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White Chickens With Feathers On Their Feet [4 Breeds]

Do you fancy a chicken that wears white socks? ¹

Have you just been watching some old episodes of Looney Tunes and been laughing at Foghorn Leghorn- the legendary white rooster? 

Has this got you thinking about adding some white chickens to your pack, perhaps some with feathers on their legs?

Even though there is a popular breed of chicken called Leghorn, Foghorn Leghorn is different to them in one crucial way.

Whilst he clearly has feathered legs, Leghorn chickens don’t- although they are a beautiful vibrant white. 

But there are plenty of real life chicken breeds that are white and have feathered legs. 

Before I start discussing some of the breeds of chickens that you might be interested in taking a look at, I first want to think about feathered legs.

Why do chickens have feathered legs? 

No one is quite sure why some breeds of chickens have feathered legs and other breeds don’t. 

Of the 53 large breeds of chickens that are recognised by the American Poultry Association, only eight are breeds with feathered legs. 

But it is easy to see how feathered legs would help a chicken in certain geographic locations. 

Feathered legs would provide a bird with an extra layer of insulation. 

It is obvious to see how this would be of help in very cold weather..

and it’s easy to forget how this would also help a bird in very hot weather. 

But before you rush out to the shops to buy some socks for all of your chickens that have bare legs, there are some downsides to having feathers on their legs.. 

Problems with having feathered legs and feet

There are two main issues with having too many feathers. 

The first issue is mites. Chickens with feathers on their legs are more susceptible to getting scaly leg mites. 

This is because the feathers make a chicken leg an even more attractive place to live or infest. 

On top of that, the feathers make treatment much harder because the feathers get in the way. 

And the second issue is water or more specifically rain and the knock on effects that it has for chicken with feathered legs. 

Wet feathers mean that a bird’s legs will take longer to dry out and when the climate is cold and wet this puts the chickens at risk of something like frostbite. 

Wet feathers also act like a mud sponge. 

Feather leg chickens will spread more mud around which makes for a dirtier coop. 

So having given a bit of an introduction to the reasons for feathered legs and some of the practicalities of owning these sorts of chickens, next I want to think about whether there are any pros or cons of keeping white chickens over other colours of chickens.

What are the disadvantages of keeping white chickens?

There are two downsides to keeping white chickens.

One of these I wouldn’t class as being very serious, whilst the other is.

Let’s deal with the most serious one first.

White chickens seem to be more vulnerable to predators than chickens of other colours.

This is because they don’t blend into their background as well.

Unless they are being kept in a place that has snow for most of the year then white chickens, in most environments, stick out like a sore thumb.

And it is this brilliant white which is part of their attraction but it seems can also be part of their downfall. 

The second disadvantage in keeping white chickens is that they show the dirt more easily.

Now, how serious a problem this is depends on your own individual circumstances but if you like to keep your chickens clean, then a white breed of chicken might send you into a tailspin. 

Coming up next, I will provide details of five breeds of white chickens with feathered legs.

[1] Croad Langshan

Croad Langshans like many breeds of chickens have their origins in China.

These birds were originally imported into the UK from Langshan Mountain which is in the city of Nantung in Eastern China. 

They were imported by a man named Major Croad- sounds like an eccentric character, doesn’t he?! 

And they made their way to America soon after. 

These are large birds. 

Fortunately for us, they have feathered feet and they are available in white-although that is not a very common colour for them. 

Most of these birds come in a beautiful black. 

Apart from having feathered feet another quirky feature about their feet is that the soles should be pink! 

[2] Pekin/ Conchin Bantams

The next breed of chicken that I would like to take a look at is the Pekin or Conchin Batam.

Known as the Pekin in the UK and the Conchin in the US, these birds are only available as Bantams.

Apart from having feathers on their feet, other beautiful aspects to this breed include:

  • how friendly they are
  • what great brooders/ mothers that they make

You can get a pure white Pekin which will come with a red comb but this is only one of a number of colour options. 

Conchins are a very popular breed and so the colour combinations are increasing. 

Other popular colours apart from white, include:

  • Buff
  • Mille Fleur
  • Partridge 
  • Mottled

[3] Silkie

If you want a chicken to pet and bring down your blood pressure then you could do a lot worse than a Silkie.

These birds are named after the way that they feel.

