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Have you found where you are going to put it and decider what type of flooring you'll use? Bet you can't wait for the chickens to arrive. 

Have you decided on what sort of Bantams you want. Like you I've been guided into choosing bantams for my go up.

I'm so envious of your lovely eglu and accessories. My eglu experience was the opposited (missing and broken parts, rust, sunbleaching and even chicken poop). Anyway, it will look as good as new with new panels and a lick of paint.

I'm hoping I can get the bantams by middle of March when I have two weeks annual leave and can let them out into the garden.

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10 hours ago, Microstead said:

Have you found where you are going to put it and decider what type of flooring you'll use? Bet you can't wait for the chickens to arrive. 

Have you decided on what sort of Bantams you want. Like you I've been guided into choosing bantams for my go up.

I'm so envious of your lovely eglu and accessories. My eglu experience was the opposited (missing and broken parts, rust, sunbleaching and even chicken poop). Anyway, it will look as good as new with new panels and a lick of paint.

I'm hoping I can get the bantams by middle of March when I have two weeks annual leave and can let them out into the garden.

We're putting it at the back corner of the garden meaning we will be able to see it from our extension and kitchen. 

 

Not decided on which type of bantam yet, we'll be getting our hens mid feb.

 

Reference the flooring, we are just leaving it in one place on the grass then will peg down some membrane and put thick wood chips or aubiose. What's recommended?

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I would put slabs down and then put woodchips or aubiose on that. I seem to remember that experiments with membranes weren’t too successful with folk on this forum. 

Do keep in mind that a run with aubiose needs to be absolutely dry.

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You're right - people who tried membrane some years back found that it trapped mould and 'poop soup' underneath. Mine are slabbed underneath, with Aubiose inside, I have kickboards round the edge to keep the litter inside and it stays clean and dry for ages.

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Finally put kick boards around mine last weekend so I could have deeper woodchip - brilliant! Only taken me 4 years 😂

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Have you found where you are going to put it and decider what type of flooring you'll use? Bet you can't wait for the chickens to arrive. 

Have you decided on what sort of Bantams you want. Like you I've been guided into choosing bantams for my go up.

I'm so envious of your lovely eglu and accessories. My eglu experience was the opposited (missing and broken parts, rust, sunbleaching and even chicken poop). Anyway, it will look as good as new with new panels and a lick of paint.

I'm hoping I can get the bantams by middle of March when I have two weeks annual leave and can let them out into the garden.

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5 hours ago, Cat tails said:

I would put slabs down and then put woodchips or aubiose on that. I seem to remember that experiments with membranes weren’t too successful with folk on this forum. 

Do keep in mind that a run with aubiose needs to be absolutely dry.

I'll probably do that before the winter then, I'll keep it on grass untill then.

 

What do you reccomend for on top of the slabs?

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Grass... you are so optimistic! I won’t give the grass more than 2 weeks and I think even that is optimistic thinking. 

I actually have them on dirt with paving slabs dug in. But it depends on if you can get the run 100% dry. If you can, then probably aubiose, although I have no experience with it other then in the gerbil cage. Otherwise woodchips are better.

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I was thinking of putting down a sand with a membrane on top then some astroturf (loosely) on top of that. 

 

I could put wood chips on top of the astroturf and wheb it needs cleaned just lift the astroturf and empty it into my compost bin, hose it down and put it back with some wood chips on top.

 

This makes it easy to clean,  any water/rain will drain through the astroturf/membrane/sand.

 

Does this sound like a visble option?

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Slabs seem to be the way forward to mitigate a mudbath! What you really need to take into account is that it's all very well tiddling around outside cleaning the accommodation, run etc in the warmer, better weather but, when it's freezing and/or blowing a houlie you'll want something that you can manage quickly and efficiently!!!! There speaks the voice of experience from someone who got their set up in the warm, Spring weather and had to change things once the cold set in 😂. It has to be safe and comfortable for the girls but also managable, workable and practical for you!

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I've already got a small patio behind an apple tree where I will place the run with woodchips. I'm going to order a cube combination cover as it will almost completely cover the run an keep the chooks dry. I've bought bamboo edging to go around the sides of the run to stop the cooks kicking all the woodchips out too. Now I have to plan where a compost bin will fit to put all the poop and old bedding.

