Before you keep Chickens
Family, neighbours, pets, will they get on with your Hens?
As I write this and after much media publicity about Battery Farming and the rescue of Caged Hens, there are many more people who want to keep chickens, either for Pets or to simply know where their food is coming from.
At the same time as this, there is also much desire for people to be more self-reliant by growing their own Vegetables and even, like me, giving up a well paid job to 'do your thing' !
So, the family have talked about keeping Chickens, the Kids are over excited on Cloud 9 and you set about finding where to get them from, how to house them, what to feed them with etc.
What may not be discussed so much are some of the more practical matters.
Here's a few to consider........
HolidaysIs there someone who will tend to them when you're away ? If so, can you rely on them being there every day?
Your GardenIf you intend letting your chickens free-range , can you put up with clearing the poo and repairing some holes here and there (well almost everywhere)?
You could be without your favourite flowers next year!
Will they be safe in it ? (Ponds are a problem and Chickens can't swim)
Yours and Neighbours Pets
Will your, or others, Dogs and Cats take kindly to birds taking over their territory?
Cleaning and Maintenance
Does your schedule allow sufficient time to clean out a Chicken House and Run. This will include having a Shower afterwards!
Most important - Where do you see things six months down the line
Ex-Battery ChickensEx-Battery Hens need a bit of TLC to begin with. Some can't take the change and may die after a few weeks. Also they are renowned for their impishness! They tend to skuffle more and it may be some time before they get to good 'normal' health.
If you've made your decision - GREAT - welcome to the Club!
Chickens will give you an immense amount of pleasure, you'll find yourself becomg a 'Hen Anorack', boring every colleague with yesterdays stories from down the Coop!
But it is wise to consider every detail(see Keeping ex-battery hens ),. It's a major addition to your Household. But if it all comes off OK, you'll never be without them.