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Hey.... Lets keep Chickens..!

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  • 16011996
    16011996 Posts: 8,313 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    mmm, that'd be my concern.
  • Caterina
    Caterina Posts: 5,919 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker I've been Money Tipped!

    The problems, or challenges if you prefer, with keeping chickens are foxes, cats, and rats

    Oh well that does it then, we just got two kittens that are already promising to become really big cats! I thought that cats and hens go along ok, indifferent to each others really (except if you have small chicks!).

    Foxes are a big problem here in SE London, very hungry scavengers. I know a few people who had their pet rabbits or ducks killed by foxes in the daytime.

    Goodbye dream of chickens then....

    Caterina
    Finally I'm an OAP and can travel free (in London at least!).
  • Chris25
    Chris25 Posts: 12,918 Forumite
    Photogenic First Anniversary First Post I've been Money Tipped!
    I have several friends that have lost chicks to foxes.
    Loftyboy, did you know Buff Orpington was the Queen Mum's favourite type of chicken? Whether that was to eat or keep. I know not! ;)
  • I would love to keep chickens but not sure I've got the right enviroment - small garden, 2 dogs (untrained), 2 toddlers (untrained!) and 3 cats (definately untrained!)

    Could be an interesting combination! :)
  • 16011996
    16011996 Posts: 8,313 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    mmm, maybe they'd film it like big brother!!
  • bugs
    bugs Posts: 184 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Dont they stink?

    Not if you spend five minutes a day picking up the bits they leave behind, put them in the compost heap, which rots down much more quickly to boot.

    And somehow they keep their little fluffy bloomers (that's what it looks like to us!) perfectly clean unless they're ill.

    Our chickens mainly smell of sawdust, straw, and herbs when the damn creatures escape in to the garden beds.

    When their feathers get wet - cos chickens aren't the brightest of creatures, unless they're thinking up new ways to get to food, and one of ours is particularly prone to staring threateningly at the sky when it rains, instead of heading for cover - anyway when they get wet there is a certain wet dog smell due, I think, to the oils which protect them. But I wouldn't call it a stink cos it's not that strong or that bad.
    Do they do their mess everywheree?

    They can't be house trained and they're very unselfconscious so yes, they'll do it where they stand. But it doesn't smell so bad as say, a dog, which lots of people have, and it's easy to clear up. And you can compost it, unlike dog mess. And if you have a garden and a diary large enough for chickens then you have a garden and a diary large enough for a compost heap!
    It is not the greatness of a man's means that makes him independent, so much as the smallness of his wants. (William Cobbett)
  • bugs
    bugs Posts: 184 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker

    ...I thought that cats and hens go along ok, indifferent to each others really (except if you have small chicks!)...

    ...I know a few people who had their pet rabbits or ducks killed by foxes in the daytime...

    Goodbye dream of chickens then....

    Not necessarily. Re cats, we don't have a cat so ours aren't used to them. If you bring them up together as you say they're pretty compatible though of course you'd want to be careful. If you don't have a cat you will probably find that the chickens make a big fuss when one comes near, and that can be dangerous in that they might try to fly away or damage themselves in a panic.

    Foxes can be kept out but you must bear in mind their persistence and the "it only takes one chance" thing. We have foxes coming through our garden constantly. Touch wood etc but our homemade ark has worked so far: at night they are shut in to a wooden section where the nest box is. During the day their run is totally covered in that 1cm mesh - like bird cages rather than typical chicken wire. The floor is covered with the same wire, so in the event that something tried to dig in, or it was blown over, they still stand a chance.

    The same protection will mean that they can't do too much silly stuff if a cat comes to have a look, and the flapping will put the cat off a thorough investigation.

    Defend against rats by not leaving food out overnight, keeping them clean, and either moving the house regularly if it's "ark" style, or just checking regularly for signs of digging or nibbling if it's permanent.

    I love having chickens! I'm quite an evangelist about it all. They're not as much effort as some of the things people get for pets and you'll be giving them a far better life than the battery ones who make for most of this country's egg production.
    It is not the greatness of a man's means that makes him independent, so much as the smallness of his wants. (William Cobbett)
  • Ooohh. I would so love to keep chickens... fresh eggs, fluffy hens....the kids knowing that eggs come out of chickens' bums..

    I keep trying to persuade the other half to go along with my plan but with three cats, two (escapee) rabbits and two children already, he's not highly impressed with the idea. ::)

    Hum ho. Mind you, I have just emailed him that link for the omlet website, just to keep up the pressure.. ;)
  • Lucky me! I have two friends with free range chickens, so I get eggs and no mess - woo hoo. I do save egg boxes if I get any to give to them, scraps of food for the hens and we also get firewood for one of the friends as she uses an open fire and we can get an endless supply of wood offcuts that would just be binned otherwise.
  • Sarahsaver
    Sarahsaver Posts: 8,390 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    bump
    or should i say cluck
    Member no.1 of the 'I'm not in a clique' group :rotfl:
    I have done reading too!
    To avoid all evil, to do good,
    to purify the mind- that is the
    teaching of the Buddhas.
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