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lawschickenlover

How many would you get???

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Hello everyone, some opinions would be most helpful...

 

We have an eglu classic, currently housing 2 hybrids after losing some of the flock over the last 18 months and we think its time to welcome some new girls...

 

The temporary coop and run is set up ready, next to our walk in run where the original hens are but we are unsure how many we 'can' get... We would love to get 5 more but is 7 just too many for the eglu??? Our walk in run is big enough for many more than that so thats not the problem.

 

We are also considering some pekins,bantums or cochins, would 2 hybrids and 4 smaller varieties along with our resident girls be just a silly idea? (I now seem to have made 8 when I just said 7 would be too many?!?!)

 

Am I mad to even consider the smaller dainty girls along with the hybrids, I know some people have them mixed and others keep them seperate.

 

What would you do???

 

Thank you very much in advance for your thoughts!

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I think the classic is only suitable for 4 at max really...(sorry to be a party pooper). Of course, with bantams or smaller birds you could probably have more, I don't have any personal experience, but have heard mixed reviews of trying to mix bantams with full-size chickens.

So at minimum to you could still get 2 more chickens :)

Or maybe your 'temporary' housing could become...'permanent' and you could have lots of chickens! :dance:

 

Anyway, I'm sure you will have lots of fun :D

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You'd get 5 mixed sized breeds in an Eglu (excl very large breeds such as the Cochin) I wouldnt put any more than that in one

 

Hybrids can be pretty nasty sometimes but if you take things slowly Pekins would be ok as they hold their own, feisty little things, Sussex, Wyandotte or Rhode Island red bantams are chunky and confident so would be good choices as would breeds lighter on their feet like Araucanas or Welsummers but these are less tame

 

I'd steer clear of very large breeds such as Cochins and Orpingtons and also steer clear of softie bantams like Silkies, Polands and Orpingtons

 

Your best bet may well be two large fowl, these are less prone to broodiness and usually better layers than their bantam counterparts

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Hello!

 

Welcome to the forum.

 

I don't have an Eglu or WIR myself but I know someone will be along to help you out with your numbers shortly.

 

Just wanted to comment on your idea of getting smaller breeds with hybrids as we also considered this, because we wanted (and just have) acquired two more. We toyed with the idea of Silkies, Bantams etc but some members on here have had successes with merging them and some haven't. We decided not to, not for any particular reason, at this time. However, we do intend fencing off our side garden and moving the existing girls into the main garden on a bigger coop next year and we're looking to get something else, polands, bantams, pekings, not sure, OH loves some polands he saw yesterday.

 

At the moment, I don't think I have enough experience to get another type of hen but it's all a learning curve and at some point, if we want more and a particular breed, then we'll bite the bullet!

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The main problem with putting more chickens in the eglu is the number of nest boxes. Most people on here will probably agree that all their chickens pile up into one corner and it looks as though you could fit much more in than the recommended limit, however if all the hens in their are laying, I think you need one nest box for every four hens (or something like that) to stop queues and fights for nesting space during the day.

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I have 6 bantams in the (pink eglu) at one stage (one night one of my cochin piled in with them too :roll: )

 

I tried to add pekins to a pair of hybrids once and gave up as the hybrids were so nasty. They kept it up for ages and it was too distressing. I have added large foul to bantams easily enough but would be reluctant to try it the other way again.

 

I would add a pair of large foul if I were you.

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Hi, I have 2 eglus in a WIR and all the hens except one pile into one Eglu. I have 8 in total. So it is very toasty at night . However the hens are choosing to do this & there is alternative accommodation. I really wouldn't go beyond 4 in an eglu if only because of the nest box issue that others have mentioned. Re mixing banties and hybrids - I have but it took ages ( years) for them to live together. For two years the banties had their run & the big girls theirs. The all free ranged during the day. Only a few weeks ago they decided to move in with the big hens and it's been reasonably ok since. So, to summarise stick to 4 to an eglu and keep big girls & little ones apart. Good luck. allix

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Thank you to everyone for your help and advice, always good to hear what everyone thinks.

 

We are toying with the idea of attaching our secondary coop to the WIR to offer 2 living quarters so now its just whether we decide to risk introducing some banties to the big birds or stick with all hybrids.

 

I'm not sure its a good idea - I struggled when we introduced our previous 2 flocks together and they were all big birds. Just not nice to see them sort the pecking order, let alone real bullying of the smaller girlies!

 

But by husband and I shall continue to deliberate and continue with our chookie chats! LOVE IT!

 

Thanks again!

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Many people have 5 hybrids sleeping in an Eglu, but nest box space can be an issue, although this can easily be solved with something like a cat carrier put in a dark corner of the run (if they'll use it :wink: ) or a child's potty put on the bars of the Eglu first thing and removed at night (but you need to be home to do this so depends if you work)

 

As for breeds, I agree with Redwing about her bantam suggestions. Although large fowl should in theory be easier to introduce. I am one if the people that has had success introducing bantams to large fowl, although I did have to rehome 2 Pekins that couldn't slot in :(

 

Now (for logistics rather than personality due to my flock size) I keep my bantams in one walk in run and my large fowl in the other, but they free range together perfectly... I even have 2 Silkies that bully 2 of my big girls... Shouldn't laugh but :lol:

 

How about getting a few more hybrids? Remember that with pure breeds (and particularly bantams) you will have broody issues and they will stop laying over winter.

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I introduced a Pekin trio (cockerel and 2 hens) to our Ambers without problems. The cockerel protects his 2 little girls, there is still the odd peck here and there but nothing to worry about, they generally wander around the garden in a group and do all their chicken type stuff together.

 

I wouldn't have done it without the cockerel though, the Pekin hens would have had too much of a hard time without him in the early days.

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Or you could just upgrade to a cube?... sorry my addiction is spilling out onto the page again... I started off with a classic, then 3 weeks later a cube with a 2 metre run, then a 3 metre run and now a walk in run!

... the smallholding is next on the list!

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