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Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Chicken Update

I haven't wanted to post this one because I am still upset about it, but sadly now we only have 2 chickens as one died, my favourite chicken Ruby :o( Apparently we can't have more ex batts at the moment as Nessa is a bit of a bully and has been pecking at Clara's back. I must confess I am tempted by the lure of Light Sussex hens, but ex batts are so lovely in temperament and I would feel guilty if the space didn't go to another ex batt. You can only increase your chicken population in two's as they need an ally against the existing hens who will bully them at first, until the pecking order is rearranged and everybody knows their place.

The good news is that the remaining two chookins now made friends and Clara's feathers are at last grown in, although she looks a bit purple at the moment from the anti pecking spray which contains gentian violet extract. The picture at the top is Clara, bless her.

I am tempted by the idea of making my own chicken coop, or wire enclosed run. With more space to roam we could increase the size of the flock in the coming years. I am very tempted by an Eglu Cube, but the price is a bit prohibitive!

This is an affiliated link to a groovy site where you can essentially buy plans to create your own chicken housing. I could really do with a spare coop for when I need to introduce more hens (that's more hens as opposed to moorhens!).

Chickens eat what ever grass or weeds are inside the run within the space of a week. We have 4 Greyhounds and the grass has all but stopped growing for winter so we have decided to made a temporary static base for the chicken run. We've chosen half log style low edging and soft wood chips. They will still need to be changed once a month, but at least we won't have to keep moving the run weekly and will conserve some lawn until spring to keep the mud at bay.

We are enjoying this programme at the moment Giles and Sue Live the Good Life. I suggest you check it out if you are interested in self sufficiency, chicken keeping etc etc (BBC2 Monday 21:00). The write up reads "In celebration of The Good Life's 35th birthday, Giles Coren and Sue Perkins step back in time to 1975 to find out what it takes to make the self-sufficient dream a reality".


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