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Mumsnet does not check the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you're worried about the health of your chickens, please speak to a vet or qualified professional.

help-just got chickens and now am paniking
19

nicewarmslippers · 22/03/2009 20:19

we used to keep chickens years ago before kids. Husband has always wanted to again and finally today I caved in on the spur of the momment. We now have 3 chickens.

We have a 5 month old and a 3 year old. The plan is the choocks will roam in the garden and be away at night. The question is wll my chidlren get terrible diseases?

Please reassure me. I just read that children should always wash hands after handling choocks, yes we can try and enforce this but realistically it won't always happen

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Hassled · 22/03/2009 20:24

I'm not so sure about diseases but the biggest problem I've found is that chickens poo far more than you would have thought possible, and the DCs will end up stepping in it etc. We've ended up fencing a bit of the garden off for our one remaining chicken just so we have a poo-free space they can kick a ball around in etc. The alternative is a very strict wellies on at all times when outside rule.

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GentleOtter · 22/03/2009 20:25

We have kept an array of poultry since dd was born and never had any problems with her catching terrible diseases from them.
Good handwashing after touching chickens, the feed and the eggs should prevent any potential problems.

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ingles2 · 22/03/2009 20:30

er no...
What size garden do you have?
We have free rangers and have done ever since the ds' were tiny.
Why would they get terrible diseases?
The chickens are surprisingly clean, they tend to poo in their own areas.
And of course you always was your hands after going outside anyway as the risk of touching cat faeces is much much greater.
As for the dc's touching the hens, they've got a cat in hells chance!

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nicewarmslippers · 22/03/2009 20:43

sorry I should have explained, we have only a smallish lawn (well not that small, hard to explain really but there isn't really separate areas-it is one rectancgle of lawn, we have sheep wondering in allready so lot sof sheep pooh and yes as you say cat pooh). Maybe we need to build a decent run for them (movable) so they are enclosed. I just don't like the idea of there being chicken poo everywhere where ds (5 months) is learning to crawl.

do you have lawns where chickens don't go or are children and chickens overlapping entirely?

amazing response time! thanks ladies!

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GentleOtter · 22/03/2009 23:37

We have all sorts wandering just about everywhere - the hens/ducks/geese just please themselves but roost in either the hen sheds/barns/wherever. They are cleanish little things as ingles said.
My children have crawled and played beside the chickens and seem healthy.
You could try a moveable run and move it daily.

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ingles2 · 23/03/2009 10:26

we've got a big garden, but the chickens tend to skirt the outside edges to get down to the meadow at the bottom.
I've never noticed much chicken poo, and if I do, i pick it up with a spade to go on the compost heap
If you have a rubbishy area in your garden, you know, compost bins, leaf piles etc that's where your chickens will want to be.
But if you are out in the garden a lot, the chickens won't want to be near you/dc's, so I would just see how you get on.
Protect any veg gardens btw, the chooks can strip a lettuce in seconds

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tomanykidstoname · 23/03/2009 16:53

my chickens come out durning the day n yes they do pooh lots but i pick lots up n hose the garden down before my 2 babies go out the older kids wear wellies outside

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sarah293 · 23/03/2009 17:09

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tomanykidstoname · 23/03/2009 17:12

maybe my chickens are strange but where ever me or the children r thats where they'l be one of them has a major attachment to my 20 month old ds n he often walks around with her sitting on his shoulder or head lol

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sarah293 · 23/03/2009 17:15

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stealthsquiggle · 23/03/2009 17:30

We have a largish garden - the chickens poo everywhere but especially on the patio, which we hose down regularly, and are nosy as hell so will want to hang around wherever the DC are. Chickens and children overlap entirely - the chickens are doing the grass a world of good in scratching out moss and dead grass, and will hopefully keep the ants under some sort of control as well. The only bits fenced off are the veg gardens. If the chickens are being too much of a pain and/or DD is getting too hysterical about them going near her stuff then they get shut in their run for a while.

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sarah293 · 23/03/2009 17:32

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sep1712 · 23/03/2009 17:41

YOu could always fence the children in and let the chickens roam free.

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tomanykidstoname · 23/03/2009 17:48

lol now thats a good idea i should try that

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ingles2 · 23/03/2009 21:30

bloody hell! What are you lot feeding your chooks to get shit the size of your head?

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sarah293 · 24/03/2009 08:03

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ingles2 · 24/03/2009 09:49

LOL
Well there you go then, it's your own fault
see, if you feed them greggs sausage rolls and fruit shoots like I do, you'd have delicate little turds like peas

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sarah293 · 24/03/2009 12:48

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Doodle2U · 24/03/2009 20:24

I've got a run (actually a dog pound - see profile pics) and I've just put up chicken fencing which I bought from Omlet. The chickens get the whole of the boarders around the lawn - they eat the weeds! I'm now reclaiming the lawn and all the damage they've done to it

The chicken fencing takes a bit of adjusting, especially if you have two impressive jumpers and one limbo dancer like us! It's dead easy to put up and take down though - highly recommend.

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