With feathers as soft as silk, cradling and stroking one of these will be a very soothing activity.

And they are an incredibly docile breed who will tolerate being stroked more than other breeds of chicken.

But I have gone off on a tangent.

Although it is useful information to bear in mind, it is not the focus of this article.

The good news is that Silkie’s come in a snow white colour and they have feathers on their feet. 

And the only part of them that isn’t white are their eyes and beak- which are jet black.

It is a shame that their beak isn’t orange because then they would look like a snowman!

[4] Sultans

My last example of a white chicken with feathered legs is a bit of an oddity in this list because it doesn’t originate from China.

Instead it was first bred in the Ottoman Empire, which is now called Turkey.

And they were bred to be kept in the gardens of the royal palaces hence the name.

The rulers of the Ottoman empire were called Sultans. 

Size wise, sultan chickens are like Silkies and the similarity continues with the crest of feathers on their head.

However, Sultans have more “feather-like” feathers than Silkies and instead of having black eyes and beaks they have red.

But also these two breeds are very gentle and docile.

Photo credits

¹ Photo by Conall on Flickr

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Black Chickens With Feathers On Their Feet [6 Breeds]

Has your black chicken got feathers on their feet? ¹

So you are looking to add a little something fancy to your flock?

Perhaps, everything is just a little to “run of the mill”.

Or like me you have a grandchild who loves chickens and would be ecstatic if some were to appear in your run wearing socks!

I don’t know about you, but every time I look at a chicken that has feathered feet I can’t help but think of all those dancers in their long socks from the “Hall of Fame” days!

But if it’s dancing feet that you want, it is dancing feet that you shall have.

And in this article, I list 6 breeds of black chicken with feathered feet. 

Why do chickens have feathered legs?

But before I dive in with a list of specific breeds, I want to give you some background on why it is that some chickens have feathered feet.

And after a little research, although it sounds crazy, no one is quite sure. 

The most logical answer is the most outlandish as well. 

That breeds of chickens that have feathered feet are a throwback to the dinosaurs. 

I kid you not

It seems that chicken feathers are very similar to dinosaur scales… 

But none of this explains why chickens would need feathers on their legs. 

And that must be because the feathers act as a sort of protection to the legs and to keep them warm. 

So having looked at the possible function and role that feathered legs give to a chicken, let’s dig a little deeper and find out if on the whole feathered feet are a thing of beauty or just a pain in the bum. 

Pros of feathered feet

The way that I see it there are a few advantages for a breed of chickens to have feather socks.

  • Feathers make a chicken look more beautiful or stylish
  • They make a chicken more interesting to watch as they move around. 
  • They can provide extra protection to a chicken in hot and cold weather

Cons of furry feet

  • Chickens with feathered feet may have more problems with mites
  • Feathered feet attract more dirt and mud which might lead to more disease.
  • They might get caught in things

Should I cut a chicken’s feathered feet?

Having kind of established that the pros and cons of feathered feet kind of cancel each other out, you might wonder if you should try and cut these feathers off.

And I believe that in most situations you shouldn’t try and trim these feathers.

If they aren’t causing your chicken any real harm, then they are best left alone.

After all, once cut, they will grow back and then you will have to subject the chicken to another haircut which will probably be very stressful. 

Having spent the last few sections discussing feathers, legs and feet, I want to spend the rest of this article matching you up with some black varieties of chickens that have feathered feet. 

[1] Silkie

I want to start by talking about Silkie chickens. 

Named after their fluffy coat of feathers which feels as smooth as silk, these small chickens hail from ancient China. Marco Polo wrote about a furry chicken in the 13th century… 

Their feathered feet complement their wonderful coat. 

And you can even get bearded Silkies. 

That’s right, they come with feathers on their chin as well as their legs. 

And they come in any number of colours-jet black is only one option. 

The most common colour variations are blue, buff, white, grey and partridge.

In terms of size and weight you would be looking at about 1 kilogram for a male and 900 g for a female. 

[2] Belgian D’uccle

From China we now travel to Belgium and to another small variety of chicken. 

Originally from the Belgian town of d’Uccle (don’t you love it when names are used so sensibly) these birds are a true bantam variety.

They don’t come in standard sizes unlike many Battam varieties.

But the Belgian d’Uccle was only created in the early twentieth century instead of having its origins in ancient China. 

