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View Full Version : Talking about chickens....



hippygirl
24th April 2012, 19:23
So, I have decided I NEED some chickens!
I'm thinking four (but then yesterday I was thinking three, then thought one more would be no more trouble but lots more eggs...!)
I'm thinking...hybrids lay the most (I like speckledys and bluebells), but some of the pure breeds are sooo cute, especially the ones with fluffy feet and pompoms on their heads
I have decided I want a traditional wooden hen house - but I've read that eglus etc are much easier to clean.
I have fallen in love with this one http://www.flytesofancy.co.uk/chickenhouses/The_Long-Legged_Maggie_s_Six_Hen_House.html but :eek::eek::eek: at the price

All you chicken keepers please share! Thoughts, advice, opinions - lets talk chickens!

M123
24th April 2012, 19:41
Wow these look good enough to live in hippygirl.You would have to get a lot of Chickens to lay a lot of eggs to pay for one of those Palaces !!!

:D I'm only yolking !!!! But it's all white !!! Sorry could not help this. :D

Floosy
24th April 2012, 19:43
Eglu's are far easier to clean, Yet exceptionally expensive to buy 450 upwards! I have 3one white ranger, one blue haze and 1 x hybrid which is a skyline. All lay really well and too be honest in the height of there laying 4 would lay far too many lol. If you mix the cute ones with fluffy feet bewarned they are very likely to get picked on by a bigger bird. Wooden house's are great and will need regular spraying approx every 4 weeks throughout summer, less during winter (This is to keep red mite at bay and you will know when you have it as the chickens will refuse to go into the house at night). Wings clipped every 8-10 months. Chickens are inexpensive to keep, layers pellets with oyster shell (hardens there egg shell) a 25kg sack of pellets is in the region of 8 and if you buy a large sack of grit its around the same price. I clean mine out once a week chicken poo is really good fertliser for the garden, even better than horse poo! Chickens can get worms and this is easily treated with garlic capsules meant for this purpose. There is little point taking a chicken to a vet as most stuff is easily treated yourself and anti-biotics very rarely work. I feed mine porridge throughout the winter when its really cold or Icy. No potato peelings or meat chickens cannot digest it and its too high in salt for them. Due to reduced daylight hours in winter, chickens will either cease laying or egg production will be greatly reduced..

Floosy
24th April 2012, 19:46
All Im going to say (asides jesus christ thats expensive) Is if your prepared to spend over 430 on a wooden house Id go for an eglu lol x

Floosy
24th April 2012, 19:48
Oh and try buy all your chickens at once as when introducing new birds to an established flock, fighting can occur - Best time to introduce is put them in when the old birds have gone to bed. But be prepared fighting can happen and you may have to seperate them, so if you plan to do this make sure you have an area where the new birds can go to bed and be seperated from the older flock x

hippygirl
24th April 2012, 20:35
Wow, thank you Floosy - some great advice.
I can't believe I am contemplating spending that much money on a wooden box to keep some chickens in....when I was a child we kept them in the shed, chucked them a bit of corn and a few scraps and they thrived No fancy accessories in those days!I haven't dared show OH the house!

oldvicar
25th April 2012, 00:40
Our 6 girls are very happy in a similar house from flytesofancy, probably the previous generation of the one you've picked (but no nice heart shape). I think you'll find them reasonable/good quality, service was very good, but I think I remember paying only about half the current price a couple of years ago. Tesco Direct have self-assembly chicken coops quite cheap (cheep), but maybe you get what you pay for. Sadly I think Tesco also sell chickens (live ones) but wouldn't dream of buying there (their Dobbies garden centre outlets).

One tip for when you get your new brood - put them 'to bed' and lock the door when you bring them home, whatever the time of day, and let them out next morning. Get them used to being 'at home' at night. Some of ours didn't and got used to sleeping in trees, and it was quite a job to catch them and get them used to the house before winter really set in. Have heard stories of chickens literally being frozen to their perches poor things. Chickens do like trees - provide some, or some other shady shelter from summer sun.

mhoc
25th April 2012, 09:54
Our local college has one day courses on a Saturday for new chicken farmers so it might be worth checking ot to see if there are any local to you.

