Chicken keeping – what you need to know

Since moving to this house approximately six and a half years ago, we have dreamt of keeping chickens. Well what started as a tiny little chick chink of a thought inside my head has now expanded and it looks like it will become a reality – and I am more than excited!!

There are so many things to consider before taking the plunge and I thought I’d share the decisions that we are having to make at the moment and the things to bear in mind, if you too are thinking about the very same thing.

It is perhaps worse for me being an ‘over-thinker’, maybe ‘normal’ people would think ‘hmm I think I will get chickens’ and then a week later are happily settling their feathered friends into their new home. That’s not how things work for me though … although sometimes it might not be a bad thing as I am pretty thorough with my research before buying ANYTHING.

So what is there to think about before buying chickens?

Well for starters you need to think about the size of your garden and what size you are able to allocate chickens. We are quite fortunate that our garden is a decent size so my dream is for a walk-in run (tall enough for us to tend to the chickens while they are in there) and then a separate coop with it’s own run that joins onto the larger walk-in run.

I have done my research and my personal opinion now is that I would prefer to get a plastic chicken coop as they seem to be so much easier to clean and are also less prone to getting infested with red mites, which are quite a common problem with chickens. I do appreciate that plastic can be considered as less eco-friendly than wood, however if the products last much longer, I believe this is the right decision for me.

The next thing to consider is a run for them. Ideally chickens could be left to wander free range and have the luxury of the whole garden. However because I have lively spaniels and am not sure how they will react, plus we frequently have foxes visiting, I’m thinking of a walk in run would be safer, perhaps about 3 metres by 3 metres with lots of interest inside to keep the chickens occupied. I want happy chickens and to be responsible for giving them the best life that they can have.

There are many accessories to also choose from; feeders and water containers, swings, ladders and so much more to look at too!

My next consideration is which chickens to buy and how many. I think, based on the size of the run we are looking at and the fact that this is a completely new concept for us, we should get maybe 3 or 4 chickens to start with. The ideal space per chicken is approximately 2 square metres. There are a vast variety of different breeds to consider too. We are looking at breeds that are quite hardy and suitable for beginners, perhaps Warrens or Sussex Chickens or maybe Orpingtons. Overall I think we should go for medium sized birds that will lay eggs yet still be friendly and sociable and enjoy an enriched life in our garden.

I’m really looking forward to this new chapter in our lives! Do you have chickens? If so please can you let me know anything else that we should consider and also would there be any particular breeds that you would recommend?

6 comments

    • Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to comment. I’m glad you enjoyed reading it. I am really looking forward to getting set up, I hope that you are able to have them in the future 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  1. It’s lovely keeping chickens! They bustle around and their gentle clucking is a sweet soundtrack to garden life. I have four, that I rescued from the BHWT – it’s so nice to think that they have been given a second chance. Two practical points though: I have been getting four eggs a day all year – that is a LOT of eggs to eat. I usually give them away or sell them at work but during lockdown they have been mounting up. Secondly, it’s lovely to see them free-ranging, but for stress free chicken keeping, make sure you can keep them out of precious parts of your garden. Oh, and they love to dust-bathe!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to read and reply, I am really looking forward to getting them. I am hoping to get four and think they will settle really well into our family/garden. Wow 4 eggs a day is a lot, hopefully we have family and friends who will look to help out. I’ve just looked at the BHWT, as a beginner do you think this is a good thing to do?

      Like

  2. Good point – ours have been trouble-free, but it is the luck of the draw. You can’t know what type of setting they come from when you book. Some arrive in better condition than others … good luck with it!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.