Hello from Buckingham

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Kimbab71
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Hello from Buckingham

Post by Kimbab71 »

Hello from me a total rookie when it comes to keeping chickens. I have gained huge amounts of info from this forum already and am on my way to setting everything up. I will however be starting very small with only 3 chooks and can't even have them until my Lurcher foster dog has been homed! He's not shall we say 'small furry friendly'!
I will definitely be on here quite a bit seeking advice and information...... It's a fabulous site to have! :-)17
KittyKat
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Re: Hello from Buckingham

Post by KittyKat »

Welcome to the flock!

We are slowly trying to acclimatise one of our friends' dogs to the chickens… it comes to live with us when they go on holiday and it would be nice if it didn't try to "fetch" the birds, being a Labrador.
Kat
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Marigold
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Re: Hello from Buckingham

Post by Marigold »

Hi Kimbab, and welcome from me, too. What sort of birds do you hope to get, and where do you plan to keep them?
It's a good time of year to be thinking about starting up, with a whole summer of laying ahead.
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chrismahon
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Re: Hello from Buckingham

Post by chrismahon »

Welcome to the forum Kimbab71. Sure we will be able to offer some relevant advice when you tell us what 3 hens you intend starting with. Good idea to rehome the dog first as new chickens need as little stress as possible when they arrive.
Kimbab71
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Re: Hello from Buckingham

Post by Kimbab71 »

I have found a local supplier who breeds for the small holders/ garden poultry etc so I quite fancy their own Oxford Browns and the Nera. Maybe a couple of each? Both are Rhode Island Red crosses.
We have only been in our house for about 10 weeks and have a nice sized garden so want to fulfil the dream of having my own chucks. I have already bought the coop which is big enough for up to 4 chucks. The run however is nowhere near enough big enough for them, so we will extend that. While clearing some undergrowth at the bottom of the garden, we found an old greenhouse frame, so we might put that together and wire it up as a run for them?
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Marigold
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Re: Hello from Buckingham

Post by Marigold »

That sounds good. A note of caution about the coop, before you commit to four hens - many suppliers say their coops will hold more birds than is actually the case, especially as you're getting fairly good - sized hybrids and have realised the run is too small. Is it possible for you to post the link for us to see?
We advise a minimum of 2 sq. metres of run space per bird, as overcrowding often leads to feather pecking, stress and bullying. Security is important, too - a greenhouse frame might well form the basis of a secure run, if you could clad the sides with weldmesh and either mesh over the top, or preferably cover the roof with clear plastic panels, to keep the run drier. Then you will need to secure the base so foxes can't dig in - either bury a deep skirt of mesh all round, or cover the floor with mesh and wire it to the sides to make a mesh box. Foxes are very common nowadays, and even if you haven't seen any, they will patrol large territories and you can't rely on them not being within earshot of your gently clucking hens. A fox will indiscriminately kill them all within a few minutes if it gets into the garden and they're unprotected. This has happened even in daylight when hens were free ranging and people were outside, especially in urban areas where foxes aren't so afraid of people as truly wild foxes may tend to be.
Kimbab71
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Re: Hello from Buckingham

Post by Kimbab71 »

http://www.oxfordpoultry.co.uk/Oxford_P ... _sale.html

I'll be getting 2 Oxford Browns and 2 Nera. We went to see them on Saturday and will be collecting them on the 14th Feb.
There has been a change of plan on the 'greenhouse' run. All the sides aren't there so we have bought 30 metres of weld mesh wire and my husband is going to make a BIG run so that the coop will sit inside.
We have a large raised bed (roughly 6m x 3m) in the garden that I was hoping to get rid of, but we have now decided as there are already walls to it (about a foot high), we are going to dig some of it out, build the run on top of that. My father in law has a whacker plate so we can flatten the soil down and then we will face it with sand. That way we can dig the wire down into the soil stopping any unwanted visitors. It will be fully enclosed with a door access.
I'll get pics when I can x
Kimbab71
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Re: Hello from Buckingham

Post by Kimbab71 »

http://s297.photobucket.com/user/Kimbab ... 2.jpg.html

This is the coop I have. It's 8' long but as you can see the run is far too small for 4 birds.
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Marigold
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Re: Hello from Buckingham

Post by Marigold »

That sounds really good about the run. What size is the coop inside? It looks a bit small for four hybrids to me. You may find that some of them sleep in the nestboxes if there's not much perch space, which means dirty eggs in the morning unless you can get down there very early to clean out overnight poo. They need about 9-10 inches of perch space each, and if there are two perches they need to be at least 15" apart, with a space of 12" minimum between the perch and a coop wall, to allow for tails. Did the description of the coop suggest four hens? Many people have found that they need to buy a coop supposedly for six+ hens to house four comfortably.
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rick
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Re: Hello from Buckingham

Post by rick »

I think this happens to everyone first time round. My coop said 4 and I now know it's fit for 2 at a pinch. But its not to difficult or expensive to extend. In a couple of years I will build a custom coop, now I know what would be the most serviceable in our garden for size, access and cleaning.
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