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Can I have your top tips for a newbie please.

(5 Posts)
ineedsomeinspiration Sat 15-Mar-14 20:44:40

Hello all,
We are hoping to move house and get a bigger garden. We would like 2-4 chickens but as a complete novice what would be your top tips?
We are a family of 3 so would two chickens provide a reasonable amount of eggs?
Anyone got experience of having chickens alongside a dog?

AHardDaysWrite Sat 15-Mar-14 20:53:05

Chickens are not compatible with a nice garden. They scratch in soil/lawns, a lot. And they poo everywhere, and chicken poo pongs. So you either have to accept that you won't have a nice garden, or confine them to a run. If you use a run, bear in mind that if it's a permanent one in one place, they will turn any soil/grass into a mud pit - that's why people often keep them on chippings. Alternatively you can get a moveable run and move it round the garden.

Dog-wise, depends on your pooch. Some dogs are fine, others can never be trusted. Personally I'd never trust a terrier or other dog with a high prey drive around chickens. Foxes are your biggest threat - you must make your run and coop fox-proof or your hens will quickly be eaten (and foxes play with their food - not pleasant).

ineedsomeinspiration Sat 15-Mar-14 21:03:37

Ok well it depends on the size of the garden we get as to whether we'd get a movable or fixed run.
Think it would be best to have them in a run as could guarantee they are safe from the dog.
He is an English Bull Terrier but doesn't chase ducks or swans where we walk. I would rather not risk him being able to get to them though.
I would make sure everything is fox proof for sure.

polkadotdelight Sat 15-Mar-14 21:05:22

Firstly I was always advised to get a minimum of 3 because they are flock animals so if you were to lose one there wouldn't be one lonely chicken left.

Laying depends on the breed you choose, I have 3 bantams and average 2/day but some of the hybrids etc lay more. You may find laying tails off over winter when light levels are lower and chickens only lay for a limited number of years.

They do indeed trash the garden, my ladies are known as 'The destroyers' and I'm still amazed at the amount of poo produced!

I currently have a 3m run on our patio (solves the mud issue and foxes cant dig under it) and use hardwood chips which I rake over and sprinkle sanitising powder onto.

I adore my hens, I've speny loads

polkadotdelight Sat 15-Mar-14 21:06:47

Sorry, loads of time in the garden and they are really really friendly. They are my hobby and despite the mess I love them to bits!

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