New Member from Leeds, West Yorkshire


In the Brooder
May 8, 2017
Guiseley, Leeds
Hi there. I am a married 32 year old Yorkshire girl living in Leeds. I have two Bedlington Terriers and a rabbit and soon to have 4 added to my furry family too!

I thought I would introduce myself. Last year I rescued 4 "Warren" hens (roughly about 1/1.5 years old) after persuading my Dad to take another 4 for his huge allotment plot. I did this through the British Hen Welfare Trust. They all did brilliantly. They didn't look great when I got them but their plumages grew back quickly and they are all so happy now! They lay great eggs (on average one a day per hen). Recently one of them died but my Dad said (he's kept hens for over 20 years) that you can expect a 25% mortality rate so this is normal (is it?).....also I realise that I gave it a great last year of its life, after having a horrible life in its previous home (factory farm)! It didn't have anything wrong with it, it just croaked!

Anyhow, this Sunday I am getting another 4 hens, though the British Hen Welfare Trust again. This time its for MY garden! I have ordered a decent size Coop (it arrives tomorrow), all the correct feed, a feeder, drinker, the correct bedding and even a swing for them ha ha! I am so excited to see them in the garden. All the neighbours have been informed and have been great about it (probably cos I am not getting a rooster!) and I have ordered some lovely colourful "4 egg" boxes and free range labels too so I can start handing out my eggs to friends and family in an attempt to spread the word about how (hopefully) easy it is to keep you own chickens. my dad has given me lots of sound advice and I have done lots of reading about hens and how to keep them happy and healthy!

I am hoping joining BYC will be useful as and when in need questions answering, which I am sure there will be many!

Actually here goes....1st question.
We have a neighbour who has said she'll look after the hens whilst we go away for 1 week in june. the kind of feeder I have is a galvanised steel one with a bucket type lid and food comes out in a circle shape at the bottom (standard looking feeder).....will she just have to keep topping up their water and this feed? how can you control how much they eat so they don't just eat constantly with these feeders?

Another question long do eggs stay fresh?

And another (sorry!) Dad says that he has clipped the wings of a few of his more troublesome hens. He says this doesn't hurt them? what our stance on this? I don't think I like the sound of cutting anything off them to be honest but it may make me feel better about them potentially jumping my fence in case they do get out for whatever reason?

thank you
Nah then, Charlotte and welcome to BYC from someone born near junction 40 of the M1

To offer my opinions on your questions:

Not sure about hens living for 20 years, but hey - there's always an exception to the rule, but commercial layers don't seem to fare so well after a 3 years or so. They are bred to be egg-laying machines and it kinda snookers them faster than your average hen.

Yep, there's not much else for your neighbour to do but ensure that there is always food and water available. It's best to let your chickens eat as much as they like, when they like so I wouldn't be concerned about that.

Eggs can stay "fresh" for quite a while. Since you are only getting 4 hens, I'd doubt that you will be in a position for eggs to go bad. And for sure, a couple of weeks is fine IMO.

Wing clipping does not cause pain to a bird, providing it is not done too far down the feather shaft. If you chickens can see through a fence, they are more likely to try and fly over it. A solid fence helps to reduce the likelihood of this. At least initially, I doubt that your birds will have the wing muscle to manage such acrobatics - but they could do, once they get some exercise under their belts.

Generally, you'll find lots of info in the Learning Centre - and if you have a specific topic in mind, just type it in the search box - there's a wealth of information on past and present threads.

You may wish to consider joining the UK thread as it will put you in touch with other BYC members in your area -

All the best

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