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Keeping hens and ducks chat. Hens & ducks names & how many eggs do you get per day.

edited 7 April at 4:05AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
2.8K replies 327.3K views
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  • vjm63vjm63 Forumite
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    Thanks Edwink as ever for your sympathy - it does seem to go in phases with the girls being trying ...

    I considered moulting for the bald one, but she has been like this for months - then again she does rather dance to her own music in life - her first proper moult was last spring and lasted ages, and then she moulted again in the autumn properly with her same age sisters! She lays eggs that range from 65g to 73g too, and is so talkative - I get a running commentary on life from her sometimes, and when I call them back to the run in the evening she will come in her own sweet time, after that worm she just found has been eaten....

    The shell-less layer is also a character, who lives on her nerves a bit - she will sprint across the lawn for no apparent reason, then sprint back to her sisters - maybe just checking the coop was still there ... strange girl. The final older lass I have is the strong silent type - not slow at providing the judicious peck when little ones need to get out of her way, or sit as long as she wants in the coop after laying.

    Then the two middle aged ones (not yet laying) are different again - Brownie the Welsummer is fairly zen like unless she is having a spat with her peer Speckles - who is my leggy supermodel who grumbles at anything I do and then jumps or stretches up really high for grass seeds - she is a white Sussex. Finally I have the four newbie Rhodebars, who have not shown their characters yet - and currently are separated in a different run because they are only about 10 weeks old. I must admit I am looking forward to training them to the treats tub so I can have all nine out on the lawn roaming - nothing like a bunch of chickens hurtling towards you to make you feel wanted!
  • edited 10 June 2017 at 5:39AM
    edwinkedwink Forumite
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    edited 10 June 2017 at 5:39AM
    vjm63 wrote: »
    Thanks Edwink as ever for your sympathy - it does seem to go in phases with the girls being trying ... I considered moulting for the bald one, but she has been like this for months - then again she does rather dance to her own music in life - her first proper moult was last spring and lasted ages, and then she moulted again in the autumn properly with her same age sisters! She lays eggs that range from 65g to 73g too, and is so talkative - I get a running commentary on life from her sometimes, and when I call them back to the run in the evening she will come in her own sweet time, after that worm she just found has been eaten....

    The shell-less layer is also a character, who lives on her nerves a bit - she will sprint across the lawn for no apparent reason, then sprint back to her sisters - maybe just checking the coop was still there ... strange girl. The final older lass I have is the strong silent type - not slow at providing the judicious peck when little ones need to get out of her way, or sit as long as she wants in the coop after laying.

    Then the two middle aged ones (not yet laying) are different again - Brownie the Welsummer is fairly zen like unless she is having a spat with her peer Speckles - who is my leggy supermodel who grumbles at anything I do and then jumps or stretches up really high for grass seeds - she is a white Sussex. Finally I have the four newbie Rhodebars, who have not shown their characters yet - and currently are separated in a different run because they are only about 10 weeks old. I must admit I am looking forward to training them to the treats tub so I can have all nine out on the lawn roaming - nothing like a bunch of chickens hurtling towards you to make you feel wanted!

    Absolutely loved reading your post. Great descriptions of all your girls especially the leggy supermodel one. What characters you have at home with you. Good luck with the four new Rhodebars and don't forget to come back with your character descriptions of them when they have settled in nicely.

    One of my hens was a real character. She was a very skittish White Star and I remember still the day we collected her along with 7 others. I picked her up and she flapped her wings and tried to bite me. Boy did she give me a nip on my arm I still remember it all from all those years ago. After she did that to me I said to my husband ok this one is called Asbo and the name stuck. She was very nervous hen and skittish all her life but I could completely calm her down when she was dust bathing. I would sit with her and slowly cover her in soil so only her head was visible. She would close her eyes whilst I massaged her back with my fingers and as soon as I stopped she would open them again and just stare at me until I started to massage her again. She would sit like that for ages bless her. She is no longer with us but I adored that little hen.

    Edwink
    3.36 kWp solar panel system, 10 x Ultima & 4 x Panasonic solar panels, Solaredge Inverter
    1 Cayuga duck Hoppy & 23 ex-battery hens - RIP Pingu :love:
    2000ltr Rainwater harvesting system for loo flushing - Hybrid Toyota Auris car

    Hens & ducks chat thread
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5282209
  • edited 18 June 2017 at 10:18PM
    edwinkedwink Forumite
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    edited 18 June 2017 at 10:18PM
    Lost one of our little rehomed hens yesterday. Like they normally do she was quiet for a couple of days so I brought her indoors and she went to hen heaven during the night. :( I have so many old girls now so I do think our loss will be a little high this year. As ex-batts only live for around 18mths to 2 years after rescue to be honest they are all doing well and I really make sure they are enjoying their retirement with us. Treat, treats and more treats!!

