Monday, 31 January 2011

More on chickens

The chickens are well settled in now, they seem to keep the same order on the perch at night, left to right, the 2 bantams, the cockerel and the 2 Araucanas. Rocky has been strutting his stuff and crowing in response to the cockerels at Dave's, Matt's and Graham's. They were all crowing when we had the full moon last week, about 3.30 in the morning.

I hope our new neighbours in the house next door (when it's sold) don't make a fuss like Bernard and Audrey did with Chris's cockerels and made him get rid of them. For various reasons they left the village. It seems very stupid to me to move into the country and then complain about country noises like chickens and dogs barking.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Happy Chickens

The chickens are quite happy and settling down in their new home. The first couple of nights Rocky slept on the floor, now he is using the perch, they  manage to all get on there, although we are putting in an extra one to make it more roomy as it's difficult for the last chicken to get on the perch.

We finished the wire round the run today although we are short of some wire mesh so used a couple of old doors temporarily just so they can get out in the fresh air. We bought some shade mesh to cover the top of the run to stop them flying out. When we let them out in the rest of the garden we will clip their wings but it's not necessary right now. The shade mesh is only secured on the four corners until we finish it tomorrow, but we wanted to let them out. Phil opened the shed door and grabbed the chickens and put them out in the run, they are noisy birds, but once out they settled down to a little pecking and grass eating from the clumps of grass I put in the run. We had to open the shed door again to get them back in as they're not used to the pop hole yet, hopefully they should start using that tomorrow. We have a few odds and ends to do but not so much of a rush for that and I still haven't taken any photos.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Chickens successfully moved in

Finally the chicken shed is finished. I will need to paint it again as the rain washed off some of the paint, we need a really dry day to dry everything out. Tonight we went down to our neighbours and picked up the 5 chickens. They have been successfully introduced to their new home, although the run is not finished because the ground is waterlogged after heavy rainfall this afternoon. One of the black bantams managed to pull her claw (the nail part so it will regrow) off in the move but it has stopped bleeding, thank goodness.

They have not been used to perches, but when we checked through the window about an hour after we put them in the shed, all the hens were on the perch but the cockerel Rocky (after Chicken Run) was still on the floor. I will check before I go to bed to see if he is up there as well. They had a try of their new food (organic layers pellets) and I have boiled up some potato peelings to go with some veg scraps left over from dinner the other day. I will add that to some pellets along with the Poultry Spice conditioning powder. At least one of the hens is laying, so hopefully they will enjoy their new nest boxes and make good use of them.

We don't have enough chainlink to finish the run, so we ae thinking about getting some 3 ft chicken wire. overlapping it and using that. Chicken wire is quite cheap, 50m of 38mm by 900mm mesh is £25 plus £10 postage, far cheaper than chain link. It obviously isn't as strong and won't last so long but it will do for now.

It's really exciting having chickens again. They made such a noise when Phil caught them, you'd have thought he was killing them. Hopefully they will get quite tame, I'd like to be able to hand feed them.

Off to bed now, I'm really tired because I dug a trench all round the run to take the netting. Pictures tomorrow.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011


Dave our neighbour gave us some plywood already cut to size to make a shed, although we are having the old one as well in case we want to get more chickens. The weather has been either wet or snowing which has really held us up, we were hoping to have the chickens by the end of last week, but Dave says no rush.

Phil has nearly finished the shed, we had 2 dry days which enabled him to get quite a bit done. I have to staple the wire mesh to the window and Phil make the nest box. The roof needs felting today and the shed painting. Sometime today we will pick up some posts for the run and a drinker from Regency Poultry. Hopefully we can get the chickens moved tomorrow. The weather is horrible, really windy and wet, fortunately Phil can make the nest box in his shed.

I have stapled the wire mesh on the window, painted the shed with cuprinol black ash, shaped the perch and felted the roof. Phil has nearly finished the nest box, just the partitions and lid to do. The window frame needs to be made tomorrow, I need to felt the lid of the nest box to waterproof it and I need to paint the nest box which will be green as I ran out of black ash. Two tone chicken shed, lol. It is actually beginning to look like a chicken shed and was much improved by the paint and felt. I really hope it will be done tomorrow, we can pick up the posts and start on the run in the afternoon as we didn't bother collecting them today. Chicken moving day tomorrow night. I will take some photos and post them tomorrow evening.

We went to Regency Poultry and bought a drinker and also had a look at their baby black micro pigs, so sweet, but £200 each. You can keep them indoors like dogs, wonder what the cats would think of that. Full grown they are just below knee level, about 12 - 14 inches high.


Wednesday, 5 January 2011

New chickens

We have spent the last 2 days buildng a shed for our new chickens, well, Phil has been building it and I've creosoted the pallet and floor. Tomorrow it can be attached to the pallet