Have space - wanted chickens. They've arrived!

Discuss, share and chat about all things relating to keeping Chickens including health issues
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Russell
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Have space - wanted chickens. They've arrived!

Post by Russell »

Hi all

I'm a newbie to the forum, but I've been lurking for a few days. Chickens is a new thing at our house. We have a long, but thin, garden with a rear section that has been sadly neglected for around 17 years since we moved here. In fact I don't think it was being used for anything before then even. It's really overgrown with brambles, and our only impact on it has been to use it to bury our two departed pet cats.

Since we lost the last cat just before Christmas last year we've been avoiding new pets. Youngest son (10) wants a dog, but we want something that doesn't cramp our holiday plans. Chickens could be the answer, as we have good neighbours over the road who would be only too happy to help out in return for some eggs.

A few weeks ago I cycled out to Boscobel House in Staffordshire, and they have chickens running free around the cafe. I was fascinated by them. So that was it - we're getting some.

So here we have a greenfield project, or bramblefield to be more accurate. Stripping back starts tonight, and I'll post some images once it's clear. Hopefully you'll be able to offer me some advice on what to do next.

Just to be going on with, below is an image of the land in question. The land is to the rear of a 500 sq ft former stable. We need to get chickens and a vegetable plot out of this.

Image
Last edited by Russell on 15 Oct 2007, 19:54, edited 1 time in total.
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Richard
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Post by Richard »

Hi Russell, glad you made it here OK!!

Looks like a very nice place to keep Chickens and youi certainly have ample space.
Just got to be very wary with the old Fox, so I wouldn't suggest leaving Brambles as a deterrant.
Certainly keep them there and put six feet high fencing of some description, leaving the brambles on the other side. The more roots there are growing under the perimeter, the better.

Mind you, you're not going to let them run free in the veggie plot are you!!

Be really fascinating to see and read about it all taking place.

Keep us posted please.

Richard
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b_cos_1_can
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Post by b_cos_1_can »

thats a mega plot for chooks! they have a whale of a time!! :-D

welcome russell

hope it all goes to plan and dont be afraind to ask any questions (no matter how silly they may seem)!

best of luck

kat x
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morph
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Post by morph »

Looks like it'll be great Russell but I wouldnt' be able to offer any advice I'm afraid. I'll just be waiting for the picture updates!!!
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Richard
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Post by Richard »

Just a thought -

Have you considered housing the chickens in the Stable? You could build a partitioned 'home' in the corner and have a pop hole to the outside. I would imagine the ceiling is quite high, so access would be very simple, making cleaning easier as well.
I thought about it with mine where I have a large ex-Farm Toilets building at the top of the garden.

Although they are amazingly great pets, the less amount of work, the better!!
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Russell
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Post by Russell »

I only managed a little bit of clearing before it started to rain. It's tough going as you can see from below.

Image

This is looking from the back corner of the stable to the rear of the garden. The fence on the left hides the pub garden, and I plan to add 2' of trellis to that.

Image

The next two show the elevation of the stable.

Image

Image

As you can see there used to be a door and window in the rear elevation. I guess chickens aren't going to be that bothered about that.

I've just spoken to Mark at www.homes-for-pets.co.uk and he's going to make a 12' by 8' run to fix to the stable. Before it gets delivered I have to strip everything back and build some fox proof foundations. I've decided to lay a 9" deep course of concrete blocks under the walls of the run, as these should prevent digging and spread the load at the same time.
Russell
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Post by Russell »

Richard wrote:Just a thought -

Have you considered housing the chickens in the Stable?


We're a very active family, and the 500 sq ft of stable is already fully utilised as cycle storage and workshop (10 bikes), camping and sailing equipment storage (4 tents, 2 boats), and a gym. There's also a freezer and loads of other junk in there too.
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Richard
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Post by Richard »

Blimey - all sounds a fantastic project!

Little weekend job for you!

Do you have a target date? Really does look good.

Richard
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b_cos_1_can
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Post by b_cos_1_can »

envy}}

*sulks off to corner*
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melons
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pet homes

Post by melons »

Good for you giving mark a try, he's a really nice guy, I'm chuffed to bits with mine.
Will you be getting some ex battery girls, if so, there's a rescue in Coventry on the 29th of this month, don't know if that's near to you.
Cheers
mel x
Russell
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Post by Russell »

Hi Mel

I haven't really finalised any plans regarding my herd of chickens. :?

How many could I get in a 12' x 8' run? I was thinking of about 4 or 5. I wanted to get a mixture of types; I like the look of the Orpington Buff and the speccy ones. I would like to rescue some though, although I doubt we'll be ready for 29th Sept.

Are there any rules for mixing?
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melons
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how many

Post by melons »

I've got 16' x 8' for x5 girls, they get to play / trash the garden when I'm there too, your area is quite big, I supose it depends if some are going to be bantums, they are really small, we always mixed everything up when we had them as family pets, but they did free range over an acre, we used to keep several cockerals too without any problems, they just avoided each other with their own group of special ladies 8)
mel
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mel x
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Mo
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Post by Mo »

Don't be so thourough with your tidy up that they have no shelter to sit under when it's sunny/rainy and they don;t want to go inside.
OTOH I suppose brambles might be a pain if they decided to lay out and give you the fun of an egg hunt.
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Richard
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Post by Richard »

Legally Russell, about 70!!

I would say 5 - 8, maybe 10 would be great.

Mixing is fine, introducing any new chickens no matter what breed or history will have it's usual good days and bad.
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melons
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Oh no

Post by melons »

Oh no don't say that Richard, I'm really struggling to not get any more girls at the moment, the only thing limiting me is lack of perch space, their bedroom is full :-D the run size can take some more, but I'd rather wait till next summer when I can have time off to watch them.
I've fluffed up my feathers & i'm spending a lot of my time inside & grumpy, this can only mean one thing......I'm broody :wink:
Cheers
mel x

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