Questions - do I have enough room?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by sphanges, Mar 19, 2013.

  1. sphanges

    sphanges Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 16, 2013
    Hi all,

    I'm wondering if I have suitable conditions to keep chickens. I'd love someone with experience to advise me! I saw some lovely bantams the other days when I was picking up quail and it got me wondering.

    First of all, I am in an area that allows up to 6 hens per suburban household, so that's fine.

    I have a 500sqm property, more or less (about 1/8th of a acre). The backyard has 6ft high fences. The entire backyard is grassed except for a small deck, but as it's a new house it doesn't have any trees or bushes yet. I plan to plant some trees and make a raised veggie garden over this coming year (fenced if I have chooks).

    The grass is quite short and a little motheaten since we have had very little rain recently. At the edge of the section there is an area with longer grass where a lot of crickets and small lizards hang out.

    I also have a few quail pens on the grass and an enclosure with rabbits and guinea pigs.

    If I bought chickens I would probably only get 2 or 3 and I would have a chook house somewhere sheltered, with an attached run for nights but would let them out during the day to roam my property and forage. I already feed my quail and other animals a variety of fresh and formulated foods every day, and would read up on the nutritional needs of laying hens and provide a good balanced diet.

    Do you think that's a workable situation for 2 or 3 bantam hens? What about full size hens? My sister says I don't have enough insects for them to eat in my yard as I don't have trees and bushes. I always thought I could supplement extra protein if the insects were scarce - am I wrong about this? Is it really too small to support even a pair of hens? I wouldn't want them to be unhappy :(

    Love to hear your advice.

    Cheers
    B
     
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    You probably have enough room for two to three bantam hens.

    You'll have to buy feed for them.

    Good luck.
     
  3. jackhorn01

    jackhorn01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 10, 2012
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    It sounds like to me you have room for what you are talking about, just feed them a good grower feed and when you find the first egg switch them to layer pellets. Thats all they need. You can offer some oyster shell and grit in seperate containers if you wish but its not a requirement once they are on laying feed, it is fortified with extra calcium. I always still offer it all to mine. I like taking extra good care of my animals and love doing it. The general rule of thumb for standard size chickens is 4 sq feet per bird in the coop and 10 for the run. If they free range your backyard all day and only are in the coop at night, what you are saying should do fine.
     
  4. BunkyB

    BunkyB Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sounds like you have tons of space. Free range birds do not need all that much space even. Don't worry chickens can find all kinds of goodness in the grass and of course the grass itself. Tall grass and banties = adventures for the banties...lol. As for the 6 foot fence, you are good as long as there is no way under the fence. A little 1/4 " roll of chicken wire around the escape routes and you should be set to go. Sounds like fun for the birds... Good luck. Steve
     
  5. You should have room for some hens. You will need to buy food for them but having greens and bugs only meens they will eat less of the food.
    Good Luck!
     
  6. sphanges

    sphanges Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 16, 2013
    Thank you all for your replies. I already have sacks of food for the quail in my garage so adding another few of layer pellets won't hurt :) I don't mind feeding them as I understand they could hardly get enough sustenance on my section. I think my sister thinks that the only protein a chook should eat is from insects which seemed pretty odd to me! She feeds layer pellets and scraps too so I have no idea what's going on with the assumption. Anyway, thanks for clarifying it for me. I will go back to my bird shop next weekend and start investigating the idea :)

    Cheers
    B
     

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