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Mrs B would like to get some Hens and I am amenable to the idea.  Probably 3-4 hens

We have a fairly ready supply of oil seed rape mash available for food plus kitchen scraps. Also thinking of a wormery to supplement feeding. 

Whats the view on this - worth doing or a complete PITA? 

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This is pretty much what happened to my ex-battery hens, I got three. One died the next day presumably due to shock, the other two were dead after 4-5 months. I thought it was me being an amateur and

I have 3 hens. I wouldn't bother with overthinking the food and wormeries stuff:  you can get 20KG of layers (complete) for £10 and this lasts me 2 months or so. The entry costs are quite high, p

Why not get an ostrich?The eggs are  bigger, and they tell foxes to "fuck off".

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I have 3 hens. I wouldn't bother with overthinking the food and wormeries stuff:  you can get 20KG of layers (complete) for £10 and this lasts me 2 months or so.

The entry costs are quite high, particularly if you go down the electric fence route. Don't expect to make any money off it with 3-4 hens but you should break even easily. How big is your garden?

I originally started off with a cheapy coop from eBay and an electric fence off an old car battery, decided it was too much faff and just chucked the electric fence and let them free roam. Lost one hen to a neighbour's dog that somehow got in to my garden but no foxes touch wood, even after 3 years or so.

Ex battery hens are cheap, usually free/donation required, and if you buy them soon they'll be fully feathered up by winter. I wouldn't get ex battery hens in winter, I think they'd get cold with so few feathers.

Overall yes definitely worth it. All I do is feed them every day and clean them out every Sunday. Costs about £10 a month ongoing, and only takes an hour or so per week max. You will get 3-4 eggs a day for most of the year.

As with all these things, don't overthink it, just go with it. B|

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Layers pellets.

Treat mixed corn and seed. But only a bit.

Grit. 

Bedding shavings not sawdust as its usually pine and makes eggs taste funny if you're sensitive to it.

Water. Get a good container for that.

Check daily. Watch them. You'll know when one isn't well.

Could you neck one if needed? It's not fun. 

Mine are in a big run that someone else made and they have a small six bird coop. They get to play out in a minute ch bigger area when I am on the allotment but I always put them back in safe run when it's home time.

Currently have five.

 

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12 hours ago, spunko said:

I have 3 hens. I wouldn't bother with overthinking the food and wormeries stuff:  you can get 20KG of layers (complete) for £10 and this lasts me 2 months or so.

The entry costs are quite high, particularly if you go down the electric fence route. Don't expect to make any money off it with 3-4 hens but you should break even easily. How big is your garden?

I originally started off with a cheapy coop from eBay and an electric fence off an old car battery, decided it was too much faff and just chucked the electric fence and let them free roam. Lost one hen to a neighbour's dog that somehow got in to my garden but no foxes touch wood, even after 3 years or so.

Ex battery hens are cheap, usually free/donation required, and if you buy them soon they'll be fully feathered up by winter. I wouldn't get ex battery hens in winter, I think they'd get cold with so few feathers.

Overall yes definitely worth it. All I do is feed them every day and clean them out every Sunday. Costs about £10 a month ongoing, and only takes an hour or so per week max. You will get 3-4 eggs a day for most of the year.

As with all these things, don't overthink it, just go with it. B|

Thanks. 

Our Garden on two sides is surrounded by a 6 foot brick wall. The other two a pretty sturdy fence which has a continuous concrete block base (we are on clay thats like concrete to dig through). The Garden isn't huge - 140-150m2. Was thinking to let them roam free in the daytime and put in the COOP at night. 

In addition to layers feed we have some free sources of food. 

Mrs B can get a supply of free oil seed mash from work which is high protein and high in Omega 3. 

I 've also wanted a wormery so this would be a justification. 

On waiting list for an allotment. Secretary advises me 12-18 months. She said quite a high turn over as people give up. I reckon  they go too complicated. Said to Mrs B the easy way with allotments is to plant 5 or 6 hardy crops started from seed in pots at home (Kale, Broad Beans, maize, peas, spinach, chard, courgettes, squashes). Any surplus can supplement the hens feed. 

Had thought about battery hens but one problem I heard was they are fussy with mixed food because of their previous mono diet. 

All good learning stuff for Barlow Jnr. 

