Chick, chick, chicken lay a little egg for me...
If you’re planning on eating your own eggs fresh from the garden this year, then keeping chickens is not as hard as you think. Here is our six point guide:
- Eggs from your own garden are fresher, the yolks are yellower and the food miles are completely eradicated.
- Remember you don’t need a cockerel for hens to lay eggs. Cockerels can disturb the neighbours as they crow very early in the morning and this can be annoying.
- You don’t need oodles of space to keep hens as they come in two sizes: large or small, which are known as bantams. They are a quarter of the size of the large fowl. Also small gardens can still provide enough space for two hens to be happy.
- There are more than a 100 breeds out there to choose from, so before you start decide what sort you are looking for and the characteristics you require. For example, some are excellent layers and will keep you and your friends and family well stocked with eggs others are more decorative.
- Before getting your girls make sure you have a fox proof chicken house and run. It’s great for them to go free range when you’re about, as long as you don’t mind them creating dust baths in your borders and eating your veggies and tender garden plants! But when you’re not around then foxes can attack and they will do it in urban and rural settings during the day and the night.
- It takes around 10 minutes a day to care for hens if you are busy during the week but remember to save a little time for watching them as they scratch around. It’s a very relaxing pastime.