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keeping chickens in town house with small garden

(35 Posts)
frazzled74 Sat 04-Jun-11 21:07:47

is this possible without being cruel,(or falling out with neighbours) which kind of chicken and coop would i need? and any other advice please?

conkertree Sat 04-Jun-11 21:11:13

Depends how small is small. You dont need loads of room, but it can be good to be able to move them around a bit to allow grass etc to re-grow.

I'd say noise is no problem with ours (we have three), but smell can be an issue if you dont stay on top of cleaning the run out well - especially when it rains a lot.

Cant fford one ourselves just now, but if we could, I'd have an eglu - really easy to clean, collect eggs from and move around.

minieggfannomore Sat 04-Jun-11 21:41:41

Our neighbours do this. The chickens are very noisy and I think it's cruel to keep them in such a small space.

mummymeister Sun 05-Jun-11 00:15:34

I agree with miniegg. You have to ask yourself why you are going to keep chickens. I don't know how small is small but think about how often you have to move their run so that they have grass and the ground doesnt get sodden with poo. Very few hens can create quite a smell particularly in the warm weather. You have to be fair to the hens.

ditavonteesed Sun 05-Jun-11 09:19:13

I have a terraced house so not a big garden at all, I have a cube with 2 extensions, at the moment I have 3 chooks and they are rattling around in it, ideally I need 3 m ore. they are not kept on grass, they are on woodchip which is what most people with small gardens seem to do, the run can be a bit smelly in winter but is fine once it is dry. mine are in the run most of the timre and have free range of the garden a couple of times a week for a few hours, they are very happy chooks, even in a tiny garden they will be in better conditions than even free range farmed hens are.
Have look on the omlet forum thgey are lovely oer there. be warned though it is addictive. grin

frazzled74 Sun 05-Jun-11 16:20:53

ditavonteesed thats good to know, i have terraced house as well and we dont have grass, we have shingle and concrete so i was thinking of woodchip , i was thinking that we would let them have free range of the garden for 1-2 hours a day, maybe more.

Punkatheart Sun 05-Jun-11 19:49:04

Woodchip is fine but if you want to have a miraculous bedding that absorbs, deters flies (citronella in it) and has to be changed so much less - try hemcore/aubiose or easibed. It is amazing stuff!

frazzled74 Sun 05-Jun-11 22:07:43

thanks punkatheart thats somting to tink about. I just need to do a bit more research and then try to convince dh.

cadelaide Mon 06-Jun-11 12:00:36

Consider bantams. We have a small garden and two beautiful hybrids whom we love dearly. We give them a couple of hours free range daily but I now think bantams would have been better simply for their smaller size.

MrsvWoolf Mon 06-Jun-11 19:33:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ditavonteesed Tue 07-Jun-11 07:38:45

punk how do yoe get on with aubiose outside? I always found it got too wet, the run is covered over and I built the sides up, but I seemed to spend forever cleaning it out and found after every big rain it smelt. I would love to go back to using it as it was so lovely and the hens were so clean when they were on it, just found woodchip to be more resiliant.

Punkatheart Tue 07-Jun-11 07:56:30

Good point dita. We have an aviary and a run - both covered. Just lucky they are in sheltered areas. I also bought extra covers from Omlet and arranged them down the sides of the run. Some people use shower curtains or corrugated plastic....

nickelbabe Sat 11-Jun-11 12:07:38

DEFRA recommends a minimum of 1mtr square per bird (with 2mtr square being preferable) for run space.
that menas if you have 3 chickens, you should have a run of 2mtrs by 3mtrs, or 1mtr x 6mtrs, or or 4mtr x 1.5mtr etc.
Our run is 11ft x 4 ft (3.38x 1.23 = 4.2 mtr sq), which falls between the recommended sizes, but they get to run in a garden of about twice that size, for about an hour every day.

Concrete is fine - I would recommend throwing a pile of soil on there for them to scrat about in - also gravel, they like that too. They like different textures.
also, I know of someone who grows grass in trays in the the garden, and then puts a tray into the run every now and then for them to dig and eat and scratch.
They dustbathe, so if you can provide a sandy soil, or just something dry, they'll like that.
they like levels to have more interest, so you can put tables/chairs/ladders/ramps/big chunks of wood etc into the run too.

nickelbabe Sat 11-Jun-11 12:08:47

rain cover - either have a run where the house goes over the top of it (ours gives an area of 3x4ft to shelter under) or put a sheet of wood/plsatic over part of the run, or just have enough of the tables/chairs area to cover a decent space when it rains.

dikkertjedap Sat 11-Jun-11 23:24:50

I would be careful as it can get smelly and you have to have a place to dispose of the soiled bedding and copious amounts of poo. It is not so much the noise but more the smell in warm weather (and they attract mice and rats).

MyNameIsCaz Sun 12-Jun-11 14:53:11

I'd recommend looking at some of the chicken keeping forums because some have photos of their various different chicken coop and runs which will give you ideas
This is my favorite site

twinklypearls Sun 12-Jun-11 15:00:45

We keep our chooks down the side of our house, so they do not have grass, although we let them out for an hour or so at the weekends.

We looked at the forums linked to above for pictures of coops and runs as inspiration.

We have put down hard wood chippings, with a sand bath, some plant pots and a dog bed with compost in for mud baths and every other week I buy them some new turf, you can buy it in Band Q for about £2.50.

I also plant them lots of greenery to peck at. I will put a picture on my profile.

twinklypearls Sun 12-Jun-11 17:02:26

Have uploaded some photos

nickelbabe Mon 13-Jun-11 11:35:23

this is a thread on a forum i'm on
I'm the OP, and you can see my set up in there too.

nickelbabe Mon 13-Jun-11 11:38:27

regarding dikker 's post - if you can keep your chicken poo in a ventilated bucket of something, the people who have allotments round your way would be very happy to take it off your hands to use as fertilizer - they might even give you some veg in exchange.

nickelbabe Mon 13-Jun-11 11:39:13

lovely set-up twinkly

twinklypearls Mon 13-Jun-11 17:17:47

Thanks. They love it, our neighbours have suggested we set up a chicken theme park and charge for guests. grin

nickelbabe Mon 13-Jun-11 17:18:18


Riveninside Tue 14-Jun-11 19:23:14

Mine have an old greenhouse. I took tje glass out and out chickenwire inside instead. Outside we have a omlet cube. Just the ladder extends in. Theres a mezzaine level from the old planting sides. We have three hens but will be getti g three more soon. Dh rolls his eyes frequently grin
its a small garden - 14 foot by 30 and surrounded by houses and flats. My girls can be noisy when an egg is laid but no one has complained yet. Next doors dog is louder. The hens dont get to free range as there s foxes and we have lost three to the fox during the day. Or they hop into next doors garden (we are a terrace) and get chased around by their dog. All feathers and sqwuawking.

nickelbabe Wed 15-Jun-11 11:46:53

ooh, Riveninside, if I knew you'd got chickens I would have never left your side in May! grin

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