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Chick chick chick chick chickens !!

(66 Posts)
NanaandGrampy Sat 06-Feb-16 16:39:32

I am positive someone here will be able to tell me how it is.

I have always fancied keeping a few chickens in my garden. I have the time and the space and the possibility of 3/4 ex battery hens .

I told my DD1 and she said it was a bad idea because chickens smell a lot!!

Do they ?

I imagined similar smells to rabbit hutch etc .

Does anyone have experience they could share?

As an aside I shall be naming them Huey, Dewey and Lewie ( and Lon! It's a long story smile.

jinglbellsfrocks Sat 06-Feb-16 16:40:49

MERLOT!!!!! You there?

jinglbellsfrocks Sat 06-Feb-16 16:41:12

She's got 'chooks'.

NanaandGrampy Sat 06-Feb-16 17:02:15

That's awesome! I knew someone would know smile

merlotgran Sat 06-Feb-16 17:02:56


Go for it, *NanandGrampy. If you have the space you don't have to worry about smells because if they're properly looked after you won't get any unpleasant smells.

Ex battery hens are a great idea but you might have to wait a bit for some eggs as they sometimes take a while to their new stress free environment.

There are some good books and magazines with all sorts of advice and information.

We've had chooks for years and wouldn't be with them. smile

Good Luck!

merlotgran Sat 06-Feb-16 17:04:31

a while to adjust to their new stress free environment I mean

Jalima Sat 06-Feb-16 17:07:38

DD has some new baby ones from their own hens!!

ps chooks or hens, chickens is what is on the supermarket shelf wink

NanaandGrampy Sat 06-Feb-16 17:08:15

Thanks MerlotGran I'll search out some magazines . I do like to be prepared . Eggs would be lovely but not essential.

One more question , we do have a well trained little dog , I think he'll be fine with chickens BUT would the chickens be alright with him? No point in rescuing them for a new life and causing them more stress !

phoenix Sat 06-Feb-16 17:09:14

I used to keep chickens, bantams and ducks years ago. My parents decided to keep 4 hens, my stepfather built a nifty little poultry ark, nest box and roosting section at one end, nice big run at the other, wheels on the back end, handles at the front.

When at certain times that they weren't allowed free run of the garden, once they had gone to roost he would move the whole thing to a new area of the garden. They would scratch out moss and weeds, fertilise and produce lovely eggs!

Keep the house and nest boxes clean, no unpleasant pongs.

NanaandGrampy Sat 06-Feb-16 17:09:34

Jalima got it!! Crooks it is then.

I'm afraid if we get some they will have to expire from old age, we won't be eating them smile .

NanaandGrampy Sat 06-Feb-16 17:10:03

Ummmmmmm "Chooks" !! Damn you predictive text !!

Jalima Sat 06-Feb-16 17:10:57

I asked DD if they would go into the pot eventually (coq au vin) but she was horrified.

Lentilweaver Sat 06-Feb-16 17:12:22

the dog should be fine as long as the run is secure
you know they'll have to be kept in the run otherwise they will wreck your garden?

NanaandGrampy Sat 06-Feb-16 17:12:57

Phoenix I'll get DH looking around, he's handy with a hammer and nails and what you describe would be perfect.

I'd best get reading !! smile

Thank you

NanaandGrampy Sat 06-Feb-16 17:14:30

No I didn't know they'd wreck it Lentil .

Mind you I'm not the gardener , I think DH might mind . He expensive complains when the squirrels are burying their nuts in the lawn !!

Jalima Sat 06-Feb-16 17:15:27

Oh yes, some plants are very tasty!

downtoearth Sat 06-Feb-16 17:25:48

we love our girls,nice and clean no smells.They will eat scraps,are very sociable,but will poo all over your grass and eat all your plants,all have characters..go for it, our girls co-existed with our newly departed lab,rabbits,guinea pigs,and ducks..and all would be in the garden at the same time no problem.Eggs are beautiful.

phoenix Sat 06-Feb-16 17:35:35

My hens used to harass our poor little Jack Russell!

merlotgran Sat 06-Feb-16 17:39:50

We're lucky to have a very large garden so the hens are confined to their large run from about now to October then we let them have the run of the whole place because they do a lot of good scratching amongst the borders, spreading seed, and pecking over fallen apples which is good for their health.

We have a problem with nettles so they help by loosening up the soil then I can get in there early spring and start the never ending weeding.

downtoearth Sat 06-Feb-16 17:48:07

ours are in a run at the bottom of the garden,lots of dirt for dirt baths,bushes for shade and shelter,grit is essential for the production of eggshells,they get this from pecking around,but you may need to buy a combined grit/food for them,we buy corn combined with grit,and feed them on layers pellets,and any left over food they dispose of,and we boil veg scraps,potato peelings and then mash it all up,and they love itsmile

downtoearth Sat 06-Feb-16 17:50:03

They also have a shed to live in as well..happy hens

Auntieflo Sat 06-Feb-16 18:14:11

Grandad used to keep chickens. They became pets, and I used to push one around in my dolly's pram. Our big ginger cat used to sleep in their run and cuddle up to the little ones. Don't remember any smells, only the "aroma" shock of the mash being cooked.

jinglbellsfrocks Sat 06-Feb-16 18:17:07

I'm terrified of hens! Shudder!

Shestheone Sat 06-Feb-16 18:21:08

Love my hens! Can't imagine the garden without them smile

Well, I say was once....we had grass and everything!

They escaped once, into a neighbour's garden. He came to tell me because he was worried about his cat getting them. I told him I'd be more worried about his cat getting hurt! ( they're feisty birds - DH always says they remind him of someone....)

Greymary Sat 06-Feb-16 18:33:31

We used to have 3 bantams, adopted from a neighbour. No problem with our (now departed) retriever who enjoyed sleeping on the terrace and the girlies would wander freely around the garden, never a problem.

I do love chickens and wish I could have some now. I was surprised what individual characters they had ! One had a love of grated cheese and another would snuggle up in a corner of the kitchen. Oh I do envy you.

They will scratch around your garden, eat your most delicious plants, poo everywhere and make dustbaths in their special spots (their choice, not yours). Their eggs are a wonderful bonus though.

You shall probably wonder why you never kept hens before !