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Old 27-11-2006, 09:45 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default OT keeping chickens

Any of you keep chickens? I am thinking of getting 2 or 3? I am looking up
info and reading a book.I was thinking of keeping them about 50 ft away from
the house.A friend said he would put them at the very bottom of the garden
due to attracting rats.But my garden is about 225 ft long so they wouldnt be
in view from the house.What do you think?I am also going to build myself a
chicken coup and run so any advise would be much appreciatted.
Thanks Keith



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Old 28-11-2006, 12:02 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default OT keeping chickens


Keith Kent wrote:
Any of you keep chickens? I am thinking of getting 2 or 3? I am looking up
info and reading a book.I was thinking of keeping them about 50 ft away from
the house.A friend said he would put them at the very bottom of the garden
due to attracting rats.But my garden is about 225 ft long so they wouldnt be
in view from the house.What do you think?I am also going to build myself a
chicken coup and run so any advise would be much appreciatted.
Thanks Keith


They don't themselves attract rats: it's left-over bits of food that do
that. You can't keep them on the same spot all the time, so a movable
coop is best: I made one of the triangular kind with a a wire run and a
house at one end, and moved it every day or two. (That was after I gave
up on letting them roam freely and just shutting them in at night.) As
long as you've got somebody to keep an eye on them when you go away
they're no trouble, and fresh eggs are a revelation if you've never had
them before. You will have to be prepared to kill them when their
laying days are finally over, though: it's important for the whole
family to understand this.

--
Mike.

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Old 28-11-2006, 01:32 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default OT keeping chickens


"Mike Lyle" wrote in message
oups.com...

Keith Kent wrote:
Any of you keep chickens? I am thinking of getting 2 or 3? I am looking
up
info and reading a book.I was thinking of keeping them about 50 ft away
from
the house.A friend said he would put them at the very bottom of the
garden
due to attracting rats.But my garden is about 225 ft long so they wouldnt
be
in view from the house.What do you think?I am also going to build myself
a
chicken coup and run so any advise would be much appreciatted.
Thanks Keith


They don't themselves attract rats: it's left-over bits of food that do
that. You can't keep them on the same spot all the time, so a movable
coop is best: I made one of the triangular kind with a a wire run and a
house at one end, and moved it every day or two. (That was after I gave
up on letting them roam freely and just shutting them in at night.) As
long as you've got somebody to keep an eye on them when you go away
they're no trouble, and fresh eggs are a revelation if you've never had
them before. You will have to be prepared to kill them when their
laying days are finally over, though: it's important for the whole
family to understand this.


And not give them names, or it becomes harder to get rid of them once they
have passed their usefulnes,

Alan


--
Mike.



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Old 28-11-2006, 11:10 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default OT keeping chickens

"Keith Kent" wrote in
:

Any of you keep chickens? I am thinking of getting 2 or 3? I am
looking up info and reading a book.I was thinking of keeping them
about 50 ft away from the house.A friend said he would put them at the
very bottom of the garden due to attracting rats.But my garden is
about 225 ft long so they wouldnt be in view from the house.What do
you think?I am also going to build myself a chicken coup and run so
any advise would be much appreciatted. Thanks Keith


I had similar thoughts, but my daughter did the research
and convinced me otherwise. She was correct, and has
summarised her experience on http://www.allaboutchickens.tk/

No noticable rat problem, probably due to:
- food kept in metal dustbin
- coop raised 18" off ground, too high for
rats' comfort
- 1/2" chicken wire mesh, too small for rats
and wild birds
- cleaned out regularly, at least weekly with
three birds

Consider
- reading Country Smallholding or Practical Poultry
to get an idea of possible coop and run designs
(available from large WHSmiths etc)
- roof over run to reduce chance of avian flu being
transmitted from wild birds' droppings
- coop floor 18" off ground
- is much easier to clean than one at ground
level
- provides birds with shelter from rain
- enables natural dustbathing and scratching
around even when it has been raining
for a long time
- any grass will be destroyed in two or three days;
either move them frequently and let the grass
regrow and/or reseed itself, or just keep the
coop/run in a single place
- make the run 5' high, so you can get inside it
yourself

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Old 29-11-2006, 01:57 AM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default OT keeping chickens

"Mike Lyle" wrote in message

You can't keep them on the same spot all the time, so a movable
coop is best:


I don't agree. They can be kept in a run that is permanently in the
one spot but they do need to be managed. They need to be given
scratch material and what better things than garden detritus - weeds,
mown grass, deadheads etc. They are the ideal compost bin turner and
thier run can effectively be used as an added compost bin. I even
sometimes give my hens straw to turn before I use it as mulch. A few
dasy in the run, rake it up and then spread it on beds.

You will have to be prepared to kill them when their
laying days are finally over, though: it's important for the whole
family to understand this.


I keep my hens till they die a natural death. I'd keep hens even if
they didn't ever lay eggs. As I'm a keen gardener, I find they are
ideal for doing work for me on garden material that I drop into their
runs. They either start the compost process or if I'm lazy I just
leave it there till they do all the work of turning, manuring and
rotting it back down to earth.






