Forum home The potting shed

Keeping Chickens

If you keep chickens, have problems with them or just want to swap notes about them...this is the place to be.

I'll start the ball rolling by saying I have 3 Copper Star hybrid hens. I've had them as POL pullets since late July last year. Since then they have been prolific layers...3 eggs on most days & just 2 occasionally.

I'm aware that hybrids are not to everyone's liking, as many prefer the traditional breeds.

How's about you?

«13456789

Posts

  • sotongeoffsotongeoff Posts: 9,802

    I started nearly 2 years ago with 5 brown warrens lost one soon after-replaced by 2 then lost another last summer and replaced that with a sussex star and a bovans nera-so up to six now-all hybrids

    There have therefore been a few traumas along the way but never,ever regretted it-they are not just hens, but pets as well and we get at the moment between 4 and 6 eggs per day-dependingimage

  • FloBearFloBear Posts: 2,281

    My girls are 4 ex-bats who we adopted last August - named after my 4 sisters! I said I'd have chooks when I retired, and I did. They quickly learnt to be proper chickens and grew very feathery. Almost never stopped laying since they came - average 3 eggs a day. Aggie likes to lay al fresco if she can and has secret nests in the ivy.

  • We took eight ex-bats in december and they all quickly became part of the family. We lost one to illness, probably shock at seeing grass and sky, but the others have really excelled at being happy hens! They lay between 5 - 7 eggs a day, and, as with FloBear, one lays on shrubbery next to the house. They love boiled rice in addition to their pellets and grain, and really slow my dad's digging speed getting in the holes for worms! They are sadly still rather bald in places so we have extra-insulated our henhouse to keep them cosy. We couldn't imagine the garden without them!

  • junohartjunohart Posts: 2

    I started 4 years ago with 2 hybrids, a gingernut ranger and Miss Pepperpot, Ivy and Lux. We recently moved to a bigger garden (the house is secondary!) and added 2 dark Brahmas, Misery and Dolores.  Sadly, Lux had to be put to sleep last week, but we get at least 2 eggs a day. The Brahmas are massive birds but lay teeny eggs! I would never be without hens now, they are so worthy of a place in anyones garden. I will definately stick with Brahmas, I love their size, they are very tame and I love their feathery feet!

  • Hello, I only have 2 hens at the moment - a Silkie and a Pekin bantam.  They are 5 years old, hardly give me any eggs, and none at all in the winter, but they are lovely characters, and being small they don't destroy my garden when I let them out. 

    I wonder has anyone else ever had eggs with very thin shells?  Yesterday one of them laid an egg with a paper thin shell, although today she laid a perfectly normal egg. Could it be a calcium deficiency?  They have grit available, and get out into the garden most days. 

  • tattiebogle wrote (see)

    Hello, I only have 2 hens at the moment - a Silkie and a Pekin bantam.  They are 5 years old, hardly give me any eggs, and none at all in the winter, but they are lovely characters, and being small they don't destroy my garden when I let them out. 

    I wonder has anyone else ever had eggs with very thin shells?  Yesterday one of them laid an egg with a paper thin shell, although today she laid a perfectly normal egg. Could it be a calcium deficiency?  They have grit available, and get out into the garden most days. 

    Hi, tattiebogle (lovin the name)

    One of the main causes of thin shells is when whole grains or feeds deficient in minerals and vitamins make up the bulk of the laying hen diet. So a good balanced layers feed is essential and a minimum of treats....in fact I would cut out all treats until the problem is resolved.

    To build-up calcium levels you could also add crushed oyster shell to their feed.

    Btw, all chickens 'cherry pick' their feed. 

  • Thanks for that, David.  They have layers pellets, but also mixed corn, and I probably give them too much corn (wheat, really).  OK, corn to be rationed from now on.  I'll check their grit tomorrow.  I mix coarser stuff with oyster shell, but I suspect they've picked out all the oyster shell and could do with some more. 

  • PS you probably know 'tattiebogle' is a Scottish word for scarecrow.  A bogle for tatties (potatoes).  As an exiled Scot living in England and considering the scruffy old clothes I wear when I am on the allotment I thought it was a suitable name!

  • tattiebogle wrote (see)

    Thanks for that, David.  They have layers pellets, but also mixed corn, and I probably give them too much corn (wheat, really).  OK, corn to be rationed from now on.  I'll check their grit tomorrow.  I mix coarser stuff with oyster shell, but I suspect they've picked out all the oyster shell and could do with some more. 

    As a rule of thumb, 1oz of mixed corn per bird per day is ample, this is best fed in late afternoon to sustain them through the night.

    Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind! image

    Thanks for the info about the name....I knew 'tatties' (and neeps) but that's all.

  • At present I have 3 ex batts, an orpington cross, a speckldy and a white sussex. Might have a leghorn and another ex batt arriving on Sunday!!  Getting about 3 or 4 eggs a day at the moment.  After my last lot went I thought I wouldnt have chickens anymore as I thought I'd concentrate on the garden but that lasted 2 days!!  Found the garden was too quite and missed them rushing to greet me when I went into the garden!!

Sign In or Register to comment.