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Thread: hens

  1. #1


    I finished building my chicken coupe weekend just gone and got 3 hybrid laying hens (not sure which breed they are) and a rooster to run with them. First day the rooster was very unsettled but now he's calmed down. I don't know whether this is a good thing but he doesn't seem to crow at all... they are all in a 8 ft long x 5ft wide x 6ft tall run with there internal coup on a upper level. I plan to let them free range (once they settle a little more) on some disused rough ground at the back of my house, I was thinking to make a small pop hole in the fence so they can come back to roost.. good news is I had my first egg this morning.. looking forward to some more! will post pics tomorrow. Any advise welcome as I am a newbe to keeping chickens. Thanks, Mo

  2. #2
    My advice would be to shoot all the foxes you can!

  3. #3
    Glad you got your chickens. My advice is fatten the cockerel and eat it as you'll soon get pi**ed off with him waking you up in the morning. Plus he'll rag up your hens and when his spurs are long will cause damage to them. There is NO need to have a cock bird running with the hens. Secondly remember birds don't listen to instruction and they may not just go on the disused area. You will definitely enjoy some decent eggs though. One last thing don't be surprised if the egg laying drops off after a little while and keep an eye open for any looking a bit peaky. Have fun.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by woodmaster View Post
    My advice is fatten the cockerel and eat it as you'll soon get pi**ed off with him waking you up in the morning.

  5. #5
    We have 4 hens, they are great entertainment , also great eggs. Dont let them loose in the garden, they will ruin any grass/ plants you have.
    .308, because if I want to watch something run away, I'll take my dog for a walk.

  6. #6
    Make sure you feed them layers pellets. Neck the cockerel tomorrow!! you dont need it unless you plan on hatching some more. They'll lay well for about 18months then drop off. Laying is directly related to daylight hours....put a 50watt bulb in the coup during the winter and some food and they'll lay right through. Get some oyster grit/shell...does em good. Treat the coup with creosote every spring..that'll reduce the red lice and any other bugs about. Get somediatomaceous earth, grab the hens by the feet, turn 'em upside down and dust them...really helps to keep them clean.
    Dont worry when they knock several different colours out of each will be witnessing the pecking order in all its nasty glory.
    Chuck some mixed seed on the ground as a treat only (layers pellets gives them everything they need) as it'll keep them interested skritting about

    Have fun and dont be too disappointed when charlie takes them all one night
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  7. #7

  8. #8
    The above advice is sound.

    You WILL get rats.

    Section 161 of the Highways Act 1980 (England & Wales) makes it an offence to discharge a firearm within 50 ft of the centre of a highway with vehicular rights without lawful authority or excuse, if as a result a user of the highway is injured, interrupted or endangered.

  9. #9
    SD Regular NorthDorset's Avatar
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    Welcome to an interesting little diversion.

    If you have near neighbours you do need to watch out for that cockerel. If he is a young bird he may not have started crowing yet. Second he starts your neighbours will complain.

    I have found if they have enough ground they will not turn it all into a mud bath. Either accept that the run will turn to mud, pave it or be able to move it frequently.

    They will dig holes to make a dust bath to keep clean. Watch out for these if you charge out into the garden at night. They should have a supply of grit. Throw their food around to keep them interested and excercised scratching around.

    Rats will dig holes to get in the run. If you don't clear the eggs then the rats will try to for you. Our birds have happily killed the odd rat.

    We feed layers pellets one week, corn the next. Variety is the spice of life and the corn is a bit cheaper. With 4 choocks chicken feed is chicken feed with 40 it's a consideration.

    Chickens die for a hobby. One minute fine, next down, next dead. There are various remedies and first round of sickness you will get a bottle of Baytril from the vet. Soon as you see a chicken looking sorry, use it.

    Echoing an earlier comment, you probably already have rats. They go together with chickens like carrots and peas.

    They are great fun though. You will go out to feed them, get absorbed watching them and suddenly half an hour has passed.
    Yes I should have taken the Blue Pill!

    We were so busy congratulating ourself of dodging Orwells vision we marched right into Huxley's.

  10. #10
    Echoing an earlier comment, you probably already have rats. They go together with chickens like carrots and peas.

    I prefere mine with gravy but each to thier own!

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