Why keep Chickens in your Garden?

Forum Members tell us why they have Hens in the Garden!

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Why keep Chickens? For me it started with just a bit 'wanting to be rural' and do the right thing. Within weeks it had become more than that and in the space of a couple of years, I went from 3 hens to 33! Personally, I only keep ex-Battery Hens, but everyone to their own and why not!!
Here's some testimonials from Down the Lane Forum Members. For the full comments and more, visit the Forum

They are amazing birds, very docile, warm and affectionate. I love the way they jump up and down on me when I go in their run for treats. I love the way they sulk when I close the run door behind me. kaveri

The way they chase the cats around the garden just for the fun of it!! Or they flap their wings to scare my OH because they find it amusing lollove the fact that my children know where the eggs come from and have so much fun playing and feeding the girls & the egg citement on their faces when they see a new egg! dondon

The most surprising and rewarding thing that the hens have done for this family is bring a smile and interest to my elderly housebound mum, she hates the winter and gets the blues but when the girls are out roaming round the garden it gives her a lot of amusement, which is great. She loves their frilly knickers and the way they stand on 1 leg for ages . Alex and Annie

My Hens are beautiful. They thunder out of their cube in the morning, and have a drink and something to eat. As its really cold I give them some warm porridge corn and a few meal worms . Little Brown Hen

They have brought me laughter but not just me anyone who comes to my mad house ends up laughing at their antics they cant believe these feathered little girls have such incredible characters. There have been tears but tears of joy outweigh the sadness . 4cLady

My chickens mean to me a sense of love and gratefulnessand freedom, which as a human is often taken for granted. We rehomed 5 girls at the beginning of the summer. All our life's have been transformed for the good. My children think they are wonderful . Lizz79

I never thought it would be possible to feel affection so much for a chicken . Kate Egg

When me, my mum and my boyfriend made the decision to get a few 'girls' to get a couple of eggs I never imagined I would end up with 150 + I shrieked in the face of mud and dirt - not touching my jeans or getting my boots dirty - when now I am permanently dirty - even going to work wondering 'what that smell is' and it happens to be chicken poo in my hair that I have gathered in my lunch hour. Houseinsulation cut to fit my chick brooders means all our babies are plenty warm my 8 O'clock start in work means a 6 O'clock start at home, and filling food and waters in the dark. But, without this 6 O'clock start at home; we would be lost. These girls and boys now mean the world to us, just as much as our precious little dog Poogy; and that's saying something . Rachel89

They all have differing personalities, but are all wonderful comediennes in they're own right, so i got my hens for the eggs, but they have given me so much more than i could have expected, and have ended up having my respect, admiration and yes I'm proud to say I love my chooks sleepy

I have had budgies, tortoises, gerbils, a dog, goldfish and cats whom I loved each and everyone of them, but never have I had pets who are such characters! They have cost me more money,more anguish and never have I had to get up at such a ridiculous time in the morning but I love my girls to bits. sandy

We've forgotten what its like to dig a garden without a bunch of chickens hovering over the ‘hole' (and jumping into it) inspecting the spade or fork for any thing that moves – every gardening job takes 3 times as long and how we've managed to avoid decapitating one of these squawking pests is beyond me. .I spend half my time covered in straw and chicken poo, clean, feed and water them in every weather condition – let them live in our sitting room when they are unwell and cry if every attempt to nurture them back to health isn't enough. But we wouldn't have it any other way.they are part of our lives, have enriched our lives immensely & I have yet to see one of our friends or visitors fail to crack a smile when they meet our ladies . Willow

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