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Chickens anyone?

(9 Posts)
Sallie Fri 29-Jun-07 21:20:15

Have recently moved from London to Leicestershire and have a decent sized garden. We would very much like to keep chickens and have been reading up on it. Anyone out there who could give me some tips? I work part-time which probably means that we would need a decent-sized pen for them to roam around in during the day.....

Sallie Thu 05-Jul-07 12:56:29

bump...

MegaLegs Thu 05-Jul-07 12:58:31

I have chickens. What sort of thing do you need to know? ( there are some good chicken experts on here.)

Sallie Sat 07-Jul-07 22:25:08

Hmmm, everything!!! Where to start, what breeds are good for laying and for children to help with, what to feed them and so on. Have a good book - Starting with Chickens so am beginning to get an idea and have found a place which sells decently priced chicken houses. Getting very excited about it all now but would really welcome some tips from those who have already done it. Do you need to have them in a run that you can move around the garden and how do you outwit foxes? Thanks...

hadthebuildersin Mon 09-Jul-07 12:43:54

We've had 2 chickens in an Eglu from Omlet for about 10 weeks now. The run they supply is big enough to leave them in all day, and you cna extend it to make it bigger. It's better than a traditional wood and wire run as it is foxproof.

You can move the run around the garden but they will demolish the grass under it (even if you move it every week) so most people have it in one permanent location with woodchips or similar underneath.

Most breeds are good with children. Most pet shops will sell you layers pellets which they need to eat to make sure they get calcium and vitamins etc for their eggs. Omlet sell hybrid breeds which are the best layers and are a bit more hardy than purebreeds, but don't live as long (5 years compared to 8-10).

I would highly recommend them as pets - great fun, very entertaining and the eggs are a bonus. The kids love them as well, and will pick them up and carry them around etc. They are also lower maintenance than dogs.

tortoiseSHELL Mon 09-Jul-07 12:45:35

We've got ours in a homemade house/run on slabs with bark chips, which seems to work well. Make sure the chickens can't stick their heads through the wire of the run (the fox will bite them off ).

tortoiseSHELL Mon 09-Jul-07 12:46:09

Also, go for a run bigger than you think for when you want to add more chickens !

Sallie Thu 12-Jul-07 12:38:09

Thanks for all your tips. We have bought a reconditioned wooden henhouse and my husband is planning to build a run for them - we have 6 hens ordered so it needs to be a fairly big run. Any tips on outsmarting Mr Fox?!!! Ideally, we would like to be able to move the run around the garden but please let me know what you have done - whether your run is static etc. I am guessing that they destroy the grass after so long and that you then need to put shavings or whatever down. My husband has also talked about putting chicken wire on the base of the run to prevent foxes getting in but I assume that would not be good for the chickens' feet???
Any more tips really gratefully received!

Sallie Fri 27-Jul-07 16:01:09

Bump - we have ordered hybrids - 2 fenning coucous, 2 suffolk blacktail and 2 fenning sussex. Anyone have any experience of these? Getting really excited about it all now!

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