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Top Tips for chicken keeping wanted please.

5 replies

palomapear · 10/01/2020 11:27

We have adopted our neighbours chickens as they are moving.

The chickens have a large hen house and a small enclosure, mostly on slabs, there was a grass area now it's mud!
They can have access to our enclosed garden.
They have mixed chicken food and scraps. They clear up under the bird table.

But what can I do to help them stay healthy and occupied?
Friend suggests a clove of unpeeled garlic in their drinking water or some vinegar?
I bought them some frozen sweet corn and cooked it for a treat their Christmas dinner!

OP posts:
Springcleanish · 10/01/2020 11:41

Try looking at the omlet website, loads of ideas there for day to day care. Chickens only need layers pellets for feed, It contains all the essential ingredients for health, although a small amount of veg peelings or dried mixed corn some afternoons will be fine. Don’t feed anything other than layers in the morning or they won’t get enough of the nutrients. Chickens should have a minimum of 1m2 each run space, but that is an absolute minimum. You may want to build a larger run enclosure for daytime, as they will ravage your garden unless it is massive. They enjoy making a dust bath in borders And eating plants, but other than that are quite happy wandering around.
Be aware of foxes when they are free ranging, they will take chickens at any time of day or night.
Chickens are the most relaxing pets, I hope you enjoy them.

Forestwitch · 10/01/2020 11:48

First of all, stop feeding wild birds in the garden where the chickens will be. They shouldn't be feeding off the bird food scraps.
Use 'VERM-X liquid each month (for 3 days).
Apply it to bread (best way) or to the chicken drinking water.
This will control intestinal parasites.
Layers pellets
Corn (as a treat)
In the summer I sometimes give our chickens some unsweetened natural yoghurt (in a tub).
Clean them out each week.

Enjoy the eggs Smile

palomapear · 10/01/2020 12:28

They won't eat layers pellets at all. No idea why. We tried mixing and they just leave the pellets.

They birds have bird seed and sunflower kernels in feeders so the chickens eat what's on the ground that gets dropped.

OP posts:
cmjmama · 28/01/2020 18:56

Don't mix corn in with the feed they will just pick out the food stuff. Try layers mash or crumble, if they are ex batts they will possibly only eat crumble and mash depending on how robust their crops are (usually not very, they will swerve the grit too making pellets impossible to eat) make sure they have a variety of grit, big and small hard and softer. You might need to search out smaller stuff maybe canary grit or something. There are many different types of pellets too all different sizes. Don't know where you are but try one of the farm shops for variety maybe rokers?

fedupandlookingforchange · 28/01/2020 19:05

We've only got two very free range hens left (fox, old age and a nearby dog reduced numbers). They eat corn and black sunflower seeds and grit. They could roam over a few acres but mainly like the garden eating whatever little beasties they can find.
A favourite activity is scripting the gravel out from around the edge of the house. They also like the compost heap and finding snails and slugs. Given the chance they'll scratch up bedding plants. When its windy they like somewhere sheltered to hide.
We only get about 4 eggs a week for half the year as they are quite old.

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