Emily Wilson

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since Mar 20, 2014
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Recent posts by Emily Wilson

Thanks again for the advice I just noticed you are from the "Left Coast" of Canada. Where abouts? I am originally from those parts.
We normally feed a 5 grain mix- barley, oat, corn wheat I think. We have a specific sheep mineral that we offer free choice, plus of course the baking soda/water I poured down her throat when she first went off grain, I was a little worried she'd had too much and was becoming acidic, but I was confident within a few hours that that wasn't the case. (She was unimpressed with that experience, no surprise there!) It did get very cold the day after I moved her to the lambing pen, so it's possible that her body decided it wasn't the right time, it's warmed up now so a much better time to lamb. Selenium is good here in Ontario, we're quite grateful for that. She's still eating hay and water without issue and seems quite happy. She's not really all that big, but that seems to be the way she carries, she appear that big last year but still spit out 3 healthy lambs.

I'll keep you posted, thanks so much for checking in with me, it's really appreciated!
No, after all that, it seems like it was a complete false alarm! She's back with the rest of the sheep, like nothing happened
One of my ewes is acting a bit off. I'm pretty sure she's getting ready to lamb, and I'm being a nervous Nelly about it. I have an easy time knowing when my goats are going into labour but our sheep are so flighty it's hard figuring out what's up with them. Last year we didn't know the lambs were coming until they were already born I'm sure she'll be fine but thought I'd ask for some opinions from those more experienced.

She's not eating grain, and was laying off to the side of the rest of them yesterday morning. She can get up and seems quite normal but is subdued. She's bagged up as far as I can tell, her vulva is swollen and pink looking, and she usually has her tail elevated when she is standing. Her daughter from last year has been very protective of her, standing with her at all times. I moved them both over to a clean stall but no change yet since yesterday. She's eating hay, chewing cud and drinking water and otherwise looks bright and healthy.

Any opinions?
As far as the mixed flock goes, I find that ducks and chickens have incredibly different housing needs: Ducks make everything wet, including their bedding in a major way, while chickens need dry conditions with dust baths etc; chickens are healthiest when they roost, ducks don't roost; chickens lay eggs in boxes off the ground, ducks lay eggs on the ground (with the exception of 1 duck I have that flew up to and laid in the chickens' nesting boxes for a while!) So with only 6 animals, you would be best to go with just one or the other.

I also advocate for Muscovies as a nice quiet duck, be careful though, they can fly over fences and on top of outbuildings and cars unless their wings are clipped, and mine went through a phase of walking down the street, up to 10 houses down! They have far less need for water than other ducks, which can be an advantage on a smaller lot.

Never had a problem with drakes mating with chickens, and please reconsider the use of the word "rape" - this is anthropomorphism to the extreme and makes light of a real issue experienced by many humans. All duck and chicken mating looks aggressive or non-consensual to our eyes, but that is simply the way they mate. Sorry to get a bit off topic.

5 years ago
I agree that it's probably just the fact that it's winter, they should start up again soon. I would however, recommend switching to a layer feed instead of a grower if you want eggs. We get more eggs on layer for sure. Unfortunately it's difficult to find or afford the organic feed mentioned above, we have managed to source non-GMO for the same price as conventional, so you can look into that.
5 years ago

Charles Kleff wrote:The issue is that in most cases the animals on that list are nocturnal so penning the chickens up at night and free ranging them during the day mitigates the problem significantly.



Mitigates but unfortunately doesn't eliminate. I have come outside on a sunny spring afternoon to find a weasel attacking one of my chickens in the middle of the yard. I have also had coyotes come after our sheep in the daytime. My sister lost 20 free ranging chickens, one by one, as a fox picked them off while they were out during the day ( a neighbour was watching the farm at the time) I really believe that if you don't want losses due to predators, the chickens need some sort of secure area. Electric fence provides security and free-range benefits, and is not as daunting as it seems.
5 years ago
Sometimes my chickens eat eggs when they aren't getting enough feed, so adding some extra grain helps with that. If you look closely, you will often find a bird with "egg on her face". Also, in the past my chooks have had times where their calcium drops for whatever reason and the shells become thinner, causing some eggs to break as they are being sat on. At that point the chickens figure it's a good treat. So the above recommendations to boost calcium also apply.
5 years ago
I feel like we may be missing the forest for the trees here. While I agree that a dog who kills livestock is a liability and needs to be dealt with, what about the chickens? If a dog can get to them, so can a fox, coyote, weasel, raccoon, etc. Free-ranging without electric fence is asking for trouble, IMO. I know it's a pain, but look into either a secure tractor or electric. Dogs are destructive, but at least you know where they live, wild predators are just as vicious and difficult to locate and trap etc. It can be very stressful to start your electric fencing project after the first predator attack, racing against an unknown critter coming pack for more of your birds any minute. I would take this as an omen and beef up security.
5 years ago
People who raise show chickens often feed them cat food during a molt to help them get through it faster. (More protein = faster feather growth) You chicken will be just fine.
5 years ago