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!)
- They are inquisitive funny characters who make you laugh every day.
- 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).
- 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).
- 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.)
- Cockerels are horny devils and shag anything that moves. (Including the cat - she's now very respectful of chickens)
- Chickens love cat food and if they escape, soon learn to use the cat flap to steal the cat food.
- Meal Worms cause extreme excitement, as do tomatoes, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and anything they don't normally have that is edible.
- You can't just have a few chickens... we started with 4, we now have 20!