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Others may well correct me but I was told to keep the poop seperate as it's very alkaline? I 'composted' it seperately then spread it on the garden.......can't recall where this came from or why but I'm sure others will know better 😎. We let it rot down for a season before using it. Several friends had allotments and fought to take it off my hands once 'rotted down'!

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The combi cover is a good one in summer, but I think it will be too dark in winter. A clear cover can be used in all weather.

1 hour ago, Tricky78 said:

I was thinking of putting down a sand with a membrane on top then some astroturf (loosely) on top of that. 

I could put wood chips on top of the astroturf and wheb it needs cleaned just lift the astroturf and empty it into my compost bin, hose it down and put it back with some wood chips on top.

This makes it easy to clean,  any water/rain will drain through the astroturf/membrane/sand.

Does this sound like a visble option?

If astroturf is a fancy compost, I wouldn’t mix it with wood chips. Have had wood chips in the run before mixing in with the dirt and it turned horrible. Very clumpy and stayed wet for ages. Chickens dig and scratch and will mix it all up and scratch at the membrane. 

Really do read up on experiences of others on here, as I seem to remember that sand isn’t the best draining material and turns to poopy sludge quickly.

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Microstead your idea sounds spot on - I think you’ll get on well with that. I put the poo and woodchip in with the rest of my compost and it seems fine - when I do a big clear out I use it as garden mulch.

Tricky78 - not so sure about your idea. I didn’t know astroturf was porous - but if it is, what will wash through to the sand won’t be clean water so the sand will end up a horrible stinking sludge I would imagine. I also can’t really picture how loose astroturf would work - chickens dig and scratch and then pull at everything and they’re surprisingly strong.

CT - astroturf is fake grass like they use for sports pitches.

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1 hour ago, soapdragon said:

Others may well correct me but I was told to keep the poop seperate as it's very alkaline? I 'composted' it seperately then spread it on the garden.......can't recall where this came from or why but I'm sure others will know better 😎. We let it rot down for a season before using it. Several friends had allotments and fought to take it off my hands once 'rotted down'!

OK, so neat chicken manure is too strong to go straight on bedding plants and needs to go through the compost first. However, you can dig it neat into a fallow veg plot in the winter and it will break down enough for veg.

My composters are all full of chicken manure and Aubiose, so my neighbour takes all mine for her allotment.

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2 hours ago, mullethunter said:

CT - astroturf is fake grass like they use for sports pitches.

Ah! Thanks for that! I agree with Mullethunter, pretty sure chickens can also destroy astroturf. Mine have ripped through root barrier fabric. And a bored chicken will also have a field day plucking all the plastic sprigs off.

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6 hours ago, Cat tails said:

The combi cover is a good one in summer, but I think it will be too dark in winter. A clear cover can be used in all weather.

I hoped this would work the coop and run will have light coming in from the south and west and all round the stand, only the eastern side, which is shady anyway would be shaded in winter. In summer I would reverse the combi cover, so the west is shaded and fold the clear bit back. Its onlg going to be used ifs raining, windy or if the apple tree isnt enough shade. 

I can't believe the number of things I've had to do research on since I bought the eglu. Who knew chicken keeping could be so complicated?

I've wanted chickens for years, but until December I thought I could just buy an eglu, get some chickens and put them both on my lawn like the omlet adverts, simple's.  I really wasn't expecting to have to make so many decisions about other stuff like run floors, bedding,  cleaning and sanitizing products for the coop and run and dust baths and what to do with all the  chicken poop etc. I've had to learn a lot and there's so much more to learn!

 

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I leave my cover on all autumn, winter and most of spring. But if planning a run with woodchips, it is recommended to keep your run covered year round. When using aubiose, it’s a must.

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And don’t worry about it all! It’s down to you in the end and we have all been there. I actually started with gras... for a a whole 2 weeks... it has been dirt ever since! 😉

We have all made mistakes and we try to inform new keepers as best as we can, so you can avoid some easy mistakes. But like I said, in the end you should make your own decision and we don’t know everything! 

