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 Post subject: help me please
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 6:11 pm 
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Location: Eat Anglia
I need some chickens, or bantams, quick. wifes birthday on 3rd july, and i need about 4 or so chucks by then; nice ones not ex battryey. ones that lay nice cloured eggs maybe. And a coop, right cheep. Any suggestions?

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 Post subject: Re: help me please
PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 6:57 pm 
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Fat Hill wrote:
I need some chickens, or bantams, quick. wifes birthday on 3rd july, and i need about 4 or so chucks by then; nice ones not ex battryey. ones that lay nice cloured eggs maybe. And a coop, right cheep. Any suggestions?


Don't know where you are but Cream Legbars lay nice blue eggs if you want something different.
I'm going to treat myself to an eggloo when I eventually get to the mainland. OK a bit expensive but look easy to keep clean and hopefully fox proof.

Joyce


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 7:22 pm 
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Location: Eat Anglia
thanks joyce - i will check out the egloo. cream legbars eh? i will check them owt.

anyone know anyone in suffolk with some virtually free cream legbars?

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 17, 2009 8:06 pm 
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Location: lewis
where are you i might be able to help
are you looking for something like this
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/CHICKEN-COOP-HEN- ... 7C294%3A50
sorry for the long link


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 20, 2009 10:49 pm 
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Location: south Suffolk
Simon,
give me a call; I know several people within pub radius of you that sell laying hens. Franky I'd go for ordinary brown hybrid laying hens, coz they're incredibly friendly and tough, and lay a nice tasting egg pretty well every day all year including the depths of winter. You'll also need though:
Hutch
Run
Electric fence
Fence energiser
all of which are much more expensive than the hens, but last 10 - 30 years.

Point-of-lay brown hens are about £4 each.
Snob hens are £10 to £30 each and don't necessarily lay.
Hutches start at about £150
etc.
etc.

If you get 4 to 6 hens, the cost of the infrastructure is little more than for a couple, and you can sell the excess eggs at a decent profit on feed and pullet costs, though they won't make much impact on repaying the capital equipment. On the other hand selling a few eggs to friends and neighbours is an excellent way of collecting brownie points in the neighbourhood, which is more than slightly handy when and if you want to go on holiday etc., and they will (or should be) excellent eggs.

Dick


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 10:01 am 
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Location: Eat Anglia
Hey, I have had a bit of a result - I bought a hutch on ebay for £76 plus delivery - the same coop is for sale at more than twice as much through garden centres etc.


http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll? ... 0320850916


I went to see my mate George Mayhew up the road, as I buy eggs from him anyway, and he's a good sort. He has bred some nice Silky x Light sussex, and has about 30 which he has been selling at £8 a bird - he is letting me have them for £5, and they are pretty little birds, that like laying (apparently) I thought I would buy six. He will lso let me have bags of grub at the price he pays

I shouldn't ned electric fencing as the garden is enclosed, and dog proof (fox proof too?) I will shut the birds in their coop over night, inside the dog run, which is completely dig proof - the weldmesh goes underground over a foot.

He is buying 200 Hybrids this summer as there is such big demand for eggs currently - his motley collection of ex battery hen have done well for him, but the eggs they produce are very variable, so he only sells them for £1 a dozen - often get double yolkers too.

He also breeds pheasant poults - about 1200 this year, produced from just 68 hen pheasants, which were very prolific, but are now knackered, so he has let them go to nice home where they won't be persecuted or shot (probably). He supplies 400 poults to 3 different shoots in return for a gun on each - excellent example of bartering I thought.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 11:48 am 
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Location: south Suffolk
Well done! That sound like an excellent solution. Even a fairly small number of hens will trash garden plants though, so you will need some sort of fencing probably, and if we get bird flu again (when rather than if really) they'll have to go in an enclosed run with a roof, or risk being destroyed by DEFRA. My other strong suggestion would be to put the hutch on wheels so its easy to move around, and it will also be a foot or so higher which makes it a lot less attractive to rats, and much easier to clean out. Hens do graze quite a lot if you give them fresh grass, and it's a good idea to move them before they turn it into the squalid mess you see in most permanent chicken runs - excellent for parasite build-up and disease control as well.
I'm afraid foxes don't bother much about garden walls and fences, but with any luck you shouldn't lose any now until next spring when the next lot of cubs are getting hungry: do try and get them into the hutch at night though.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2009 5:23 pm 
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Location: lewis
totally agree about the cover roof a bit of a nightmare when you have normally 24 hours to get them under cover and it's raining and blowing a gale ,although most of mine are the posh sort(hatching eggs have a market ,if you know what's in fashion) i've got a silkie x light sussex ,and she lays fairly well ,and rears 2 broods a year


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