In terms of looks, the d’Uccle has a coat of feathers-much like you would see on any other type of chicken. 

And their legs have lots of feathers. 

These birds come in jet black and mottled black varieties but the breed has an enormous colour range including blue, white and millefleur. 

Weight wise d’Uccles are considerably lighter than Silkies with an ideal male specimen weighing between 700 and 800 grams. 

[3] Booted Bantam

If you like the look of a Belgian d’Uccle but are struggling to find any to buy then you won’t go too far wrong with a Booted Batam.

Which is a d’Uccle doppelganger, if you like.

And if you think that they might be identical twins then you might be right.

Because booted bantams were one of the breeds used to create d’Uccles. 

[4] Cochin

Moving onto something a bit different.

The Cochin is another variety of black chicken with feathers on its feet.

Although its origins are in China, new variants were created when it was exported to Europe and to the US in the mid 19th century. 

These birds look regal. 

They have an abundance of feathers that are so thick around their legs that you can be hard pressed to sometimes see their feet. 

A vibrant red comb and wattle finish off the very sophisticated look.

Cochins are available as large fowl and bantam varieties- well in the US at least.

A standard size (male)  bird can weigh over 5 kg, whereas a bantams tips the scales at somewhere around 900 g. 

Cochin Bantams aren’t a recognised breed in the UK. 

Other colours that you can opt for when it comes to Cochins are buf, cuckoo and grouse. 

[5] Faverolles

Named after the small French village in Northern France where the breed was created in the mid 19th century, Faverolles are another fine looking bird.

Although they are available in black, they aren’t common in that colour.

Their most common colour is salmon.

Like the Cochin, they come in standard and bantam sizes. 

A standard size male should weigh around 8 lbs or 4 kgs whereas a male Faverolles bantam should weigh around 1.2 kgs. 

And what about their legs?

Well, their legs don’t tend to be covered in as many feathers as Cocins but their leg plumage is still impressive. 

[6] Sultans

Sultan chickens originate from Turkey- a part of the world that we are yet to travel to in this article.

Little is known about their true origins as more accurate details were only kept when they were first exported to England in the mid nineteenth century. 

However, their name is derived from the fact that these birds were kept in the gardens of the Turkish royalty (Sultans.)

Like the Silkie, Sultans have a crested head or a wonderful crop of tiny feathers on top of their head instead of a comb.

They have a fine set of feathers which extend all the way down their legs and curl over their feet. 

Once again, Sultans can be bought as standard sized chickens or bantams.

To give you an indication of sizes, a standard sized male will be lucky to weigh 3 kilos or 6 pounds.

Which makes Sultan chickens one of the smallest large breed chickens.

The most common colouring for Sultans is pure white.

They do come in black but you may need to hunt a little harder for them. 

And their other claim to fame?

They are one of few breeds of chickens that have five toes.

Photo credits

¹ Photo by normanack on Flickr

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Building a Chicken Coop Video #3 (Review and Full Transcript)

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5outof5                 5outof5         5outof5

If you are serious about building a chicken coop by watching a video, you must see this!

Keep reading to get a detailed review and to access a full transcript of the video…

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Building a Chicken Coop Video #2 (Review & Full Transcript)


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Ever fancy building a chicken coop from pallets?

In this 12 minute video created by Cheapskate Gardener, a chicken coop is made from partly re used pallets.

Keep reading to get a detailed review and to access a full transcript of the video…

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The Best Breeds of Chicken for Egg Laying

Hello,

Do you want to know the best breed of chicken for egg laying?

In this post I will look closely at five of the most watched videos on YouTube that answer this question.

I have placed these videos in ascending order- the best video will be saved until last.

Video #5

In fifth place is this video by RaisingChickenGuide’s.

If you want to read from the full transcript of the video, click here.

So what are the best bits about this video?

check-mark-3-32Firstly, this video is just over three minutes long and so it will not take up much of your time. It is perfect if you have done of research on this topic already.

check-mark-3-32Secondly, this video lists eight breeds of chickens that are good egg layers.

check-mark-3-32Thirdly, there is no talking on the video. The information is presented as a slideshow. Therefore you can still watch this video if you are with other people and it will not disturb them.

