Keeping Chickens in Your Back Garden

In this 7 minute video, The FoodiesBooks looks at Keeping Chickens In Your Back Garden.

You can watch the video or you can read a full transcript of the video below.

Start of Video Transcript

How did you get chickens?

We got them from a place at Queenswood, near Hereford I found it on the Internet.

Were they expensive?

Yeah, they were only £6 each

What do you need to get started?

Well you’ve got to .get them at home and we were very lucky as someone gave us a house. We transported them home in a box and the place where we got them from, they gave us food and bedding so, we set up their bedding and did all of that and put them into the chicken house.

Why do they need a fence around them?

Because to stop them flying over and foxes don’t get them. Yea foxes don’t get them.

How much space do they need?

Oh, um… however  many chickens you have you need  like we have two chickens, we need two square meters of space one square metre each.

What are your chickens called?

We have Briony and Princess Emily. Well that one is Princess Emily and this one (laughs) Briony. The greedy one, yes.

Show Us Where Your Chickens Live

Open the gate…We will keep it closed, OK. Oh, there is one right up the back! Oh there.

What’s the ladder for?

So they can actually get up there. They fly down. out from under there… they fly down… no they jump down, yea they jump down and they start flapping.

What Do You Do Each Morning?

We normally You know  let them out, feed them, do their water and collect the eggs.

Let’s See What they Eat…

they love that food, yea that’s their favorite

Is the Food Expensive?

No it’s not too expensive, I just get it from a local store, it’s called Countrywide, and it’s about, they sell a lot of pet food, and it’s about £7 for a big bag which will probably last us 3 months or so.  And the bedding is about £7. and we’ve used about a quarter of a bag .. and we’ve had them for four months, so I should say that would last a long time.

Are There Any Eggs Today?

Except for the long one, I’ll get that one for you. There’s there’s two eggs and there’s one at the very back, I’ll get that one for you

I think that I have got Briony

Well I can almost reach it.

Do they Always lay them in there?

Yes sometimes they lay it very far.

Sometimes they lay it over here and eat them all.

Yeah once it rolled down there, didn’t it Tom?

And it cracked and they eat it.

How Many Eggs do They Lay?

Well we have one each day, two each day, one from each chicken.

What Must You Do in the Evening?

Shut them and get the chickens in there and shut them um like this.

Look this is closed and that is how you open it in the morning.

and you leave it open in the daytime

How often do you have to clean them out?

Um..once a week… well you have to like, move this and the house,

take the house… take out that… all up… and clean it all up and the hay.

In there in there

and clean up all the hay put the poo away.

Can You Pick the Chickens Up?

Yes but you have to pick them up carefully, just like this…

If they let you

Don’t squash her while she is eating…

Sometimes he flaps…

Yes

but what must you remember when you hold them.

Near your chest.

Where is that.

Why do you have to hold them like that and hold their wings in?

To keep them warm?

No, they flap.

What is wrong with flapping?

Because they could flap or hurt you or they might hurt themselves.

Do They ever peck you?

Well no,

They only peck you when you have nothing in your hand.

No  they peck you when you got food in your hands…because she was going to peck me right now and I had a worm in it.

They think that there is  one piece of food left and so they peck it.

Do they get sick?

Ah there are some illnesses, they can get lice and the best thing is just to keep an eye on them if you ever get in contact with them and try and keep their hygiene, clean them out because you see them every day if you notice that they are poorly You know just that they are not  layin eggs, or, and just not getting up in the morning, Then I think that I would  get in contact with a vet.

Have Your Chickens Had any Problems?

We did have actually, with Briony  she molted, and I’m alarmed because I came down and they were quite alot of feathers missing … there were  feathers everywhere.  She started laying really soft eggs that just sort of dissolved and then she ate them.  I read about it and found out that is just a normal thing that happens to chickens once a year they molt, they lose their feathers and get new ones and during that period which can take up to six weeks they don’t lay eggs, or they lay very soft eggs.

Any Other Problems?

They lay very soft eggs and the other thing is we weren’t giving them enough shells, when we first got the chickens we weren’t giving them enough shells and they’ve started to lay softer eggs, and they’ve started to actually eat their eggs.  And again, I was quite alarmed, but when I read about this it it was this habit that they form… they’ll always eat their eggs.  We gave them some shells, and they started laying hard eggs again and we have not had a problem with it.

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