Wednesday, 4 March 2009

I blame Jamie Oliver

Its Valentines day and we have just been to Essex to pick up a chicken coop in preparation for getting our chickens next weekend!

Chickens?? I hear you cry!!- where did that crazy idea come from? Its like the Leopard geckos all over again! (remind me to tell you about the geckos another time!)

I know.... it seems like a random thing to do- especially for someone in their mid twenties who lives in suburban London- however its been an idea in the back of our minds for about a year now.

I blame our next door neighbour, Jamie Oliver, and my mum for putting the idea into our heads in the first place.

Our next door neighbour (who keeps bees, and has the allotment) randomly one day said he thought it would be a cool idea if we kept chickens in our garden- we laughed about it at the time - but the idea must have stuck somewhere.

Then Jamie Oliver did his program last summer about battery farmed chickens which from that day I stopped buying cheap chicken, and it made me wonder about chickens welfare.

Then lastly on a visit to my mum and dads down in dorset I was given some freshly laid eggs from her neighbours chickens. I decided to try to incubate these eggs as they were fertile instead of eating them- (they didn't hatch) and it completely started the ball rolling down the chicken route.

So doing some research on what makes a good chicken house- the Eglus or Cubes from Omlet look amazing! However our budget did not stretch that far! So we decided on a wooden house, with fox proof wire, the house off the ground to deter rats, and a covered run would keep the girls dry in wet weather.

Ebay seemed the best place to get a good deal so early Valentines morning saw us driving to Ongar in Essex to pick up our house. It cost us £170.

Putting it together was easy- we have decided to keep the hens on the concrete near the house to prevent any foxes from digging into the run. Also being nearer the house means added safety and ease of access to let them out, feed and close up in the evening.

Now all we need are some chickens!

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