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Old 30-11-2006, 07:07 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default OT keeping chickens


"Tom Gardner" wrote in message
43.37...
"Keith Kent" wrote in
:

Any of you keep chickens? I am thinking of getting 2 or 3? I am
looking up info and reading a book.I was thinking of keeping them
about 50 ft away from the house.A friend said he would put them at the
very bottom of the garden due to attracting rats.But my garden is
about 225 ft long so they wouldnt be in view from the house.What do
you think?I am also going to build myself a chicken coup and run so
any advise would be much appreciatted. Thanks Keith


I had similar thoughts, but my daughter did the research
and convinced me otherwise. She was correct, and has
summarised her experience on http://www.allaboutchickens.tk/

No noticable rat problem, probably due to:
- food kept in metal dustbin
- coop raised 18" off ground, too high for
rats' comfort
- 1/2" chicken wire mesh, too small for rats
and wild birds
- cleaned out regularly, at least weekly with
three birds

Consider
- reading Country Smallholding or Practical Poultry
to get an idea of possible coop and run designs
(available from large WHSmiths etc)
- roof over run to reduce chance of avian flu being
transmitted from wild birds' droppings
- coop floor 18" off ground
- is much easier to clean than one at ground
level
- provides birds with shelter from rain
- enables natural dustbathing and scratching
around even when it has been raining
for a long time
- any grass will be destroyed in two or three days;
either move them frequently and let the grass
regrow and/or reseed itself, or just keep the
coop/run in a single place
- make the run 5' high, so you can get inside it
yourself


Thanks all for the advise!

Cheers Keith


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Old 03-12-2006, 07:02 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
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Default OT keeping chickens

I am Tom Gardner's daughter.

1. There's no reason to kill them once they stop laying as they really do
become pets, and believe it or not, they have lovely individual
personalities. Plus, most chickens never completely stop laying, they just
slow down to the point where you are getting one egg a month if you're
lucky! In short, they lay 80% of what they laid the previous year.

2. I've never had a problem with rats. I know that there are a few mice
around, but they were there before the chickens were, and there hasn't been
any increase to my knowledge. It's more common to see next door's cat with
a garden bird in it's mouth than a mouse. Just clear up any spilt feed, and
you won't have a problem.

3. You won't have a complete lawn with chickens. If you get an ark
(triangular thing) and move it around, you will just end up with a
gradually thinning lawn. IMHO it's easier just to resign yourself to losing
a small amount of lawn, and leave them in that place.

4. Are you allowed to keep chickens? Check the property deeds, and the
local bylaws. Most towns will state no cockerels (due to noise), but hens
will lay just as well without them, and they won't be terrorised by their
constant raping. However, if it is in your house deeds, then more than
likely you can get away with it. The number of violations I have seen of
house deeds around here is astonishing (I'm assuming that they all say the
same thing, as they were built at the same time by the same builder in the
same style). However, if your neighbours complain to the council, then if
you are in violation of the bylaws, the bylaws could be used against you.
Appease them with some eggs.

5. I learnt the vast majority of what I know (a lot, my website
www.allaboutchickens.tk is only a portion of what I know, and is constantly
being updated, if and when I have time) from a message board called
backyard chickens at http://p072.ezboard.com/bbackyardchickens and the
people there are really friendly. I am known there as V Chic Chick if you
want to come on over

6. Feel free to message me with any questions via the contact us page on my
website, or by PM on backyard chickens.

7. Think about what breeds you are going to get.
Pure breeds are prettier and can be shown. DEFRA has also promised not to
cull any healthy pure breeds in the event of a bird flu outbreak. However,
they lay less eggs per year, but don't burn out after 18 months like
hybrids do.
Hybrids are less pretty, but they do the job if all you are after is eggs.
But they tend to just be a boring brown colour.

8. You can look at lots of nice pictures of different chicken breeds at
www.feathersite.com

9. Don't bother with one of these eglu things. They're overpriced and
undersized for anything larger than a couple of bantams. Much better to go
with a nicer bigger wooden one, either bought in, or made yourself (much
cheaper, and built to your own requirements).

Helena.
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Old 04-12-2006, 09:26 PM posted to uk.rec.gardening
K K is offline
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Default OT keeping chickens

Junk Address writes

You can look at lots of nice pictures of different chicken breeds at
www.feathersite.com

Hey, I do like the idea of being able to say 'come and see my Asbos'
;-)
--
Kay
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Old 28-12-2008, 09:05 PM
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Default

Keep them in view of your house, ours have never attracted rats. I think rat problems are more of a problem with large farms and innapropriate foods, like meats.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Kent View Post
Any of you keep chickens? I am thinking of getting 2 or 3? I am looking up
info and reading a book.I was thinking of keeping them about 50 ft away from
the house.A friend said he would put them at the very bottom of the garden
due to attracting rats.But my garden is about 225 ft long so they wouldnt be
in view from the house.What do you think?I am also going to build myself a
chicken coup and run so any advise would be much appreciatted.
Thanks Keith


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