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Backyard chicken help

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  • 11-05-2019 10:53pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 5


    I've decided to get a couple of chickens for a very small backyard in the city centre, I've purchased a secondhand Eglu classic for it.
    I've a few questions.
    1. I've the standard 2m run with coop, if I got two hens, std rhode island reds or bantams, would it be fair to leave them with just access to the run for the most part and rest of tiny garden occasionally? I have two small kids and don't want the place covered in poo. I can divide garden with fence if needed, just not ideal
    2. Brings me to my second question, am I very unwise to have chickens anywhere near small kids? Are they extremely dirty? Obviously they won't be cleaning the coop or cuddling them but I'm not sure if I'm just getting the fear in me and would like some real life, hopefully positive! Feedback, as I feel it would be a great experience and I know we would be a good home


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,943 ✭✭✭Cherry Blossom


    We've not had chickens since my Granny died but here's my two cents.

    I would advise giving them as much space as you can for healthy, happy chickens.

    I would also advise getting a minimum of three, that way if one dies you still have two for company of their own kind which is a necessity.

    My third point is that where there are chickens there are rats. Unfortunately it kind of goes with the territory.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5 Oc2019


    Thanks a million,bantams would obviously be the way to go. My grandparents had a load of chickens too in the city,that's where the desire came from 😊
    Re. Rats, is it the pellets they're attracted to? God I'll have to be vigilant. I'd really love to get some as I think it would be a great learning experience for myself and the kids but maybe it's not the best idea 😕


  • Registered Users Posts: 219 ✭✭Bunnyslippers


    They do poop, a lot, and it really smells, plus they’re noisy so you need to check with your neighbors that they’re fine with the noise and flies that will be attracted, also some councils don’t allow livestock so do check. As for rats yes it’s the feed and just smell of them that seems to attract them.

    They are great fun but do trash where they are kept pretty quickly so you’d need to look at a base for your run, a tiny space will get pretty muddy fast in winter. And as the other poster said above you’d need three just in case, it isn’t really very fair to keep them constantly in a tiny run so they will need access to your garden when you’re there and they will poop on it!;) Plus if you have flowers they will usually eat them or like my chooks will sit on them, they need a dust bath area/ sand box to keep mite numbers down and they will need wormed and dusted for mites a couple of times a year, plus chickens can fly so clipping their wings might be needed if you want to stop them visiting your neighbors.
    Maybe an idea to visit a petting zoo first so you know what you’re getting yourself into and also read up on them so you know how to spot if they’re sick etc.

    It is fine for kids to cuddle chickens my little 2yr old loves picking up the chickens and looking closely at them!:D


  • Registered Users Posts: 272 ✭✭newirishman




  • Registered Users Posts: 5 Oc2019


    They do poop, a lot, and it really smells, plus they’re noisy so you need to check with your neighbors that they’re fine with the noise and flies that will be attracted, also some councils don’t allow livestock so do check. As for rats yes it’s the feed and just smell of them that seems to attract them.

    They are great fun but do trash where they are kept pretty quickly so you’d need to look at a base for your run, a tiny space will get pretty muddy fast in winter. And as the other poster said above you’d need three just in case, it isn’t really very fair to keep them constantly in a tiny run so they will need access to your garden when you’re there and they will poop on it!;) Plus if you have flowers they will usually eat them or like my chooks will sit on them, they need a dust bath area/ sand box to keep mite numbers down and they will need wormed and dusted for mites a couple of times a year, plus chickens can fly so clipping their wings might be needed if you want to stop them visiting your neighbors.
    Maybe an idea to visit a petting zoo first so you know what you’re getting yourself into and also read up on them so you know how to spot if they’re sick etc.

    It is fine for kids to cuddle chickens my little 2yr old loves picking up the chickens and looking closely at them!:D


    Thank you so much that's so helpful, I'll give the Base some thought, it's actually just rolled turf over sand now so I'd imagine they'll just expose the sand in their area eventually, which actually might not be so awful to clean and replace?
    I'll definitely keep all that in mind thank you


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5 Oc2019


    Thanks a million


  • Registered Users Posts: 32,634 ✭✭✭✭Graces7


    I used to have a mobile run.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,277 ✭✭✭aonb


