numbers given on their web page still no contact with any advice or help.

As it was now a bank holiday I was very concerned to see the state of my poor birds and did feel so helpless as to what action to take next , tried to contact local vets whom I thought may beable to help with even just advice but no local vets would deal with chickens ! I finally got a specialist poultry vet some 20 miles away that advised me and told me what to do, I took one of the hens to him to see what the problems were and he instantly said it was mycoplasmsois and gave me the treatment to use in their water .he asked if they had been vaccinated I told him that the seller states on his site that they all were vaccinated he doubted this had happened.

We did lose three of our hens which I was most upset about but managed to get the other three back to full health with lots of time and effort , the company whom I got these birds from never did call me back . As this is an ongoing matter I have now taken up with this company I cannot yet name them but when I have done I will name and shame them if this website will allow that.

We got three new hens from a different supplier and did all the quarantine bit with them to make sure all was well before introduction to the main group.

I am pleased to say that now we have a healthy and happy group of well cared for hens.

I know this is a long post but hope that it may help others to look very carefully at stock from mass breeders or sellers and check them out well with a full examination of what they wish to buy , look at how they are kept and check out their nesting area also if the company do not let you do this then just be aware they may be hiding something all suppliers I now deal with gives me access to any and all areas of their site I may wish to see and will supply a printed list of what their hens have been vaccinated with and when .



 
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New shoot

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Re: New member first post
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2013, 09:32 »
Hi Henry and welcome  :)

Sorry to hear you had such a bad experience with your first birds  :(  Not sure the forum can allow you to name and shame, but I understand your anger.  Sounds like your current supplier is a much better one.

That is a great looking chicken coop and good to hear you now have a healthy, happy flock :)

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ANHBUC

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Re: New member first post
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2013, 09:37 »
Glad you have introduced yourself chicken henry, yours is a familiar tale.  Your set up looks really good and your hens happy and healthy.  Welcome to the site, you will find plenty of like minded chicken keepers here.

It is against site policy to name and shame due to legal reasons.  You are allowed to praise though as long as you have nothing to do with the company and will not gain in any way.  It is best to familiarise yourself with the site policies which you will find HERE   :D
Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens!
Bagpuss RIP 1992 - June 2012, 1 huge grass carp (RIP "Jaws" July 2001 - December 2011), 4 golden orfe, 1 goldfish and 1 fantail fish (also huge)! plus 4 Italian quail, 1 Japanese quail, 1 Rosetta quail.

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GrannieAnnie

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Re: New member first post
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2013, 09:40 »
Good morning Henry!

You've made a lovely job of that coop.  And nie to see you let the girls out to run free at times too.  Sorry to hear of your woes.  We have so many people who have had the same problems as you, and you were lucky that after treatment you were able to introduce some more hens to your little flock.

We have one forum member who lost 5 of his 6 girls to myco even though the breeder said they were 'vaccinated', and he introduced another 5 to the remaining girl, but as she was now a carrier, she gave it to the other and they died, but now like you, he has 6 healthy hens.

You will still have to be vigilant though as the 3 original girls will be carriers and can pass this nasty disease on.

Lots of people tell us that they have bought hens that are vaccinated, but this is difficult to prove.

When we started breeding our own chickens, I tried vaccinating once.  But it is expensive as the doses are for 500 or 1000 birds, and my vaccine only covered about 4 of the possible diseases.  But to vaccinate them properly costs a lot of money as the vaccination programme starts at a day old and goes right through til they are at point of lay.

Luckily, we never had any problems with people buying from us, except the odd one that maybe had a heart attack, which they can do.

Sorry to hear of your heart problems, but you have new interests now to keep you busy!

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pepsi100

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Re: New member first post
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2013, 09:45 »
I am really sorry to hear about the first lot of birds you got were in such a sorry state, I think its a shame you never came on these forums before you bought your hens (with people from all over the country here) I think most could have given you more than a few recommendations of sellers (maybe even a couple here would have sold you a couple)

Its hard to lose birds, but it must be really bad when you have built up your expectations (not to mention the work on the new hen house)

It all looks very good, now all you have to do is get the birds trust and they will be eating out of your hand in no time (I like young birds, they are a lot quicker at liking you and recognising a treat tin)

Where abouts in the country are you ?

