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Thread: Chickens in a small space

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    Default Chickens in a small space

    Hi All,
    My neighbour wants to get some chickens but has limited space. She has said she'd like to follow the methodology on Alys 'Edible Garden' programme recently which is keep the chickens in a run in the same place in the garden but put in compostable layers ontop of the earth in the run (such as grass cuttings) and then clean them out once they have mucked on them and put them in your compost heap to rot down.
    Has anyone used this or similar systems? I'd be grateful for you views.
    Thanks in advance.
    Sunny.

  2. #2

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    Yes chickens are great and can be kept in a relatively small space if they don't/can't free range.

    I don't have a huge garden but keep 4 chickens (bantams) in a specially built run area. Sometimes I'll let them off for a jaunt round the garden.

    I use straw on their floor which makes excellent compost as chicken poo compost is rocket fuel for the garden.

    Your friend can get special chicken arks that are like big wheel barrows and these can be moved to different ares of the garden/area.

    My chickens are great, really comical and funny all with different personalities. I have girls for the eggs, you do not need a cockerel for eggs, girl chickens produce eggs all by themselves.

    However which came first...chicken or the egg is anyones guess.

  3. #3

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    Triker - would a couple of bantams / pullets need a space about the size of a large rabbit run or is that a bit too small? I have thought about it briefly and instead of the girls having a rabbit something useful may be a better idea!!! We do have a good sized garden but a prolific amount of neighbourhood cats which meant that any adventures into the outside world would need close supervision!

    If this question makes me sound like a complete div then please excuse me as I tend to think out load sometimes

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    I have managed to persuade OH to get 3 or 4 chickens (I like the ones with the feathery feet ) but he is a very keen gardener so not too keen on letting them out to peck up his plants

    Think we are going to get a movable pen so we can move them around the lawn and perhaps let them out 'under supervision' From what I have read it seems to be more dogs you have to worry about with them. I am a little concerned as one of our cats (the one in my avatar) is a proper little huntress and often comes home with full sized rabbits ....don't think she would be too scared of a chicken.

    In saying that, Suzie cat has been awol for 5 days now so....
    Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamsandwhich View Post
    Triker - would a couple of bantams / pullets need a space about the size of a large rabbit run or is that a bit too small? I have thought about it briefly and instead of the girls having a rabbit something useful may be a better idea!!! We do have a good sized garden but a prolific amount of neighbourhood cats which meant that any adventures into the outside world would need close supervision!

    If this question makes me sound like a complete div then please excuse me as I tend to think out load sometimes
    Yes that'd be fine for bantams, I have 1 silkie and 3 hybrids, they have a pen on legs and my hubby built them a large run about 4 foot wide and 7 foot length...they have tons to mooch about in. Also I let them out too sometimes (when hubby isn't looking).

    Lots of cats here too including ours, the girls tend to ignore her and she them, she does find it funny to chase them but soon backs off when they fly at her or peck her....chickens are really very good at defending themselves.

    They are excellent pets (I resisted the overwhelming urge for a bad pun there ), really sweet to keep and funny to watch as I said earlier. They reward you with eggs and there is no better taste than a freshly laid egg, very satisfying.

    Also I noticed pets at home now stock poultry food and stuff, I feed mine organic layers pellets and organic corn, they are spolit.

  6. #6
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    Sep 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Triker View Post
    Yes that'd be fine for bantams, I have 1 silkie and 3 hybrids, they have a pen on legs and my hubby built them a large run about 4 foot wide and 7 foot length...they have tons to mooch about in. Also I let them out too sometimes (when hubby isn't looking).

    Lots of cats here too including ours, the girls tend to ignore her and she them, she does find it funny to chase them but soon backs off when they fly at her or peck her....chickens are really very good at defending themselves.

    They are excellent pets (I resisted the overwhelming urge for a bad pun there ), really sweet to keep and funny to watch as I said earlier. They reward you with eggs and there is no better taste than a freshly laid egg, very satisfying.

    Also I noticed pets at home now stock poultry food and stuff, I feed mine organic layers pellets and organic corn, they are spolit.
    Thanks Triker. Thats good to know about the cats.

    Can you feed them leftovers as well?
    Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

  7. #7

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    Yep, grapes, carrot peelings, (apparently gives yolks a lovely colour), sweetcorn fresh or tinned, like I said....spolit.

    I have stopped giving them potato peelings cooked, as a chicken breeder said it isn't too good for them.

    They need grit (oyster shell) for shell formation and crop health.

    You can easily convert a large hutch to a chicken house, I would love an eglu but they are hugely expensive and so unless there's a lotto win they'll have to stick with their wooden house.

    I'm all excited for you....I LOVE chickens. If we had the room I'd breed loads of unusual and rare breeds.

  8. #8
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    Sep 2006
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    Fantastic, get through loads of carrots here.

    How about fruit, like rasps or strawberries? (we grow lots of these so always have some kicking about!)
    Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by penfold View Post
    Fantastic, get through loads of carrots here.

    How about fruit, like rasps or strawberries? (we grow lots of these so always have some kicking about!)
    I think your chickens would be in heaven with soft fruit, watching a chicken jump to peck at bushes higher them then is one of the funniest things I've ever seen.


    I've had chickens that have gobbled up dead mice kindly left by the cat....Ughhh...I wasn't keen, however my latest lot are strict vegetarians except for the insects that they'll get when mooching about.

    The only things I've heard not to give chickens are

    peppers

    meat including chicken although mine have gone demented for bacon rind

    garlic/onions as it'll affect the egg taste.

  10. #10

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    Thank you for all the helpful info - sorry, I wandered off to put the girls to sleep for 1/2 an hour and got waylaid packing for hols and trying to stop them mixing my four piles of sorted clothes into one big one (charity, bin, take away, keep)!!!

    I have had a good read and it seems really feasable and a good idea for us, would be good for the girls too. Will have a read through later with OH and probably look at getting some as I have thought about it lots and love my animals - our garden is easily big enough too. The other thing we really have to worry about is the magpies and birds of prey around here - I put a piccie on last eyar of a sparrowhawk which took our blackbird while me and the girls were in the paddling pool and ended up flying into our dining room, we often see them hanging around. At the time of fledglings leaving the nests the magpies appear and kill them for the sake of it - we have lost blue tits, great tits and blackbirds two years in a row from them :-(
    Last edited by jamsandwhich; 12th May 2010 at 00:47.

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