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Hi everyone - Brum England :)

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Garona, Sep 6, 2014.

  1. Garona

    Garona Out Of The Brooder

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    So I saw this a little after i posted asking for my chick breeds so I thought whoops! Better say hi. :)

    SO I'll let you guys know a little about myself and hopefully you won't mind me and my chickens.

    First off, me and my partner have aspergers, and we are into sustainable living in a big way with my partner alan (i'm steph). We own two allotments together one main crop and one permaculture and I am building a large scale aquaponics polytunnel system on the permaculture one at the moment. We post regularly on our blog about foraging, growing food, upcycling materials, bushcraft, mycology, chickens and preserving food etc. We are also avid homebrewers and make something close to 144 bottles of wine every 4-8 weeks and sometimes have a bit of cider or chequer ale in there too. We are quite addicted and try to have "completely free" meals where ever possible.

    My partner alan works by day on a further two allotments teaching the local community how to grow and cook healthy cheap food and helping vulnerable adults get outside and be active and learn new work skills.

    I stay at home being all housewifey and working as a freelance graphic designer while I wait for uni to start.

    Because we are so nuts on sustainability we keep expanding our family to encompass more food sources and little helpers. So we have a mini "test system" aquaponics on our fish tank which grows cress, microgreens and gem lettuces. The tank contains zebra fish and snails but the aquaponics system on the allotment will contain edible fish instead.

    We have a cat as a pet but we find him remarkably useful keeping the rats away especially as our home backs onto a sloped forest bit.

    We then decided to get 2-4 chickens. We had it in the back of our minds on the eternal "to do list", but it was only when we stumbled upon a free rabbit hutch being given away by a nearby neighbour that we seriously invested in the idea. (we can't afford to buy a real chicken hutch and run so this was a stroke of luck!) WE worked hard converting the hutch into a chicken suitable home and repaired it a little. Then we built a run using pallet wood and chicken wire. Then our friend who keeps chickens himself was so pleased with the idea he ran out that day with us to buy us some chickens. We picked up two and noted they seemed a little large, but didn't know anything about chicken breeds yet, we got a big sack of pellets and a bale of straw and got them home. Indeed, they were large fowl and to our discouragement they were definitely going to have to have a bigger run! (they are cuckoo marans and light sussex)

    Not long afterwards however, our cuckoo marans became broody and something had to be done. Naturally in true chicken style she picked the nest box that was very high up in the hutch so we had to get her moved anyway.

    Then as luck would have it we found an entire shed relatively intact in a skip and we carried it home (with a lot of sweating and cursing), we sectioned off a whole half of our garden with the shed panels as fences and topped it off with chicken wire as our light sussex is a bit flighty. We moved the hutch inside and made another small next box for the broody out of a discarded bedside cabinet and surrounded it with the old run to protect the future chicks from the light sussex.

    We had 6 eggs but only two hatched :( Of these two, one chick managed to escape and got pecked to death by the light sussex after only a day or two after hatching. After this we put another barricade across the run as a third barrier just in case.

    Not happy with just one chick from our broody, we ran out with the intention of buying 4 more chicks... we ended up with 7 x 2 week old chicks we got for cheap because we bought them all together. I converted an old computer desk into a second hutch/brooder to keep them inside and warm and now they have been integrated into the main flock outside and the second hutch is outside too.

    So after all that we ended up with 10 chickens :p the sections and old run have now been removed and they all just wander about where they please. Sometimes the light sussex gets to have a mooch about the rest of the garden on her own or on the allotment. we are trying to arrange to get some more hutches to replace the converted PC desk when we can get a car for it but in the meantime they are quite happy there.


    Hmmm I think that's the story of us all sorted now if you can sit through that wall of text. Feel free to ask questions :)
     
  2. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    Welcome to BYC. Glad you decided to join our flock. My wife and I visited England for our 37th wedding anniversary and had a wonderful time there. Everyone was very friendly and your countryside is beautiful with the green fields separated by hedge rows. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Cheers.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. Garona

    Garona Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi,

    Thanks for the warm welcome :D

    I don't think I have anything as stunning as some of the american landscapes i see in pictures but alas I have never been. Glad you popped around the england though! It's the wild forests that are the little gems I like the most. I have no idea what area you went to that was friendly though hehe. Backyard chicken farming has really taken up the inner cities by storm though, but im aiming to one day have one of those cute little farm cottages and free range chickens..
     
  4. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

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    At our lodge
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    Wow! Great intro!

    Good luck with your flock!:)
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. Garona

    Garona Out Of The Brooder

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    thank you mountain peeps :) from the looks of the advice in hte guess the sex thread, I think we will end up having to get rid of quite a few! so I think we will replace them with POL pullets when this happens. I like a big family :D
     
  6. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Chicken Obsessed

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    We spent some time in London and then out in the country between London and South Downs National Park. We meet three British couples while we were there who were really friendly and surprised us with an anniversary cake. :eek:)
     
  7. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi Steph (and Alan) and welcome.

    You have a very interesting approach to life and it was really interesting to read about it.
    I think your next project needs to be a colony of honey bees or two. I have made several hives from reclaimed materials and you can attract a swarm for free. They are very complimentary to allotments and permaculture and you can make mead from the honey if you are into home brewing.

    Anyway, just wanted to say "hi" and welcome and congrats on your expanding chicken project. I hope they continue to thrive. It's great to hear other people's ideas for recycling. I have an old sideboard that I use as a brooder. Took the drawers out of one end and put mesh over the front. Cut holes big enough for a chicken to get through from 1 compartment to the next and the one I was given even has a door that is hinged at the bottom that was the drinks cabinet end and it acts great as an entry ramp.

    I will look forward to reading more of your exploits as post them.

    Regards from Up North

    Barbara
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. LIChickens

    LIChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Welcome to BYC!

    You will find a lot of good information. Ask a question and you will get many good answers.

    Read the FAQ below.
     
  9. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

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    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]We're glad to have you.
     
  10. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    So glad you could join our community!

    Make yourself at home here and we do welcome you to our flock!
     

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