Equipment for keeping chickens

spider

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Now I have a bigger garden I would like to get some chickens in the spring. My family are starting to ask about Christmas presents and I thought that I could maybe ask for some stuff I will need. As I haven't read up on chicken keeping yet I am a bit clueless. (Dont worry I wont get them until I know how to look after them!) Please could you chicken keepers out there suggest what I might need. Thank you.
 

paddi22

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they are really easy to keep. all you need is a coop and a book on the basics. Most coops have tiny runs so it is handy if you have someone who can extend it a bit. other tan that it's just feed, water bedding and basic worming and care etc. We started off with two chickens and now have 11 at the moment, the eggs are gorgeous and they are great fun.
 
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Vermin proof feed bins, a feeder and a drinker, dust pan and brush and a paint scraper. As with a house, buy one 5 times the size you need..... you will fill it! Chickens are contagious and you can't have just 3.
 

spider

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they are really easy to keep. all you need is a coop and a book on the basics. Most coops have tiny runs so it is handy if you have someone who can extend it a bit. other tan that it's just feed, water bedding and basic worming and care etc. We started off with two chickens and now have 11 at the moment, the eggs are gorgeous and they are great fun.
Oh thank you, glad that it is easy!
 

spider

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Vermin proof feed bins, a feeder and a drinker, dust pan and brush and a paint scraper. As with a house, buy one 5 times the size you need..... you will fill it! Chickens are contagious and you can't have just 3.
Thank you. I was planning on having 3! Don't tell my OH that they multiply! I will have to convince him that they need loads of space!
 
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Slopping along on a loose rein somewhere in Devon
Um, hating to be the bringer of bad tidings here, but before you start to keep chooks you need to know how to dispose of them quickly and humanely, coz chooks being chooks, you WILL have to do this unpleasant (but humane) task at some time or other - and usually before very long.

So I would suggest that you ask an experienced chicken-keeper or farmer, or any gamekeeper - who will show you how to do it efficiently. It isn't pleasant, but it is something that you will be glad you learnt how to do.

You will also need to learn about parasites like Red Mite and Lice and how this can affect the health of your birds, they will also need worming regularly.

Re. equipment: have a look at the "Omlet" website, we've got the "Eglu" plastic house with attached pen which is easy to care for and you can also move it around. Also easy to clean.
 

PorkChop

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If you buy a wooden coop and run then I would recommend painting it with creosote before you get your chickens, it will need time to really dry out. This will really help with mite/lice prevention.

Ash from the fire is a great dust bath.

Don't get any less than three, because they are very sociable creatures and will not thrive being by themselves when (not if) one cops it.

We love our fancies - silkies, polish etc - however with beauty comes hypochondria!

Love the chickens for their cuteness and eggs, however I much prefer the geese :)
 

spider

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Thank you - good advice. Those Eglu things sound very hygenic but they are quite pricey aren't they?
 

Clodagh

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Depending on your plans a garden shed makes much the best house, you can creosote it inside and out and they are easy to clean. I have one with a pophole in the side with a run attached, it has perches in it (hazel suspended on baler twine) and I use cardboard boxes as nest boxes, you can replace them every couple of weeks and it helps with mite control. Replace the window with good strong mesh and Bob's your uncle.
My run is grass as they are rarely shut in but if they will be confined a lot it is worth paving the run and putting straw or somethnig easy to clean out down, then you just replace it weekly.
 
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find a local smallholder who runs chicken keeping courses-they are generally run tot he same curriculum and will also show you how to dispatch if you want (necessary imho). I do like my chooks (I have 23 plus 3 cocks) but my muscovies are my favourites.
 

KVH

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I can also recommend the Eglu. Very easy to use and to clean.
We got ours from Omlet a good few years ago, but looking at the website they've really updated since then and the Eglu designs have really come on!
From what I can remember, they were very helpful and knowledgable so could help you with any queries you may have.
Good luck.
 
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Slopping along on a loose rein somewhere in Devon
Thank you - good advice. Those Eglu things sound very hygenic but they are quite pricey aren't they?
Nope, unfortunately not cheap. We got ours second hand from a friend, and bless them, they came and put it up for us!

You may strike lucky on e-bay, they do come up from time to time.

If you do decide to go for new, they will always hold their value and if you ever want to get rid they will get a good price on e-bay or other second hand sites.
 

paddi22

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we have a range of coops and the eglus are definitely the handiest.. light to move and low maintenance. well worth the money, and if you want to sell it on it will be snapped up. their runs are very handy in that you can extend them easily as well.
 

Gift Horse

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I agree with Clodagh garden sheds are really good and easy to clean out you don't have to stoop like you do with a coop or ark. I was at art college with the lads who founded Omlet, lovely people and their products are good looking and well made.
I'm too tight to buy a fancy chicken house :)
 
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