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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.

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I would go for a walk in run. If they're not free ranging much especially in the winter, it's a much nicer space for them. You could start with a low rise. My ducks are in one, and they need a lot of cleaning out. If you got into the hobby more you could change to a cube and then possibly increase the height of the WIR. There is still a very strong second hand market for Omlet equipment, so you will be able to sell your used stuff at a good price. Good luck :)

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We started with the Go and 3 metre run for about 1 week until we bought a walk-in run (not Eglu) and raised the Go on a wooden 'table'. It's fab, I poo pick the run and the Go every day before work (5 mins). I am a clean freak and I just couldn't get my head around cleaning the standard run.

 

Good luck

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Definitely go for the WIR - you'll almost immediately wish you had if you don't. And as Chickabee said, you'd have no trouble selling on if you decided chickens weren't for you.

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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?

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Yes another WIR fan here. We got ours from Flyte so fancy. I much prefer it as mesh is rodent proof. It put me off omlet run that mice etc can easily get through.

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We bought the run on eBay for around £120. I added a weldmesh layer around the bottom 1 metre and I'm so please with it, it's sturdy and super easy to clean. It's on oaving slabs with Aubiose which seems to remain very clean, I just pop round with the skip bucket every morning, brush the poo from the house straight in the bucket and pic up any visible poos in the run.

 

I guess come Winter when they free range less there will be more cleaning to do but I'm chuffed with how it works. I have 3 chickens and have only had them just over a month. Saving up for a Cube and a few more for next year!

 

Good luck

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Wow, £120 is brilliant value ... I'm off to ebay to look :D

 

Interesting point about the mice, too. I hadn't thought about that.

 

Fantastic advice. Thank you so much.

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If I can offer any advice it would be to make the job of poo-picking as easy as possible for you.

 

Our girls FR all day and until we had our first chickens I never knew just how much they could poo!

 

And it's not exactly small either... as my husband often says... 'I'd be proud of that one!'

 

Our garden looks like it's full of land mines if we don't do it for a couple of days!

 

Edit: just had a quick look on Ebay and there's quite a few, even some second-hand ones going very reasonably:

 

http://www.ebay.co.uk/bhp/walk-in-chicken-run

 

(sorry for some reason I can't make the link clicky???)

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