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where ARE all the chickeny people??

(28 Posts)
RuffleTheAnimal Sat 02-Aug-08 09:13:33

all i want to talk about atm is chickens and none of you are about. anyone woulkd think you had rl's or something wink

MarmadukeScarlet Sat 02-Aug-08 09:28:58

Well I told my DH last night I need more cooks as even though they lay one each per day (4 chooks) it's not enough to satisfy our egg requirements!

All my pals want eggs and we do loads of baking, I think I need at least 8 chooks.

I lurve my chooks, especially my Amber who is over friendly, has a thing for shiny stuff (particularly tiffany's jewelry!) and keeps pecking me to get my watch/necklace/earrings Also my DD's crocs. She follows me around and 'helps' me much out and weed the paddock.

I also love my coral as she is the first to lay every day a white egg so I know it's her, my Bluebell is huge, beautiful and rather spirited and my speckeldy is a bit shy and mousy but when you look at her closely her feathers have a petrol sheen and she is glamourous.

I'll talk chicken with you! Tel me about yours...

RuffleTheAnimal Sat 02-Aug-08 10:11:32

hurrah!

you have displayed a more than adequate amount of infatuation interest in chickens grin

weeeel, i am in a housing conundrum atm.
i have an eglu cube, which was my first ever chook house and came with 6 hybrid birds, medium sized. they are 3 miss pepperpots (black with the petrol-y sheen you mention), Jaq, Peg and Lady Alethia Psycho Undetrun. and 3 gingernut rangers; the twins, Flame and Rosie and the cheeky one, Mac.

i have also recently aquired a beautiful young Orpington in a sort of bluey gray colour and a gorgeous fluffy white Cochin about the same age. they are temporarily housed in a large but inadequate rabbit house, with an upstairs bit to it.

also, Peg is broody and sitting on some silkie eggs i got off ebay in the cube nesting box.

SO

what id like to do is rehouse the lot. in something wonderful and practical and comfy for them and also big enough to cope with the expansion i want to make. i reckon i'll try to hatch a few chicks each year and im hooked on all the different kinds so it'll be a real mix up.

am trying to contain budget so that i can (mostly) pay for the new housing with the proceeds of selling the cube on ebay (about 500quid i reckon).

but what i recon would be great would be covered run with this broody coop and run attched(and close offable iyswim), and maybe [[http://www.henhouses.co.uk/westford.html this , also attached to covered run for the larger birds and this for the smaller ones

or maybe... a larger house like this attached to the run along with the broody one.

they would all be free ranging in the day, and herded back into the run for nightime, and could then choose wherever they want to sleep.

whadjafink??

RuffleTheAnimal Sat 02-Aug-08 10:14:23

ooh, me extended linking didnt quite work there

OldGregg Sat 02-Aug-08 11:00:34

I've been busy outside sorting my chickens out ofcourse! Lots going on this morning.

One of the 6wk old chicks wouldn't come out of the house this morning, so I flushed her out into the run to check for injuries and mother hen went for her. And continued to do so. Mother hen started laying again this week so rather than separate the chick, I've put mother hen back with the main flock.

The cock is delighted to see her but our Amber Star (who is vile) was straight on her trying to pull her comb off. So I've sin-binned her and will put her back tonight when she's cooled off.

Meanwhile, the 10wk delinquent teenagers are enjoying their new electric-fenced semi-freedom.

And all the houses need cleaning out.

Now I'll look at ruffles house choices...

Bronze Sat 02-Aug-08 11:05:49

I've been clearing out in the rain and then trying to catch up on here. I currently have my pet girls, 8 of them, twelve 11-week old hubbards and 12 weekolds in my utility room. They're currently taking up a fair bit of my time as they shit for england. I also have quail, does anyone else keep them cos I need ideas for eggs....
Bear in mind chicken keeping won't be as easy witha wooden house. I have one wooden for some of the hubbards and wooden for the quail and its loads more hassle than the cube/eglu.

RuffleTheAnimal Sat 02-Aug-08 11:13:08

oh norks that all sounds so much fun. where are you? i wanna come by and absorb the chickenyness of it all grin (and get ideas for what to do here)

RuffleTheAnimal Sat 02-Aug-08 11:15:06

yeah bronze? thats why i was thinking of getting the right houses; well made for easy cleaning, easy access to the birds, lots of room etc for them, no redmite havens in the roof etc etc. they spend so much time free ranging that the houses are pretty just for nighttime.

OldGregg Sat 02-Aug-08 11:35:41

ruffle - so you have 8 hens already, two of which are enormous, yes? And you're going to hatch a few more each year. Are you going to eat the cockerels or keep them all?

Does the Brentford 460 house 20 birds? I'm sure it does but I can't see where it says so. If so, that would be fabulously roomy. But the Westford would be good too - I'm getting a Westford with Standard Nest Box to house 16 birds and will cost £320, delivered (from Ascott Smallholding). I guess you'd need the Large Nest Box for your big fat hens?!

