Archives for posts with tag: chickens

12 days after the chickens moved in, we have our first egg. One son eating the white:

P1030487 (Large)Other son eating the yolk (they complement each other in so many ways):

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We tracked down a local chicken supplier and went to look for some chickens. The children chose one each from the six or so different options.

P1030495 (Large)They settled in reasonably well, though the white one got a nasty peck under her eye during the pecking-ordering. It closed up and we’ve been putting antiseptic on it to help it heal. A little bit of drama to the first couple of days as hen-keepers.

The other drama is the realisation that the chickens can fit through the gaps of the electric netting. It’s sheep netting because that’s what the agricultural suppliers had and I modified it with an extra electric wire along the bottom to discourage foxes sneaking under. I didn’t work out that proper poultry netting, which has quite a tight mesh at the bottom, was as much about keeping the hens in as foxes out. It’s clear that the bigger holes and insulation from feathers means that they are happy to squeeze in and out of gaps in sheep netting.

So, we have some sheep netting to use for future pig-keeping and I’ve ordered some proper poultry netting from the internet.

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We’re very close to getting chickens and are going to use them to weed the long border down the side of the front garden. Previous WWOOFers cleared the worst of the overgrowth so the chickens can scratch over the regrowth and gradually wear down the vegetation. Our other options are to put down carpet/barrier fabric and leave it for a few years or dig it and dig it for a few years to get everything out. Neither is very appealing, even with lots of help from WWOOFers. It’s not the most stimulating job and we’d rather have WWOOFers doing other things.

Here is the chicken house in place with the beginnings of the fence.

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We’re going to put electric netting round three sides, but we need a high fence on the wall side to stop foxes jumping in over the wall. The advice we’ve read is to put an overhang with an electric wire along it to discourage fence-climbing. Our neighbours haven’t done an overhang on their chicken run and haven’t had any losses to foxes. We’re concerned that the slightly unconventional fence-wall terminus needs more layers of security.

P1030415 (Large)And the final chicken run, with a very proud WWOOFer Charles.

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