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Anyone keep hens? Decision made pg 2

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Allie
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Anyone keep hens? Decision made pg 2

Postby Allie » Sat Jun 11, 2011 6:10 am

I've been wanting to keep hens for several years and now our garden is finally secure I'm looking into it a bit more seriously. I'm thinking of 2 or 3 to start with, so basically, what would I need as a minimum, what sort of hen house is better, what pitfalls are there, cost to feed, time needed to look after them etc? I have ordered a book but I'm impatient :giggle:

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dawnsmummy
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Re: Anyone keep hens?

Postby dawnsmummy » Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:08 am

I've been wondering the same! But apparently I'm not allowed chickens as I'm in a council house :(

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holmes2974
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Re: Anyone keep hens?

Postby holmes2974 » Sat Jun 11, 2011 7:18 am

I've been dying to do this too, but am having great difficulty persuading my husband......plus was put off when DD1 got campylobacter and the environmental health nurse told us it was probably caught from some chickens that we were in contact with :shock:

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Allie
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Re: Anyone keep hens?

Postby Allie » Sat Jun 11, 2011 1:01 pm

Anybody? :lookround: :giggle:

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victoriaw
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Re: Anyone keep hens?

Postby victoriaw » Sat Jun 11, 2011 1:12 pm

Chickens are fab :D Have had some for about 3 years now.

You'll need a house... you can get a relatively good purpose made one for about £100... I'd love one of those plastic Eglus, but it doesn't really make financial sense to me... I don't think you've ever pay it back in eggs! Depends why you have the hens in the first place I suppose....

Other than that, you just need some pellets, some corn if you like (not essential), a water and food feeder, some bedding - we use sawdust, some grit (for hard eggshells) ... and that is about it. You can also get red mite powder and worming tablets, we do have both but rarely remember to use them as they've never suffered from either...

Other than that, make sure you fox-proof your house if you have any of them near you... We've only had 2 taken in 3 years (both in the last month when we've had a local fox with cubs), and they free-range all day in a field.
They are great fun though. We've got some pure breeds - look fab and nice coloured eggs, but quite aloof... and we've also got some ex-battery hens, who are really friendly - they'll sit on your lap :giggle:

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Allie
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Re: Anyone keep hens?

Postby Allie » Sat Jun 11, 2011 1:22 pm

victoriaw wrote:Chickens are fab :D Have had some for about 3 years now.

You'll need a house... you can get a relatively good purpose made one for about £100... I'd love one of those plastic Eglus, but it doesn't really make financial sense to me... I don't think you've ever pay it back in eggs! Depends why you have the hens in the first place I suppose....

Other than that, you just need some pellets, some corn if you like (not essential), a water and food feeder, some bedding - we use sawdust, some grit (for hard eggshells) ... and that is about it. You can also get red mite powder and worming tablets, we do have both but rarely remember to use them as they've never suffered from either...

Other than that, make sure you fox-proof your house if you have any of them near you... We've only had 2 taken in 3 years (both in the last month when we've had a local fox with cubs), and they free-range all day in a field.
They are great fun though. We've got some pure breeds - look fab and nice coloured eggs, but quite aloof... and we've also got some ex-battery hens, who are really friendly - they'll sit on your lap :giggle:


Fabulous thankyou. I'm wanting a couple of ex battery hens and maybe a hybrid, dh has already decided that the battery ones are going to be called eveready and duracell :roll: . I've had a look at the eglus and although they look fab they really are a bit too expensive, even on ebay :-? .

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charliesam
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Re: Anyone keep hens?

Postby charliesam » Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:22 pm

We have 4 hens 1 cockeral and have just hatched 3 chicks :mrgreen: one of the hens is still sitting on eggs. We got a hen house with a run underneath off ebay, but they roam around the garden all day just shut in at night. We use sawdust/wood chipping stuff on the floor and hay in the nest box bits, feed them pellets and corn (you can get at pets at home but cheaper from an animal feed place) we did have feeders now i just throw the food over the garden and an old water toy of sam's works as a water source :mrgreen:

They are v easy to look after- 10mins a day at the most- they need letting in and out and feeding and that is it--ohh and collecting the eggs- ours lay in the hen house and in an old guinea pig hutch :giggle:

depending on how many chicks we get and how many we keep we will need a bigger house- i would love an eglu but i am going to get a cheap shed from homebase and adapt it '(my freind has done this and it works really well)

We have a cockeral but it is got quite aggresive and i think may soon be coq-au-vin :giggle: so i would stick to just hens unless you want chicks.

Our's are orpington buffs with a bit of black lace in some- we got hem from a freind and her black lace cockeral got in where she was breeding buffs :roll:

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Allie
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Re: Anyone keep hens?

Postby Allie » Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:27 pm

charliesam wrote:
They are v easy to look after- 10mins a day at the most- they need letting in and out and feeding and that is it--ohh and collecting the eggs- ours lay in the hen house and in an old guinea pig hutch :giggle:



That sounds great. You say they roam free in the garden, do they make loads of mess and how much do I need to worry about the kids playing in the garden. Would it be best to get a run for the chickens until thekids are a bit older?

charliesam wrote:

Our's are orpington buffs with a bit of black lace in some- we got hem from a freind and her black lace cockeral got in where she was breeding buffs :roll:


Any pics? :wink:

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charliesam
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Re: Anyone keep hens?

Postby charliesam » Sat Jun 11, 2011 2:36 pm

They do make quite a bit of mess- they scratch at the grass and poop, i am quite lucky as we have a big walled front garden- where the chickens are and out the back we have a quite big gravelled area with a trampoline where the kids tend to play. Since Kevin the cockeral has got a bit teritorial i don't let sam in with them on his own, but would if it was just the hens, but he doesn't really play out there just helps get eggs etc. I think i would have a run or at least section of part of the garden to be poop free and child friendly.

I was looking for my camera to take piccs of the chicks this am but i can't find it :( thats what happens when i tidy because granny is coming :roll:

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