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New here so want to say hi! Some advice needed also please!

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Hello to everyone and can I say what a lovely site this is.


After 3 years of thinking and definately dithering I am finally going to do it! I havent bitten the bullet earlier as niavely thought that I would not be able to leave the chickens overnight or for a weekend safely as we both have work and family committments. Now after looking here I can see that with the Eglu being so safe we can! Also if I am honest watching HFW on Channel 4 was the final shove needed to get going!


We have booked ourselves on a hen party with a lovely lady called Jayne (early Feb) and cant wait to buy either second hand or new an eglu cube with run etc.


Our plan is this (and this is where I need advice etc),


I would like to have 2/3 layers, 1 rescue battery hen and would also like 3/4 for eating.


Can we keep these altogether or do I need seperate houses and runs etc.


Does any one here have experience of keeping birds for meat and the lovely layers together. Any tips etc would be greatfully appreciated.


Also where is the best place to go to get a rescue battery hen and also where to buy the chicks for meat. (I am based close to High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire).


I intend to buy the layers from here, love the look of Mrs Pepperpot and cant see her name being changed....lol


To say I am nervous is an understatement, want to make sure that I know what I am doing as I want potential new members of my family to be as happy as possible.


Thanks everyone


warmie :D

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Hi Warmie, & welcome :P


I am pretty near to you, & I got my hens from a medowsweet agent just outside High Wycombe - think it was called Crofter Farm.

It was a fab place,with beautiful views & really lovely & clean - I would recommend it to anyone.

They sell Medowsweet Hybrids,which will lay all year round, & I think they also do some meat birds.





As for the ex-bats, well I am not 100% on this,but I don't think they will do just 1 for you.

If the Party you are going to is by Jayne,that might be our Buffie, who is our BHWT expert, & I am sure she can advise you further.

Another consideration is that its better to get all your hens at once,to reduce the likelyhood of pecking order bullying.its not always easy or successful introducing new hens to a flock,especially ex-batts who will be a little vunerable when you first get them :?


Not sure on keeping dinners & layers together either, but someone will be along who can help with that soon I am sure.

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Welcome, like the others I can't advise on your questions, but am certain that you will get a response before very long!


I know exactly what you mean about being nervous, I spent ages worrying whether I could cope with chickens, what about going away, what if they get ill etc ... I have now completed nearly a full year of chicken-ownership, expanded from 2 to 5 hens, and it's been great. They are SO easy to look after - I spend around five minutes every morning, and half-an-hour at weekends on actual chicken-care.


Obviously playing with them, letting them out to free-range, fiddling with the Eglu to make improvements, moving them around, hanging up treats, taking photos, playing a bit more ... well that takes hours, but you won't regret it I promise you! :lol:

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Re the battery hens they will not let you take just one - they will two at a push or three. They do need safety in numbers in case of bullying. I had to keep mine seperate from my original hens for a week before I let them free-range together. Once the pecking order was sorted they now get along fine and are all in together.


It may be worth getting youngs hens until you are a bit more experienced and then add to your group by introducing battery hens. Or get some more information about the battery hens if you feel confident to start with a group. The battery hens do need a lot of tlc but I found that once they settled in my original hens showed them what was what - eg the ex-bats would not eat any treats like grapes or sweetcorn until they saw the originals eat it - now they is a mad scramble if they seeing any treat heading their way 8)




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Hi there, congratulations on making the decision, it's so exciting isn't it? Good luck with dinners and layers, would love to do that but got too many hens already! I agree with everyone else, you won't be able to get just one ex-batt and they do need tlc. We picked our 4 up on Monday and ours are in fairly good condition but they're still naked in places and would be picked on by the other hens.


But don't be put off, get your first lot, then if you can borrow some temporary housing you can get ex-batts a bit later, build up their strngth and then introduce them -that's our plan.


Pepperpots are lovely, we've got two and they're good layers, have no idea what breeds make good dinners. Good on you for making the decision, HFW strikes again!!


Mrs Bertie

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Keeping hens is absolutely brilliant, they're so fun and relaxing to watch and pleasant to be around. They are also incredibly straightforward to keep - if you think you could manage huinea-pig or hamster then you'll be able to cope with chickens! I think booking the course-thingy is a great plan; you could also get a/some chicken-keeping books.

I don't know much re: keeping them for meat, though, so will leave that for others to answer.

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Hi all



Many thanks for the very warm welcome and the very useful advice.


After reading"Starting with Chickens" (A great book) I have decided that starting with 3 layers seems the right thing to do, still going to get the eglu cube so that I can add more later as I gain more experience.


Cant wait for the course in Feb, seems ages away.


Will keep you posted and hopefully soon some pics of my new gals. :)


Thanks again


warmie x

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