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Where are all the chicken people?

(11 Posts)
OhYouBadBadKitten Wed 22-Jul-15 20:18:43

This bit used to be really busy.
I'm strongly considering getting some chickens. i have a smallish back garden. Good fencing so they can free range but I'd probably want a small run as well for when neighbours look after them, or for when we are going out for long days/over night.

Other than that I am clueless! I've heard some scratch less than others. I see there are about a million breeds ans another million hen houses and Ive read about powders for different ailments. Please can you give me the low down on practical chicken keeping!

Archduke Sat 25-Jul-15 03:12:45

Hi ohyoubadbadkitten

We have 4 chooks (2 old birds and as from today 2 new ones). They are housed in an old tin shed in the garden with a good sized run. They have been totally low maintenance pets, they lay well and are great fun. We feed them pellets and they are really hardy. They are ISA Browns - so not a fancy breed, I don't know if they are hardier than the rarer breeds??

Have you got a house for them to live in? You will need somewhere lockable so they don't become lunch for the local foxes. For convenience I would get somewhere that they don't have to be let in/out of every morning and evening, we have to lock ours away and let them out and it's a bit of a pita to be honest.

OhYouBadBadKitten Sat 25-Jul-15 08:56:50

Thanks for replying smile

I don't have any where for them to live yet, so we would be starting from scratch.

I read that you should give them a run you can move to minimise diseases but ideally I'd like to keep their house and run in one spot then let them in and out when I'm around.

Oodear Sat 25-Jul-15 09:10:30

We have a run and we move it about once a year. Ours are ex batts and live on the allotment so can't help much with the garden type thing but they're pretty easy to keep.

tattychicken Sat 25-Jul-15 09:15:30

We had 4 warrens a few years back, and while they were lovely and great layers, they did wreck our medium sized garden.
We had a few years chicken-less, and recently got 4 Peking Bantams. So far they seem to be much easier on the garden, and are v placid with the children. The down side is the tiny eggs but we can live with that.

OhYouBadBadKitten Sat 25-Jul-15 09:39:40

I read that bantams fly away really easy. Is that an issue for you Tatty? Do they cope with cats ok?

tattychicken Sun 26-Jul-15 13:50:49

Not so far!!! They haven't been very adventurous at all really, they're in their ark most of the day but are let out for a few hours, and are happy just pottering about. So far anyway! Our cat's not interested in them, but she's pretty old. The dogs are rather fascinated but have been very good really.

badRoly Sun 26-Jul-15 14:01:27

Hello smile

We have had chickens for 5 years now. We have an Eglu Cube and a little Eglu (picked up 2nd hand for £150 that we use for chicks, the school rabbit or the school chickens on short holidays) I would recommend both.

We currently have 3 adult chickens (a 5yo dark Sussex, an 18mo Welsummer and a 18mo White Leghorn) and 2 8week old Cream Legbar chicks.

We also have the school chickens - 2 big standard brown hens that are 4yo and come in an Eglu Go (which I wouldn't recommend - really brittle cheap plastic)

They are all in a fenced area at the moment as the chicks are still quite small but normally they have the run of the garden. We have extended the cube cage so it is 4m long and static as we have lost several chickens to a fox so don't like them out if we're not in the garden to keep an eye on them sad. We will be putting bark down in the Autumn to try and minimise the mud bath effect!

Once the chicks are full sized we will get rid of the fence and just let them loose in the garden again. We have a big mature garden (1/3 acre) so they don't really trash it.

BleachEverything Sun 26-Jul-15 14:07:41

It used to be busy, not so much now!

We currently have ten. Not a special breed, just Rhode Island white. We converted our kids little treehouse into their coop and fenced the garden so they can toy free range.

I muck their house out every day, fresh pellets and fresh water in the morning and then they fanny about all day until dusk when they start 'crying' then we put them to bed. Don't hear a peep from them until we let them out. They are adorable creatures, really don't take that much time or effort. They think I am their mother as we raised them from an incubator and they are so loving. Giving them treats is the best bit. Their favourites are sweet corn and lettuce. I'm rescuing two ex battery hens next Sunday and I am so excited - they've never even seen daylight!

BleachEverything Sun 26-Jul-15 14:10:05

*totally free range

OhYouBadBadKitten Sun 26-Jul-15 16:59:59

So if I were to find a coop and a smallish run, I could keep that in one place but just let them out each day to free range? I could do that.
I did like the look of the eglu go but couldnt justify the cost so Im glad that its rubbish grin

I can't afford this either but what do you think of it? Id put three chickens in there i think, but they would need to be quite short!

Im getting quite excited by the idea smile

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