My new bluebells and rir

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Powyswales
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My new bluebells and rir

Post by Powyswales »

Hi, New to the forum, just got my new chickens on Friday 3 x bluebells and 2 x Rhode island reds, all just coming into point of lay. Coop run measures 16ft byv 8ft wide. Chicken wire is just over 5ft high, problem I am having is the bluebell's can get over the mesh with ease, the plan is to free range them anyway after about 10 days. My neighbour who has kept chickens for over 30 years was quite confident they would not go over a 3ft fence which surround my property as I have a large garden. She has cut there flight feathers and it has only just stopped them now clearing the 5ft mesh. Is it likely the chickens will be content in my fairly large garden or will they constantly be over the 3ft fence, I live rural in a quiet village so don't have to worry about them getting run over to much. so far when they have got out of the run they have stayed either in the garden or by the run. Thank you for any help.

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Mad Chick
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Re: My new bluebells and rir

Post by Mad Chick »

Hi and welcome to the lane )wav(

How exciting, your first chooks :-D Don't forget to share some photos (we're a nosy bunch here :oops: )

Our chooks would easily escape over their six ft run until we put a roof on it. Even with a wing clipped I would have thought a 3ft fence would be fairly easy.

The problem with wing clipping (particularly if they are free ranging) is that they won't be able to escape from predators.

My advice would be to make your run more secure (a fox, rat or mink can easily bite through chicken wire) and only let them out to free range when you can supervise.
Lucy x


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Willow
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Re: My new bluebells and rir

Post by Willow »

Hiya and welcome )wav( ...
Keeping chickens is one long learning curve ! I've got to agree with mad chick on her points. I clipped my ducks wings and within days a fox had two of them, they didn't have the chance of escape.
I know youre keeping chickens, but as you've found out they CAN fly when they want to - some breeds better than others but it gives them a fighting chance when they're free ranging. Believe me, a fox comes any time of day and will grab a chicken from under your nose.
Foxes are amazingly agile, so I would echo mad chick and really advise you to make their run and coop fox proof.
No - ordinary three ft garden fencing will not keep your chickens in if they want to explore lol... The only lower garden fencing I found my chickens would simply not attempt was a 4ft picket fence. No idea why, maybe because they couldn't land safely on the 'sharp bits' ? But the minute I put a blanket anywhere over the fence, they were over!!
Post some pics of your girls I'd love to see them :-D
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Mo
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Re: My new bluebells and rir

Post by Mo »

They do seem to vary. Most of the nets/electric fencing for hens (like the one from Omlet that you can find on a link somewhere here) are 4', and many hens don't get out. Some do, I had one that would do a little crouch and jump. The first time I clipped her wings it did deter her. But the wing feathers grow back each year and the second time she started to get out she found that she could get out even with feathers clipped.

Good luck with them. You will have a lot of fun watching them.

In answer to another thread, I've no direct experience but others on here say hens do easily drown in garden ponds.
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Powyswales
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Re: My new bluebells and rir

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Thank you for the replys so far, will get some picures up very soon. I had a good choice when i went to get my chickens from bridgenorth chicken aution, they had about 30 lots to choose from, they were mainly grouped either 2 or 3 hens, they had rir, specledys, warrans, bluebells, and leghorns. Plus more, also lots of hatching eggs. I actually set my heart on rir and maybe warrans but then really liked the look of the blubells once there. I was really nervous once the aution started as i new i had to have the chickens i picked/liked, i bid/won the bluebells at £39 and then then 2 rir at just £12. I was so excited and could not wait to get them home. I do now need to invest in a larger coop as the one i have was advertised as 4/6 bird but i would say it was 4 max, 2 on each perch, here is said coop http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/LARGE-CHICKEN ... SwQjNW8nie" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;"

Looking on line is like seems to just bring up lots more imported chinese coops that are made of soft wood that would not last 6 months and the reviews seem to back this up, mine has had to have 2 structual repairs aready, can anyone suggest were i can order a good quality coop, looking to spend around £200, was thinking of buying and converting a wendy house but the same problem as the wood used these days is also very soft. I really like the design of this dorset coop but wonder if i am just throwing more money down the drain, good design for cleaning etc but not sure if it will last, http://www.chickencoopsdirect.com/dorse ... n-coop.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

For bedding my neighbour suggested this straw with eucalyptus for both the nesting box and bottom of coop and it does seem good value and works well so far http://www.altobedding.co.uk/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; They sell it in my nearest'farm and pet place store' in oswestury.

