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Buying a new house & their chickens come too!!

(7 Posts)
Pisky Tue 21-Dec-10 10:47:23

We are in the process of buying a new house with a lovely (but bit wild) big garden.

The current owners have a chicken house and four free range chickens - DH went to visit last night to discuss some bits and they want us to take on the chickens - otherwise they will become dinner....

We were planning on getting chickens once we had settled in (my FIL keeps chickens so we were going to have some of his) but it now looks like we will have some to start - and I don't have a clue what to do with them!

Am bit worried about lack of a run (and foxes) as we were going to build a new chicken house and run at the top of the garden. DH would really like some of his dad's chickens so says well if the fox gets them we can just start again! Not sure our kids would take this quite so well....

Any good websites were I can go and read up on chicken keeping?

Thanks!

norfolkBRONZEturkey Tue 21-Dec-10 10:48:56

try the omlet forum

I would take them on but don't feel guilt tripped, people eat chicken all the time.
My lot are free range in a paddock. I figure better a happy free possibly short one than being in a run as they were prviously

FiveOrangePips Tue 21-Dec-10 10:54:31

Do they have a hen house for them? I take it they will leave that behind? Find out if there is a problem with foxes in the area? Our hens were completely free range and we never shut them in at night, no problem with foxes - we lived up a lane, surrounded by fields, so we didn't have any problems with dogs chasing them either.

Enjoy your chooks, I think it is quite good to have just a few at a time, our four hens laid 28 eggs a week to start with, which was more than enough for our family and friends.

Pisky Tue 21-Dec-10 11:01:26

Thanks!

I'm not too worried about if they did eat them - I'm partial to some chicken myself & I know whenever we have chicken at my in laws it is home grown.

I also like the idea of free range eggs from the start - we always stock up when we visit DH's parents and soooo much tastier than shop bought.

Pisky Tue 21-Dec-10 11:05:01

Yes they are leaving the hen house and feeders etc if we want them.

They have had them 2years now and no probs with foxes. Think they shut them in at night though.

How long do Chickens live/lay for?

midori1999 Tue 21-Dec-10 21:58:04

How long they live/lay for depends on whether they are pure breeds or hybrids. Pure breeds can live for up to ten years or so and will lay for most of those years, hybrids live for 2-4 years and egg production slows dramatically after the first year or two.

My hens free range all day, I did have a run but no longer use it and it has been put away. We have very, very, very minimal fox risk where we are and I feel the benefits to the hens from free ranging more than outweighs the risk from foxes. We will have to move to a more urban area next year though and will have a run then.

Providing the house is big enough (hen not yours!) there's no reason you can't keep the existing hens and then add some of your own chosing.

Pisky Wed 22-Dec-10 13:50:28

Thanks all!

Will wait and see what happens - DH is going to say that we will take the chickens if they like - but not worried if they get a better offer as he really fancies some from his Dad and doesn't want to pay for these ones.

Fingers crossed all the sale goes through OK - we have first time buyers and they don't have an onwards purchase to worry so "should" be straight forwards!

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