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in The potting shed
I have been debating for a long time about whether or not to have 3 or 4 chickens in the garden, how many other gardeners have feathered friends? What conditions do you keep them ie, on lawn, on hard surface,chicken coop or eglu etc, and do they do damage to the garden?
My good friends have 4 chickens, in a coop, allowed out under supervision when they are home. If they were to leave them out all the time they'd probably have no planting left and the local foxes - of which there are many - would have big grins on their faces. Many people do have chickens and gardens, I'd love some but our by laws do not permit. i have noticed from my friends that they are more work that you might think, but probably you know that already. Cluck cluck.
i have 12 chickens kept in 2 6'x4' sheds and they have access to a meshed area of the garden which is now just mud.
they will reduce any grassed area to mud in days but there are ways to try and prevent that.
if you let then free range they will eat pretty much mst things in our garden tbh.
Hi Betty Brown Eyes
I got 4 chickens at the beginning of April. They are my first, and good fun to keep. They all have their individual characters, and one had the nickname psycho by the end of day 2 she pecks at absolutely everything. They are friendly and will eat out of your hand. I get an egg every day from each chicken. I spent out and bought a ready made coop, and put that within a run I built from scratch. The run measures 40 foot by 11 and they turned it from grass / moss to dirt / mud within a few days, so they will absolutely destroy any surface area you give them if the run is static. They love dust bathing, but in the rain, it turns into a complete quagmire and the other day I very nearly went on my posterior. I don't find them hard work at all, just 5-10 minutes in the morning to make sure they've got water and food for the day, they get a cup of treats to start the day (dried mealworms, sunflower hearts, corn etc), clearing the poop I missed the day before and clearing the poop out their bed. They're on their own during the day whilst I'm at work, and when I get home I spend another 10 minutes or so making sure they're watered and fed, collect the eggs, clear poop (just to keep the run tidy and clean) and I put out a banana as an afternoon treat. As they've completely turned the run over to dirt, they get a fresh handful of grass or weeds or carrot tops each day, and any slugs I find in the garden they go mental for. They put themselves to bed at the very last eeking of daylight, and I just go down to the run and shut the coop door, and lock the door to the run, as double security.
Hope this helps in making a decision. I'm very glad I got my ladies
got a feeling there on the way to me for christmas
I have 3 Chickens in my garden. They have a Shed approx. 8 feet x 4 feet and their enclosure measures approx. 36 feet x 25 feet. The enclosure is well planted with Trees , Hedging , Shrubs, Perennials, etc. ,with plenty of places for dust baths, etc. Most evenings, I let them into the main garden for an hour or so ( easily judged by the light level) so that they can have a good peck about on the lawn without destroying it.
As Chickens naturally scratch up the earth, the major damage they will do to plants is to expose the roots. However, they are extremely useful for turning over your compost heap.
Consider all the aspects before taking the plunge
Fresh Greens ( bunched Spinach or Cabbage leaves for example ) tied to their perimeter fence every day is appreciated particularly if they don't have access to fresh vegetation in their enclosure. Trying to make and keep a "lawn" for Chickens in a restricted area is MHO a waste of effort.......if they are constantly on there, they will just ruin it.
Many people seem to make the basic mistake of keeping Chickens when they really do not have the space to keep them properly. They are no different to any other "pet" if you intend to keep them on an amateur basis.
I would just add that if you decide to keep chickens, please give a thought to getting ex-battery chickens....they are very cheap, will continue laying for you and after all, they do deserve some compassion.