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I need chickens.

58 replies

electricbarbarella · 25/05/2008 17:36

My mum took us round to a friends of hers house to meet their chickens this afternoon, the girls loved them, I was amazed how little space they actually need, they gave us some eggs which the girls got from the coop and we have just had them for tea, they were the nicest thing I have ever eaten. I am currently looking at the eglu thingy, what are the alternatives, I don't like the look of the run with no height to them.

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StripeyKnickersSpottySocks · 25/05/2008 19:10

If you don't want an eglu then you can get bigger arks.

You need to think where in the garden would you keep them. How much space could you spare them? Would you be wanting a portable ark that you could move around quite frequently (they probably will scratch grass up quite quickly). Or can you fence off a corner of the garden for them to have on a perment basis and then just get a hen house rather than an ark.

I have this house;

The house is great now, but I wouldn't recommend the company as it turned up flat packed and poorly painted - opposite of what the website said. Plus I've had to get dh to put the nesting box in a different place as they'd put it too high up.

So as well as their house I've used 4ft high chicken wire fence with electric fence posts (you just push them in the ground) to make a nice big run for them in the corner of the garden.

I'll go and get some more links for housing for you.

youareamazing · 25/05/2008 19:14

Message withdrawn

StripeyKnickersSpottySocks · 25/05/2008 19:16

B&Q now do poultry housing - this one has loads of head room if you want to be able to walk in yourself; 2fcatalog01%2fenGB&fhsearch=poultry&fheds=%c3%9f&fhrefview=search&ts=1211739080046&isSearch=true

I've also got the minidell from here which has more head room for the chickens and I can crouch in it if I have to (or send dd in).

Smiths stuff is very good quality and I would really recommend them.

Some of these look nice;

I have 6 chickens now, well 3 adults and 3 little chicks. It does become really addictive - I'm planning more already!

Flamesparro · 25/05/2008 19:46
electricbarbarella · 25/05/2008 20:00

cool thanks, flame did you sort your poorly bird out?

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Flamesparro · 25/05/2008 20:02

We thought he had flown away, but then found him all nestled in the small conifer

DS "stroked" him, which can't have helped

He's hopping round the garden killin the slugs, and DH has given him a pot of water (no idea why I have decided "he")

tortoiseSHELL · 25/05/2008 20:04

Have a look at my blog Hens and Eggs - if you go right back to the beginning there are some pics of our homemade run. I really want to build a new one now though - a lot higher, and a bit wider.

electricbarbarella · 25/05/2008 20:20

What are peoples opinions of the ark style runs, I think they look to small but then I know nothing about chickens, yet.

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tortoiseSHELL · 25/05/2008 20:24

I think they are usually described as being for too many chickens - they can be small, but just be more generous than you think with size, and they should be fine.

electricbarbarella · 25/05/2008 20:29

my mums neighbour has 3 chickens in one and they look fine although no space to jump (do they do that?)

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BigBadMouse · 25/05/2008 20:35

I think that some (possibly most) of the manufacturers over-estimate the number of chooks you can keep in one their pens...anyone agree?

electricbarbarella · 26/05/2008 08:15

Ok next silly question (I have actually been dreaming about chickens and it was the first thing dd1 said when she got up) I know that the wreck the lawn, not a problem but do you have to keep moving the coop around so they wreck the whole lawn or are the ok just having one bit thats theres to wreck IYSWIM? We do not have a particularly big garden and I don't mind a chunk of it being just for the chickens but I don't really want to give them the whole thing.
Once they have sratched up the grass can you put them something else down to keep them happy and if so what?

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mabel1973 · 26/05/2008 08:40

we keep our hen house in the same spot. we tried to move it around at 1st, but it got too much like hard work. that part of the lawn is wrecked, but when they are out roaming round the garden, they don't wreck the grass, and they haven't eaten my flowers either, which i expected. we have an area at the top of the garden where we sweep all the dead leaves and they love scratching through that looking for worms.

electricbarbarella · 26/05/2008 09:27

Looking at flytesofancy, annies Chicken ark. Says it's big enough for 3, is it really, I wouldn't want to be cruel.
I hope that works I have never actually done a link before.

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tortoiseSHELL · 26/05/2008 10:10

I think that looks a little small for 3 tbh - once the chickens are in there, they really look small. But, have you considered bantams? They are beautiful, still lay eggs (though smaller ones) and are considerably smaller. 3 bantams would be absolutely fine in there.

Chickens and bantams will wreck any lawn they are on. So what we did was to put the run on paving slabs, put aubiose/easibed in (it's equine bedding, and is fab) for them to scratch in. This has a few advantages - it makes it extra fox proof - they can't dig under and into the run. The slabs can be hosed down when you're cleaning it which prevents the ground building up parasites, the lawn doesn't get trashed, and the slabs help keep the chickens nails short!

tortoiseSHELL · 26/05/2008 10:18

The measurements of our homemade run are 3ft wide, 9ft run, 3 ft high. The house is a further 3x3 ft, so in total 12ft x 3ft. It started off with the run being 6ft long, with 3 hens in - if you look halfway up the page there is a picture of the run with 2 hens in. One of the hens then died, and we got 2 more, but extended the run to how it looks at the bottom of the page. I wouldn't want to put more than 4 in there as they really do use the space, and I would like to build a slighter bigger run (I would keep the length the same, make it 1 paving slab wider, but make it about 5-5.5ft high, and put the house up so that there is more space under the house, giving a full run of 12ft. I would also put a solid onduline roof on, as it can get a bit damp in there - the end 'extension' piece has a wooden roof and they like it in there!).

tortoiseSHELL · 26/05/2008 10:22

I just checked with dh on the dimensions - each panel is 33inchesx33inches, so the total length is just over 8 feet.

tortoiseSHELL · 26/05/2008 10:22

One other thing to be aware of is that lots of the arks have sloping sides, which is a bit of a waste of space as the chickens can't use the edges. Straight sides mean the height is uniform so all of the run can be used.

tortoiseSHELL · 26/05/2008 10:25

Pekin bantams Orpington Bantams Wyandotte bantams

electricbarbarella · 26/05/2008 10:26

What about this one, don't know about the extra run, would have to measure up in the garden but looks really nice and big and high.

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tortoiseSHELL · 26/05/2008 10:27

(Will stop posting in a minute) - previous post should have read 'total length of the RUN is just over 8ft, the house is an additional 3ft'

electricbarbarella · 26/05/2008 10:35

That is really funny because I just thought I had posted a link to that exact one, looks lovely doesn't it. I have just measure oput and marked with toys the space it takes and i could fit the run in as well, the house on it's own look tiny when you actually mark out the measurements.

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electricbarbarella · 26/05/2008 10:36

I love the look of the bantomms but are they as freindly as regular chucks.

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electricbarbarella · 26/05/2008 10:41

If I got that one without the run and let them out for a while everyday would that be better or would they completly reck the garden and get eaten by my cats?

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electricbarbarella · 26/05/2008 10:51

Oh and how would you google for local poultry breeders as I am coming up with alsorts of weird stuff everytime I try?
Thanks for sharing my slightly manic over excitment.

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