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Heeleyboy

Rescuing battery Hens, help and advice needed about space

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I’m taking delivery of an eglu go up tomorrow. I’ve read so much about keeping chickens but last night I read that the standard run only accommodates two hens. I’m already pretty anxious about keeping Hens because of the noise, smell and neighbours etc but equally I’m excited to rescue to a set of three girls. We’re in a terrace set of four houses. Our garden is fairly long but the fences are quite low so wasn’t planning planning to let them free range, only in the evenings when we’re in. I’m rescuing them from the BHWT at the end of June. I’m wondering whether to cancel my order and ditch my desire to keep chickens. I’m not sure I can accommodate the 3m run in my garden. What’s everyone else’s experience? Would it be evil to keep three rescued hens in a 2m run or can they happily get on with it? I suppose once we’ve put up the Eglu and sorted the garden there’s no turning back. I want to give them a good longer life and the BHTW only allow you to rescue a minimum of three. Any help greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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The Go runs are quite small compared with the Classic or Cube, so I'd recommend that you have a further extension before you get 3 hens. Do bear in mind that they will probably be in h run 24/7 during the winter, so you'll need as much space for them as possible. Any overcrowding could lead to bullying and pecking.

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I’m sorry but I wouldn’t recommend three full sized hens in a 2m Go run. I would get at least 3m. I’m pretty sure that you’d realise that yourself once you got them in there.

I got my Eglu Go with 2m run the week before I picked up my 4 bantams- I put it together the day I got it and immediately ordered a 1m extension because it was clearly going to be too small.

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Hi. I think you’ve got a couple of issues here. First, as others have said, 2m of run is not going to adequately accommodate 3 ex-commercial hens. You do need at least an extra metre. I’m a regional co-ordinator for BHWT and that’s what I would advise if you were on my rehoming list. I do have a rehoming on 30 June so you may well be on my list if you’re in or around the Berks area.

Secondly, if you are keeping the hens in the run all the time then do bear in mind how destructive they can be. It’s not just the poo but also the scratching and digging out holes for dust baths, etc. If you intend keeping the eglu on grass then that will very quickly trash your lawn, especially in winter. Better to site it somewhere permanently with a flooring of aubiose or wood chip or whatever. There’s lots of inspiration on here for what to use.

It’s great that you want to take on ex-commercial ladies and I hope you can sort a way through it as they are very rewarding little creatures and I am sure you’d love them.

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5 hours ago, Lydia said:

Hi. I think you’ve got a couple of issues here. First, as others have said, 2m of run is not going to adequately accommodate 3 ex-commercial hens. You do need at least an extra metre. I’m a regional co-ordinator for BHWT and that’s what I would advise if you were on my rehoming list. I do have a rehoming on 30 June so you may well be on my list if you’re in or around the Berks area.

Secondly, if you are keeping the hens in the run all the time then do bear in mind how destructive they can be. It’s not just the poo but also the scratching and digging out holes for dust baths, etc. If you intend keeping the eglu on grass then that will very quickly trash your lawn, especially in winter. Better to site it somewhere permanently with a flooring of aubiose or wood chip or whatever. There’s lots of inspiration on here for what to use.

It’s great that you want to take on ex-commercial ladies and I hope you can sort a way through it as they are very rewarding little creatures and I am sure you’d love them.

Thanks for your reply, and the others too. We’ll take your advice. 

Do you reckon it’s a possibility the BHWT will allow us to only have 2 or is it their policy to take 3 or more? To make things worse, Eglu are all out of 1m run extensions for the Go Up until the end of July. We do want to buy one, anyone know where I could source one before the end of June?

I just don’t know what to do for the best at this stage. Seems like someone is telling me I shouldn’t follow through with it!

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I have an Up with standard run, but attached my own make shift run. It’s just green garden fencing (the stuff that comes rolled up) covered with bird netting. It’s a very cheap and easy solution. But I have no foxes around.

I would suggest you get 3. If one dies, you are not left with a lone hen, which is harder to introduce to new hens.

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You could try to get one second hand, or maybe try ringing Omlet just in case they have one ex-display or something or a second hanging around that they could sell you. I’ve had a quick look on amazon and eBay and can’t see anything at the moment.

Failing that I’m pretty sure (Lydia will be able to confirm) that the BHWT rehome every 6 weeks or so, so difficult as it is you could wait until the next time.

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It depends on the region but, yes, BHWT aim to have rehomings every 6-8 weeks.

As you’re a first timer, I don’t think they would let you have just two. I would agree with that policy, just in case something happened to one of them, then you’d be left with a lone hen. It’s as much for the sake of the hens.

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1m extension coming tomorrow. Phew. 6 days until we pick up our three! Anxious but excited!!

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Yay, I'm glad you managed to get a another bit of run for your girls.

Can't wait to see pictures of your girls when you get them.

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