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9 hours ago, sarahbell said:

Layers pellets.

Treat mixed corn and seed. But only a bit.

Grit. 

Bedding shavings not sawdust as its usually pine and makes eggs taste funny if you're sensitive to it.

Water. Get a good container for that.

Check daily. Watch them. You'll know when one isn't well.

Could you neck one if needed? It's not fun. 

Mine are in a big run that someone else made and they have a small six bird coop. They get to play out in a minute ch bigger area when I am on the allotment but I always put them back in safe run when it's home time.

Currently have five.

 

Cheers

No problem necking them. Ex EHO. Also done a lot of small game shooting over the years - mainly bunnies and wood pigeon. 

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21 minutes ago, Kurt Barlow said:

Cheers

No problem necking them. Ex EHO. Also done a lot of small game shooting over the years - mainly bunnies and wood pigeon. 

Oh aye. I had forgotten that. You'll know all about harbourage and treddle feeders. 

I would say go for it with your plan of free ranging during the day. Don't buy really expensive birds until you've established your garden is safe.
One of our neighbours has a chicken that jumps the fence and people used to come and tell them it was out. It'd come back in when you shouted it.

Cheshire chickens wasn't selling birds last time I looked. The local place that does is getting them from somewhere though! 


 

2020-06-28 18.02.15.jpg

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5 minutes ago, sarahbell said:

Oh aye. I had forgotten that. You'll know all about harbourage and treddle feeders. 

I would say go for it with your plan of free ranging during the day. Don't buy really expensive birds until you've established your garden is safe.
One of our neighbours has a chicken that jumps the fence and people used to come and tell them it was out. It'd come back in when you shouted it.

Cheshire chickens wasn't selling birds last time I looked. The local place that does is getting them from somewhere though! 


 

2020-06-28 18.02.15.jpg

Good point - rats and mice were my other concern.

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@Kurt Barlow

Hens at an allotment aren't a good idea IMPO because you have to go up there every day to feed them, and sometimes you just can't be arsed I'd assume. Much easier to keep them in the back garden... Letting them free roam is best but a fox can easily get over a 6ft wall... it's entirely up to you, quality of life versus longevity I see it as, and favour the former.

One thing to be aware of, if you grow veg and let them free roam they will eat anything brightly coloured. For example tomatoes, rainbow chard. They also seem to attack anything that's red, I lost all my red tulips last year as they ravaged them.  Plus they also like to dust bathe and that means they can create a mess.

PS: Other thing, have you looked at the current lead times to buy hens? I was told that because of the lockdown everyone wants hens and there is a 6 month waiting list round here.

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3 minutes ago, spunko said:

@Kurt Barlow

Hens at an allotment aren't a good idea IMPO because you have to go up there every day to feed them, and sometimes you just can't be arsed I'd assume. Much easier to keep them in the back garden... Letting them free roam is best but a fox can easily get over a 6ft wall... it's entirely up to you, quality of life versus longevity I see it as, and favour the former.

One thing to be aware of, if you grow veg and let them free roam they will eat anything brightly coloured. For example tomatoes, rainbow chard. They also seem to attack anything that's red, I lost all my red tulips last year as they ravaged them.  Plus they also like to dust bathe and that means they can create a mess.

PS: Other thing, have you looked at the current lead times to buy hens? I was told that because of the lockdown everyone wants hens and there is a 6 month waiting list round here.

Wouldn't keep them at the allotment and most associations prohibit poultry anyway. 

We have an L shaped boundary area which is the rough area of the garden. I could fence them off into this area and ideally keep them off the lawn area. 

How the fook does a fox get over a 6 foot wall? 

Edited by Kurt Barlow
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6 minutes ago, Kurt Barlow said:

Wouldn't keep them at the allotment and most associations prohibit poultry anyway. 

We have an L shaped boundary area which is the rough area of the garden. I could fence them off into this area and ideally keep them off the lawn area. 

How the fook does a fox get over a 6 foot wall? 

It'll just jump up like this:

https://youtu.be/wKk1OYHuGcU?t=51

 

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33 minutes ago, Kurt Barlow said:

Externally the wall is about 8 feet but I see the problem. I assume its really a night issue?

I always put mine away 2 hours before sunset, I have seen foxes literally 100m away from my chickens during the day and they don't touch them, but it's just the luck of the draw. One day they'll get wiped out by a fox that got lucky, anyone who owns chickens has to accept that IMPO.