And the worst bits?

crossmarkAlthough eight breeds are listed (together with a photo) there is no additional information to help you.

crossmarkAlso, although nearly half a million people have watched this video, the video was created four years ago.

crossmarkThe person who created the video only made one other video (which was also created four years ago) and so the channel isn’t active and that won’t help you in terms of asking any follow up questions that you might have. No comments have been made about this video.

Video #4

In fourth place is this video by Elliot Payne.

If you want to read from the full transcript of the video, click here.

So, what are the best bits about this video?

check-mark-3-32This is a very short video, lasting only a minute and a half.

check-mark-3-32It lists 5 different breeds of chickens that are great egg layers.

check-mark-3-32The video was created 6 months ago and there have been a few comments and replies to this video recently.

This shows that the Elliot is active and so there is a reasonable chance of a question being answered.

And the worst bits?

crossmarkOther than a list of breeds, there is no other useful information.

crossmarkThe video has no audio and just a soundtrack playing over it.

crossmarkAlthough the video was only created 6 months ago, Elliot has hasn’t made any other chicken related videos.

Video #3

In third place is this video created by IonBejenaru

If you want to read from the full transcript of the video, click here.

What are the best bits of this video?

check-mark-3-32 25 different breeds mentioned.

check-mark-3-32 The video is very short- just over one minute long.

check-mark-3-32 IonBejenaru has made other chicken related videos

And the worst bits?

crossmark Lots of the breeds that are listed seem pretty obscure.

crossmarkNo other helpful details included.

crossmarkNo commentary on the video.

crossmarkIt is just a photo slideshow.

Video #4

In second place is this video created by SaigonGameFowl

If you want to read from the full transcript of the video, click here.

So, what are the best bits about this video?

check-mark-3-32Lists five different breeds of chickens.

check-mark-3-32Has video footage of each breed.

check-mark-3-32Includes additional information about each breed.

check-mark-3-32SaigonGameFowl has created dozens of chicken related videos, over 10 in the last month alone.

check-mark-3-32SaigonGameFowl responds to any serious comments.

And the worst bits?

crossmarkThere is no audio.

Video #1

In second place is this video created by Becky’sHomestead.

If you want to read from the full transcript of the video, click here.

So, what are the best bits about this video?

check-mark-3-32Three good egg laying breeds are demonstrated.

check-mark-3-32Good quality and very watchable video with lots and lots of detail.

check-mark-3-32 Becky’s Homestead is a very active channel with lots of chicken keeping advice.

And the worst bits?

I don’t think there were any!

And that is the end of my quick review of five of the best videos on YouTube that you might want to watch if you need help or advice in your search for the best breed of egg laying chickens.

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What Do Chickens Eat?

In this 10 minute video by Becky’s Homestead the subject of what to feed your chickens is discussed.

If you want to watch the video, then please go ahead but if you prefer to read a full transcript of it then please find it below.

Start of Video Transcript

In this episode I’ll be showing you what I feed my hens so I get good tasty eggs. Also I’ll be reading a letter from one of my viewers. Stay tuned.

Hi I’m Becky. I moved to the country and built a log cabin of my dreams. And now I enjoy the simple life. This is the life of making things, growing a garden, raising animals, connecting with my community and making a home. This is Becky’s homestead.

Today I’m going to show you what I feed my hens. We love our eggs and we like steady production from our chickens and I have found in order to get that, you have to feed them really well. So here are some of the foods that I feed my hens so they lay good eggs.

We love our eggs and we like to try to get a steady supply. I found the best way to do that is to feed your hens really well. I’m going to start with this on right here, this is just the typical egg layer, you can buy it in the store that’s already put together for you. It’s ground up and there’s different vitamins in that if you read the bag. And it literally looks just like cornmeal. It’s kind of just powdery cornmeal and the chickens do like that and they eat that up nice. So I’m going to put this back, let me show you the next one.

Well actually I’ll leave a little on here so you can see the difference between all of them. Okay so here’s a little pile of cornmeal, it’s called chicken layer. Now some layer comes in pellets and some layer comes in crumbles and different things. I like this one it just seems more natural.

I try to go with whole real foods to feed my chickens. I just think they get better nutrition that way. This here is called steamed rolled barley and that’s what it looks like, it kind of looks like oatmeal, it’s smaller than oatmeal though and it’s a little darker in color than oatmeal. Steamed rolled barley chickens love it, so they’ll peck that up.

