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Neil Jones

Newly Registered & wanted to say hello!

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Hello Forum Members

I'm Neil, & a fairly new member to your wonderful forum & thought, I’d say hello? 

Fairly tech savvy, (due to my previous career), but a complete rookie when it comes to online forums etc. So if I ask dumb questions, or post things in the wrong places, please forgive me or point me in the right direction, if you would? Cheers. Had hens for a short period before, 4 Novo Browns to start with & then with the addition of 4 Blackrocks to keep egg production up once the Novo’s got to 18 months old etc, etc. Alas an urban fox got in one evening & killed them, which was really very sad & wasteful. I was so heartbroken at the waste of life & destruction caused, that until I now fully reviewed & upgraded the security of my 16 foot square enclosure, I vowed not to get anymore......😪

Thanks to an advert I’ve placed on the forum, on Wednesday of this week I’m going to become the proud owner of a used Cube Mark 1 in green! Thrilled as I’ve always wanted one, but as I’m between roles, (whilst retraining as a Plumber] a new example was beyond my meagre budget. The forum member I’m purchasing the Cube off has even kindly bought all new fixtures & fittings for it from Omlet to ensure I’ve all the parts I’ll need, so it does sound promising, what do you think?

Attached are pictures of my set up as was during a muck out & a porters truck I’m hoping to convert to a Shepard’s hut for hens. 

Think I rated the hybrid hens more for their egg 🥚 production, but much preferred the Blackrocks for their beauty, although I found their eggs smaller? So I’ll be asking what breeds could, should I consider if appearance & production are of equal interest? That said I do fancy some rescue hens in the mix, as I’ve never rescued hens, but have a rescued cat & two dogs......Amber, Buckley & Otto.

Whilst my 16 foot squared enclosure is totally hen secure if you’re at 🏡 home. What I’d discovered was it wasn’t totally predator proof whilst I was out! So before I dare get anymore girls, I really want a secure walk in run that will house the Cube & itself within my 16 square foot space. So I’d be interested in seeing what walk in run set ups you folks have & should I go branded omlet or considered others too. 

Look forwards to hearing from some of you & perhaps taking some advice & inspiration from forum members too. 

Many Thanks 

Neil 

 

 

 

 

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Hello! I love the porters wagon. I have two chickens who are quite old now but I don't give advice because all the real chicken experts on here know so much. I like to hang out on this nesting box forum and talk about nothing in particular. 

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Hi Patsylabrador 

Nice to meet you, & guess this more the social side of the forum? 

Attached is the sort of look I’m hoping to achieve with my Porter’s Wagon, but scaled down for hens & with some consideration given to my ease of access for mucking out & egg 🥚collection. 

I shall look forward to chatting in the future x 

Neil x

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Hi Neil - well that looks good enough to live in for humans, let alone chooks!  Welcome to the forum, I am sure you will find lots of help and good ideas.  I no longer have any chicken as I live abroad, however, I like to keep in touch with people on here, and sometimes offer my tuppence on welfare/breeding. 

I am pretty sure there are threads somewhere on housing, so you should be able to find some help and ideas there.  My first thought on looking at your set up is that a fox could easily scale any one of the sides, including the back fence, so your new plan of a WIR or secure low level run is essential.  I would also say do not underestimate the fox, they are opportunist and regularly take fowl in broad daylight, in fact, even if you are out in the garden at the same time in my experience, so take all the precautions you can, which I'm sure you will having lost some girls already, its a horrible feeling and many of us have suffered it.  But the trick is to learn, and not make the same mistakes again, so I wish you all the luck in the world with your next batch, and your housing plans.  

Just for info, my own set up was a mixture of eglus/cubes and wooden houses, each with their own secure low level runs.  I used the Omlet runs for the eglus, and would highly recommend them if you don't have any back problems (they are low) and bespoke ones made from wood and weldmesh for the cube (I sat mine on the ground) and wooden houses.  I bought some from local suppliers and had some made.   Then each house/run would sit inside an electric fencing pen, and the poultry would FR, although less so after the fox attack!  I had a large rural garden and would regularly move the housing and runs around to fresh pasture.   However, I can really see the benefit of a WIR and would probably go that route in the future, for ease, especially in a smaller space.

As far as breeds go, the world is your oyster.  You could choose hybrids which lay very well but have a shorter productive period, or pure breeds which lay less often but can go on for longer.  I have no experience with rescue birds, but others can advise you.  My strong instinct has always been to keep what you enjoy looking at!

