Advice for run structure please!

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Margaid
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Re: Advice for run structure please!

Post by Margaid »

Well I wasn't frightened of handling them after that - baptism of fire!

I actually remember laughing when I tripped over the tussocky grass and went flat on my face!
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Marigold
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Re: Advice for run structure please!

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BTW, last week when giving the run a deep clean in preparation for new pullets, I inspected the mesh covering the floor very carefully. In one corner I could see shallow tunnels running under it, probably made by the voles (mice? rats?) living under the adjacent neighbour's shed, but after ten years the 1/2" mesh was intact everywhere and there was no sign that any rodents had got through it into the run. I filled the holes and tunnels with fine gravel trickled down through the mesh, and covered it all up again. Then I left bait boxes out in the run for several days and the bait was untouched. When we installed the mesh we took it 15 cms up the sides and fixed it all along to the side mesh with soft garden wire threaded through in big ' stitches' and it seems to have really worked. I think whatever is living under there is just enjoying a nice dry place to make tunnels. Well worth the initial effort!
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bozza
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Re: Advice for run structure please!

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Ah, Marigold, that’s really reassuring and good to know! As labour intensive as it has been so far and certainly will be over the next few weeks, I’m definitely with you on this. I can’t imagine where I would begin to start rat-proofing once the chickens were in situ, so I think it is well worth putting in the time and effort at this stage for peace of mind in the future! We have laid the base with 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch galvanised weld mesh which runs under the sleepers which we have laid as the base that the run will sit on. The weldmesh has a excess margin of about 18 inches all the way round, which, once the run is in situ, we will run up the outside of the run and I plan on using similar soft wire to join this up to the weldmesh that comes with the run. In my mind, this explanation makes sense so I hope you know what I mean!

So have you been struck down with Morehens disease, or have you lost some of your flock recently?!!
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Marigold
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Re: Advice for run structure please!

Post by Marigold »

bozza wrote:
Sat Feb 29, 2020 6:04 pm
So have you been struck down with Morehens disease, or have you lost some of your flock recently?!!
Both actually - when hybrids get to around 2-3 years old they inevitably become less productive or start laying deficient eggs, which is OK if they're well-loved pets, but not if the deal is that they get a really good life until they stop earning their keep. I haven't got space for unproductive pensioners so every 2-3 years I have a clear-out, deep clean the run and coop and all the equipment, and start again with new pullets. The local chicken seller will soon have some hybrids of the breeds I want, so its just window-shopping at present.
See https://www.staghillfarm.co.uk/chickens
Icemaiden
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Re: Advice for run structure please!

Post by Icemaiden »

Marigold, have you thought about getting some dual purpose birds instead of hybrids this time? You're not afraid to despatch them when they stop earning their keep; this way you can eat them instead of putting them into landfill (I'm guessing that you don't bury them?).

How about some Maranses? They're supposed to taste lovely.
Chickens are a girl's best friend (though diamonds would be nice too!)
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Marigold
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Re: Advice for run structure please!

Post by Marigold »

Several reasons, Icemaiden. Firstly, I think 2-3 y.o hens would be too tough to eat, and dual purpose hens would be likely to lay less than hybrids and to go broody which is a nuisance. Secondly, dual purpose breeds can make sense if you hatch your own and grow on the otherwise unwanted cockerels to about 16 weeks and then cull them for the table, but I haven't either be room or the desire to do this.
Lastly, although I do now cull my own birds I really hate doing it, and even if I knew how to pluck, eviscerate and prepare the bodies for the table, I couldn't eat them because they do all have names, I do treat them as individuals, and I do feel sorry when they go. I give them 5* treatment all their lives in return for the eggs, and for the interest and life they provide in the garden, but I don't get attached to them to the extent that I lose sight of the fact that they are there for a purpose, and I don't want a lot of old birds laying soft eggs now and then, slowly degenerating into prolapse and peritonitis, whilst I'm buying eggs as well as feeding pensioners.
But I do understand that many people keep their individual oldies well on into old age and cherish them to the end, and that's fine. I used to do that, and I used to take the oldies to the vet to be PTS, but after many years of chickens I've gradually changed my view of how I manage my very small flock (3-5 birds max.) I do think that all keepers need to know how to dispatch a bird quickly and efficiently in an emergency, and having learned this, it seems best to keep in practice now and then, and it's a lot cheaper than the vet as well.
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bozza
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Re: Advice for run structure please!

Post by bozza »

I’VE DONE IT....I’M FINALLY CHICKEN READY!! So, after several intense weekends of back breakingly hard work I’m finally ready for my chickens and will be going to get them tomorrow! To say I’m excited is an understatement (you may have guessed that much!). I will post photos of them tomorrow but for now I’ve just got a couple of my run. Just wanted to say a huge thanks to everyone on here who has given me advice and help so far. It’s only just starting I know, so I will no doubt be on here plenty as things crop (s’cuse the pun) up.
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Marigold
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Re: Advice for run structure please!

Post by Marigold »

That's just BRILLIANT!! Well done! Unrecognisable from the first pics you showed us!
Can't wait to see the chickens!
Icemaiden
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Re: Advice for run structure please!

Post by Icemaiden »

Great job Bozza! I look forward to seeing photos of the girls & reading about how you get on.

Have you seen the pinned post of the huge variety of normal poos, & have you got a compost heap? Chicken poo makes for some fantastic compost...
Chickens are a girl's best friend (though diamonds would be nice too!)
Margaid
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Re: Advice for run structure please!

Post by Margaid »

Looks fantastic! Good luck with your chooks. Looking forward to seeing photos of them.
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