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  1. #1
    JennieAtkinson's Avatar
    JennieAtkinson is offline Early Fruiter
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    Default More chicken advice please

    Really interested in keeping 2/3 chickens and advice from grapevine very informative. Can anyone tell me a bit more about keeping them - can they be left to look after themselves for 24 hours? 48 hours? Is it ok to leave them out in the run overnight? We have problems with polecats (no foxes on this remote island) but our field is walled and I would propose a further fenced area as a run and including an ark. We are sometimes away at weekends and I am not sure whether this would be compatible with keeping chickens.
    How long does a chicken lay for and how long are they likely to live? We are worried they will become such pets we will end up with a lot of elderly chickens, but no eggs!!
    Grateful for any advice or any good reading matter which would help answer these questions (and other novice questions!)

  2. #2
    Llew Edwards is offline Germinator
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    Default Chicken Advice

    The best starting point for anyone with chickens is a book called Starting with Chickens written by Katie Thear and published by Broad Leys Publishing Ltd. (Katie also writes the poultry articles for this magazine). I got her book when I started and it's been my 'chicken bible' ever since. It's packed with information and unbelievably good value at 6.95 post-free from Broad Leys Publishing Ltd, 1 Tenterfields, Newport, Saffron Walden, Essex CB11 3UW. www.blpbooks.co.uk
    I believe that her latest book is called Organic Poultry. I haven't read that yet but it's on order. If it's anything like her other books, it'll be great. As you can gather, I'm a great fan of hers although sadly I've never met her.

  3. #3
    JennieAtkinson's Avatar
    JennieAtkinson is offline Early Fruiter
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    Default

    Many thanks for that advice - the book is ordered!

  4. #4
    andywhit is offline Germinator
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    Default

    so let them become pets, after all , people keep parrots and other ornamental birds and they don`t lay eggs.
    we had 6 black rock hens over 6 years and we usually got enough eggs. i don`t think they stop laying so long as they are healthy, they just lay less frequently but larger eggs. i was told that this breed was good for this long laying period, i don`t know about other varieties though
    by the way, only one was culled when very ill.two died of natural causes one was run over and two vanished ,cause unknown.

  5. #5
    Lottie is offline Seedling
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    Default

    Chickens are great company and make really entertaining pets. If you visit the Omlet site there is a page telling you most of what you need to know about keeping them.

    The main criteria about leaving them this time of year is the weather. Frozen water mainly. They drink lots of water so if it freezes where you are you need to get someone to replenish it.

    Food wise they can be left with enough food for 24 or 48 hours

    Omlet sell and Eglu and fox proof run that keeps them safe so that you do not have to worry - and so easy to maintain too.

    You can see mine on
    http://kooringa@blogspot.com

    or visit the Omlet site and sign up as a guest as see lots of other Eglu owners and read the forums for help and advice

    Best wishes

  6. #6
    poultrychat is offline Rooter
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    Default

    They can be left for 24 - 48hours with access to enough food and water to last them. I always suggest 3 chickens as the minimum so that if anything goes wrong then you won't have 1 miserable chicken on its own. The egg laying ability depends on whether you go for a pure breed or a hybrid and the individual bird. Why not build your own house, the omlet ones are pretty expensive?

  7. #7
    Lottie is offline Seedling
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    Default

    I went for the Eglu, because once I added up all the cost of the materials etc and to ensure it was fox proof and easy to clean. The cost worked out the same.

    I am thrilled with my Eglu - so easy to clean - just been out there and it literally took 3 minutes - I timed it - Close pop hole by turning external handle to keep the chickens out, pull out the dropping draw, empty it in a sack, reline it with newspaper, (you don't have to do that bit, that added a minute to the time) and slide it back in. Then turn handle to open the pop to give chickens access. Job done.

  8. #8
    poultrychat is offline Rooter
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    They can live for up to 10 years but the average seems to be about 7 if they are lucky enough to get illnesses and they can keep on laying through old age just not so often. In a chickens first year they will lay the most eggs but the eggs will be smallish, once they get beyond the first year they will lay less frequently but the eggs will be a much better size

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