Welcome!

Welcome to PetForums, the UK's most popular and friendly pet owners community. Please 'Sign Up' if you'd like to take part and contribute to our forum.

Sign Up

Thinking of getting some chooks...

Discussion in 'Poultry Chat' started by NaomiM, Sep 17, 2018.


  1. NaomiM

    NaomiM PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2012
    Messages:
    1,892
    Likes Received:
    1,059
    Hiya,

    Thinking of getting maybe three hens at some point in the future, primarily as family pets but with the eggs being a nice bonus! It probably wouldn't be for a good while yet, as I'll need lots of time to research, escape-proof the garden and acquire/assemble a coop/run!

    So here come the questions:

    1) There's a farm near me that specialises in poultry. They sell point-of-lay Warren (hybrid) hens for £15 each, and give lifetime after-sales advice and support. Does that sound like a good place to buy?

    2) We don't get foxes in our area but get a lot of free-roaming cats, including one of our own! As I understand it, most cats won't bother hens, but just to be on the safe side I'm planning to keep them in a fully enclosed run whenever I'm not around to supervise, and they can have free range of the garden when I'm at home. Does this sound feasible/sensible?

    3) What size coop and run should I get for three hens, bearing in mind I'm planning to let them out to free-range in our garden for a few hours most days, whenever I'm home to supervise?

    4) Are second-hand coops/runs OK to buy? Any dangers/pitfalls I should look out for? I know not to get one with a felted roof. I like the idea of plastic ones as they're easier to clean/more resistant to red mite, but obviously they're more expensive, and the Eglu ones also look rather small to me?

    Thanks a lot - I'll probably have a load more questions later, but this should get me started with planning my setup at least :)
     
  2. Wild With Roxi

    Wild With Roxi i love Animals too much

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2018
    Messages:
    594
    Likes Received:
    376
    Hiya! Hens are truly amazing pets, they're full of character and love.
    I like to call them feathered dogs! :D

    1) I recommend Adopting Ex-Battery Hens.
    Rescues adopt them out after being saved from being slaughtered after they turn 18 months old! They make wonderful pets, and you're giving them a second chance and loving home :) They are only young still, hens can live for 10+ years easily. Their laying slows down a bit, so battery farms don't want them as they need hens to be churning out eggs like machines.. :(

    2) That sounds like a perfect idea!! :D

    3) https://images.ecosia.org/7usRS860o...8VOqREkZQ2A/s1600/chicken-house-designs10.jpg
    Something like this would work fine for three Chooks :) Of Course the bigger the better like any animal!
    I really like the Omlet Chicken Runs; https://www.omlet.ie/shop/chicken_keeping/walk_in_chicken_run/
    The Eglu can be attached :) I usually say about 1 sq meter of floor space per hen works best :)If you have a small shed, and attach a run to it, that could work really well either.

    4) Second Hand is fine. As long as they look to be in good shape, and there are no ways the Chooks can get out or get hurt. The Eglu ones are a bit small, but with free roaming all day or if not possible the run around the coop it could work!

    Hopefully you get three lovely and friendly feathered dogs ;) xx
     
    NaomiM likes this.
  3. NaomiM

    NaomiM PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2012
    Messages:
    1,892
    Likes Received:
    1,059
    Thanks for your detailed reply! That's given me plenty of ideas to go on :)

    Re ex-battery hens, it is something I've looked into, and I do like the idea of rescuing (my cat is also a rescue), but the research I did into it gave me a few reservations. Firstly, there doesn't seem to be an ex-battery rescue near me, so I'd have to travel for them (not the easiest with three young kids). And secondly, the website of the rescue I looked at said that, due to what they've been through, some of the hens may not live very long after rescuing :( While on one level it would be nice to know that at least their last days were spent with a loving family, I know my kids would be distraught, and it would mean another long trip back to the rescue centre to rehome more hens who again might not survive long... You get the picture.

    Maybe one day, when the kids are older and we have more experience with chooks... but I'm not sure rescues would be right for us right now.
     
    Wild With Roxi likes this.
  4. Wild With Roxi

    Wild With Roxi i love Animals too much

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2018
    Messages:
    594
    Likes Received:
    376
    No Problem at all! Happy to help :)

    Ah Yes I see, Maybe in the future xx
    if you wanted to adopt younger hens that are healthy and just need a new home, maybe look on buy and sell websites such as Preloved. Someone might have a change of circumstances and need to give away their chooks? Or you could just get 3 from that farmer lol!! Just Check it out and see what it's like and if you're happy with it, go for it!! xx
     
    NaomiM likes this.
  5. NaomiM

    NaomiM PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2012
    Messages:
    1,892
    Likes Received:
    1,059
    I now have saved searches for Omlet and Eglu on Ebay and Gumtree, so just got to wait for a bargain to pop up! ;)

    Thanks again, and I'll update once I have some progress! :)
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice