Steve Austin

The Marmalade Kid
Easiest animal ever to keep. but they will need more space than that


Cycling in Scotland
Auld Reekie
That should be plenty of space, say goodbye to any grass or other vegetation you might have, and don't forget to lock them in at night.


User76 said:
I am thinking of getting some chickens. Live ones, for eggs. I have seen a kind of self-contained ark and run, about 12' long 3' wide and the ark is 3' square and same high.

So, are they easy to keep? We live on an executive development (honest, it said so in the brochure!!) and have a garden about 15m square. Is this space big enough? Would I have to let the flea ridden little buggers out of their run?

Any thoughts and experience greatly appreciated.
That's not a garden Maggot, it's an executive clothes drying facility :blush:

Just keep buying the eggs. If you think they are flea ridden little buggers, perhaps you should just keep watching re-runs of The Good Life.

Graham O

New Member
Give them a go. You'll never want to buy an egg again. We used to have half a dozen and always had more eggs than we could eat. Don't go for the pure breeds but try hybrids such as Black Rocks or Shavers which produce plenty of eggs. As to letting them out, think of their "happiness" rather than your garden. They are giving you eggs so give them some freedom. And they are quite entertaining to watch.

I've got a book on poultry keeping looking for a new home, so if you pm me with an address, I'll send them to you.

Hope that helps.


Smutmaster General
How close are your neighbours? If you want to be a good neighb, consult with them first. Or keep your chickens in small cages.:blush: Oh, just remembered when i were a lad, chicken farm up the road, totally free range, huge farmyard, farmer's mrs says just go in the yard and find a dozen....eggs found under bushes etc, niceness!


I would guess 15m should be plenty for a few chickens. They can't fly very well, so as long as you've got high fences they won't be able to escape.
And when they're getting on a bit and their laying days are over, what could be more fun than picking them off with a crossbow from your kitchen window for a roast.
bonj said:
And when they're getting on a bit and their laying days are over, what could be more fun than picking them off with a crossbow from your kitchen window for a roast.

:blush::biggrin: Very good, bonj! Speaking from experience, eh!


Just call me Chris...
We've got chickens, can highly recommend it :smile:

The Rhode Island Reds are the quietest IME, the Black rocks are lovely but do make a bit of noise.

There's quite a bit of info on google about keeping them, the run you have is plenty large enough for half a dozen although the guidelines probably recommend you could keep a lot more than that.

They do like being let out, but they will peck at any plants or any greenery. They do a great job digging the veggy patch over in the Autumn/Winter too :smile:
We rarely let ours out during the growing season but will occasionally when the Daughter is employed on veggy plot guarding and "shooing" duties :smile:

They've got quite strong characters as well, surprisingly. We've got rather attached to ours :blush:
You'll be amazed at how good a proper free range chicken looks as well. Ours are now huge, glossy cat scaring buggers :smile:

BTW, they supposed to stop laying when the days shorten. I forget what the trigger is but I believe its when there's less than 14 hours of daylight (google will reveal all.)
You get round it by supplying artificial lighting, it doesn't have to be bright.
Saying that, we've stopped doing that as it seemed unatural, our chickens continue to lay but at about half the rate we get during the longer days.


I have two hens - paid a fortune for an Eglu ( but it is very conveneint and low maintenance. It has a tray to catch their poo which I empty into the compost, and I clean out the run with a jetwash every 3 weeks or so.

They're brilliant pets, but it's best to fence off and sacrifice an area of your garden as they dig up everything. We buy a balanced organic feed for them, but they also love corn, pasta, and veg scraps.

You won't want to eat a shop bought egg again!

Just make sure they're locked up inside their run when it gets dark, or Mr Fox will have them.
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