Thinking of keeping chickens?

If you are new to poultry keeping, we will do our best to help you set up with everything you need and offer advice on poultry rearing, poultry housing, point of lay hens, pullets, their care and maintenance.

There are few hobbies as rewarding as keeping some laying hens in the back garden. Not only do they amuse you with their antics, their gentle clucking is really quite therapeutic as well. And that’s before you even get those wonderful fresh eggs every morning!

Financially, you make a small profit on the deal as well. When you compare the cost of eggs in the shop with what you spend on your own hens and feeding them, you do win on the deal.

Day to Day Care
So what do I need to do?
 
There are a variety of brands of food available which provide all of the nutrients that chickens need; this is best provided in a feeder allowing the birds to help themselves. Chickens roughly eat 100/150 gms of food a day. Fresh food including sweet corn, lettuce will also be appreciated, as will grains such as wheat and corn. 
 
Chickens spend most of the day scratching and pecking for food so scatter the fresh food on the ground to allow them to forage; otherwise they can become bored and develop bad habits such as feather pecking. 
 
Fresh water should always be available in a drinker raised above ground level. During the winter months check that the water hasn’t frozen but also be mindful that during hot weather they will drink more!
 
Grit to aid digestion and crushed oyster shell to provide calcium used in the production of the egg shell also need to be given in a separate container, Mixed grit contains both of these.
 
When it comes to cleaning them out people take different approaches the 2 main ones being “poo picking” the coop and adding more bedding if necessary everyday then a complete clean once a month. The second approach is just doing a complete clean weekly. Its up to you how you clean the coop as long there is clean, dry bedding.

Can I have different breeds but kept together? 

Generally yes.  As our hybrids are reared in batches of mixed breeds then it’s not a problem as they are reared together however sometimes we do come across a very timid or bossy hen, and it is obviously best not to select these two hens to live together. 

We recommend our hybrids as they are Friendly , Placid, Hardy and Productive!

Are you ready?

The chicken-house should be bought and set up before buying any chickens, and there are several options available for housing so take the time to decide which is the best option.
 
A lockable door or pop-hole is essential to keep out predators such as foxes and cats. Ventilation is important to provide fresh air while preventing draughts, and a run which is partially covered to give some shelter from the weather.
 
In the coop we recommend lining the floor with a hard wearing plastic sheet as this protects the floor but also makes for ease of cleaning! On top of that cover the floor in about 2 cm of bedding.
In the nest box put a couple of hand full of straw so the hens can get comfy to lay you an egg!
We keep our feeders hung up within the house to ensure the food stays dry and that the hens don’t scratch or waste the food, it also helps prevent vermin.
 
The drinker is best raised above ground level on bricks or suspended to prevent the chickens scratching soil and dirt into it, some drinkers have fold-able legs already on them.

If you like the idea of fresh eggs from your own garden, then pop in and see our range of starter packs at competitive prices!