- Owning chickens
Why keep chickens?
Whether you are thinking about taking the first steps towards self sufficiency or you are simply looking to save money by producing your own food, chickens are the perfect way to start.
Feeding and Caring for your Chickens
The Cost of Keeping Chickens
Domestic chickens cost £8-£15, and are available from poultry farms and some pet shops. Alternatively, you could choose to rehouse ex-battery hens, available free or at very little cost from rehousing charities such as the Battery Hen Welfare Trust.
Your main outlay will be a coop and fencing for a run area in your garden. Choose a good quality coop to last your chickens for their whole lifetime and to keep predators out. Coops cost from around £100 for a basic model up to £400 for a top of the range design.
Feed costs around £10 for a 25kg bag. The amount that chickens eat will vary depending on breed type, the amount of exercise they're getting, local climate, and the type of feed you use. A small laying chicken will eat 100-150g of feed per day (costing you between 4 and 6 pence for feed per day).
Choosing a Chicken Coop
A poultry coop is the ideal home for your pet chickens. Chickens are sensitive to too much heat, cold, or dampness, and a coop keeps your chickens sheltered from the rain and cold. A secure, well-built coop keeps chickens safe from predators such as foxes and cats.
When choosing a coop, bear in mind that chickens need 1-2 square feet of nesting space and 3-4 square feet of outdoor space per bird. For a small number of chickens, a coop will provide all the space they need. For example, our standard 5'1" x 2'1" poultry ark is suitable for housing three small chickens. To keep more chickens in this coop, you would need to let them roam free in your garden or a larger pen for at least an hour per day.
During the daytime, chickens will need access to exercise space and a dust bath. Day and night, chickens need access to fresh drinking water.
Chickens can live up to 15 years, so it is important to choose a coop that will last.
Living in a coop will help your chickens feel comfortable and secure, so they'll produce more eggs.
Order a coop now so you'll have a home set up and ready for when your chickens arrive.