    Bantams are super and quite friendly/docile
    Lucky you with an Egglu!
    Yes 3 is much better than 2 - if you loose one, you wont have a lone hen, also hens are better in groups.
    Keeping them always in a 6ft run is not good - they will be down to bare earth in a week. Would your run/egglu be movable? If you could move it to a new patch or grass every day it would be better (you wont have to mow) and then maybe let them out of the run for a few hours when your home? Yes they do poo, but you could poo-pick if your garden is that tiny - or teach the children to wear wellies outside, or change shoes coming indoors etc. If you bring in the hen food every night, it will help deter rats. Do make up a little dustbath somewhere for them.
    As for children/hens - why not - it'll help boost your childrens immune system to get used to a bit of dirt - obviously wash hands when they come in from the hens etc - but what a joy for the little ones to collect eggs, and fill water bowl and food bowl every day. Giving the hens a treat - a grape or whatever - delights most children. Our children are too sanitized and detached from nature, in my opinion, having a project like a couple of bantams is worth the effort - and you get some very cute little eggs too!


  • Registered Users Posts: 5 Oc2019


    Thanks for your reply. I set up the( second hand )eglu run on flagstone and there's a patch with grass and mostly woodchips so hopefully it's as predator proof as I can. They will certainly be out and ill clean up as much as I can after them. I have a couple of lovely RIR hybrids in as of this morning and they're just gorgeous. Absolutely agree re. Need for a bit of dirt and life about the kids, the toddler is fairly excited.
    Thanks very much for input!


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,120 ✭✭✭davidk1394



    I wouldn’t worry about that for 2/3 hens.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,120 ✭✭✭davidk1394


    I’ve a few hens here. Get a mobile chicken run and move it around. Make sure they are locked in each night. An urban fox will have those hens gone over night. Give them a few scraps from the dinner and layers pellets. Leave them out during the days around the garden when your around. I think their lovely pets and children are fascinated watching them.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,485 ✭✭✭harr


    Just on the neighbour issue I definitely would suggest mentioning it to them first.
    We had a polish fella next door to us and he had 5 hens and a cock ...nothing but hassle and noise. He turned his whole back yard into a chicken coop .. As mentioned rats became a huge issue as well as flies and the stink during the summer months was unbelievable making enjoying our garden impossible.
    Several neighbors complained about noice and smell but he never did anything eventually action was taken by environmental health and ispca .


  • Registered Users Posts: 272 ✭✭newirishman


    davidk1394 wrote: »
    I wouldn’t worry about that for 2/3 hens.

    The Department thinks differently, but hey it is only required by law, so why worry indeed.

    “The requirement to register applies to all poultry premises, from large commercial poultry holdings to premises with only 1 or 2 birds such as hobby or “backyard” poultry flocks.”


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,120 ✭✭✭davidk1394


    The Department thinks differently, but hey it is only required by law, so why worry indeed.

    “The requirement to register applies to all poultry premises, from large commercial poultry holdings to premises with only 1 or 2 birds such as hobby or “backyard” poultry flocks.”

    If anything a person with 2/3 hens is more likely for a visit than a large scale operation. Odds of getting an on the spot inspection is slim to nil


  • Registered Users Posts: 32,634 ✭✭✭✭Graces7


    davidk1394 wrote: »
    If anything a person with 2/3 hens is more likely for a visit than a large scale operation. Odds of getting an on the spot inspection is slim to nil

    Maybe read the whole article and see why they are being so careful and responsible.? Given the disasters of bird flu etc.

    https://www.agriculture.gov.ie/avian_influenza/poultryregistration/howtoregisteryourpoultrypremiseswiththedepartment/

    I did not know it was needful for even 2 birds so thank you.


  • Registered Users Posts: 32,634 ✭✭✭✭Graces7




  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 9,766 Mod ✭✭✭✭DBB


    Graces7 wrote: »

    A hen who, in my opinion, is being treated in a way that I would not inflict on any of ours.
    For starters, their claim that the chicks are biologically hers is patently incorrect, given that the chicks in all photos I've seen are all different breeds.
    For seconders, you'll get nowhere near 20 eggs (let alone 26) under a hen. Nowhere near. Which suggests to me that most of the chicks are hatched elsewhere (incubator) before being put under her. So, I don't believe this claim either, because it's nigh-on a biologically impossibility. To then ask a hen to mind 20 live chicks after 3 weeks of brooding eggs is mind bogglingly unfair on her.
    For thirders, and this is the bit that annoys me the most, it takes a hen 3 weeks to get a clutch from lay to hatch. During that 3 weeks, she has to be forced off the nest to feed, drink, and toilet. Even at that, they lose a shocking amount of weight and the whole process is really bloody hard on them. Add to that 4-5+ weeks of minding her clutch after they're hatched... Also very hard on them, very stressful.
    So, these people claim that "Marmalade", "mother" of "Little Chip", brooded 5 times per year... Or in Marmalade's case, 15 times in her 3 adult years of life. That means they asked her to do a very, very hard, physically demanding job for 15 weeks out of each year just to brood eggs, not including the 20+ additional weeks of minding each clutch of chicks. No wonder she only lived to 4 years. They also subjected poor Marmalade to a long day in a cage at the Tullamore Show last year (maybe not the only show they attended?), which can only have stressed her even more.
    Bear in mind that hens don't start going broody til springtime, and stop going broody in late Autumn... So either these people are really... well... I'd call it abusing, their little hen for the entire duration of the breeding season, or they're distorting the facts. My opinion? I think they're guilty of both.
    We do a lot of natural chick rearing here, and not a chance would we ask any hen to brood more than 2 clutches each year, most of them only do 1. I'm not into seeing my hens starving and stressing themselves almost to death.
    The owners of Marmalade and Little Chip just come across as desperate for their 15 minutes, quite frankly.