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 I'm home this week (i work overseas) and are looking to pick our hens soon but we won't be picking them up until the 21st as we are away to Disneyland Paris and didn't want to leave them for someone to look after for the 4 days.

We were hoping to get some Bantams but the ones we were hoping to get have been sold.

 

Does anyone have any reccomendations as to what type of hens would be best? We are looking for something that will be fairly placid.

 

I still haven't decided on what flooring I should have in my coop, there are so many contrasting views. I'm thinking of a pea gravel under a menbrane with a french drain. I am looking at wood chips on top of the menbrane.

 

Has anyone had any experience or reviews of this automatic coop door opener for the go up?

https://www.hentronix.co.uk/mainstore/hentronix-handle-operated-coop-opener

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnQE9peSyq4

 

What should I buy in preperation for getting my hens?

 

Thanks.

 

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4 hours ago, Tricky78 said:

Does anyone have any reccomendations as to what type of hens would be best? We are looking for something that will be fairly placid.

 

I still haven't decided on what flooring I should have in my coop, there are so many contrasting views. I'm thinking of a pea gravel under a menbrane with a french drain. I am looking at wood chips on top of the menbrane.

 

Has anyone had any experience or reviews of this automatic coop door opener for the go up?

https://www.hentronix.co.uk/mainstore/hentronix-handle-operated-coop-opener

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lnQE9peSyq4

 

What should I buy in preperation for getting my hens?

 

Thanks.

 

Hi,

I made a recent post called hybrids v proper breeds and in that there are several suggestions about nice starter bantams. I'm going for Sussex bantams and wyndottes,  both are sup posed to be fairly placid and friendly and look like chickens and have a good egg laying capabilities. However they can fly so will need their wings clipped if I don't want them in the neighbours garden. 

I understand your desire to put a membrane down but that is likely to stop,drainage, get scratched and eaten by then hens and wI'll be a barrier for worms and other critters that your hens will like to scratch the ground for so they can eat them.

 

The hentronix opener looks good but you may net need one. Lots of people leave the coop door open at night but if you don't have a secure garden foxes can and have gotten hold of birds through the gaps in the wire of the run. I'm going to leave my door open and put the girls breakfast in a hanging peck toy overnight so,they have breakfast in the morning and hopefully won't cause a ruckus and annoy the neighbours and I get to have a lie in. Win Win. Lots of people only close the door when it's gets really cold in below minus -3. Chikens deal much better with the cold.

 

Things I have purchased as a beginner

1. I'm let starter pack plus This includes disinfectant, poutlty shield and diatom acoustic earth (this is for cleaning the coop but you can feed them a bit of de) ground sanitizer (stops smells and kills worm eggs), grit which they need to digest their food, bedding for the coop, verm x (good for chicken tummies and reducing tummy bugs/worms, pouty spice ( minerals to keep them healthy and apple cider vinegar to put in their water when it's not summer ( good for their tummies and egg shells)

2. Some purple spray for any cuts.

3.chicken food and corn/seed mix ( you should start with whatever your breeder feeds them and gradually change over to your preferences choice over the period of a week)

4. Nettex vit plus (helps them deal with stress such as a move or when moulting or ill)

5. Nettex nutrition drops for when they are feeling poorly. DM says it will revive anything That's already dead

5. Pet cage, to carry home (with a towel over it), take them to the vets, seperate if one is ill or bullied or hang from a tree if broody)

6. Vet tape in case of injuries

6 wound powder/anibiotic powder for injuries

7 needless syringes to feed them with drops or tonic if I'll

8. Leg clips if your chickens look similar so you can tell them apart if one is ill. 

9. Small bowl to put the griti in

10. Washing up bowl,for dirt bath so that I can add DE, sand and dirt. I think this is really important for chickens to,socialise and rid themselves of mites

11. If your going to use wood chips you will need so ething around the edge of the run to stop it being kicked out by the chickens, some use lengths of 2 by 4s, some garden edging strips. I've gone for rolls of 6inch bamboo edging

Have a look at the threads I'm started recently. Lots of good advice on them for beginners

 

 

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Brilliant,  thanks very much for the informative detailed reply.

I like the idea of the hanging peck toy, means you can leave food out for them to eat in the morning without worrying about attracting rats.

 

Which peck toy is good for this?

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