Heat wave

We are experiencing a bit of a heat wave at the moment as I think is the whole country. The little girls love the heat but the two bigger girls not so much.

Speckles continues to do sloppy poops and it’s obviously no longer because of drinking rain water.

I have researched this and it is suggested that providing the girl looks fine in every other way there is nothing to worry about but I still can’t help thinking that as it has gone on for so long there must be something slightly adrift.

Speckles has been laying fewer eggs than usual and yesterday for the first time she laid a soft shelled egg which I found broken in the nest box. Despite this she does seem normal in all other ways. She is active, dust baths, eats well and runs to the treats with vigour so there is nothing much I can do but see how she goes.

Emerald is feeling her age and spends more time sitting and snoozing these days. Today when it was hot and the little girls were sunning themselves she found a shady spot on top of the shelter and was snoozing there.

Emerald has found a new shady spot to sit

Emerald snoozing in the shade

I felt compelled to call her name to check that she was okay

Despite this Emerald is laying really well and recently laid two days in a row for the first time this year.

Dandelion has really come into her own. After many times of looking poorly over the winter she is now thriving in the hot weather. When I last did portraits of the girls Dandelion had black spots on her comb where I thought that she had been pecked by Speckles. She now has a beautiful red comb and is laying good shelled eggs every other day. It is as if she is fixed!

Dandelion in the nest box

She is more active than she used to be and even seems to have more confidence when the other girls are competing for the treats.

The other problem I am still trying to sort out is that the two bigger girls still want to sleep outside of the chicken shed. I have been hanging clear tarpaulin over the perches in the evening which worked for a while.

They then got braver and perched on top of the tarpaulin. I chased them down and then arranged my wellie boots over the spot they had perched on and went back later to check on them. They had knocked my boots down and perched there again. I am now hanging a black bin bag over the tarpaulin which at the moment is working.

We are away overnight at the end of next week so I am keeping this up for now so that I can feel confident that they will go in while we are away but longer term I am not sure if I am going to be able to break this habit.

While we are at home I can just go and herd them in each night but we are away overnight again in August. This is a work in progress.

And that is all the latest news from the chicken run. Overall I am pleased that all the girls are looking good and laying well, apart from Speckles, but then she has never been a particularly good layer anyway.

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6 Responses to Heat wave

  1. David says:

    Dandelion does look in really good condition and seramas clearly relish the heat, even if bred in our cooler climes!
    Hope Speckles is okay; it’s nice when your older girls ‘wind down’ gradually, like Emerald. Bella has now started to lay, even though she’s 7, but I am concerned that all is not well with Galaxy, my little chocolate pekin. She’s 5, her comb is nothing like red and she seems a bit lethargic, although is eating, drinking and pooping normally. I’ll be sorry to lose her, as I’ve had her since a chick, but there’s nothing tangible to make a vet’s appointment.

    • Carol says:

      I agree that seramas clearly thrive in the heat even though as you say they are bred here. Speckles seems okay in every other way and although she has only laid 3 – 5 eggs a month when I checked back on last year it was actually the same except for April when she peaked with 14 for that one month only.

      Bella laying at 7 is good going. It is worrying when like Galaxy you feel something is not quite right but can’t identify the problem. You just have to hope all will be okay.

      I was sure I would lose Dandelion over winter and now she looks amazing whereas I never worried about Apricot. She never showed symptoms of myco and didn’t seem to suffer when it was cold. She looked great and then she was the one I lost which was such a shock. Sometimes you just can’t tell with these girls what is going on. I do take egg laying as a reassuring sign that all is okay.

  2. marion.pharo says:

    Dandelion is such a good looking girl.And I know how Emerald feel, I was once a sun lover, I still love the sun, but I like to sit in the shade now, a fact about getting old.

    • Carol says:

      I still love the sun. I have got quite a tan over the last few days. We have been for a few walks and yesterday a forty minute walk (each way) to a pub for a beer festival and barbecue plus lots of time in the garden. It is so amazing to have this weather on a bank holiday weekend!

  3. Sophie says:

    Dandelion looks amazing!! My little girls love the sun too – they’ll lie in their dust-bath with their wings outstretched and such looks of bliss on their faces!!

    Emerald looks a lovely old girl. Hope Speckles will be ok – how old is she? xx

    • Carol says:

      My little girls do exactly the same. Emerald is about six years old as I don’t exactly how old she was when we got her. Speckles is younger, only three years old as we had her from point of lay.

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