Any help and advice gladly apreciated.
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Willow
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Re: My new bluebells and rir

Post by Willow »

I wouldn't worry too much about exact perch allocation per bird lol .. They tend to squish together anyway..
If you are looking at purchasing a new coop though - I would very seriously consider going for plastic. A small plastic garden shed is easily converted into a really good coop and has the HUGE bonus of being easily cleaned (drys quickly) can house more birds if & when required and .... It's 100% better for controlling the dreaded red mite yike*
I was blissfully unaware of this little beast and then thought I'd just never have to deal with it lol.. It's almost certain that you will get an infestation at some point, and the little beasts get into the wood, into every tiny crack in the wood grain and are practically impossible to get rid of completely. I and many many others ended up burning their coops, and believe me it's not through bad 'housekeeping' lol X
I advise you to look it up & be prepared )t'
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Powyswales
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Re: My new bluebells and rir

Post by Powyswales »

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Powyswales
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Re: My new bluebells and rir

Post by Powyswales »

Hi, will add pics through out day as my upload speed is painfully slow today, my chicken neighbour highly recomended these 2 products for control and incase of a breakout of red mite, by neighbour i actually mean about 5 house from me.


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Last edited by Powyswales on 04 Jul 2016, 13:23, edited 1 time in total.
Powyswales
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Re: My new bluebells and rir

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Willow
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Re: My new bluebells and rir

Post by Willow »

What a lovely little lady )t' looking forward to the other pics X
As for the red mite, if you have a wooden coop then believe me you'll end up throwing everything at the blighters lol.. Have a look through old posts, there are bound to be a 'few' on red mite )grin2( But you're on the right track, just make sure you dust every nook & cranny.. I've never come across the insecticide in your pic. (Per bio) is it for use around chickens in a confined space?
Having a plastic coop of some sort won't stop them getting in but will make control & eradication pretty simple.
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Re: My new bluebells and rir

Post by Grannyof4 »

Look on sites like gumtree and preloved and see if there are any 2nd hand Omlet houses. They are the top of the range plastic. The big one is great and yes you might get redmite but it nothing compared to wooden houses. In all the years I had mine I got it once and it was so easy to treat. You definitely need to change the wire. It's not just a fox that will attack and kill chickens.
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Mo
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Re: My new bluebells and rir

Post by Mo »

I think the makers of combined coop/runs overstate the number of hens, but it is more the run size than the coop. As said, they do snuggle up. Piled on top of each other in a nest box, sometimes. Do yours actually perch?
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Re: My new bluebells and rir

Post by Spreckly »

Welcome to the Lane from me. We had to roof our hen run as they were very eager to escape from their new home. Your girls are really pretty.
Powyswales
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Re: My new bluebells and rir

Post by Powyswales »

Mo wrote:I think the makers of combined coop/runs overstate the number of hens, but it is more the run size than the coop. As said, they do snuggle up. Piled on top of each other in a nest box, sometimes. Do yours actually perch?


The last few nights when i have locked them away they have been huddled together in one nest box and sometimes one rir will be up on the perch. The perches are higher than the nest box so not sure why they are not using them.

As for buying a seconed hand coop, i am a bit stuck at the moment as we have no car to ho look at any, we could maybe ask them to deliver but it would be a gamble as we would have to buy without properly seeing the coop. The other problem us living rural they rarely come up for sale within 30 miles. I was only able to get chickens as are neighbour was going to bridgenorth poultry auction and kindly offered to take us, I have had to rely on ebay for pretty much everything including the posts and chcken wire to make the coop. For example http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/172003976125 We are getting a car again soon but as i dont want car finance we need to save for a few more months.
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Re: My new bluebells and rir

Post by Powyswales »

When you say i need to change the chicken wire, what would be a better option?

Here is the coop and run.

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