Good luck with these hens  :)
« Last Edit: June 13, 2013, 09:48 by pepsi100 »
It's all about the journey, not the destination

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chicken henry

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Re: New member first post
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2013, 10:04 »
Pepsi100
                 Yes i do have them hand feeding already ! i have lots of time to spend with them and being a lover of all animals i do try to provide the best i can for them , they even jump up on to my lap to take grapes from me which always makes me smile '

Thank you all for you kind responses and yes i should have asked on forum who to "buy from " but we all live and learn  :)

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pepsi100

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Re: New member first post
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2013, 10:37 »
Pepsi100
                 Yes i do have them hand feeding already ! i have lots of time to spend with them and being a lover of all animals i do try to provide the best i can for them , they even jump up on to my lap to take grapes from me which always makes me smile '

Thank you all for you kind responses and yes i should have asked on forum who to "buy from " but we all live and learn  :)

It sounds like they know where they are better off

I have a big cockerel, now I was very dubious about him (they never learn the time) but this BIG boy only crows in the morning, just to let you know the new day has arrived, and then maybe once or twice during the day and thats it, but with a dozen hens, he might feel a shade hen pecked, but it looks like he is going to live a long time if he carries on like this

Hope to hear more about them as they 'get their feet under the table' so to speak :)

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nerdle

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Re: New member first post
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2013, 18:22 »
Great run!  Foxy won't get in there!
There must be something to be done about bad breeders - Rspca - sale of goods act etc etc - for the animals welfare and consumer protection.  We have an iffy breeder in my area. 
One grandma and 4 baby Pekins.

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pepsi100

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Re: New member first post
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2013, 18:41 »
Great run!  Foxy won't get in there!
There must be something to be done about bad breeders - Rspca - sale of goods act etc etc - for the animals welfare and consumer protection.  We have an iffy breeder in my area.

Your'e lucky, I am the cleset to a breeder in my area, but all my chicks are for me

I dont know that the RSPCA would be that interested (if they dont know about them already, I would be surprised if they didnt)

I dont know if hens would be covered by the sale of goods

I can imagine the seller saying 'They were fine when I had 'em' and I would think the buyers just shrug it off and going to a small claims court over the cost of a couple of hens hardly worth the trouble

Even though these were Henry's first batch of hens, he showed great concern for them, which I think is quite admirable

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chicken henry

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Re: New member first post
« Reply #9 on: June 20, 2013, 05:51 »
Hi folks
              After explaing about the sorry state of some hens I recently had die on us I am pleased to now say that thanks to my close friend we have now hit back at the sellers!

Because we spent over 100 and used our credit card we have now managed to get a charge back on our card for the hens that died within a week of us getting them.

We also got DEFRA involved and they now have to prove that their stock that is for sale has been vaccinated as per the statement on their website.

We hope that this message will go out to all those whom may be cutting costs and being economical with the truth in their statements about their stock so others will not suffer from poor quality customer services and stock that are not as described .

I am not involved in my hobby of keeping chickens for profit I do it because I want to and enjoy what I do.

I care for all my pets and give them the life I would wish for myself  that is my ethics and I will always stand up and be counted in that respect .
 :)

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pepsi100

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Re: New member first post
« Reply #10 on: June 20, 2013, 08:12 »
Congratulations,  :) :) :) :) :)


I had never even thought of using a credit card to buy hens, its something well worth considering next time ;)

(I wonder if that would work with unfertile eggs, I really doubt it though)

A shame about then hens that died, and now this seller has to conform now, I bet he wil never forget you :)

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ANHBUC

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Re: New member first post
« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2013, 11:52 »
It is sad that the hens had to die as Pepsi said.  Well done on standing up for your rights and reporting it to the proper authorities.  That will make all the difference to the breeder who will either clean up their act or stop breeding.   :)

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pepsi100

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Re: New member first post
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2013, 11:57 »
That will make all the difference to the breeder who will either clean up their act or stop breeding.   :)

Either one has to be good for both the hens and buyers  :)

Sad it took all this to get a buyer to 'get his house in order'

Now lets see some of these happy hens in the new run/coop  ;)



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