The next one is steamed rolled oats. I’ll put that on this side, and as you can see it’s whiter than the barley. Slightly, I mean I’m not sure if that’s clear but they look really similar. You can wet these 2 if you wanted to soak them a little bit and they would absorb the water and it would be more like oatmeal. And they like it either way, wet or dry.

And then what I do, oh let me just show you this last corn and then we’ll talk about price. And what I do also which the chickens like, is I just buy whole corn and some people buy cracked corn but chickens like whole corn just fine. They’ll just get that whole piece and gulp it down there.

They have no problems with it at all. Of course if it’s a little chicky baby it’s not going to be able to eat the whole corn so you might want to start out with cracked corn. The reason I chose whole corn is it’s cheaper. It’s less expensive. Now I’m going to tell you the price of some of these feeds that I just showed you at the picnic table and I’m going to show you the bags they come in and how much they cost.

We’ll start over here with the whole corn. This is a 50 pound bag of whole corn. It costs around 8 dollars right here where I live. And I mean that is a lot of food for 8 dollars. The cracked corn is more expensive. My suggestion would be just get the whole corn unless you’re feeding the little chicky babies.

Next we have the steamed rolled barley. Again this is a 50 pound bag of the steamed rolled barley. Same stuff I showed you on the table and this cost 16 dollars for a 50 pound bag. Once again that is a great price for a lot of food.

Down here, I have used part of this, but this is also a 50 pound bag and this is the chicken layer. It comes like in that crumbled stuff so you squeeze that, that was 9 dollars for a 50 pound bag.

And then here is a 50 pound bag of steamed rolled oats. The oats are the most expensive out of all these feeds that I’m feeding my chickens. The oats are 18 dollars for a 50 pound bag. You can shop around and there might be a very slight difference in price, but on average that is how much they cost.

18 dollars for the rolled steamed oats, 9 dollars for 50 pounds of the layer, 16 dollars for the steamed rolled barley 50 pound bag and 8 dollars for a 50 pound bag of whole corn.

I like to feed all these to my chickens that way it keeps them healthy and it keeps the eggs coming on a continual basis. Okay let’s go feed the hens and see if they laid any eggs. I like to throw some food out here in the yard because I think it gives the hens something to do during the day.

They like to pick and scratch around and I think it makes the little hen life interesting. The best part of the chickens is when I come and collect the eggs. My girls are afternoon layers so I’ll get more later. Our ducks are very happy in their little triangle chicken coop.

I’d like to give you a little ducky update. She’s still sitting on her nest and from my calculations they should be hatching any day now. Mr ducky comes to the bucket entrance and protects her now so she calls him over. They’re very, very protective of their nest at this point. I’m so excited I can’t wait to see a little duck pop out of there.

Now I’m going to read you a letter. This one is from Safie. Success. My chickens, bantams, have laid eggs. We are very happy, but we have discovered a rooster so we will be getting him out right away. If we don’t get rid of our rooster, are the eggs still safe to eat? We are new to chickens and will need some help with eggs and such. So could you give us some advice?

Okay. It doesn’t matter if the rooster is in there. You can eat fertile eggs which is from a rooster, or non fertile eggs if you keep just hens. Either way the eggs are edible. When there’s a rooster in the pen the eggs will be fertile and your hens might want to sit on them and lay them. So the only difference would be make sure you collect your eggs everyday or two.

This next one is from Donna. And she writes, I’ve been watching your podcasts for quite some time. After watching your podcast on how to harness your donkey, and the beginning driving lessons, I had to drop you a line to let you know how much I enjoy the information. In fact I have enjoyed all of your podcasts.

This particular one brought back memories for me. When my kids were young we had Quarter horses. But I wouldn’t let them ride by themselves. So I brought them a very gentle little Welsh Shetland mix pony. And we had such wonderful times on our pony cart rides. Several times I picked them up at school in the cart and spent an extra hour giving their class mates pony rides around the block while all of the parents waited patiently until their kids got their ride. That’s been so many, make that many, many years ago.

And I had forgotten exactly how to harness up for a cart until I saw your podcast. I always wanted a donkey but never did get one. Your Doodles looks like a very sweet little guy. You must have put in a lot of time with him for him to be so easy to handle. Thanks so much for your podcast, I look forward to seeing you hooked to the cart. Donna. Well that’s nice Donna and Doodles is a very nice little donkey, we treat all our animals nicely but we expect them to behave.

