The next project is … keeping chickens. A few chickens in the back garden will keep us in eggs, and if we take some cockerels as well as pullets, some meat for the freezer.
We’ve sounded out the neighbours, and we can shoehorn a run and coop into our little back garden. So when this came up on eBay, I couldn’t resist it.
We only really want, say, 4 chickens. Maybe a few more “growers” if we decide to go for meat as well as eggs. The run is 9 feet by 12 feet, which should give them loads of space, especially if they are allowed to roam the garden on fine days. We thought that we might also take the fully grown laying chickens down to the allotment in the autumn and spring, where they can do a bit of weeding for us and get a change of scene. We’ll need to acquire a portable fence for that, though, or maybe a small portable run or “chicken tractor”. And they’ll have to be supervised, because the dustbin foxes are so numerous and so bold locally.
I’ve been lurking on various forums to pick up hints on garden chickens, and read the excellent Storey’s Guide, which seems to talk sense on management methods.
The coop and run are still on the trailer and in the car respectively. I want to apply preservative before assembling them, so that’s next week’s project.
And why Coop Jacques? Partly because we’re going to stain the henhouse in green and cream, and partly because even on professional poultry sites, it’s often spelt coup or even coupe!