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Hello, I am new to this forum and chicken keeping, so thank you for having me. 

I have bought a second hand eglu classic and have been reading a number of threads on here about the best way to set up an eglu classic and run. The conversations that I have read so far focus on the set up from the point of view of what material to put in the run if it is going to be permenant. I (think) I have decided that the run will be in a permanent position because we only have a medium sized garden and that I will use Woodchips as the base. 

My query at the moment is how best to set the run and coop up to make it as fox proof as possible. Is it best to peg down the skirt into the ground or lay the whole thing on patio slabs? Or do you put the patio slabs/bricks on top of the skirting?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated 

Thanks

Laura

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If the run is to be permanently sited I would first lay paving slabs slightly larger than the area of the run and house and enough sticking out behind the house for you to stand on to clean out (it’ll get muddy in the winter otherwise). Then put the house and run on the slabs. Then put heavy bricks or blocks on top of the skirt to hold the whole lot down. I would then put some sort of kickboard around the bottom of the run and fill to a few inches deep with a material of your choice (hardwood chips or aubiose are popular choices). You’ll need the run to be covered in wet weather too (so more or less permanently really)

I know at first it seems like it would be better to put it straight on the ground, but they’ll eat and dig up the grass in a matter of days and it’ll become a horrid muddy mess in no time at all.

Exciting times! What chickens are you getting? How long is the run?

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That's really helpful, thanks. 

We haven't entirely decided on which chickens. I had my heart set on rehoming 3 chickens from the bristish hen welfare trust but just today someone warned me against doing this, saying they are likely to have behavioural and health issues and therefore not great with kids. Also they said they aren't good layers.

 

We want 3 chickens as pets with benefits so fun for the kids but also lay eggs. 

 

We have a 3m run

Any thoughts on which hens to go for would also be appreciated!

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Hey can have health issues because they have such a tough start, and compared to other chickens they often don’t survive all that long for the same reason (and because they’re bred for early productivity rather than longevity), but they certainly do tend to be excellent layers and I don’t think (at least the one side I’ve ever known) they’re any more likely to have behavioural issues that would make them less suitable to have around children than most other breeds.

That said, if they’re going to be enclosed in a 3m run and you want good pets, you’d be hard pressed to beat pekin bantams. Although their eggs are very small and they’ll take a break for a few months over winter, they’ll never fail to keep you entertained and tend to be very friendly. 

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I heard that bantams tend to be a bit more flighty and we will be letting them out of their run so it prefer something a bit slower and bigger I think. It took months to choose the coop and now I think it will take months to choose the breed!

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2 hours ago, mullethunter said:

If the run is to be permanently sited I would first lay paving slabs slightly larger than the area of the run and house and enough sticking out behind the house for you to stand on to clean out (it’ll get muddy in the winter otherwise). Then put the house and run on the slabs. Then put heavy bricks or blocks on top of the skirt to hold the whole lot down. I would then put some sort of kickboard around the bottom of the run and fill to a few inches deep with a material of your choice (hardwood chips or aubiose are popular choices). You’ll need the run to be covered in wet weather too (so more or less permanently really)

I know at first it seems like it would be better to put it straight on the ground, but they’ll eat and dig up the grass in a matter of days and it’ll become a horrid muddy mess in no time at all.

Exciting times! What chickens are you getting? How long is the run?

Ditto what she said :-D

From experience, bantams are no more lightly than some hybrids. It really depends on each bird or breed rather than size, and how you handle them. For instance, I have (rather a lot of!) bantams and they are pretty tame, I don't over-handle them, just when necessary but they are mainly calm and biddable. A neighbour with smal kiddies has very flappy bantams, but then the children are always mithering them, and I'd be inclined to run away myself it that were the case.  If you decide on hybrids, then look at Columbian/Cotswold black tails - they are lovely red hens with soft plumage and black on their tails and wings. I like to include them in the demo birds on my courses as they like a good handling and are pretty calm.

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Posted (edited)

Whatever breed you get, add interest to the run with perches etc if they are to be confined.  I’d have no more than 3 bantams in a standard Classic run.  Even then, it’s good to let them out at times.  

I have had lots of rescue hens and they all vary in friendliness, but most are fantastic with people and children when they’ve settled down. Remember all chickens are pterodactyls at heart though! Arm yourself with a first aid kit of purple spray etc for when the pecking gets out of hand.  It’s usually related to boredom though. 

Many of us on here use aubiouse, a hemp based bedding, rather than woodchip. I find it easier to clean.  The run must be covered though.  Use a clear tarpaulin from somewhere like tarparflex, secured by bungees, or those clear plastic roof panels from somewhere like Wickes.  

You will probably want to expand your flock  soon-  it’s addictive! 

Edited by Patricia W

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If you have a classic, then it's easy enough to make a clear waterproof cover with a transparent shower curtain and some of those punch in plastic eyelets that you get from Millets or online. I still have a classic for introductions and hospitalisation, and a couple of the shower curtain run covers that I made have survived.

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