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Greedy Mick

Keeping chickens

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I have often thought about keeping a couple of hens in a coup for fresh eggs. Does anyone on here keep hens? I was just wondering how much is involved and are they easy or hard to look after.. 

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I used to keep poultry for exhibition, rare breeds, and they were no bother whatsoever.  If you have an enclosed garden it's best to let them have free range within it as they'll eat small slugs and other garden pests as well as scratching up weeds.  As long as you get them in the coop at the end of the day so that foxes can't get at them you'll find they'll reward you with eggs on a daily basis, only one per hen.  It is preferable to have a cockerel with them as being trod encourages them to lay.  The cost of feed has to be thought about, but they'll enjoy some boiled potato skins, leftover pasta etc. once in a while.

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I'd think twice about a cockerel if you don't want to upset the neighbours.  In my town, a dispute between neighbours over chickens featured on Channel 5's Nightmare Neighbour Next Door.  Mind you, the bloke had 38 chickens, 15 parrots, five pheasants, half a dozen budgies and a finch in his terraced house.

294920869_Birds-noise-278577(1).jpg.05dc43197eacc4fccac4bfa502535a2a.jpg

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3 hours ago, Steve S 60 said:

I'd think twice about a cockerel if you don't want to upset the neighbours.  In my town, a dispute between neighbours over chickens featured on Channel 5's Nightmare Neighbour Next Door.  Mind you, the bloke had 38 chickens, 15 parrots, five pheasants, half a dozen budgies and a finch in his terraced house.

294920869_Birds-noise-278577(1).jpg.05dc43197eacc4fccac4bfa502535a2a.jpg

The problem is obvious.. only one finch it made too much noise calling for another one as the others were bullying it. 

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We are currently babysitting 2 hens that belong to a friend. We used to have quite a few (36 at one time which is too many) They are quite easy to look after and I would say that 2-4 is a good number to produce eggs for yourself and friends. The best place to get them is your local egg farm, battery or barn as they are just a plain brown hen and are bred to be egg laying machines, the rare and exotic ones don't produce the same.

Ask your local egg farm when they are next changing out their hens. They usually get them in at 6 months old and get rid of them at 18 months old after they are past their best. You can usually get them for free, or a couple of quid.

They are in a right state when they come from the farms with bald patches and the battery ones can't even walk but within couple of weeks of getting them home they are good as new and will still produce an egg a day for the next few years. 

The hen ark in the pictures would be the right size for up to 4, Because they are not mine I only let them out supervised so they dont get killed by foxes or dogs or raptors, but I used to let my own out all the time as it means less wear on a particular bit of grass.

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Edited by grouse

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