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Celestite
August 25th, 2001, 07:11 AM
Hi ya,

We are thinking about keeping some laying hens in our back garden (in an attempt to become more self-sufficient). Has anybody got any experience of this and how have they got on?

Any guidance would really be appreciated!!

Celestite

Dria El
August 25th, 2001, 06:07 PM
When I was young we raised chickens and rabbits. I don't personally have any now but my parents have chickens. (and geese, sheep, dogs, cats, goats, ducks, etc... I could go on... lol) So, I can find out if no one here has any answers.

:)

Jewlz
August 26th, 2001, 01:21 AM
Well, make sure you give them enough space and if you let them out to wander the yard, be careful because they make big holes due to bird baths! hee hee hee! And you have to track their nesting places or else youll lose some eggs (they nest everywhere!) Oh, I remember the Chickens I had... I had one that sometimes layed double yoke eggs... My brother tripped on one of thier bird baths and hurt his foot... That even scaired the cat! Anyway, make sure you give them fresh straw otherwise, if you dont clean out the laying area the eggs get dirty. Hey, and make sure you clean it because of the smell, I would check with my neighboors if they were near the coop because of the smell and what if one decided to go awander? Also make sure you give tham grit so they dont get brittle becks and soft shells to their eggs. Wonderful (but abit stupid!) animals. Theyll lay for years if you take good care of them. I loved having them. They give a lovely homely cottage feel And can be quite funny with their antics sometimes. I hope you enjoy them!

Jewlz

Socharis
August 26th, 2001, 06:10 AM
Sounds like a good idea, im going to look furthur into it.

folkwitch
August 27th, 2001, 12:21 PM
I searched the words "raising chickens" and got a whole bunch of sites. Tried to paste one here for you but it didn't work. Anyway there's plenty of info on the 'net. :)

Lavender
August 27th, 2001, 12:27 PM
It might be a good idea to check at your local city hall first for zoning by-laws & such. Rabbits are usually ok but chickens are considered farm animals in some areas & not allowed in residential areas in some places.

folkwitch
August 27th, 2001, 01:09 PM
I had some friends (city dudes) who wanted to know how long it takes for eggs to hatch. Seems one of their hens had been sitting on a nest of eggs for three weeks already. I had to tell them (with a straight face) that those eggs couldn't possibly hatch because they had no rooster. 8O 8O 8O 8O 8O

Fawn
August 27th, 2001, 11:50 PM
I do and there are all kinds of chickens!! So make sure you do your background check before getting them.
Chickens like to "roost" at night (fly onto a pole; bar, whatever for sleeping) this usually done around sunset.
Chickens need water bottles for they do NOT know how to swim and the smallest amount of water can drown them for they drink only with their heads tilted straight up. They prefer warmth--so a coop is in order and one that can receive some heat during the coldest of winter months.
Hens (females) usually lay more in the warm weather then they do is the winter.
Spring- some chickens molt. Lose all their feathers it is natural but ugly.
They know no fear of traffic so keep them away from roads; they also do not defend themselves very well from predators so take that into consideration too.
They will need a special grain if the hens are laying, and make sure that there is small gravels in this for chickens have no teeth and need the gravel to grind their food in their stomachs.
Roosters--male
hen -female
chicks-diddles--all babies
pullet-a young chicken prime for mating.

quixote
August 28th, 2001, 06:35 AM
I was just house-sitting for a friend who has chickens. The one thing i can add here is that many critters have a great fondness for chickens. Make sure the coop is secure Raccoons and others can get through holes smaller than you might think. Don't let this discourage you though.
bb, quixote

Dria El
August 28th, 2001, 07:13 AM
One thing that I just remembered about chickens is that you have to be 'up' on their care. Meaning, if they get hurt (ie. something that would cause them to bleed or have an open sore) you have to be on top of it or the other chickens will peck at it (the wound) and make it worse.

I hope this helps....

:)

Celestite
September 11th, 2001, 03:10 PM
Dear all,

thank you so much for all the replies giving sound advice and guidance on the delicate subject of what to do with your chicken!!

We are currently building a suitable enclosure and having checked with the local council are well on the way to buying our first hen!!

THanks again for your trouble

Celestite x