Hello from Bulgaria

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Re: Hello from Bulgaria

Postby bigyetiman » Sun May 28, 2017 5:22 am

We get our D E from a local farm supplies shop, but it is readily available to buy from various places on the internet. Do you have any local farm supply shops in your area or are you more town based ?
We keep it literally dusted well into any cracks ends of perches. Don't give the critters a chance. Sounds as though you inherited them from previous owners and they are the devil to get rid of as you are finding out
Sorry you have a lot of rain at mo. We have a heavy clay soil so lots of rain sends our garden into a bog or flooded, in the summer it's rock hard. We have made a big sand box for our girls. Could you do that in your barn?
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Re: Hello from Bulgaria

Postby chrismahon » Sun May 28, 2017 7:22 am

A wall paper stripper wouldn't work Saraht- what you need is a fine jet of pressurised steam to get into all the cracks and gaps.
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Re: Hello from Bulgaria

Postby saraht » Sun May 28, 2017 7:46 pm

Sorry for the delay in replying. I have been busy in the barn all day sorting out the old and new coops. I'm slowly making progress.
I have contacted a couple of companies in the UK about sending me DE. I am just waiting to hear back from them. I'm happy to import it from any European country though if someone has a recommendation.
I have the same soil you do bigyetiman. In the summer it is rock hard plus it gets large cracks in it as it dries out too much. I do plan to have a sand pit for them too. I have a kids plastic one ready to put in the barn for them but just have no dry materials to fill it with just now. I tried to get some sand locally but that was as wet as ours. I will be more prepared for the wet weather in future. It is the first time we have had rain like this in over a year, it is literally washing the road surfaces away because there are no drains in our village.
Thank you to everyone who lives in a hotter climate for your advice on coops. It is very much appreciated and confirms my concerns. I am currently planning the ventilation for my new coop chrismahon so thank you for stressing the importance of this, I have taken on board what everyone has said and I'm trying to incorporate it into my new design which is evolving daily.
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Re: Hello from Bulgaria

Postby Marigold » Sun May 28, 2017 8:19 pm

Do you have to shut the pophiole in the coop at night, Sara, for protection against predators? If they're safe inside the barn, you could leave it open at all times, which is really good for ventilation, plus they can come and go at roosting time and dawn, as they need.
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Re: Hello from Bulgaria

Postby saraht » Mon May 29, 2017 7:08 am

I may have to rethink how to treat the remaining beams Chris. They do have a lot of little crevices, especially with all the holes from the wood worm.

I prefer to keep the door/pop hole shut at night, Marigold. Although the barn keeps them safe from the foxes and jackals we still have other climbing predators such as pine martins that are partial to a bit of chicken for their dinner. Although we have done our best to plug all holes with chicken wire, if they really wanted to they could find a way to climb in. They manage to get in our attic sometimes and I have no idea how. I also know that our neighbours get rats so I don't really want them getting in. I don't know how much of a threat rats are to chickens when they are sleeping but I am edging on the side of caution.

I have picked a corner for the coop that will be cool in summer as it never gets the sun and sheltered in the winter. There will be two solid brick walls that I am building it agains and I'll be rendering and painting for easy cleaning (I hope) and I plan to put plenty of ventilation into the other two walls and under the roof. I really hope I get the level of ventilation right. The chickens were fine in the wooden coop last year and there were lots of cracks between the planks so I'm thinking the more ventilation holes the better. It was a much bigger coop than the one I am currently building though so I guess that also helped.
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Re: Hello from Bulgaria

Postby bigyetiman » Mon May 29, 2017 7:15 pm

Well thats one thing we don't have to worry about here, Jackals.
The problem with rats is they can get under somewhere and they breed rapidly, and eat the hens food, chew holes. Plus the diseases they can carry.Not something you want around, squirrels can be a pain to.
Glad you have got the DE sorted.
You will need deep sides for the sand pit or it all ends up outside, I learnt that from experience
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Re: Hello from Bulgaria

Postby Minorcafan » Mon May 29, 2017 7:32 pm

I get my DE from EBay,
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Re: Hello from Bulgaria

Postby RichmondHens » Mon May 29, 2017 8:13 pm

Have you dusted the birds themselves with DE? It is worth slathering them thoroughly from head to toe rubbing well into the skin then even if there are a few residual mites in the housing and they make it onto the bird they will be put off by the DE on the bird itself.

If you don't mind your eggs getting garlicky then a few crushed cloves in the drinking water will also act as a general insect repellent.
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Re: Hello from Bulgaria

Postby saraht » Tue May 30, 2017 9:26 am

RichmondHens wrote:Have you dusted the birds themselves with DE? It is worth slathering them thoroughly from head to toe rubbing well into the skin then even if there are a few residual mites in the housing and they make it onto the bird they will be put off by the DE on the bird itself.

If you don't mind your eggs getting garlicky then a few crushed cloves in the drinking water will also act as a general insect repellent.


I have been dusting the birds with the DE, mainly under the wings and around their back end as I didn't want them to breathe too much of it in. I have bought some garlic powder which I have been stirring into the water. Thanks for the tips RichmondHens, it confirms I am doing the right things.

Minorcafan wrote:I get my DE from EBay,

Do you have an eBay seller that you recommend Minorcafan? There are quite a lot on there and it is difficult to tell who is selling a reputable product and who isn't so recommendations would be welcome.

[quote="bigyetiman"]The problem with rats is they can get under somewhere and they breed rapidly, and eat the hens food, chew holes. Plus the diseases they can carry. Not something you want around, squirrels can be a pain to.

Thanks for the info on the rats bigyetiman. We also have squirrels nearby but they only come into the garden to steal our nuts and thankfully this is nowhere near the chickens.
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Re: Hello from Bulgaria

Postby saraht » Tue May 30, 2017 10:13 am

bigyetiman wrote:You will need deep sides for the sand pit or it all ends up outside, I learnt that from experience


I am sorry, I wrote my reply and the internet went off. I copied and pasted my message to send later but didn't realise some of it had been cut off.

I have a large shell shaped sandpit which is usually my dog's paddling pool for hot weather. The sides aren't particularly tall but it will do for now, the curved sides might help keep some of it inside. In a few weeks time the ground will be dry and they will go back to their favourite dust baths in the garden. I'll just remember to keep dry material to one side ready for the next rainy or snowy weather.
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