    Boy has it been hot today and I have to say I am not liking it one bit. I don't tolerate the heat very well these days :(. Our hens were sunbathing all over the garden today. A couple of times we thought a couple of them had fainted as they just flopped on the path but on closer inspection they were laying there with their wings and legs spread out taking in the warmth of the sun. My god they do worry me sometimes when they do that.:rotfl:

    How is everyone else and their feathered friends. Too hot or enjoying it???

    Edwink x
    3.36 kWp solar panel system, 10 x Ultima & 4 x Panasonic solar panels, Solaredge Inverter
    1 Cayuga duck Hoppy & 23 ex-battery hens - RIP Pingu :love:
    2000ltr Rainwater harvesting system for loo flushing - Hybrid Toyota Auris car

    Hens & ducks chat thread
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5282209
  • ali-tali-t Forumite
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    Ours are loving it. Very glad to be out the rain finally.
    If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you always got!
  • CAFCGirlCAFCGirl Forumite
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    I don't think mine know what to do with themselves or all this sunlight.
    Theres been lots of groove digging and lounging. I've made them an ice treat following something I saw on Pinterest. Hope it works LOL
    One income, home educating family life
    Fashion On The Ration Coupons 2019 46\66 Excess Spent 28/2/2020 YARN
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  • anotheruseranotheruser Forumite
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    Posted this on another section but was re-directed here:

    So I'm in a position to buy some chickens.

    I've been looking at this coop: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/141975960306
    They do a 4 nest version (£200) and a 6 nest version (£240).

    I haven't got money to waste as I'm looking at spending a good bit of money on a shed, but I don't know what size I should go for. I'm thinking the 6, although we'd only start off with three chickens. I don't know if we'd ever have more but I don't want to get the 4 nest version, then decide in a few years time that I should have got the 6 nest one. Maybe we would only ever have four at one time.

    So does anyone have any advice on which I should get?
    I'm not asking for someone to predict the future, just any advice on what you have/had or mistakes you would have changed if you'd known.

    One reply person said they started with 4, then sold the eggs and now have a small flock.

    I can't imagine us selling the eggs (although I would be open to it, just don't know how to start), but we may get another couple of chickens.

    The way I see it is that if I got the 6-berth coop, we'd be running at 50% from the off.

    Any advice?
  • It's not a small flock, it's just 13 ATM :) Eggs are sold from the doorstep, an honesty box system :). As I said on the other thread, hens don't lay forever, I have seniors who rarely lay now but will be with me for a few more years before they fall of their perch

    As before that coop is not fit for purpose. They are very badly designed. 3 hens only need one nest box, what they do need is space to move around in, and perching space. Where are your hens going to be comfortable in wet windy weather or snow? That little run area will be stripped of grass in just a couple of days and be covered in poo. They can also dig out under and vermin and foxes can dig in

    Bored stressed hens peck each other and can do a lot of damage. It's not for clothing caged hens have their beaks clipped :(. They also need space to move away from each other. The pecking order can result in one hen bearing the brunt, hens are quite brutal

    As previously said, a shed or play house is the better option and a self build run, making sure the chicken wire is well buried in. You will need some shade for them as well, they don't do well in the heat and prefer to dig out a dust bath it lie in

    Gumtree and free cycle are places to look for sheds. They are usually offered for free if you go and dismantle. Only yesterday one was being off loaded at my recycling centre
  • edited 19 June 2017 at 8:31PM
    edwinkedwink Forumite
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    edited 19 June 2017 at 8:31PM
    So I'm in a position to buy some chickens. I've been looking at this coop: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/141975960306
    They do a 4 nest version (£200) and a 6 nest version (£240).

    I haven't got money to waste as I'm looking at spending a good bit of money on a shed, but I don't know what size I should go for. I'm thinking the 6, although we'd only start off with three chickens. I don't know if we'd ever have more but I don't want to get the 4 nest version, then decide in a few years time that I should have got the 6 nest one. Maybe we would only ever have four at one time.

    So does anyone have any advice on which I should get?
    I'm not asking for someone to predict the future, just any advice on what you have/had or mistakes you would have changed if you'd known.
    I can't imagine us selling the eggs (although I would be open to it, just don't know how to start)
    The way I see it is that if I got the 6-berth coop, we'd be running at 50% from the off. Any advice?

    Hi and welcome to our hen friendly thread.

    We started of with 12 hens and always said we would keep around that number. Then guess what? we got some more and then some more. We ended up with 26 hens and 7 ducks at one time. They really do grow on you honest they do.:rotfl:

    I really think that if you have the space a small shed with a run would be much better. All you would need to do is install some perches inside and attach a nesting box. The beauty of a shed is that you can stand up in it to clean it out. Alternatively, go for a much bigger hut and attached run. Whatever you do please give them as much space a possible.:)

    If you had a coop such as the one in your link you would have to think about moving it around your garden as the ground will become extremely baron in no time. Hens like to make themselves sometimes deep dust baths so can you imagine having one or two dusting holes made in a coop of that size plus a food bowl and water all in that space not forgetting the hens too. It really wouldn't leave much room for them to walk about freely at all and if that becomes the case they will fight and start picking on each other. :(

    Whatever you decide to do you should seriously think about your new hens safety by way of securing the boundary of the coop to stop foxes and rodents burrowing underneath the wire.

