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Thread: Wanting to start keeping hens

  1. #1
    quietandy is offline Seedling
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    Default Wanting to start keeping hens

    Hello. If, and it is a big if, i am able to acquire the half plant next to mine i will have the room to keep some hens. I do not want many maybe 6 at a maximum and i was thinking about rehoming some x bat hens. I am going to sign up for a course/talk/demonstration at Durham Hens about starting as a first step. I have been, obviously, looking around as to what is available to my future residents to call home. I was thinking a coop inside a large walk in run so that they will have plenty of secure space to exercise and explore. The coop would have to have an auto door opener/closer as my work hours can be a bit crazy at times and i feel this would be the best way to ensure the hens have as much outside time as possible.

    So. This is where i hope you all come with some helpful advice/pointers/recommendations as to products and websites that you have all had experience of in regards to coops, runs, feeders, drinkers and everything in-between.

    Looking forward to hearing your suggestions and thoughts.

    Andy
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  2. #2
    veggiechicken's Avatar
    veggiechicken is offline Warning, May contain nuts
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    I take it you mean "half plot" next to yours. How often will you be able to visit them?
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  3. #3
    quietandy is offline Seedling
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    Quote Originally Posted by veggiechicken View Post
    I take it you mean "half plot" next to yours. How often will you be able to visit them?
    Hehe yes i mean half plot. I could visit most evenings. Would be the odd occasion when i would have to miss an evening.

  4. #4
    veggiechicken's Avatar
    veggiechicken is offline Warning, May contain nuts
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    Apart from the letting out and shutting in for the night you also need to remove the eggs daily, and, of course, check their feed and water levels.

    Have a read of the other threads about keeping chooks on the forum. There's a lot of basic advice there. However, we all tailor our coops/runs differently according to circumstances. There isn't a one size fits all option!!
    Gillykat likes this.
    A Chicken walks with small steps. Be more Chicken
    https://gardenchicken.blogspot.com/
    @realveggiechicken

  5. #5
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    Scarlet is online now Gone with the Wind
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    Snadger kept hens on his plot....use run off water I think? Made a hanging feeder and a little fort
    Last edited by Scarlet; 25-04-2019 at 09:53 PM. Reason: I really hate autocorrect

  6. #6
    Stan79's Avatar
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    Letting out and shutting away can be sorted with an automatic door opener. Works off light or a timer.

    Collecting eggs can be sorted with a neighbour... they just get to keep the eggs!

    Feed - use a treadle bin feeder to stop rodents eating the food and setting up home in the area. We've had hens since 2013 and no rats.
    Last edited by Stan79; 26-04-2019 at 06:24 AM.
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  7. #7
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    I used to have chickens and initially when i started, had a large permanent run.
    I planned that the chickens would clear that area of weeds and pests, but i hadn't planned for how boggy/muddy/smelly the ground can become where the chickens roamed. So, I found the cheapest way to overcome this was to find a tree surgeon who was willing to drop off "free of charge" (or maybe a crate of beer) loads of wood chips to lay down on the boggy area and renew from time to time, eg every 9 months or so (adding a few inch more in september for winter)
    This wood chip mixed with chicken poop breaks down into the most fantastic compost that you can redistribute to another area or you can move the chicken run and start again to improve another area of the plot
    Last edited by MyWifesBrassicas; 26-04-2019 at 07:13 AM. Reason: adding (or maybe a crate of beer)
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  8. #8
    Nicos's Avatar
    Nicos is offline 'Allo 'Allo !
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    One concern for me would be fox proofing the run. They can climb netting!

    Having said that, you're going to love having them
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    "Nicos, Queen of Gooooogle" and... GYO's own Miss Marple

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