You can take all these precautions against foxes and then a weasel can come along and kill them, given that they can fit through a 3cm hole there's no much you can do really if their time is up. As sarahbell said I'd get cheapy ones first and see how you get on

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1 hour ago, spunko said:

@Kurt Barlow

Hens at an allotment aren't a good idea IMPO because you have to go up there every day to feed them, and sometimes you just can't be arsed I'd assume. Much easier to keep them in the back garden... Letting them free roam is best but a fox can easily get over a 6ft wall... it's entirely up to you, quality of life versus longevity I see it as, and favour the former.

One thing to be aware of, if you grow veg and let them free roam they will eat anything brightly coloured. For example tomatoes, rainbow chard. They also seem to attack anything that's red, I lost all my red tulips last year as they ravaged them.  Plus they also like to dust bathe and that means they can create a mess.

PS: Other thing, have you looked at the current lead times to buy hens? I was told that because of the lockdown everyone wants hens and there is a 6 month waiting list round here.

This will be a 2021/22 project if it goes ahead. 

I am using this time now to think about the pros and cons hence the thread in the first place. Consult the DOSBODS sages :D

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27 minutes ago, spunko said:

I always put mine away 2 hours before sunset, I have seen foxes literally 100m away from my chickens during the day and they don't touch them, but it's just the luck of the draw. One day they'll get wiped out by a fox that got lucky, anyone who owns chickens has to accept that IMPO.

You can take all these precautions against foxes and then a weasel can come along and kill them, given that they can fit through a 3cm hole there's no much you can do really if their time is up. As sarahbell said I'd get cheapy ones first and see how you get on

We live in a suburban area so weasels less likely. We do have foxes though. As Bas Vegas Council still have us on black bags you can't leave them out over night as the foxes rip them to pieces. We know they are foxes as next door - security bloke has filmed them. 

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They kept entirely free range hens here on the farm (so most of the eggs were laid in places other than the nesting boxes xD) and the ex battery hens always lasted longest and they'll eat anything like the others. The cockerel I brought back when his previous keepers were reluctant to put him in the pot lasted something like seven years before the fox got him. Foxes will get very ambitious when hungry in the winter, I once caught one in the act of dragging away a goose.

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1 hour ago, Kurt Barlow said:

We live in a suburban area so weasels less likely. We do have foxes though. As Bas Vegas Council still have us on black bags you can't leave them out over night as the foxes rip them to pieces. We know they are foxes as next door - security bloke has filmed them. 

You have a security guard...?

Posh cunt...

 

XYY

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3 minutes ago, The XYY Man said:

Shit.

I've always called you a cunt just for a laugh, and a bit of banter.

Didn't realise that you actually fucking were one...!

;)

 

XYY

I'm sending up some of my boys to see you. They haven't had much to do since the lockdown and and the banana bill is costing me a fortune. 

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5 hours ago, Kurt Barlow said:

Good point - rats and mice were my other concern.

They'll be your neighour's concerns too. 

But .. buy yourself some quail eggs and duck eggs and an incubator. no need to wait til next year.

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/uk-news/woman-stunned-after-hatching-duckling-18681196


Some of the comments made me laugh on Fb.
"What have I been eating?" 

Ducks and quails are generally run together boys and girls. Which means fertile eggs. Battery chickens are not allowed to see sunlight let alone a cock.

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3 minutes ago, sarahbell said:

They'll be your neighour's concerns too. 

But .. buy yourself some quail eggs and duck eggs and an incubator. no need to wait til next year.

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/uk-news/woman-stunned-after-hatching-duckling-18681196


Some of the comments made me laugh on Fb.
"What have I been eating?" 

Ducks and quails are generally run together boys and girls. Which means fertile eggs. Battery chickens are not allowed to see sunlight let alone a cock.

Cloaca;)

If they see a cock its probably XYY's and that only if they are looking in a mirror. 

 

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3 minutes ago, Kurt Barlow said:

If they see a cock its probably XYY's and that only if they are looking in a mirror. 

Let me get this straight Lord Flatbush.

Not only do you have a security guard - but now you're also telling me that your chickens have wing mirrors fitted...?

Fuck off...!

No cunt is that Avant-garde...

 

XYY

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