Being a blogger and putting your life out there for people to see you inevitably get questions so I thought it would be a great idea to answer them here and Frequently asked Questions on Friday has a nice ring to it. And the first question I thought of was “Is it hard to keep Chickens?
“Is it hard to Keep Chickens?“
It is up there on a list with “Are you mad ?” and “How many eggs do you get ?” of questions, I get asked.
Well we have 4 chickens, we have had them about a month now and I read a lot about them before I went ahead with my crazy plan and I waited for at least a year before I took the plunge into chicken ownership.
Let me introduce the Chickens in my first blog video –
As you can see the girls are friendly but as you can also see expect them to poop A LOT !!
So here are my tips for keeping chickens
Get a good coop
First things first, if you are thinking of getting chickens you will need a coop and this will be your biggest outlay. You can expect to pay a minimum of 120 euros for a small coop in Ireland. I was lucky I searched Done Deal and Adverts and found someone in my town selling one. It was a big coop and can fit 9 chickens not that I am getting 9 chickens! But I like the girls to have room.
|Gertie in the Garden|
2.Decide on what type of chickens you are after
- Are you looking for pure breeds?
Pure breed hens lay most eggs during the long summer days. Unlike their hybrid cousins who are bred purely for egg laying. Expect 100 – 250 eggs per year, for 4-7 years depending on your chosen breed and the bird’s age. Pure breeds come in light breeds (Bantams) who are smaller and lay smaller eggs.
- Or Hybrids?
Hybrid hens are the result of crossing two or more pure breeds of poultry to arrive at a crossbreed which will be predisposed to perform in a predefined manner. The main reasons for developing hybrid hens are to…
- produce prolific egg layers
- produce birds for meat
- develop colour, form and feather, which will eventually breed true, thus creating a new breed. which will eventually be a breed standard prize winner in poultry shows.
- breed first generation crosses for utility birds
The aims of each type of crossing are very different and some traits are often sacrificed to achieve the desired results in the others.
Or Rescue Hens? – there are lots of ex-battery hens looking for a home and LittleHill Animal Rescue regularly do Chicken Runs throughout the year.
|Tikka and Doris in the House.|
3. You better be okay with poop because you will be cleaning up a lot
- The good news is it is great in my compost.
- The bad news is the little madams will poop in the house if they get in, which they do occasionally.
4. You need to keep your coop clean
We clean out the poop daily and the sawdust and straw in the nest boxes weekly and sprinkle with mite powder monthly.
5. You need to feed your chickens of course –
We use a combination of chicken mash and greens like spinach and rocket. You can get pellets or make up your own mix. You can also provide your chickens with oyster grit this helps them grind up their food and helps form their eggs.
6. Provide them with a dust bath and they will be very happy chickens.
7. Be prepared to stop eating chicken –
The weird thing is you find it very hard to eat chicken when you keep chickens. You find out very quickly that they have lovely little personalities. But Quorn Chicken Pieces are a great substitutes.
8. They will eat your Garden Plants
They will eat the slugs, caterpillars and other nasty bugs in your vegetable garden but they will also eat your veggies. As I said my girls love Spinach, Rocket, Salad Greens. I know this because they decimated my crops. And they don’t seem to like peas, courgette, tomatoes and corn because that is all that they left! So you will have to keep them out of your vegetable garden!
9.Prepare for A LOT of Eggs !!
10.You will have to protect them from predators –
11. They need protection from parasites-
So the Answer to “Is it hard to keep Chickens”
Check out my Chicken Board on Pinterest
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