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About Jihipith

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    Freshly Laid Egg
  1. Wow, £120 is brilliant value ... I'm off to ebay to look Interesting point about the mice, too. I hadn't thought about that. Fantastic advice. Thank you so much.
  2. Thank you so much everyone. That confirms my thinking to go for the walk in straight away. I loved the picture, Chiccoletta, that looks like a gorgeous set up. Where did you buy your walk in run?
  3. I am planning to get my first chickens in the next month but I need some help deciding how to home them. I could go one of two ways. One plan is to get an Eglu Classic with a 3 or 4 metre run (3 hens) and put this on paving slabs with wood chips (as I don't have a big enough garden to keep moving it). The second plan is to get the Classic but with an Omlet walk in run (the biggest one I can afford: need to negotiate with hubby). The hens would only free range at weekends and, in summer, on some of the week day evenings. Obviously the second option is much more expensive and more of a commitment while the first one is more 'entry level' in case chickens turn out to be a big mistake for me. (Or so I am telling my husband!). The reason I am considering a walk in run from the start is that I am worried about how I could possibly 'poo pick' in a Classic run? Or don't you need to? I can see that if I were to move the run around, then the poo could stay where it was because it wouldn't build up. But if the run is stationary then surely it would just build up? Clearly in the walk-in I could go in and poo pick easily. Sorry if this is a rather stupid worry but I am really unsure which way to go!! Thank you.
  4. If you started again ...

    Hippie Chick: thank you so much for taking the time to post those photos. The 'hen for scale' is brilliant! So you are happy with the Greenfrog? One thing I've been wondering about is the size. There seems a big variation between the amount of inside space allowed by Omlet and Greenfrog for each hen. (So the Small Chicken House is recommended for only three large hens but is much roomier than the Eglu ...) Any thoughts on this?
  5. If you started again ...

    Beantree: Yes, three children of school age means that time is not something I have a great deal of! So definitely a plastic coop for me. And thank you for that advice. My husband is very 'handy' and has offered to make the run so it is good to have a voice of experience voting for plastic, despite the expense. (And he can make the run, so that should keep him busy.) Millie Anne: good to get your views on Leghorn types. I would love some of those lovely pastel eggs but I don't like the sound of 'flighty'! Orpingtons have always appealed. Does anyone have any experience of Australorps? What I've read makes them sound lovely but that is just the view of one author ... and I have no idea if they are particularly easy to get hold of. It's been really useful to get the experience of everyone regarding walk-in runs. I can see the wisdom of this having tried to do daily poo picking bent double in netted, electric-fenced enclosure of the visiting hens! So I will go ahead and plan for the biggest of those I can fit in. Do you recommend covered? open? partially covered? (Sorry for all these questions!)
  6. If you started again ...

    SJP: I did look into courses that Cotswold Chickens do but you're right, they don't do dispatching anymore. There again, I don't think I will be breeding or raising chicks (yet!) so maybe that can be a skill for the future. Do you have any experience on them as suppliers of livestock? Their website certainly looks good! Beantree and Hippie chick: Do you mind me asking which Greenfrogs you have? I was thinking of the loft but it doesn't seem very high off the ground and perhaps one of the ones without legs, but on a DIY platform? (Wooden? My husband is happy to try to make one and have seen photos of something we could try to emulate on the Newland Poultry website. Is that the sort of thing you have?) The reason I was interested in pure breeds to start with was because I was worried about a hen laying too many eggs too young. I would prefer a more measure (natural? or am I kidding myself) sort of rate of laying. And for breeds, I would love Wheaten Marans (!!) but I won't be able to give them much room, most of the time. They certainly wouldn't be able to free range. So I started thinking of Sussex Lights? But it's good to know I could mix hybrids and pure breeds as long as I was careful. I saw some Pekin Bantams at a show recently and did think they were rather captivating but I am worried that they might be too broody? Thank you again to everyone for your time and views.
  7. If you started again ...

    Thank you for all those very useful replies. A common thread seems to be a walk in run on a permanent base, which is helpful as I too was thinking it would be fun to move my run around, letting my grass recover in between times (!!) ... Hybrids seem to be the sensible choice too but if I go for a Cube first (I have a significant birthday coming up and I am hoping I can get husband and family to contribute!!) then I have space to expand. (Although how would it be to mix hybrids and pure breeds. I've read that this is a bad idea?) My husband has already said that I need to learn how to dispatch a bird before we get any. Are there courses for that? The idea fills me with some dread, I have to say. Anyway, thanks for all the advice!
  8. I am new to the forum and also to the world of chickens and my question is: If you were a beginner again, what would your starting set up be? I have friends who keep and have kept chickens. I have read books and looked at websites. I have visited suppliers and looked at full size hens and bantams. I have lurked on this forum. I have had a friend's three hens come to stay with me twice when her family went on holiday. I have visited the Greenfrog producer in Dorset to look at his houses. I have also had day-to-day use of a my friend's Go-Up ... I am very confused! One friend says that if she were starting again, she would go for a Cube and three or four Welsummers. (Pure breeds are more interesting and she is currently negotiating with her husband so she can get a second run and buy pure breeds, having started with hybrids.) One friend says that she would start with a Classic Eglu (she started with a cheap wooden coop and free ranged her hens initially) with an extended run and put 5 bantam Wyandottes in it. One friend says that she would start with a Classic and fortnight-old chicks (which is actually what she did as her son's class was raising chicks and she took three home at the end of the project) as it is much more interesting. So far I am fairly settled on putting a plastic coop (of some sort) on a woodchip-based permanent run, with some free-ranging in the evenings and holidays (I work in a school so it should still be light when I get home for most of the year), possibly fenced off with electric fencing as we have daytime foxes in our area. I would like friendly hens but they are not for cuddling (I have a cat for that!): I am keeping them for their eggs and because I love watching them. Any and all views very much appreciated.