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Hey.... Lets keep Chickens..!

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  • nightingalesgarden
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    I love this forum - http://chat.allotment.org. Really, really helpful (love the section on healthy and non-healthy chicken poos!)

    I will mention MR FOX...as he is our great enemy. Never ever leave chucks unattended and make sure that whatever solution you choose that it is completely fox proof. Foxes don't just pick off one hen - they slaughter the lot - I know it's nature at work but it's heartbreaking...
  • Callie22
    Callie22 Posts: 3,444 Forumite
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    Staffordshire's a bit of a long way away but some colleagues of mine keep chickens and really recommended the courses at the Chicken School. They do distance learning too if that's any use.
  • thriftwizard
    thriftwizard Posts: 4,682 Forumite
    Name Dropper Photogenic First Anniversary First Post
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    All good advice up above! We have 10 hens & they live in an adapted shed & run at the end of our smallish garden. My brother has 6 & swears by his Omlet Cube, but he's lost more to the fox over the years than I have.

    We have 10 because we keep a couple of Pekin bantams, which are mostly pets rather than layers; small round tea cosies who don't mind being picked up & petted - that said, some of the big birds are fine with that, too - and have been trotted round the local schools & playgroups from time to time! In Spring they'll go broody & after a couple of weeks, I'll buy them a couple of day-old chicks each from the local "egg packers" (battery farm) at the vast expense of 85p each. The Pekins will raise them, and they'll be the next season's layers as the older ones will go into moult at the end of the summer & not lay for a couple of weeks. Silkies are very good at this job, too. Both breeds are generally much longer-lived than hybrid layers; a Silkie up the road is well over 10 to my knowledge & I've "met" a Pekin of 17.

    We started with Pekins, and I think I'd always keep a couple even if I didn't need any eggs - they're utterly adorable little characters! The reason I keep mostly hybrids now is because I'm in the centre of our little town & can't really keep a cockerel; the day-olds from the egg packers are guaranteed females.

    I'd recommend finding & talking to other local poultry types; see what kind of set-up they have, find out what breeds do well locally & what to look for in a good "utility" bird rather than a show bird. There might be a poultry club near you & that's often a good source of stock, as well as information, if you're interested in specific breeds. Also, sometimes, of "deadstock" which actually means houses, feeders, run panels, that kind of thing! Worth investigating.
    Angie - GC May 24 £446.11/£450 YIPPEE!: 2024 Fashion on the Ration Challenge: 15/68: (Money's just a substitute for time & talent...)
  • zippychick
    zippychick Posts: 9,364 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Combo Breaker I've been Money Tipped!
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    Iv e merged this with our existing thread on keeping chickens, it's a mega resource


    Zip
    A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men :cool:
    Norn Iron club member #380

  • Thriftkitten
    Thriftkitten Posts: 1,242 Forumite
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    If you have facebook look for a group called The poultry pages, there is a whole wealth of knowledge and what they don't know isn't worth knowing
    Thriftkitten;)

    Tesco saving stamps £13.00:T

    Roadkill Rebel No.31 July2014 Treasure £1.03p :D
    August 2014
  • chrisfreelander54
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    If you have facebook look for a group called The poultry pages, there is a whole wealth of knowledge and what they don't know isn't worth knowing

    Thankyou for the tip thriftkitten, but I no longer use Facebook (aka face ache :rotfl:) but that's another story.
    YNAB is my new best friend. :)
  • grandmasam
    grandmasam Posts: 535 Forumite
    First Anniversary Stoptober Survivor
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    Hooray! My df has given me 2 pol pullets for my birthday!! Myrtle the lonely legbar now has Maud, a blue maran and Mave [the rave] a light sussex. Such gorgeous girls, both 18 weeks.
    Myrtle's face was full of indignation and so funny glaring at the interlopers in the attached pen.Now I think that they should have a larger run as the newbies will be big girls…and I may get a couple more lol
    Caz
    Saving for another hound :j
    :staradmin from Sue-UU
    SPC no 031 SPC 9 £1211, SPC 8 £1027 SPC 7 £937.24, SPC 6 £973.4 SPC 5 £1949, SPC 4 £904.67 SPC 4 £980.27
  • Gigervamp
    Gigervamp Posts: 6,583 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker First Post
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    Ooh, marans lay lovely eggs. You'll have a nice range of colours from your 3 girls. :)
  • grandmasam
    grandmasam Posts: 535 Forumite
    First Anniversary Stoptober Survivor
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    Hi Gigervamp
    Have changed Mave's name to Molly, suits her better.Myrtle is still really p….ed off at them and keeps rushing to prevent them feeding or drinking! :eek: even though they are currently separate.

    I've decided to get a small shed and build a bigger run off it as they are already quite big girls.Been down the bottom off the garden this afternoon to begin levering up the bricks under the pergola , the posts are 4x4 that form it and these will provide me with the sides and back of the new run. :money: The bricks will make a base for a 6x4 shed to be their new home.Just got to get it and some wire fencing!

    Whew, tired writing about it, need a cuppa!!
    Caz
    Saving for another hound :j
    :staradmin from Sue-UU
    SPC no 031 SPC 9 £1211, SPC 8 £1027 SPC 7 £937.24, SPC 6 £973.4 SPC 5 £1949, SPC 4 £904.67 SPC 4 £980.27
  • Thriftkitten
    Thriftkitten Posts: 1,242 Forumite
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    Having started with 4 chooks 2 yrs ago I have now ended up with 23, I have promised myself that I will behave this year and will only take 6 fertile eggs from a friend who has some chocolate wyandotes if I have a broody! Other than that I will just have to keep turfing the Broodies out! I really want to build a secure hut for them this year we have 2 small wooden coops and a plastic shed, however I have been on eggshells ( excuse the pun) all winter with this wind even though the plastic shed is weighted down inside. As soon as the weather behaves I will hatch a plan! The girls are laying like it's going out of fashion and I am considering putting eggs in a big basket at the bottom of the front garden in exchange for donation toward their feed.. Roll on summer, I love to watch them dust bathing
    Thriftkitten;)

    Tesco saving stamps £13.00:T

    Roadkill Rebel No.31 July2014 Treasure £1.03p :D
    August 2014
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