Old chickens, new house

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snowdrops

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Old chickens, new house
« on: December 26, 2018, 21:20 »
Ok, Iíve had a couple of chickens x 2 at our old garden before it became fashionable & before I found this forum & the only advice I could get then was for small flocks  of 50 chickens! So scaling the housing & run down was an issue
Iíve now got an allotment, & Iím considering having my daughters 4 chickens as she needs to move them on. What advice can you offer me for
A, keeping them on my plot that is normally secure(break-in on Saturday),itís only 5 minutes away from the house.
B, hubby is a joiner so building a new house wonít be a problem, but what do we need to consider. We had a couple of houses before & they have one now but itís getting to need replacing(wooden)
Iíll be having a secure walk in run with a roof of some description. They donít get locked in now but are in a secure run & have been ok for the last few years even with foxes round & about the place. So I was thinking to do the same so I would just need to go up every day but not to let them out & put them away at night, although could have an automatic pop hole.
They get to free range in my daughterís garden occasionally but that obviously wonít be possible at the plot, C, I know weíll need to trench the netting in but I have slabbed paths, not concreted down, with beds 5ft wide. Would the run be ok on top of the slabs or could foxes dig under the slab in a night.
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John

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Re: Old chickens, new house
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2018, 00:30 »
I don't think hens are that deprived in a run compared to free range so long as they have things to do. Hanging greens, scratchable stuff on the floor etc. Better than being eaten by the fox!
I can't see a fox burrowing under a 2'x2' concrete slab in a night - unless the soil under is really loose and lovely. They have been know to gnaw through chicken wire though - not often but using weldmesh makes them invulnerable.
Your biggest risk on an allotment is two legged vermin, which all depends on the site.
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snowdrops

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Re: Old chickens, new house
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2018, 09:01 »
Thanks John, yes my daughter has a roll of weldmesh that she was going to use to build a new pen & all the wood etc for a new house so I get all that too 😂. As for free range versus penned I was more concerned re size of run etc, I suppose thereís a chance I might increase to 6 hens as son has 3 well granddaughter actually so I could end up with them as they age🙄☹️.

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madcat

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Re: Old chickens, new house
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2018, 09:27 »
At least that means that you have lots of grateful recipients for the eggs!
All we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about (Charles Kingsley)

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John

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Re: Old chickens, new house
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2018, 11:35 »
If they're going to be kept in the run all the time for 6 hens I'd try for 6 square metres if you can. That's basically 10x6 feet in real money. Because of the Avian Flu I roofed our secure run. It's weldmesh with polytunnel polythene over to keep it dry and bio-secure. Because of the winds I have run battens from side to side over the polythene. The polythene is not expensive so I used the excess to make windbreak sides to 2 faces. Cheapest place to get it was First Tunnels
https://www.firsttunnels.co.uk/polytunnel-coversDetail/super-therm-polythene
Chicken-Run[1].jpg

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snowdrops

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Re: Old chickens, new house
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2018, 15:49 »
Thanks John, Iím about to take the plunge & buy a poly tunnel too so thatís useful to know as well re polythene, although I was thinking onduline(sp)?
How do you get on with the Eglu coop, do the eggs stay clean & how easy is it to clean out if theyíre not really roosting? I was considering a plastic coop if I had chickens again but daughter has got all the wood for a new house as she was going to move them to her partners but now they are going to sell both of the houses & buy together (people houses not Chicken lol)

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John

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Re: Old chickens, new house
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2018, 16:20 »
Well with the polytunnel, I can't speak highly enough of First Tunnels, but it depends on how large you want and what the weather is like where you are. The cheap ones on Ebay for £100 ish are good value but nowhere near as sturdy.

I used to be pretty anti the Eglu's but having had one totally changed my mind. So easy to clean - the weekly clean is a 10 minute job. Line the dropping tray with the free newspaper - straight to the compost bin. Take out the tray and roosting bars, spray down with the hosepipe and then dry off and reassemble. Job done.

Slight negative in that Chocky likes to roost in the nestbox so have to close the door when they've laid and open it again after dark or 1st thing in the morning. The autodoor was easy to fit and works well too.

The Cube isn't cheap but if you decide to stop and want to sell it, they really hold their value.

I did a review on it here:
The Omlet Eglu Cube Review ? Plastic Chicken Coop for 10 Chickens

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snowdrops

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Re: Old chickens, new house
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2019, 13:58 »
Right then chickens are go....
Daughter delivered all the new wood, poop trays, nest box trays, new water feeder yesterday & hubby & I have just been down to the plot & measured up. Totally blown my head deal of where the chickens will go out of the water. Hubs suggestedthey go next to shed 1, behind the compost bins to give me ease of access etc. We will sink slabs in to prevent rodent access & will be using weld mesh when DD delivers it. Will have onduline roofing completely over the roof with gutters, house will be inside with access to nest box from the outside for egg collection. Food & water will be fillable from the outside too. Iíve asked for a house that can be disassembled easily for thorough cleaning if & when needed.
Poly tunnel will be purchased in the not too distant future & thanks to you John also be in a different place than I originally thought as Iíd not considered proximity to water for the summer, so that will be near the chickens too, with the main door facing them as that will be the shortest walk from the tap.

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John

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Re: Old chickens, new house
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2019, 21:07 »
Sounds really great - we'll need photos, you know :)

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snowdrops

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Re: Old chickens, new house
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2019, 19:32 »
Haha, ok Iíll get some, house now designed,cough,cough, & built, just awaiting the glue to arrive for said house to be dismantled & glued & reassembled before being moved into the greenhouse (possibly) to be painted.
Iím not intending to paint the insides, is that right?

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John

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Re: Old chickens, new house
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2019, 23:53 »
Haha, ok Iíll get some, house now designed,cough,cough, & built, just awaiting the glue to arrive for said house to be dismantled & glued & reassembled before being moved into the greenhouse (possibly) to be painted.
Iím not intending to paint the insides, is that right?
Correctomundo! :)
I'd say to go for stain rather than paint in case they start pecking it but that's maybe worrying too much.

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snowdrops

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Re: Old chickens, new house
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2019, 19:48 »
Thanks John, the house will be raised so Iím not sure that will be an issue. Been to the plot today to start the Ďgroundworksí. Unfortunately we discovered I have a bit more of a rat problem than I had realised, I knew there was an issue with them in at least 1 of my compost bins, but when we moved my bench & a few other bits from the front of the shed I discovered a pile of compost, then we realised theyíve pulled out loads from the bins (behind the shed) & dragged it under the shed 😱. We got out as much as we could & as were going to sink in slabs anyway got on with that. Now Iím worrying where theyíll pop out next. Ideally I want to move the shed as I canít remember if itís totally slabbed under it or partially, plus Iíve got enough slabs to sink in the total length of the compost bins, probably 16/17 ft. Not sure hubby is up for that though☹️
Hereís the before & after pics
70BD4A35-5A9D-453E-9B3F-89090ACBA4F8.jpeg
A4F66587-C2A3-4AF3-B6B6-F7964773F147.jpeg
« Last Edit: January 17, 2019, 19:55 by snowdrops »

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John

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Re: Old chickens, new house
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2019, 22:33 »
You've been busy!

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snowdrops

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Re: Old chickens, new house
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2019, 18:47 »
Thanks John so have you, I only ordered your backyard chicken book the other day & it arrived today. Great service & a good read, thank you.

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John

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Re: Old chickens, new house
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2019, 19:05 »
Thanks! We do our best.  :D :D



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