hello - new here and need some advice !

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by SimonG, Feb 3, 2008.

  1. SimonG

    SimonG New Egg

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    Feb 3, 2008
    hello

    My name is Simon and I live in the UK.

    Firstly well done on a great site and by the looks of things a great friendly forum.

    So onto the dilemma

    My home has a relatively small garden - approx 10 metres by 5 metres in a typical anywhereUK housing estate and I am thinking of getting some chickens because

    1) I fancy fresh eggs
    2) I am trying to become more self sufficient.
    3) I prefer getting closer to the food source

    So I need some advice please:

    1) I have a cat and the area has a fair few cats - will this pose a problem if I let my chickens free run in the garden?
    2) I dont really want a run (sorry this might not be the correct term) as the garden has plenty of undergrowth for chickens to forage in so I am thinking of just getting them back in the coop each night - is this feasible? Should I clip wings? Is that ethical?
    3) will they wreck my garden by scratching everything up? I am in the process of changing a border into my "crop garden" and the kids will still want to play football (soccer) on the lawn.

    I would really appreciate your feedback and apologies if I have put this in the wrong room.

    Oh and just to let you all know - you were mentioned in the Sunday Times so expect more traffic!
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2008
  2. Josie

    Josie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Welcome!

    1) Cats are no problem. We have a huge roaming tom, among others, in the neighborhood and he has only been interested when they were small.

    2) They will be fine without a run, and can be encouraged to use the coop at night.

    3) Yes they will mess up your garden, and they will poop all over everything, including the place you want to play soccer.

    It is all so worth it!
     
  3. SimonG

    SimonG New Egg

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    Feb 3, 2008
    Quote:Hi Josie

    wow that was quick! Thanks for the reply and all good to know.

    Poop I can deal with - it rains so much in the "green and pleasant" land that it will act as fertiliser. its more scratching that I am worried about. I dont exactly own a lawn that is up to PGA golfing standards but then it is green and doesnt suffer bare patches. I would like it to stay that way.


    Also should I clip the wings as I dont fancy them ending up in next doors garden?

    Thanks again
     
  4. countryboy

    countryboy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 31, 2007
    cats are not a problem after the the chickens are grown. chicks on the other hand can't stand up for themselves and would need to be in a fully enclosed pen or run, nothing worse than feeding the neighborhood cats. [​IMG]
    welcome to the forum and enjoy life at every chance. [​IMG]


    in reference to your fence and clipping their wings. how high is your fence and what breed are you getting ?
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2008
  5. SimonG

    SimonG New Egg

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    Quote:Thanks for the welcome - I dont think I will get chicks as it is too daunting. I havent considered breeds yet - just thinking about logistics.

    I set up a environmental company that sells power saving devices for IT in January and I am trying my best to go back to basics - I am currently cooking up a chicken carcus to make a really rich stock and a soup. We are going to be making our own bread from this week (cheating and using a bread maker but organic flour). We have got really into recycling and I think we are now at about 80% recycling with a new compost bin and the usual recycling stuff - just plastic packaging left now and we are trying to find ways to minimise that. I am really enjoying life at the moment.

    Thanks again

    Simon

    EDIT:

    I dont know which breed - something that produces a good big egg on a regular basis

    Fence is about 5 and half foot tall

    TY
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2008
  6. countryboy

    countryboy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 31, 2007
    get a heavy breed and i don't think you will have a problem.
     
  7. sunnychooks

    sunnychooks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:That may or may not be a solution. I have all heavies and, although most of them don't fly over, a few have no problem flying over a 6' fence out of the chicken yard. I'm not sure about the wing clipping, since I've never done it, but I seem to remember a post on this forum about it. Perhaps a search will provide some more information.
     
  8. SimonG

    SimonG New Egg

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    Feb 3, 2008
    Thanks both - would be interested to know if anyone else clips wings but following the replies so far it looks as though this is a goer!
     
  9. Miltonchix

    Miltonchix Taking a Break

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    Be extra careful with chicks (up to 16 weeks) and cats. I lost 23 in one day to neighbors dead cat.
    As for free run in your small yard, it will be a mud hole in short order. With the amount of rain there and the way chickens scratch and dig, you'll have bare earth in days. I have 2 laying hens in a 24ft by 24ft coop that looks like fresh tilled earth. They turn the soil at least once every day. I may be contributing to this behavior by throwing scratch, but if it wasn't sand/clay mix it would be mud.
    Have you seen the "tractor" designs? The chickens could be confined to small areas of your yard at a time while allowing the scratched areas to recover.
    If you're only wanting enough eggs for yourself I'd get 2 of the Red Stars (sex links). I have 2 that lay 1 egg each, every day. Haven't missed a day since they started laying 4 months ago.
     
  10. Miltonchix

    Miltonchix Taking a Break

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    Be careful clipping wings. In case a cat does decide to go after one they need them to escape. They don't fly far and if you're fence is ...hmmmm, lets see........[​IMG] 2 meters (6ft) they probably won't get over anyway.
     

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