Sunday 8 April 2012

A Rather Large Chicken Run

A productive weekend. Managed to do some stuff to the house yesterday and today I finished the chicken wire! As well as this I back filled all the soil for the whole garden fence, a horrible job and one I've been putting off.

Nice sized chicken pen
Whilst fixing the wire round the chicken pen I've been whistling the tune to Jurassic park, I think I may have made this pen too big! Still I've got the space and I'd rather it was to big than too small.

a waste pile of soil in the middle will give them something to dig through
I now need to make a gate and build a coop before I can get any chicken. Still not sure what type to get, it's a toss up between hybrids that will lay well all year (ish) or rare breeds with the possibility of selling any birds that I can rear but slightly less in the egg production department.
Which way do you think I should go?


  1. Our advice would be to go for proven egg layers. We fell in love with Orpingtons when we started and thought that we could sell them if we didn't eat them. The flesh is certainly delicious but the egg laying bit wasn't good. Very unreliable and the birds are also quite fragile. Not what was intended when they were first developed. Too much breeding for prettiness.

    We are back down the Light Sussex and Marrons. We still have a few Blue and Lavender Orpies for show though.

    We are getting more into ducks now. The eggs are terrific - make wonderful cakes, bread and pancakes.

  2. Cheers Gus. I'll keep clean of Orpingtons for now. I think I might go for the light sussex route as well, I used to have some of them when I lived on my parents farm. But I still need to build the coop first - finding time is difficult (I did make the gate for the pen today though - quite heavy duty!). Cheers for looking

  3. People in my neighborhood have been building moveable chicken coops. They are small enough you can cover the roof and keep the hawks from snatching the chickens. They call them "Chicken tractors," and they have quite a devoted following.
    Of course I solved the chicken/egg problem by grinding feed for other people and taking eggs in return.

  4. Yeah I tried a movable chicken coop at my old place. It's great for a hen with chicks but I found with the bigger birds they were digging dust baths everytime I moved them. In the end you were lucky if you didn't break your neck walking across the garden, it looked like it had been used for testing motars! That said a really big one wouldn't be a bad idea when I get to the stage of wanting eating birds.

  5. Hi Kev i'd recommend "Black Rocks" as a hardy good laying bird or "Rhode Island" x "Light Sussex", do I keep them ? no :) but a friend does and has very good results. I have a "Goldtop" which make great brooders apparently whilst mine prefers to lay eggs nearly everyday, can't complain I suppose. Love this and your Sawdustinmysocks blog thanks.

    1. Hey,cheers for the comment. I've gone for wellsomers and legbars but I'll try breeding from them next year so who knows what crosses I'll come up with! As for broody hens I've got a silkie so should be alright there!

  6. I know I'd love to get both a rare breed and then some of the Ex-battery hens like I had. They were amazing at laying eggs. I ended up having too many (even during winter!). Although next time I'll start out by buying some other rare breed hens so they have a guide to follow with nesting and roosting at night. Their also very quiet and slowly warm up to you. Plus I love the idea of having the different colours in eggs! Hope your chickens are turn out to be great layers!


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