    Also another thing to factor in is the ease of cleaning their coop and hut out. If you need to scrape and clean the ground where are your hens going to go whilst you do this? The side door of the coop in your link is a great size for access for humans to go in and clean it out but I can just see the hens escaping when I look at the picture of the coop itself.:eek:

    If you get a surplus of eggs you could always think about selling them to friends or neighbours and put the money towards the hens feed, bedding or vets bills. All of those do not come cheap. One of our neighbours often gives us sweetcorn, greens and grapes so we happily give her a box of eggs as a thank you.;)

    I think one thing to remember the smaller the space you are going to give them could mean more than once a week cleaning. Do you have the time to clean them out twice a week if their coop is small?

    If you go down the route of buying a small shed and adding a chicken wire run you should seriously think about burrowing the chicken wire in to the ground as deep as you can dig. We actually cemented our chicken wire in the ground as we back on to a common and were very fearful of the foxes up there.

    HTH

    Edwink
    3.36 kWp solar panel system, 10 x Ultima & 4 x Panasonic solar panels, Solaredge Inverter
    1 Cayuga duck Hoppy & 23 ex-battery hens - RIP Pingu :love:
    2000ltr Rainwater harvesting system for loo flushing - Hybrid Toyota Auris car

    Hens & ducks chat thread
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5282209
  • Dust baths can be the size of craters once they find a spot :) hens do like a social bath, with all bundled in together if they can :). My garden used to be on different levels till the hens moved in, now I have terraces :). They aren't too happy ATM as their spot that's seen them through since winter has been fenced off for re seeding, so their new to them area is now causing a fence to collapse where they have dug so deep :)

    I don't think anyone can appreciate how much space hens need and how much destruction they do to a garden until they get them. I never understand how these plastic igloo thingies have taken off, I feel so sorry for the hens, reminds me of caged hens

    I love my girls. Yes I'm running out of room yet I want more. I love how they escape over the fields and can be seen walking in line up the lane for a little adventure yet come running back the minute I whistle. I love how the minute I turn my back they have snuck in the house and finished to cat food for him and cleaned my floor of crumbs:)

    What I hate is keeping the water unfrozen in the winter, having to clean them out every few days because they won't go out. Having to treat them for lice and mites. Wash pooey bums when one gets an upset tum. Sitting up all night when one is on its way out, not being able to help an egg bound hen. Finding out all the eggs hatched are cockerals and having to dispatch them

    Sounds like I hate the wee critters, I don't, I get a lot of joy and pleasure from them. Only I went into keeping them with eyes wide shut. They are wide open now
  • edwinkedwink Forumite
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    Dust baths can be the size of craters once they find a spot :) hens do like a social bath, with all bundled in together if they can :). My garden used to be on different levels till the hens moved in, now I have terraces :). They aren't too happy ATM as their spot that's seen them through since winter has been fenced off for re seeding, so their new to them area is now causing a fence to collapse where they have dug so deep :)

    I don't think anyone can appreciate how much space hens need and how much destruction they do to a garden until they get them.

    Nice to have a new face to our hen thread, welcome.

    Talking about craters I have two huge ones in my garden you can literately get 4 to 6 hens in at any one time. They have been flicking soil everywhere this past couple of days. The area where my hens dig is shaded by bushes and an apple tree so nice cool soil under there for them. They have also been digging and bathing area in the soil by a fence in our garden so I actually had to fill it back in and place a brick there because in a day or so they were nearly in to our next door neighbours garden. Aww bless them!!

    Agree about the destruction of ones garden. In the end with our garden we fenced the section off by our house with netting so we could have a piece to ourselves without the poo, discarded feathers and anything else they care to leave behind. We have a cottage style garden whereby the plants die off over the Winter and reshoot again in the Spring. So we allow our hens and ducks in to our garden too during the Winter and I am not joking but they can all demolish a 25ft x 15ft lawn in one week. Then it is a mud bath for the rest of the winter until it reshoots again. Then in Spring we have to add some new grass seed to the areas that have been scratched to bits.

    Oh the joys of owning hens :rotfl: Not to mention the fresh eggs that are bright orange just like the sun. Who could ask for more?:) I adore my hens, absolutely adore them.

    Edwink
    3.36 kWp solar panel system, 10 x Ultima & 4 x Panasonic solar panels, Solaredge Inverter
    1 Cayuga duck Hoppy & 23 ex-battery hens - RIP Pingu :love:
    2000ltr Rainwater harvesting system for loo flushing - Hybrid Toyota Auris car

    Hens & ducks chat thread
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5282209
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