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Keeping Chickens in the UK Guide

Getting mites in your coop is pretty heart breaking, your poor hens will be itchy and uncomfortable. Red Mites along with other mites live on the bird but can

Chickens are becoming increasingly popular as pets in the UK as they are fairly easy to look after, have tremendous personalities and also give a little something back in the form of delicious eggs. We love every chicken we raise on our farm and want to make sure that each home they go to has a good idea of the best way of looking after our beautiful chickens. We are able to give you advice in person or via phone or email to make sure your chickens stay healthy and happy.

Before You Buy Chickens

It is important to get to grips with some basic facts about keeping chickens before rushing out and buying them. Chickens require attention every day, much like any other household pet. You should of course consider the size of your garden and whether it is suited to keeping chickens. Keep in mind, where are they going to sleep, where they will be allowed to roam, how to keep them fed and watered if you are way for a period of time and how to keep them safe from foxes and other potential predators. Once you have decided that keeping chickens is definitely something you would like to do then preparing their habitat before they arrive is important.

Buying a chicken house

This is likely to be the most expensive outlay for keeping your chickens and there are many different sizes and designs on the market available for you to purchase. It is often a case of getting what you pay for and cheaper houses will require regular wood treatments and other maintenance to ensure they are kept in good condition for keeping your chickens safe and warm inside. When purchasing a chicken coop inspect the quality and thickness of the wood which is a good indication of how long the coop will last. It is also possible to build your own coop, if you are so inclined. You should also check the coop has nest boxes, appropriate ventilation and perches for the birds to roost but also keep in mind the box will require regular cleaning and maintenance. And access should be easy for you to do this. The floor of the house can be covered in wood shavings, straw or chopped cardboard to keep the birds warm.

Chicken Access Areas & Safety

Chickens also require access to areas where they are able to stretch their legs. Many people allow their chickens to roam free around their gardens, which is ideal. There is also the option building a chicken run which should be built as large as possible to keep the birds happy. It should also be built securely, again to defend against predators.

We have already covered the importance of keeping your hens safe from predators and a couple of considerations to bear in mind when providing them with a home and exercise area. There are other ways you can keep the animals safe such as an automatic po-hole opener which will automatically open and close the doors of the house based on a timer to ensure that your chickens are safely locked inside the house at night and it will also open in the morning to let the chickens out.

Feeding Chickens

There are some brilliant, nutritionally balanced chicken feeds available to keep your chickens in the best possible condition. Many people believe that you can feed chickens on food scraps and let them forage for the rest, however, it is likely that they will miss out on important nutrients which is why we always suggest using formulated feeds. Layers Pellets are the best solution, although cheaper ones, such as mash, are available. If you are keeping a significant number of birds ensure there is enough space at your feeders, or that you have enough feeders, for all of your birds, as the pecking order may mean that some chickens may miss out on food. There are certain plants, such as rhubarb or potato leaves, that are poisonous to chickens. Ask us for a full list of these items. Keeping your chickens well fed on a nutritionally balanced diet is also good for you as they will produce more eggs!

Keeping your chickens Hydrated

As with any living thing, keeping your chickens well hydrated is of the utmost importance. You should ensure that the chickens always have enough clean drinking water. Similar to with the feeders, you should ensure that there are enough water containers for all of your chickens to have a drink, regardless of the pecking order. Containers should be large enough to last all day, with a bit left spare. Many people also add a splash of apple cider vinegar to the water which is proven to be good for chickens

Choosing Your Chickens

Now comes the fun bit, choosing which chickens you would like to keep. We have a beautiful range of chickens from you to choose from including Silkies, polish bantams, Cochin and more. You can view our buying guide on our website or give us a call and arrange a visit to see the chickens in the flesh!

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