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It was delightful to read about Pippa's new additions to her old lady hens. I too keep hens, ex-battery ladies rescued via the BHWT and they are a delight to look after, very curious and follow me about like sheephens!! I too am getting more hens in late September, not just for the eggs but because I have the room for them to have a wander and a scratch and dig - gosh they love to scratch and dig!
I would love to have a couple of hens in my garden but am plagued by urban foxes (I live in the middle of a large town in Essex) is it just to be a dream or do you think there are ways and means to keep the hens alive and happy?
I'd love to keep some chickens but my family isn't so keen. I'll just have to be mildly envious of others who have them... and hope that when we move again/ I retire there'll be space for some then.
My daughter and son-in-law plan to buy a couple of laying hens. They are in an old farmhouse with plenty of space but have no experience of keeping poultry. What are the best birds to start with - the grandchildren want to do their bit too!
We have five Black Rock hens free ranging around our garden and they are not only a joy to watch but they are pets that produce too if you see what I mean. They're so friendly they'd come into the house if we let them. I have some photos of them here.


When I was a boy, my father kept chickens, and not only did we get plenty of eggs, my brother and I used to chase the chickens and pinch their feathers to add to bottle corks, to make fishing rods, to fish the many local ponds for roach and perch. The rods were sweet pea canes!
Do you keep the hens in a run or do they wander about. I have a large garden in the country and would love some hens but my husband says they will make a real mess of my lovely garden and veg patch. I also have a field were I could put a run but I like the idea of them wandering around
I have two lilac pekins and two white pekin cockrels who have produced five black offspring, rather strange, but they are very light and very fluffy and work hard at keeping slugs and snails to a minimum in the garden, they do like to dust in the dry soil, but because they are so light do little damage, very tame and come to the back door to ask to be fed, somehow the fox (touch wood) has not found their hidey hole to date. We are also plagued by foxes, but so far so good, they do not lay as many eggs as the bigger breeds but are very pretty and good fun to have around in the garden.
I have kept chickens and even better ducks in the past. Ducks dont scratch up your plants so much and they still they eat all those nasty slugs and snails. My daughter's (when younger) loved to collect the eggs,I would hide mini easter eggs around the garden for them to find and we even had baby chicks hours of fun watching the little ones run around.
I only have a small garden but let them free range when I am with them. My Polish are so tame and full of character.
What a happy blog Pippa, I do wish we had a bigger garden I would love some hens,when I was a child we had a pet cockerel called jasper which we had to get in each night or he would wake the whole street up at the crack of dawn which my sisters and I thought was funny as children do but our parents and nieghbours didn't and my dad would make jokes about packets of paxo if we didn't get him in.Hope you get lots of lovely eggs happy hens lay tastier eggs.

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