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Help deciding

(1 Post)
chickchickchickenkeeper Tue 01-Jan-13 00:42:26

I am moving in with an elderly relative. I thought reviving my un-used Eglu might be a nice way to get her up and about each day as she has recently lost her dog, and so is no longer going for a short walk a day. I have asked if she'd mind chickens and she won't. 90% of the daily care will be me, including cleaning out, but I think seeing the girls daily with some veg scraps/corn and collecting the eggs is do-able.

I can't quite decide where to put the Eglu. I am waiting on the converter kit, and may need to replace my run (and ultimately extend it in time), but we should be good to go by the end of the month I think (although again I may wait to get the actual chickens?) I am thinking of 3 girls smile

I have a couple of options. I am not on the mainland so foxes are not a problem, nor are badgers, although we do have polecats on the island.

We have a top garden that used to be part of an orchard. It has a couple of low apple trees, and will need only a few modifications for the chickens. I thought about splitting it in 2 using some portable fencing, and putting them in one half for a fortnight or so depending on how the grass fairs, and then the other, moving their eglu/run as we go. This would mean they could put themselves to bed/get up when they want, although I could go up and shut them in at night if wet/cold. The whole area used to be one, but the top part was sold to a neighbour and is fenced off. I worry that the chickens are a bit too far from the house/bit too close to the neighbour, but its a nice area imo for them. This is a side view to show the sort of size area. It's taken from the gate you can see in the next pic, but also shows the neighbours fence:

There is also the "big lawn" and I am wondering if a permanent eglu/run across the gap between the flowerbed and the circular bed/where the green chair is would be a better option. The girls would get less free-range time with this though, as its also where the dogs have access. I would put them on some sort of chippings, raked out monthly.

I'd also like some recommendations for good bedding (and run lining) for composting. I'd like to do something with it all to put back into the plants as there is a gardener who comes every so often to keep it tidy and so could probably use it all.

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