We have been keeping chickens as pets and food providers for some years. We absolutely love having them and hope to be able to continue for many more years. Follow this link to meet our girls, The Basevi Flock.
This section is a guide to those thinking about keeping chickens in a domestic garden. I will try to answer the basic questions we had at the start, without drowning you in information. If you want the ins and outs of everything that could go wrong there are loads of books out there that will do that for you, and they’ll probably put you off at the same time. We read a few and decided that it would be better to look into the problems if they cropped up. This approach has served us well so far.
We have been keeping chickens since 2009. Their introduction into our lives came about after I visited Garden Organics at Ryton for the annual Master Composters convention, I know how to live an exciting life! As we were getting ready to finish for the day we were all asked to think about one change to introduce at home in the following year. At Ryton they were considering keeping pigs, at home we decided to keep chickens and have no regrets.
Why chickens? Well …
- We love food, and chickens lay eggs
- I did not want to take on an animal that needed to live indoors, and chickens are happy outside
- Simon wanted a pet but is allergic to cats and dogs and he could not cuddle his fish. Chickens will accommodate a human need for contact
- We knew others that had them already and found their enthusiasm contagious
Having lived with them for a while we have also discovered that they are;
- Great fun to watch, each has her own character
- Easy to care for on a day to day basis
- No challenge when it’s time to find someone else to look after them at holiday time, the neighbours volunteer because they love the eggs
- Good company, although they have been known to answer back
- Undemanding in an demanding way
- A fab talking point when meeting new people and making new friends
And the down side – well there are always some aren’t there.
- They are mean critters when new hens arrive, we don’t say hen pecked for nothing.
- If your prize begonia bed is where they want to have a dust bath you won’t stop them, you will need to move the begonias
- You need to be aware of security. Your chickens are a tasty morsel to foxes and the loss of your whole flock can be very distressing
- If they get sick they go down fast and there is little you can do for them
- There will come a time when you will need to provide an end. It is not easy however it will be a kindness, don’t shy away from your responsibility
I hope you find this section helpful. If you have any questions please let us know and we will do our best to help.
If you want to follow our chickens and find out what they are up to take a look at our Facebook page. We would love to hear your own stories and experiences too.