Thinking of getting chickens

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sando8901

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Thinking of getting chickens
« on: June 28, 2007, 15:17 »
Hello all

I am thinking of getting chickens for the first time. Probably not this year but fingers crossed next year.

I live in "suburbia" but with a fairly large garden so space won't be a problem for them. I have a few questions that might make my mind up one way or another. I want to make sure that if I do start keeping them that they are happy.

I would prefer to hatch eggs myself and watch them grow from chicks but I'm pretty sure having cockerels will be problematic with the neighbours. I don't fancy an ASBO and I'm pretty certain that you can't sex an egg. How young can you tell what sex a chick is?

I'm thinking that 2 or 3 chickens would be enough for me but is it enough for the birds? would they need more company?

How damaging to the garden can they be? Reason I ask is that I enjoy growing my own fruit and veg and would prefer to eat my limited crop myself. Would a large run for them work or is it best to let them out to stretch their legs? How much exercise do they need? I don't want to leave them out roaming while I am at work

There are also quite a few domestic cats around and before we moved in they had our garden firmly marked as their territory. I seem to have scared them off for now because we have guines pigs but how much of a threat may they pose? would/could they "worry" the chickens?

Many thanks and sorry for the "Newbie" questions

Paul

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richyrich7

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Thinking of getting chickens
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2007, 15:30 »
Hi Paul and welcome to the site,

Depending on the breed some chickens can be sexed at day old, others it's not so easy until they get older.

I have 3 hens and they get on fine together some people have only 2 and they are happy,

I have cats and they soon learn to give the hens a wide berth, we had a bit of chasing and pouncing for a start but a few pecks later they soon stopped bothering the girls  :lol:

As for your garden mine will happily dig anywhere eat most of it and dig up what they don't eat, they will even raid the greenhouse for goodies  :roll:  so mine are now only let out if I'm out there with them.

Hope this helps.
He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.

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Aunt Sally

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Thinking of getting chickens
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2007, 19:42 »
good answer Richy.

Hi Paul Welcome to the site  :D

I'll agree with everything richy said but I'd add that as you are a new chook keeper I would advise you to get "point of lay" hens first time round.  Incubating and hatching eggs is quite a skilful task and could cause you a lot of dissapointment to say nothing of cockerels  :roll:

I keep my "sensitive" garden areas netted off from my two girls (or should I call them JCBs) and they have a shrubby boarder to dig in and the lawn to graze.

And a word of warning - Chickens are adictive and such great animals - go for it   8)
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sando8901

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Thinking of getting chickens
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2007, 12:27 »
Thanks for the replies
Puts my mind at ease over keeping them so I think i'll kick it all off spring next year.

Cheers   :D

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Aunt Sally

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Thinking of getting chickens
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2007, 19:03 »
Why wait till then  :?:  Now is a perfect time   :!:  8)

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slowef

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Thinking of getting chickens
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2007, 20:28 »
Yes you will love chickens but they will do damage to your fruit and veg (they ate all my strawberries!!) I only let them out when I am around for their safety and so I can shoo them off bits I have yet to enclose.  Theyhave 2 acres but choose the bits I have managed to whip into order :-(  Believe me the damage they can do is nothing compared to 6 Ducks and 2 Goslings!!! :(

You will become addicted, enjoy



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