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Sunnydays999 Sat 06-Dec-14 19:32:23

We are Looking at getting chickens -what do we need to consider. ? Hoe much do they cost how easy or hard to look after ?

thereinmadnesslies Sat 06-Dec-14 19:40:25

We currently have 4 chickens (just bought 2 new ones today.

Your initial costs really depend on how much you want to spend on a coop - you can get a wooden one for £100 on ebay, or an eglu cube for £800. If you search through old threads on MN you will see lots of discussion about plastic vs wooden coops. Personally, having had both wooden and plastic, I totally rate my eglu cube.

Chickens here cost £11 each for a hybrid. Layers pellets are £10 for a 20kg sack that lasts about 6wks for 4 hens. We use aubiouse bedding in the coop which is about £8 for a bale that lasts months. Otherwise we don't spend much on them, just occasional bags of corn and mealworms and fruit/veg. I wouldn't say chickens are cost effective, it would be cheaper to buy eggs in the supermarket but they are fab pets.

MoreBeta Sat 06-Dec-14 19:46:46

Its a lot of work TBH. You need someone to come in to look after them when you go on holiday. They attract rats unless the coop andyour food store is totally and absolutely secure. They make a mess of your garden if you let them out.

I had some for a few years in my very large garden and as a child growing up on a farm with chickens I knew what I was doing but really I think you need to go in with your eyes wide open.

Don't get a cockerel. I had one of those. He was insanely dangerous to children as well as being an annoying nuisance.

FlankShaftMcWap Sat 06-Dec-14 19:57:05

We have 18 chickens which we got for free from a battery farm, they were on their way to be slaughtered so we took as many as we could (well DH was sent for a few and came home with the car crammed as he is a soft sod). We built a wooden coop from spare wood we had lying around so can't comment much on start up costs grin

We feed ours on a mix of layers pellets and corn along with most of our food scraps and random veg.

If you're keeping them in the garden consider how secure it is, will you need to clip their wings? Is it fox safe?
If you're garden proud be aware that hens can ravage the ground very quickly. Ours have a choice to free range and yet their run is a total muddy bog at this time of year.

They are an absolute pleasure to have, I could watch ours all day and very often hang out with them for a calm few minutes when I can. Seriously worthwhile pets smile

Booboostoo Sat 06-Dec-14 20:13:28

Also keep in mind that their egg laying years are limited. They will start laying around 6mo until about 4yo but may well live another 6 tears after that. Are you happy to keep them if they are no longer laying eggs?

Sunnydays999 Sat 06-Dec-14 21:16:56

Dou need to clip there wings I didn't think they could fly

Sunnydays999 Sat 06-Dec-14 21:18:26

I'm not bothered about the eggs be nice for the kids to collect them but they will be more pets not producers .
What do u use / pay for bedding food a month ?

Sunnydays999 Sat 06-Dec-14 21:19:50

Its a lot of work TBH. You need someone to come in to look after them when you go on holiday. They attract rats unless the coop andyour food store is totally and absolutely secure. They make a mess of your garden if you let them out.

I had some for a few years in my very large garden and as a child growing up on a farm with chickens I knew what I was doing but really I think you need to go in with your eyes wide open.

Don't get a cockerel. I had one of those. He was insanely dangerous to children as well as being an annoying nuisance.
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What needs to be done on a Dailey basis ?

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