Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Chickens Need Somewhere To Live

Well as the title says, chickens do in fact need somewhere to live. And it turns out that I will be the proud owner of a brand new chicken coop and run, courtesy of my other half. I'm having my birthday present early this year!

I did quite a bit of research online about different designs of coop, and decided to go for a ready prepared, flat-pack model, rather than the DIY option; I have little skill (or motivation) with saws and hammers!

After looking at a number of different websites, I found this on ebay, for £100 including delivery. I settled on this one because its a good price and it will look good in our back garden. It has a number of special features that are worth mentioning:

  • Fox proof locks
  • Adjustable roof vent to keep the chickens cool in Summer
  • 2 roosting bars
  • Slide-out metal floor for ease of cleaning
  • Large door (front and back) and ramp for ease of access for the birds
  • Nest box can be situated on either side of the house

This has now been dispatched and should be with me within the next 2-3 days, then we can have all the fun of assembling it. I shall be enlisting the help of my other half; we will have to time the build to coincide with my little girls nap! I will post better pictures of it then, in situ.

Chickens also need something to eat and to drink, and something to eat and drink from. I've not ordered them yet, but I have chosen a galvanised steel feeder, that has fluted edges that will stop food being scratched out and wasted, and a rain shield to stop the food from getting wet. The drinker will be plastic and will hold 1.5l of water.

So, the next thing I need are the chickens themselves. I have registered with the British Hen Welfare Trust, and have sent an email to the nearest co-ordinator to me, who is based in York (about 40 minutes drive away) asking what I need to do to get my chickens. There was a note on their Website that said "Hens are available soon (in this area)". My chicken project is moving along faster than I imagined it would. I think I will have my chickens well before my other half gets his bees!

The other things I need to learn about now are:

Keeping chickens healthy
Chicken food
About laying eggs
Cooking eggs