  • Registered Users Posts: 32,634 ✭✭✭✭Graces7


    My many years experience of chickens and chicks is much happier than yours. never had a hen stressed as yours are.

    That was where I had them totally free range in a large area, and yes, they cross bred so yes often different breeds in the one clutch.

    Still love this article.


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 9,766 Mod ✭✭✭✭DBB


    Graces7 wrote: »
    My many years experience of chickens and chicks is much happier than yours. never had a hen stressed as yours are.

    That was where I had them totally free range in a large area, and yes, they cross bred so yes often different breeds in the one clutch.

    and I believe this story.

    Oh now Graces7, where do I say or imply my free-range (in a large area) hens are stressed? The ones that are only allowed to raise one, maximum two clutches per year (most of ours aren't put through the process at all. The few that are, are given very special treatment, lots of breaks, and treats that they enjoy that they don't normally get). Please clarify where you got any idea that my hens are stressed from, many thanks.
    I'm talking in my post above about Marmalade and Little Chip, whose owners are claiming several biological improbabilities as fact and in the process are abusing their hens. It's up to you to believe what any competent hen owner knows are lies.

    I'd also consider allowing hens to run with multiple roosters to be a cruelty, if it's crossbreeding one is into. It's not pleasant to see the hens being repeatedly harried and mithered by one rooster after the other on a daily basis, nor pleasant to witness free ranging roosters fighting with one another. There's just the one rooster here... Far easier on my happy hens :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,819 ✭✭✭Doctors room ghost





    Registration for a small lock of hens.ffs.not a hope.big brother gone mad.country is a joke.500 thousand on waiting lists for outpatient appointments and people stuck on trolleys and the boys need to register your few hens.
    Boll1x to that.
    The same boys you’d be registering your hens with didn’t know the difference between a horse and a bullock when it was in a lasagne.a farce and a joke of a place.
    Get your hens op the same as the rest of us but have a care would you go registering them with anyone.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,819 ✭✭✭Doctors room ghost


    The Department thinks differently, but hey it is only required by law, so why worry indeed.

    “The requirement to register applies to all poultry premises, from large commercial poultry holdings to premises with only 1 or 2 birds such as hobby or “backyard” poultry flocks.”



    The same department that doesn’t know a horse from a bullock after the mincer.
    Fcukin laughing stock they are.stay well clear of them gobsh1tes op.get your lock of hens and don’t be worrying.
    Many’s the house that kept fowl and ate an egg but didn’t go filling out paperwork to keep suits in made up jobs.


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 9,766 Mod ✭✭✭✭DBB


    Doctors room ghost... Rein in the profanities on-thread please. Absolutely no need for it.
    Thanks.
    DBB


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,819 ✭✭✭Doctors room ghost


    DBB wrote: »
    Doctors room ghost... Rein in the profanities on-thread please. Absolutely no need for it.
    Thanks.
    DBB


    Fair enough dbb and apologies but that craic about registering a few hens does my head in.and lads running around then doing big brothers paper work for them.manys the fowl we have here and I haven’t a notion of registering them with anyone.


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 9,766 Mod ✭✭✭✭DBB


    In fairness, you are supposed to register any poultry you keep. Whether you as an individual decides not to is absolutely your choice :)
    However, I'm not so sure it's right to advocate in public that people don't bother doing so, because in theory, it could land them in hot water. I've heard of poultry keepers getting caught out when they'd an official around (vet, or department person) to do another job :o
    But I know that's pretty unlikely with a couple of hens in a suburban back garden, unless complaints are made about noise or smell.


