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Lone Ranger

Essential Shopping list for new chickens

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Well I've taken the plunge and have just ordered my first chickens. I would be really gratefull if anyone could advise what the initial essentials are when starting out ? There are many products out there, so understanding the 'must haves' would be really handy. From reading the forums it seems that garlic powder and bokashi bran are popular .... but I would really like to keep to some sort of budget without buying everything on day 1.

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a cover for the run (cheap shower curtain)

poultry spice (tub lasts for ages)

barrier red mite powder (also lasts for ages)

a wormer ( i use flubenvet - tub again lasts forever!)

hemcore/aubiose for the run


this should do you to start off with, then you can add as you go along :D

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1. Barrier Red Mite Powder.

2. Flubenvet.

3. Spare roosting bars.

4. Plastic cover for run. ( Dunelm sell it.)

5. Metal dustbin for storing feed.

6. Cheap watering can for filling glugs and carrying water to do a mini clean

without all the faff of unravelling the hose pipe!

7. Brightly coloured bowl for carrying "treats"

8. A couple of 99p orange B&Q buckets for emptying the poo tray into.

9. Decent pair of wellies. :lol:


Good luck. :lol:

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Here's my list of "essentials"


Spare roosting bars - so much easier to have one set to wash and one in use, as they take much longer to dry than the eglu.


Red Mite powder - I always sprinkle some in the nest box and at the ends of the roosting bars when I clean out the eglu.


A cheap washing up bowl, a sponge scourer and pair of rubber gloves - for cleaning out the eglu.


Poultry Spice - I give it fairly regularly, especially when moulting. Just mix it in with the pellets or mash.


Apple Cider Vinegar - add a little to the water. It's supposed to make their gut less favourable for worms.


Wormer - such as Flubenvet. It's a good idea to worm your hens every few months even if you can't see anything in their poo (which is often the case). The good thing about Flubenvet is there is no egg-withdrawal period.


Hemcore for the run and poo tray - much better than chippings or bark for absorbing poo. A bale costing £6-7 lasts for ages.


Old ice cream tub for treats - amazingly the girls always recognise it! :lol:


Transparent plastic to cover the run in wet weather - some people use a shower curtain, but I use the large plastic bags I get my rabbit shavings in from the local timber merchants. They are huge and, when opened out, are just the right size.


I am going to get some bokashi bran, having read it makes the poo virtually odourless. I haven't decided re garlic powder yet as I'm intolerant of it myself, but I understand it's good too. I have just ordered some diatomous earth too, but obviously not able to vouch for it yet.


Good luck with the hen-keeping!



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It's all been said :shock: .


The only thing I would add is if you live in a windy area get loads of bungy ropes to keep your rain cover on.


I tried various plastic varieties (they all ripped off :evil: ) but have ended up getting 2 x 2.5m corrugated plastic sheets (£6 each) from B&Q. It's rigid so won't rip. We had high winds last night and :pray: so far so good. Keeps the run beautifully dry too and you can see through it to watch the little darlings :D .

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That rain cover looks fantastic.


My DIY temporary job of bubble wrap held on by clothes pegs is still there (just!), so I'm browsing looking for ideas/inspiration for the weekend project of rain cover upgrade.


Clarice chicken likes to jump ontop of the run and walk over the bubble wrap (funnily the other two don't bother), there are one or two holes now but fortunately the rain seems to be holding off down here at the moment.

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Going back to the original question, as long as you have a sack of food and something for the bottom of the run, that's all you actually 'need' to begin with.

All of the extras are nice, but not essential to start. We added wormer, mite powder etc gradually as we went along and still don't have a lot of the things on the list. No doubt we'll acquire more as and when needed.

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I agree. It's too easy to get carried away and get everything before you've even got the chickens :roll: .


Food, hemcore & possibly some corn are probably all you need to start. Although some of the other things mentioned are important, you won't need them straight away. Once you got the hens, you'll have a better idea of what you want to get.

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I might try that on my Yellow Eglu for when my ex- batts come.


Did I mention that I was getting some ex-batts? :lol::lol:


You just might have mentioned it in passing. I don't think anyone noticed! : :lol::lol: :lol:


ANH - stupid question, but how do you get your hemcore into/out of the run? I bought some and spent ages "sprinkling" it through the roof of the run. As I have an extension which is pegged down, getting it out again will be a nightmare. My rake won't reach! :?:

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ANH - stupid question, but how do you get your hemcore into/out of the run?

Repeat after me .... "there is no such thing as a stupid question" :lol: .


Well ... I had this great plan of filling a long tube-shaped plastic bag (like you get rolls of material or carpet in), sticking it in the door end and shoogling it about. But ... the girls' shoe rack and branch perches are in the way.


So now, I pick up the run at the door end, swing it round (leaving the eglu in situ), put the hemcore down & quickly put the run back before the girls start their scratch & kick routine :roll: . For a quick top up I just chuck as much as I can in through the door - they do the rest :wink: .

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Have a look at this website here


It's a kind of bedding usually used for horses but it's perfect for chickens. It's very absorbent, somehow poos magically disappear into in and it smells nice and fresh. It costs about £7-9 a bale and I use about 1/3 to 1/2 a bale each time I give the run a total clean out (every couple of months). It's also good in the nestbox.


Aubiose (http://www.aubiose.co.uk/) is a very similar product, I believe.

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It will probably be a little too 'fresh' to use straight on the veggie patch and would scorch young plants. Let in sit and compost for a few months first. In the winter, i do put the 'waste' straight onto the raised beds, but it has time to break down until spring arrives. :D

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