I’m also looking forward to hitch him to the cart which will be soon. Stay tuned. Thanks for watching, please email me with any questions or suggestions. Happy homesteading.

Bye bye. You can tell they’re well fed, they’re not very interested. You’re supposed to act like you’re staving and this is delicious. You can’t step on those it’s going to hurt your feet silly. Are you sliding? You’re sliding. Lay down. He’s sliding. Are you sliding? Well lay down. Lay down you won’t slide. Lay down. Oh there you go perfect.

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Keeping Urban Chickens

In this five and a half minute video, the issue of keeping chickens in the urban environment  (London) is discussed.

If you want to watch the video then go ahead but if you want to read a full transcript of the video then please find it below.

Start of Video Transcript

A lot of people would love to keep chickens but they live in an urban space, so I’ve  come to East London to show you it can be done.

Meet Martin Williams, he keeps three chickens and he’s been doing this for two years.

Fresh eggs is a big driver, and letting the kids have some animals, some pets really that they could play with but which were useful instead of cats or a dog that just ate things and don’t give you anything back.

And also they help with the gardening, they’re good with the garden eating pests… and getting rid of rubbish that we’ve got as well.

Do they really lay a lot of eggs?

During the summer and the spring and summer and autumn we get loads of eggs.  Usually three eggs a day.

But each of the chickens will lay between 5 and 6 eggs a week and so you get a real decent stack of eggs.

Do you know which hen laid those?

yea the the white one the big one, the black one lays the dark brown eggs and the little one lays white eggs, but smaller.

So they are properly free range in a Hackney way

I mean that small space, and they would be, if they were free range chickens you would buy eggs from the supermarket, they wouldn’t have as much space as they’ve got in there.

Hello little chickens, Don’t be afraid.  This is a very interesting plumage.

This is a very interesting plummage

What is this?

She’s a particular breed, she’s Poland is just one of the crested breeds.  And she’s the easiest one to catch because she can’t see you coming from behind.

So she’s molting, does that mean she’s not laying eggs at the moment.

Well they tend to stop laying eggs or slow down in the winter anyways, so at the minute we only have one chicken laying eggs.

But come this spring they’ll get going again.  It tends to be November through to maybe February that we get less eggs.  They’re not quite as “pretty animals” as your dog or cat might be.

The kids know that they’re going to get eaten at some point and they are pretty OK about it.

Brutal!  Brutal!

I think it’s important the kids know where food comes from, and know what meat is, and they are very practical about it and quite happy to eat things that have been shot, eat a rabbit or something like that.  They know exactly what it all is.

Oh cover your poor ears Poland, I’m going to let you down now, there you are.

So this is an Eggloo which is a kind of quite a posh urban chicken house.

Yea these, this is the big Eggloo as well the Cube and  you can have up to ten chickens in there although I think that it Would be a bit crowded.  But we built our own cage, a run to attach to it, because that gave the chickens a bit more space and fitted in the space we had in the garden.

So you built all this?

Yea, this is just, we just made this up ourselves and attached the Eggloo to it as best we could.

This was £400 and then you put this all up, and they’re not really sort of paying you back in eggs particularly.

We pay very little money to feed them and we are getting 12 eggs a week and which when they’re organic expensive eggs that’s well over 2 pounds a week worth of eggs, so it wouldn’t take that long to pay back the £500 we spent on getting them in the first place.

 

And how do you find the Eggloos? Is it easy to kind of clean out and everything?

The real advantages, because it’s plastic, it really is easy to clean.  It’s easy to keep pests and you can get various mites living in the wood and things, and it’s much easier to get rid of them in this kind of thing.

It’s also quite practical, it’s got a tray underneath which you can take out with all the poo on it and it’s got a separate nesting box that you can easily clear out and a handy hatch on the side where you can get your eggs out without having to open up the whole thing.

So it’s quite well thought out, they are a bit expensive but it does save you a lot of money and messing about in the long run.

So you’ve got this feed and you’ve got scraps obviously

Yep they do really well on scraps.  Just leftover stale crusts, they love apple cores that’s one of the kids Marmite on toast we actually tend to give them Marmite on toast anyway because it has a good vitamin supplement for them.