  • Registered Users Posts: 32,634 ✭✭✭✭Graces7


    DBB wrote: »
    Oh now Graces7, where do I say or imply my free-range (in a large area) hens are stressed? The ones that are only allowed to raise one, maximum two clutches per year (most of ours aren't put through the process at all). Please clarify where you got this idea from, many thanks.
    I'm talking in my post above about Marmalade and Little Chip, whose owners are claiming several biological improbabilities as fact and in the process are abusing their hens. It's up to you to believe what any competent hen owner knows are lies.

    I'd also consider allowing hens to run with multiple roosters to be a cruelty, if it's crossbreeding one is into. It's not pleasant to see the hens being repeatedly harried and mithered by one rooster after the other on a daily basis, nor pleasant to witness free ranging roosters fighting with one another. There's just the one rooster here... Far easier on my happy hens :)

    I only ever had one rooster at a time too.. lol... if more than one there would only be one soon! nasty aggressive menfolk!
    You have strong views and a lot of experience and so do I. Let us rest in that, But I do not see that situation as abuse.

    We would gather a broody hen and set her on eggs from different hens was the country practice. hence the different breeds... In deepest donegal and orkney before that. a clucking hen was a crock of gold. and when I brought in a new cockerel the locals asked for "birded " eggs from me to change their bloodstock ..

    Past my bedtime here so happy afterevening!

    But that photo still delights me and that is that..


  • Registered Users Posts: 32,634 ✭✭✭✭Graces7


    DBB wrote: »
    In fairness, you are supposed to register any poultry you keep. Whether you as an individual decides not to is absolutely your choice :)
    However, I'm not so sure it's right to advocate in public that people don't bother doing so, because in theory, it could land them in hot water. I've heard of poultry keepers getting caught out when they'd an official around (vet, or department person) to do another job :o
    But I know that's pretty unlikely with a couple of hens in a suburban back garden, unless complaints are made about noise or smell.

    It is just a small form to fill in is all. same as a dog licence?


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,819 ✭✭✭Doctors room ghost


    Graces7 wrote: »
    It is just a small form to fill in is all. same as a dog licence?

    Yeah but it’s another small form on top of the other thousand small forms.
    Next you will have to fill out a small form if you use the toilet.not too far away either with all the nonsense about registering septic tanks.
    The country is a jokeshop


  • Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators Posts: 9,766 Mod ✭✭✭✭DBB


    Graces7 wrote: »
    I only ever had one rooster at a time too.. lol... if more than one there would only be one soon! nasty aggressive menfolk!
    You have strong views and a lot of experience and so do I. Let us rest in that, But I do not see that situation as abuse.

    Hang on there graces, I believe you implied that I was mistreating my hens by allowing them to be stressed. I have asked you to clarify where you saw that, and I'll now ask you to apologise for getting it wrong.
    It's quite sad really, that when somebody contradicts you, you feel the need to go on the attack with offensive remarks. I'm quite sure your god would disapprove of such behaviour.
    We would gather a broody hen and set her on eggs from different hens was the country practice. hence the different breeds...

    That is standard practice, and is exactly what Marmalade's/Little Chip's owner did, but has claimed that they're all "hers". Which they're not. A lie.
    I'd also very much like to understand how anyone can believe that a hen can effectively sit on 26, or even 20 eggs. The article even says it's usually 12 (we always go for smaller clutches than this, for the hen's welfare), and it's maximum 12 simply because a hen physically cannot fit any more eggs than that underneath her. And that'd be a big breed hen, which Marmalade and Little Chip were/are not. Another lie from the owners which cannot possibly be true.

    Past my bedtime here so happy afterevening!

    That's okay. You can refer to my request that you retract your hurtful and unchristian statement when you're up and about tomorrow. Thanks :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 32,634 ✭✭✭✭Graces7


    Yeah but it’s another small form on top of the other thousand small forms.
    Next you will have to fill out a small form if you use the toilet.not too far away either with all the nonsense about registering septic tanks.
    The country is a jokeshop

    could someone less unwell than I am explain re avian flu and the devastation i has caused and the need to trace any case to source which is the reason for registration as the document does explain very clearly if you read it. scuse me now.. bed calls..


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,819 ✭✭✭Doctors room ghost


    Anytime I do put a clutch of eggs under a broody I do put a maximum of 7 or 8 eggs under an average size large fowl hen and 6 under a banty.i do candle them late in the second week and get rid of the glugger eggs.
    If I put too many eggs in they normally break some by accident and mess the nest.
    The eggs I set are from a mixed flock and could belong to any hen there.
    The light on the back of an I phone is brilliant for candling eggs in the dark


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