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  1. #1
    Compost Fairy is offline Germinator
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    Default Plans for chicken housing.

    Hi

    I would like to keep a few chickens. I have a moderate size garden and plenty of time to look after them. I do not much money to set it up though. Can anyone recommend easy plans/ideas for chicken housing please.

    Many thanks.

  2. #2
    Squirrel's Avatar
    Squirrel is offline Tuber
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    The first thing you need to sort out is if you want a veg garden or if you want to let your hens loose in your garden to free range! Depending on which you want before you start thinking of houses I'm afraid!

    As to house, they are quite happy in a square box with a couple of cardboard boxes for nesting in, some perch space inside the box and good clean straw or wood shavings on the floor. Needs to be waterproof as well. Happy to help further if you wish!

  3. #3
    Compost Fairy is offline Germinator
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    I cannot have them free range as I have twin toddlers running around. Only want to keep a few mostly to teach the kids about looking after animals and where food comes from. I have seen the Eglu housing which would be ideal for us, but far to expensive.

  4. #4
    Squirrel's Avatar
    Squirrel is offline Tuber
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    Right if you are having a closed run then I suggest an ark. Can be made quite cheaply from old pallets and chicken wire. You will be able to move it around your lawn so that no one area gets messed up. Would suggest you have an odd number of hens - say three - so that if one kicks the bucket, you don't have a lonesome hen! Lonesome hens are not good!

    There is a book by Michael Roberts - Golden Cockerel Books - which you could borrow from your library that gives you plans for cheap housing. Called Poultry House Construction I think. I have made stuff out of it and he does good plans that go together well. Otherwise I have a plan here that I bought ages ago which I havn't used and would be happy to post to you.

    I tend to go for the coops that are on legs, as I am disabled and find it difficult to scrabble around on the floor to clean them out.

    PM me if you want the plan

  5. #5
    Compost Fairy is offline Germinator
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    Thanks Squirrel, that is so nice of you.

    I am off to libary in the morning so will look into getting book. If not will contact you about plans.

  6. #6
    Saoirse's Avatar
    Saoirse is offline Seedling
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    We have a few hens on our allotment: we bought the house and run but I can quite see that you could make one yourself. A house on legs is a good idea as otherwise rats can set up home underneath: it also gives you a dry place to put their food hopper. If you are making one with a non-wooden roof, if you know what I mean, don't use felt as it will give places for pests to live. You can buy something called onduline from DIY shops (homebase for one) which is a bitumised corrugated waterproof sheeting that you nail in place and lasts for ages.

    You can buy wooden houses that are cheaper than the eglu, but making one is likely to be cheaper. Another word about the wire to make the run from: I would suggest that you use weld mesh rather than chicken wire as it is much stronger (against foxes) and also you need small holes (I think less than 1 inch square) to prevent wild birds getting in (for any bird flu regs that might come in) and also to prevent ratty from getting in too.

    I hope that you do get the hens as they are great fun to have around.

    One more thing to think about: we have a house with a slide out floor that makes cleaning it out much easier!

    Good luck!

    Nicky
    Saoirse: Irish meaning Freedom (I think!)

  7. #7
    Worldor is offline Seedling
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    Rabbit hutches are usually cheaper to buy and you can often pick one up second hand or even free on freecyle.

    If you have 100 to spare there is a lady called Annie who is getting rid of her five girls and a beautiful coop and run on the Poultry Keeper forum.

    You are right about the Eglu. We started with one and it is still the best housing we have but I think now about 350.

    Good luck with yourr project.
    Chris
    Last edited by Worldor; 14-08-2006 at 07:23 AM.

  8. #8
    Sunbeam's Avatar
    Sunbeam is offline Rooter
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    We keep ours in an old dog kennel which we put on legs- and they run riot in the garden during the day -my son was two when we first had the chickens & they caused no probs at all - in fact he throughly enjoys their company in the sand pit!
    Last edited by Sunbeam; 14-08-2006 at 08:38 AM.
    How can a woman be expected to be happy with a man who insists on treating her as if she were a perfectly normal human being.

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