I like a chicken that knows what it wants.

They eat a huge number of scraps from the garden because we grow quite a lot of our own food.  You have to net stuff off, especially little seedlings, they’ll kill them off.

But as soon as the plants are bigger and more established then they’re actually, they’re more useful cause they eat so many slugs out from around the base, even if they do have to bite the edge of your cabbage, it’s worth it.

We break up all our leaves and chop them in there.instead and they break it down and poo all over them. So they rot down a lot quicker and we get a lot more compost and better compost as a result of the chickens.

Now there were four chickens, there’s now three.  What has occurred, because this is obviously a sad story.

One day the fox came to visit and took one of the chickens.  And since then they’ve been a lot more cooped up they come out in the garden while we’re out here but if we are in the house we put them back in the cage again.

So the big question, how long are these ones going to last and are you going to eat them?

Well they lay eggs from around 2-3 years.  And then their egg laying really slows down and We’re not going to keep them if they’re not laying eggs because we haven’t the space to get new ones and I’m not feeding chickens that don’t provide us anything back.

I think the trick is to kill them early when they’re still tender enough to eat and miss out on some of the eggs, or do you kill them later when they’re probably not fit for a great deal of cooking but at least you’ve had the maximum number eggs.

If I’m honest we were going to do the early one  but we never got around to buying new chickens so by default they’ve ended up lasting a bit longer.

 

End of video transcript

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Raising Chickens for Eggs

In this 5 minute video, Home Farm Ideas tells us about raising chickens for eggs.

If you don’t want to watch the video but prefer to read a full transcript of it, please find one below.

Start Of Video Transcript

Matt here. Home farm ideas. And today one of my girls laid an egg and I believe I know who it is based on the fact that she’s hanging out by it.

See the egg down there? It’s small, but it’s her first one. And it was Red. Red was first. She’s next. I think a clear indication of when they’re going to lay is when their combs, you know, their comb’s nice and red.

That was the only indication that I had. She did start to get closer to the ground too. So that’s another indication that they’re going to lay. They start to want to lay down so the rooster can jump on them, but there was no rooster.

Her comb hasn’t turned red like Reds has. That’s Red right there. So anyways. Thought I’d share with you guys, I don’t know how she’s going to be with me getting in here, but she’s the mama and there’s the egg. Let me grab it and then I’ll get back to you guys.

So there it is, she’s pissed off that I’m taking her egg, but too bad. So that’s her first egg, going to sit down here so we can see it better. I got some pretty big mitts so, she’s mad, I got some pretty big mitts so this is a, it’s a sizeable egg. 

It’s probably about an ounce maybe, but anyway. See how it’s all speckled? Isn’t that neat. One thing that you don’t want to do, that I’ve read basically that you don’t want to do, is you don’t want to wash them off like these big commercial companies. You want to leave them be.

Because they, there’s enamel on the outside of the egg. And if you wash it off it’s more prone to get things seeping into it like salmonella. So you don’t want to wash them right away. Now if you had poop all over them, I mean you can wash it off a little bit, but don’t really go crazy washing the egg.

So anyways, first egg. Red laid it, she’s a good chicken. She might make a lot of noise but she’s a good chicken. And then you’ve got Mouth here, she just talks constantly, but not today she’s freaking out because someone laid an egg and there goes Red looking for the egg.

I need to put more hay in their boxes. I was just asking around about it and so I need to put a lot more hay so they feel comfortable going up in there. So hopefully that will happen.

So anyways, if you have any questions or comments, post them below. Subscribe to our channel which is right over here and go to our YouTube, not our YouTube page, our Facebook page.

We been discussing this stuff a lot over there and we’ve got like I don’t know, close to 900 members now and it’s growing like crazy. So when you get a chance come over there, subscribe to my channel and I’m going to have a lot more chicken updates. So anyways have a great day and like always God bless.

End of Video Transcript

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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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23 Simple Ways to Better Your Chicken Coop & Run (Free Infographic)

Here, you go!

Within the chicken keeping world there are loads of people who are looking for information about chicken coops and chicken runs.

It is not really that surprising that this topic creates so much interest considering how fundamental a good design and build of the coop and the run are to health and safety of our flocks.

I have created a list of 23 “elements” that you need to have  in your coop and run in order to get close to perfection!