Sunday, 13 March 2011

New Chicken Houses

It all started when I decided to move the chickens into the veg plot by the side of my shed to help clear the weed seeds and grass as they had done with the allotment area. We tried to move the existing hen house and run, but the plastic house is very heavy!!! So we had a hunt on eBay for a new house and we bought this one
Some of the chickens have gone in on their own accord, but tonight I had to put 3 of the hens in as dusk as they were a little slow in going into their new home. Once I put them in there was a bit of "sorting" out. We shall see what they are like in the morning.
As the hens have done such a good job clearing the grass and weeds that it has been decided that we are to increase our flock of hens to help keep the grass down where we have planted a new hedge. Tim has taken the opportunity, whilst the land has been soft, to fence a second hedge line where we had an electric fence to protect the new hedge from the sheep.
Again a purchase from eBay, but this time from the same company as we got the first hen house, The Chicken House Company, as we were so impressed with the quality of the wood and workmanship of the house. As I will be attempting to hatch fertile eggs to increase my flock, we bought a hen house with an attached run.
Now all I've got to do is get some fertile eggs to go in my new incubator, (another ebay bargain). Up until today I was going to get some Barnevelder hen's eggs, as they lay dark brown eggs the same as Marans do. Marans were my first choice, but all that I've read states that they can be quite an assertive hen, but today I was talking to a local farmer who has a small flock of Marans, which is looked after by his 6 year old son, he's very taken by them. So I've swung back to keeping Marans, also looking on the Omlet site, it states that Barnevleders are very lazy hens that have a tendency to get fat. I need a hen that its going to work at keeping the weeds and grass down, so my second flock will be one made up of Marans.
Now just to find some fertile eggs and possible some young pullets.

1 comment:

Minerva said...

Swish chicken house! We have some Marans that we incubated from bought eggs. They're docile (as in not fighting with the others) and active (our hens free range wherever they want). The eggs are large and brown and people like to buy them. I would definitely recommend Marans. We recently got four Black Rocks to try as we were running short of good egg layers and they've turned out to be great looking birds, black and copper, as nicely behaved as the Marans but a bit daintier. They lay a tinted egg and should be prolific layers. We have a mixture of 'pretty' birds that lay a reasonable number of eggs as we sell them and we like to have birds lay right through the winter, we normally keep 30-40 layers and table birds, mostly reared from bought eggs.