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Does anyone keep chickens?

(158 Posts)
KatieMac Fri 14-Jan-05 20:49:10

Is it easy?

Can anyone do it?

What will I need?

What do I need to know?

Blossomhill Fri 14-Jan-05 20:49:52

No I am scared of chickens or turkeys. I wouldn't be able to hold them or anything

KatieMac Fri 14-Jan-05 20:52:13

Our rabbit died...and I don't really want to replace him (I didn't really get on with him).

We have 2 guinea pigs - who are lovely

A cat (who adores me)

and 3 goldfish who tolerate all of us?

Someone suggested Chickens (2 bantams)

miggy Fri 14-Jan-05 21:01:12

Fab pets and you get eggs too. We have about 9 big chickens and they live in a shed with run attached as we live on a little farm thingy. My friend who lives in the middle of a housing estate has 3 hens who live in an ark with run attached and wander her garden when she is home.
They are so friendly and nosy, would come into the kitchen given a chance.
For children, the hybrid birds bred for laying are often better than bantams as they are bred to be very docile. Some of our nicest ones have been exbattery farm hens. Marks and spencers will only take hens from very young birds so the farm up the road has a clear out every 6 mths and sell them for a pound. Lovely birds,lay for years more and nice to give them a good home.
Not noisy,dont smell, good for the garden in moderation.
Biggest problem is the fox, we have had ours decimated several times by foxes, even during the day, which is why they now live in fox proof run.

KatieMac Fri 14-Jan-05 21:04:55

That sounds ideal - what are hybrids (I know they are crosses but what sort?)

How much room would they need?

How do I buy them locally?Internet I they do them on e-bay?

miggy Fri 14-Jan-05 21:08:18

They dont need much room if you have a garden and can let them out for some of the time.
Forsham cottage arks do lovely runs etc look there for size indication but they are quite expensive.
Def not on ebay-sadly-well actually good as I would have loads by now!
Are you town or country-do you have local free ad with agriculture/farming ads?
Various kinds of hybrids eg speckeldy.

miggy Fri 14-Jan-05 21:09:52

tryforsham arks

miggy Fri 14-Jan-05 21:10:54

andfunky version

redsky Fri 14-Jan-05 21:14:42

Try They do 'chickens for urban gardens'. We have had Babs and Ginger for about six months now and love them. The dog and chickens get on fine together - except he keeps pinching their veggies.

KatieMac Fri 14-Jan-05 21:28:48

Thanks the Egglu is fantastic biut at over £300 I won't get one....I have been told I could put some bantams in the rabbits hutch (waits for cringes of horror)?

miggy Fri 14-Jan-05 21:35:39

they could sleep in there but would be too small for living really-unless giant rabbit hutch

KatieMac Fri 14-Jan-05 21:38:49

It has a fourfoot square run - but is only 4 foot by 18 inches inside...would it really be too small for some bantams?

bensmum3 Fri 14-Jan-05 21:48:31

Hi, we have 6 hens and love getting fresh eggs every day,even my 18 month old ds gets on with them ok, they tolerate him chasing them around the garden. You could make a hen house and run with some timber and chicken wire, or look locally for a shed maker / garden centres often sell them too. As for the hens do you have a town nearby that has a cattle market, they often have hens and ducks for auction really cheaply.The only thing you'd have to bear in mind is they can scratch the ground and make a bit of a mess, so you wouldnt want to keep them right by your door,or near your vegtable patch and they can attract rats, so we keep our hen house well away from our house, although being free range, the little darlings always come and play in the garden during the day.

KatieMac Fri 14-Jan-05 22:14:22

I wish I could afford the £300 odd to buy an Egloo as I have just sat & read the whole site and it is facinating....the humour is very warped - just like mine

Any ideas on the size of the hutch/run anyone?

redsky Sat 15-Jan-05 01:01:42


KatieMac Sat 15-Jan-05 08:02:23

Thanks for the Bump, Redsky

If I could keep them in the hutch - I can buy some Black Silkies, Silver Laced Polands or Old English Game Bantams todayu.

Any ideas which I should get? - or should I just pick the prettiest?

But if the Hutch is too small I'll have to wait for more money to accumulate....

bensmum3 Sat 15-Jan-05 08:49:38

I personally think 18 inches wide is too small, they also like to perch,so really need a bar they can sit on and straw to nest, sorry.

KatieMac Sat 15-Jan-05 09:13:45

Don't apologise Bensmum - I won't put them somewhere they wouldn't be I need to rethink the run/cage/henhouse idea.

Hopefully I can still use the run which is 4 ft sq and 2 ft high......

But need bigger inside area - with a perch

Does it need to be off the ground? if so how high?

redsky Sat 15-Jan-05 12:34:42

in the eglu the perch is only a few inches above the tray bit. Ginger is a great layer - she is a gingernut ranger and we get an egg a day without fail. Babs is a French bolero blue - lovely silver/grey but not as friendly or as 'farmyardy' looking as ginger and we haven't found an egg from her for a fortnight. She is either not laying or has got a clutch very well hidden in the shrubbery. Her eggs are tiny and a very pretty blue - SWWEEET.

KatieMac Sat 15-Jan-05 14:42:27


lowcalCOD Sat 15-Jan-05 14:43:10

pph dies a ltho hers were ravaged by a fox

KatieMac Sat 15-Jan-05 16:12:33

Redsky - How high is the eglu?

LowcalCod - I may need a that PPH (PrincessPeaHead?) does although hers were ravaged by a fox?

redsky Sat 15-Jan-05 18:11:48

I'm not good on guessing measurements but I'd say about knee height (i'm 5ft2) for the closed in roosting bit and the caged run is a bit higher. we let ours out in the garden all day and shut them in at night. Babs has disappeared again tonight - just spent an hour out there with a torch trying to find her without success. Hope the nasty foxes don't find her either!!

triceratops Sat 15-Jan-05 18:20:39

watch out for the roosters if you have kids as they can be aggressive and they have spurs and will wake you up at 4am. (Although I had a lovely rooster when I was a about eight who was tame enough to sit on your knee for a stroke. The neighbours dog got him )

bensmum3 Sat 15-Jan-05 20:30:56

HI again, When we were looking into keeping hens and ducks we looked at kintaline farm poultry and waterfowl centre in oban, but they have quite an informative website which might help you,

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