 

 

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Hello Neil

I'm another who likes to drop in on The Nesting Box for a natter....our three lovely Light Sussex bantams departed some time ago and we have not replaced them as our garden really isn't big enough - Korma, Casserole and Kiev totally trashed it! Equally, although we live in rural Oxfordshire, we do have close neighbours and one of them was not pleasant about the noise! If we move somewhere bigger then we'd def go down the chicken route again (or, if our nasty neighbour moved!)  and I do still have a very soft spot for Light Sussex or Wellsummers (if I have managed the spelling!) 

You'll find lots of good advice and tips on The Forum and some very interesting threads on The Nesting Box...it's been my 'go to' for advice on many, many occasions!

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Hi Neil. Love that porters truck! If it comes out anything like the shepherds hut it’ll be fantastic!

I have a green mk 1 Cube - mine was third hand. It’s not (in my opinion) he most attractive hen house around but I’d buy the same again in a heartbeat. It’s sturdy, easy to keep clean and requires no maintenance. I currently have 9 bantams in mine.

For the last 4 years I’ve had the Cube attached to the outside of its 2m run which I’ve attached (even though they said you can’t) to an Omlet lo-rise walk in run which started off at 3m by 2m and is now 4m by 2m. The Omlet walk in run is expensive, but I’m really pleased with it. As long as you build it properly it really is predator proof (although not rodent or bird proof) and it’s relatively easy to take apart and move or reconfigure if you want to, and to add more to it.

Looking forward to seeing what you chose to do 😀

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Posted (edited)

Hi Neil,   Chickens are addictive so beware!  Don’t overlook bantams when thinking about breeds.  They are a delight and do minimally less damage to the garden, although I have learnt over time there is nothing called a non- destructive hen.  One downside of them is that they like to roost high, so are quite good at flying.  My Madonna, a white Polish Bantam would be over your set up in two ticks!  She is now confined to a WIR because even wing clipping doesn’t work! 

And I would reiterate the advice about Mr and Mrs Fox.  A friend  has experienced daylight raids with people around.  

Another nasty to be aware of is the rat!  Omlet runs, especially the WIR are not rodent proof.  Small gauge weld mesh and a slabbed floor are best.  Don’t use chicken wire whatever you do.  It’s to keep chickens in, not predators out. 

Welcome! 

Edited by Patricia W

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... and if you just like a casual chat the Thread of little facts and things is relaxed. It's just an ongoing chat. 

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Hi - my OH spotted the photo of the shepherds hut and drooled.  

I originally had one cube with an extra length attached, and confirm that cleaning that out makes you Quasimodo for a while after.  I now have 2 having pounced on a friend who was letting hers go.  We did have foxes around in our last home, but lucky not to have had any issues - not the urban ones.  Here we have a vixen and cubs - when we arrived here last year they were sitting in the orchard eating windfalls.  This year we've just seen Mistress Vixen with 4 new cubs playing rough and tumble in one of the fields behind us.  She was watching us watching her!  When she realised we weren't a threat she laid down and just let the cubs bounce all around her.  There were also giant rabbits running around the same field without worrying about the close proximity of the vixen - and they were really close!!!  So while I love the animals, I also cannot be complacent and have a large metal frame with half inch weld mesh all over it and the cubes are inside.  The weld mesh comes out at the bottom, like the cube run, but a lot further - we left it at about 2ft and now the grass is growing through it, should make it sturdier.  We've had some horrendous winds here and it's still standing, although I have to check the bolts every time it gets a bashing.  I'm not sure if it's badger resistant - we have those here too.  But just to make sure - electric fencing.  I do let my birds out, but when I am not around and away from the house, they'll be shut in the run.  The run comes with silly cable ties that fly off, so we have heavier duty ones that do need replacing some times, but a lot better. 

Whatever you choose I hope you enjoy chooks all over again - safely.  xxx

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Welcome to our madhouse aka the forum! :lol: 

I agree with others above, I would pop a roof on that run and you should be good to go - I have the Cube on the outside of our run so you can shut the chickens in or collect eggs without having to go into the run. We've since extended the run so it can be split for chicks/poorlies and intro-ing newbies after quarantine.

As for breeds, the Novo and Blackrocks you've had before are both hybrids who will lay lots of eggs. You can pick and mix breeds if you wanted a couple of pure breeds as well.

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