And the covered run is lovely - I'm getting one of those for quail, but probably not until the Autumn now.

After the expense of the above, I'd get whatever broody coop you can afford that has the largest run. Or at least one that you can easily move onto fresh grass. Ascott Smallholding have the Crifton at £148 and a few Arks that are about £160.

Baby is crying, back later...

OldGregg Sat 02-Aug-08 11:42:57

bronze - I misread that as you having 12-week olds in your utility room. I was shock until I realised it said 'week-olds'! Haha! They're smelly enough as chicks!

PrincessPeadHead hatched quail this year but I don't know how they're getting on - she hasn't posted about them for ages. <taps foot, purses lips> Quail is my next project but I had DC4 in May and have two batches of meat birds growing on as well as the laying flock and various other animals so quite enough to do for the time being!

RuffleTheAnimal Sat 02-Aug-08 11:55:38

i think i shall eat the cockerels. tho not sure A, how id know one to look at, B, what age to eat em at, C, whether to keep them separate till then or just in with the rest (and if separate, where) D, HOW to kill em, or E, how to gut and pluck them. oh and F, if i kill a few at once and freeze them will they taste as good once frozen?

i may see if i can give some of the cocks away...

RuffleTheAnimal Sat 02-Aug-08 12:00:22

hmm, thanks for the ascott tip, they are cheaper i think for the same stuff.

Bronze Sat 02-Aug-08 12:46:20

A- They can be pretty obvious smile

B- depends ont he breed, fast growers can be from about 13 weeks on

C- I keep mine seperate but thats so I don't have to add chicks in with adults and large breed with bantams.

D- various methids, broom, bare hands, cone despatcher, whichever you prefer

E- Plucking you just pull the feathers out. Gutting There are directions around though its pretty logical. I'll search out the site i found if you want it ever.

F- I suspect like everything they taste better fresh but still good frozen. We'll be keeping one back to eat fresh then freeze the rest.

Eating breed cocks would be hard to get rid of. Probably best to just eat them. Will you get meat birds or uitilty breeds?

RuffleTheAnimal Sat 02-Aug-08 13:04:56

is it not good to mix bantams and large breeds then? when i went ot the rare breeds place they had a real mix up... i am far too fickle to have one or another so it would indeed be a mix.
atm i have 6 hybrid med size layers, 1 orpington, 1 cochin, and the broody hybrid is sitting on 6 silkie eggs and 6 miniature silkie eggs. (remains to be seen how many hatch tho)
ive ordered a teeny little incubator too and am browsing different breeds to put in it (only 3 eggs at a time tho)

Bronze Sat 02-Aug-08 13:57:22

Well you can. I have a LF lakenvelder in with my bantams and actually have a mum (bantam) and a chick in with my huge hubbards. I wouldn't plan for it mine happened because mum and chick kept getting through rather than me putting them in there.
When it would be a worry is if you have laying LF and non laying bantams. I think the fight would just be too much. If you have loads and loads of space I guess it means they canescape. I would do what you want but be prepared to split them if needed.

Sorry I do go on dont I. w

RuffleTheAnimal Sat 02-Aug-08 14:14:11

lol at going on - i think youre safe from that accusation with me! THANK you for talking chickens with me, its all really helpful. smile

dp now saying along lines of 'well dont try to save money for sake of it, get what you really need' which is an improvement from rolling his eyes at every mention of chicken expenditure. he wants to stay as we are, but i am hooked dammit!

Bronze Sat 02-Aug-08 14:22:02

A bad case of chickenitus. I started with 3 in and eglu you know grin

RuffleTheAnimal Sat 02-Aug-08 14:40:46

lol. i started with 6 ina cube grin

SO wrt housing, it would be best to have 2 or more smaller houses than 1 big one in case some dont get on, right?

RuffleTheAnimal Sat 02-Aug-08 14:43:33

<wails> am going 4-eyed and slightly round the twist looking at housing options/combinations etc

MarmadukeScarlet Sat 02-Aug-08 18:46:02

Re housing.

I like the meat bird house that Norks got from Smiths.

Can't remember what it was called but I'm sure she'll remind us.

I looked and wished I'd got it instead of the pretty one I have that is not so practical - having said that my wooden house is a doddle to clean because the access is really good and it is so well made.

OldGregg Sat 02-Aug-08 21:07:16

It was The Thicket.

RuffleTheAnimal Sat 02-Aug-08 22:07:58

where can i find smiths? having no luck googling

MarmadukeScarlet Sat 02-Aug-08 23:17:39

Smiths

MarmadukeScarlet Sun 03-Aug-08 13:32:04

I have been on a waiting list for heritage skylines (blue layers) for ages - they are in very short supply - and got an email to say I have reached the top of the list and I can collect next weekend!

Yippee!

Sadly though she is out of marran as this is what I wanted for my other new additions.

RuffleTheAnimal Sun 03-Aug-08 14:41:16

thanks for link, will check it out.

yes, i am interested in lavendar araucanas for the blue/green eggs smile

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