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Things I have learned about chickens...

4 replies

QuietTiger · 01/09/2013 12:25

I thought that it might be quite nice to start a list of things we have learned about chickens as we've got them/got used to them - especially for first time chicken owners for hints and tips. :)

8 Things I have learned keeping chickens in the last 3 years, starting as a first time chicken keeper with 4 pullets in August 2010: (My DH bought me 4 chickens as a wedding present!)

  1. They are inquisitive funny characters who make you laugh every day.

  2. Red Mite is a bitch and you need to stay on top of it by keeping your chicken house disinfected and clean. (We ended up burning our chicken houses, the problem got so bad).

  3. The easiest and best way to worm your chickens is with ready mixed flubenvet layers pellets available commercially ("Marridges" are the best feed) - don't try and mix flubenvet powder with pellets as it all goes horribly wrong. (Yes, I managed to worm myself once).

  4. They lay eggs in places you don't think. My DH once found one of our hens on a stash of 25+ eggs that were under a bush. (We wondered why they weren't laying eggs in the hen house and thought they were on moult.)

  5. Cockerels are horny devils and shag anything that moves. (Including the cat - she's now very respectful of chickens)

  6. Chickens love cat food and if they escape, soon learn to use the cat flap to steal the cat food.

  7. Meal Worms cause extreme excitement, as do tomatoes, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and anything they don't normally have that is edible.

  8. You can't just have a few chickens... we started with 4, we now have 20!
OP posts:
AlphaBetaOoda · 01/09/2013 15:09

Eek at the cockrel/cat!

We've only had hens since June (but now want more Blush , what do you house 20 in btw?)
So not much in the way of tips, particularly since I've taken a back seat due to baby/illness but we've had fun watching them play with caterpillared cabbage leaves this am and strawberries looked like a rugby match!
Also discovered that when they see my mum they go to bed as she does a lot of the evening lock ups!

Crikeyblimey · 01/09/2013 15:12

When I first started keeping chickens my aunt told me they were similar to sheep in so much as sheep have 2 aims in life:
To graze next door
To die!!

Thankfully the chicks don't seem to have the same death wish!

TunipTheUnconquerable · 01/09/2013 18:38

Ha, QuietTiger, sounds like you have a bad case of Morehens Disease.

My things:

  1. They look really worryingly ill when they moult. Don't worry.

  1. The yellow foamy poo is not diarrhoea, it is called cecal poo. Don't worry.

  1. They will only fly over the wall to nextdoor if they are scared. Don't let the toddler chase them.

  1. They would rather roost in a tree than a house. Don't let them get in the habit.

  1. Sometimes you get one that is noisier than a cockerel and makes a racket when it lays at 4am on summer mornings. You may have trouble with neighbours.

  1. The can eat all the flowers off an entire rosebush in an afternoon. (Yes, really.)
Viewofthehills · 01/09/2013 20:11

They love crabapples, but it upsets their digestion enormously. They can strip a bush full of ripe blackcurrants faster than you can put a net up.

Woodlice = best prawns to chickens

When they have laid previously mentioned 25 eggs under a bush, you can tell which are fresh enough to eat by floating them in a bowl.

Sink= fresh
Float vertically= stale
Crack into a cup before using to be on the safe side, if in doubt.

If you need a euthanasia method then google broomstick method. Cheaper and kinder than carting off to the vet.

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