Saturday, May 26, 2007

Chickens !


We have added to our family today when we acquired some point of lay chickens. A drive out to Stebbing in Essex to visit Hens for Homes and to speak with Kirsty helped us to decide on what chickens to buy. Here you can see a big range of point of lay chickens before buying. They can also be delivered. The chickens cost us £12.50 each.

The choice in Chickens is vast but rather than venture into pure breeds we decided to go for some hybrid hens. We decided we wanted both friendly chickens and good egg layers. We have 4 hens 2 of which are around 15 weeks and another 2 who are about 20 weeks old.

We have 4 different birds a Bovans Goldline which is a brown coloured chicken which lays brown eggs, a Bluebelle which is a grey/lavender coloured bird, a Bovans Silver which is said to be a very friendly bird and a Maran Cou Cou a speckled coloured bird.

Kirsty provided us with a starter pack of various items including all of the necessary food which was a supply of corn and a big bag of layer pellet, some grit to aid the birds digestion, and a drinker and feeder for the water and pellets.

We transported them back from Essex in a cat box and a crisp sized cardboard box. Apparently this is the standard way of doing this. Before bringing them home all of the birds had one of their wings clipped. This is an entirely painless process which will hopefully stop the chickens flying into trees to roost. It should apparently mean they will only be able to leap about 3 foot which is important to us as some of our fencing is only 5 feet high to our neighbors.

The previous week we had bought and erected a very well made chicken house and a 6 foot run from Tillett Pet and Poultry. The houses are well made and you can fit a chicken house and a run into a standard mondeo car. The house was well made and was easily fitted together in about 20 minutes. Although we gave it a coat of Somerset Green Cuprinol paint first.

The birds traveled well in the car and were very quiet. Getting them out of their boxes and into their new house meant picking and holding a chicken which Kirsty made look simple but takes a bit of practice and confidence to get right. however mission accomplished and the birds are in their new home. We are told to expect a 2 week period period while the birds become used to their new home and during this time they have a bit of a sneeze or two.

we have yet to name the four chickens. So far the silver bovan bird seems to be the leader pecking out sometimes at the others when she is wanting first peck at any food. However the grey/lavender bird seems the most flighty and adventurous and once or twice has tried to make her escape back to Essex launching herself at the top of the run.

We are complete novices at chicken keeping and no absolutely nothing really. However it will be exciting to see when we start hopefully getting some eggs. My pictures were take in the evening fading light and I hope to get some better shots soon.


  1. Hi and thanks for dropping by my blog. I see you're just down the road from me. Great photos on your blog...would have an enjoyed that concert. Not much of a runner myself unless it's to catch a bus!
    Bye from a very wet Sudbury.

  2. Thanks for the note about the bridge. It is beautiful. I agree with Ruth, the photos are fabulous. I'd love our family to keep chickens, but we've got no space. On day, the meantime, thought you might appreciate this link to a local chicken expert, who is also an accomplished author on the subject:

  3. Thanks for coming over to my blog. We've got chickens too: started off with 3 chcikens 6 years ago and now have the great, great, great etc. etc. grandchildren of those original 3. At the moment we have 22 and 9 chicks, with more on the way. I'll be posting photos soon though there are others of previous chickens from 2 or 3 years ago. Our sweetest chicken was a rescue chicken who had virtually no feathers at the start and was a sorry sight. She was a dear and used to peck at the back door for her breakfast and come and sit on our laps indoors.

    Last year we ended up with 42 chcikens by the end of the summer and gave away 20 to a guy who has loads of land. They're all kept for eggs and not eaten and run free like they do here.

    Keeping chickens is just common sense really. They're real characters and great fun.

    Good luck


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