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Are chooks for us?

(9 Posts)
pippo Mon 22-Sep-08 19:27:48

Have really been deliberating as to if we might be able to get some chickens in the spring. Garden not huge so would only go for 2 or 3 - have a small shed that we coudl convert into hen house; however the thing that really worries me and making me think not such a good idea, is that we fairly regularly go out for the day and arn't back until dark - sim' in the winter on days that dh and i both work we wouldn't be back until dark either. We live in a city but I know there are foxes around. Would we be condemning chickens, what do other poeple think/do?

DaisySteiner Mon 22-Sep-08 22:23:31

You can get automatic opening/closing devices which you can rig to a timer and shut the door at dusk. Only works if they're reliable about putting themselves to bed though!

Are you sure about converting a shed - that would be a LOT of space for 3 chickens!

pippo Mon 22-Sep-08 22:39:58

ah, I see that sounds clever, so generally you would need to be around to tuck them up then?
The shed is v.small, more like a playhouse type size really. The reason I think three chickens is because I think the run could only extend from the shed by about 5ft or so.

DaisySteiner Tue 23-Sep-08 08:17:00

Often chickens are very good about going to bed on their own at night, but it's probably worth getting them at a time when you can be around for a week or two while they get the hang of it. To be honest, we usually shut the door after it's got dark and have only lost chickens once when we didn't do it until about midnight. If they roost in the trees it's not much fun trying to get them down in the dark - imagine chicken pinata whilst blindfolded!

pippo Tue 23-Sep-08 17:19:51

Thanks for your replies, feeling even more tempted now...

tortoiseshell Tue 23-Sep-08 17:26:47

If you have foxes in the vicinity then I would suggest you get an all in one house/run (or fix a run onto the shed. Then you're not worried, because if there is a fox in the neighbourhood, he will eat a free range chicken! City foxes are actually more of a pain than rural foxes as they come out in broad daylight, whereas rural ones are a bit more timid.

Have a look at my blog - if you have a browse through it there are pictures of the runs we built.

pippo Tue 23-Sep-08 18:11:34

Thanks, have to admit have been rereading old threads and have spent some time day dreaming about chickens whilst having a peak or two at your blog blush So would a run secured to the shed be enough to keep a fox out? If so would be this ok after dark too?

tortoiseshell Tue 23-Sep-08 20:37:32

Yes, would be fine after dark. Things I have done to mine to make them REALLY fox proof - decent catches on the doors that the foxes can't manage, the runs are on paving slabs so they can't dig under, the roofs are meshed so they can't get in that way and we used heavy duty mesh not chicken wire (which the foxes can rip).

If we go away for a night, we just leave them in the run/house with the door open - they are fine.

pippo Tue 23-Sep-08 20:50:19

oh thank you, it is sounding much more like a good idea now smile

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