Also fox proof your runs.

I sometimes see people asking for hen coops and equipment on Freecycle

mhoc
25th April 2012, 09:55
What do people do with their hens when thye go on holiday or away for the weekend?

oldvicar
25th April 2012, 10:16
We share our brood with a neighbour, and hope we don't both want to go away at the same time.

madline
25th April 2012, 10:39
also...be prepared for RATS!!

Floosy
25th April 2012, 15:22
also...be prepared for RATS!!

Ive never had them and providing the food is stored in a secure container, then there shouldn't be rats or other vermin.. In the two years I have kept mine Ive never had an issue xx

Hippygirl my run surrounding the coop is at least 8-9ft high plus if you have dogs, the scent of dog poo is far stronger than fox and it will keep them away from your chickens..

madline
26th April 2012, 13:40
my neighbour has 3 chickens (and i think she has for yrs) and she has also has always had about 5 black cats to keep the rats down, presumably the rats are after leftover food that the chickens miss as i'm sure she must keep it safe...she does let them run round the garden and we have seen rats in the hedge next to the chickens. sad thing is that we live on a main road and and the cats regulary get run over...personally i think that she is a little selfish, all those dead cats for the sake of afew chickens!

hippygirl
27th April 2012, 10:18
Hmm, well don't like rats, but we live in the country so do see them occasionally.
I will keep the feeder in the hen house and keep a close eye out.
We have dogs - Floosy, did you mean that dog poo keeps the foxes away? If so, I'll arrange some strategically along the hedge into the field beside the garden!! (field side, of course!)
What 'makes' of chicken do you all have? I'm going to look at some this morning. I fancy 4 diffferent types - I'd like one that lays blue/green eggs and one that lays really dark brown.
Which breeds do you find the most friendly? And are there any that you have found more agressive to other hens? I don't want a bully in the flock!

hippygirl
27th April 2012, 10:23
Our local college has one day courses on a Saturday for new chicken farmers so it might be worth checking ot to see if there are any local to you.

Also fox proof your runs.

I sometimes see people asking for hen coops and equipment on Freecycle

I put an ad on Freecycle, but no replies.
I haven't seen any foxes round here - lots of deer and rabbits and badgers! But we will make it as secure as we can. When I'm in the garden I plan to let them out to wander round.

hippygirl
27th April 2012, 10:26
Our 6 girls are very happy in a similar house from flytesofancy, probably the previous generation of the one you've picked (but no nice heart shape). I think you'll find them reasonable/good quality, service was very good, but I think I remember paying only about half the current price a couple of years ago. Tesco Direct have self-assembly chicken coops quite cheap (cheep), but maybe you get what you pay for. Sadly I think Tesco also sell chickens (live ones) but wouldn't dream of buying there (their Dobbies garden centre outlets).

One tip for when you get your new brood - put them 'to bed' and lock the door when you bring them home, whatever the time of day, and let them out next morning. Get them used to being 'at home' at night. Some of ours didn't and got used to sleeping in trees, and it was quite a job to catch them and get them used to the house before winter really set in. Have heard stories of chickens literally being frozen to their perches poor things. Chickens do like trees - provide some, or some other shady shelter from summer sun.

Thank you - glad to hear your flytesofancy coop is still going strong. I still can't decide whether it's completely mad to spend that much money - but I do have to look at it every day, so I want it to be attractive as well as functional.
Lol at chickens sleeping in trees!

*debbie*
27th April 2012, 15:12
We had hens...had I say! They were always supposed to by DH's job, but he always seemed to be too busy to feed, water, clean them. And they wrecked the garden totally. I did like the eggs, but disliked watching the biggest one dispatch a rat, it was the most brutal thing I have ever seen - and yes, we do have cats too. The hens beat the dogs up, and peck anything coloured, especailly red nail varnish - watch out for summer toes!
How can you guess I am pleased they have gone to live in a friend's orchard?!!