Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Advice please : Non-destructive banty /chicken / duck breed?  (Read 6202 times)

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Advice please : Non-destructive banty /chicken / duck breed?
« on: January 01, 2012, 01:43:17 pm »
Nephew is looking to move this year to a house and garden and is very keen to have some hens for eggs.  :thumbsup:

But, he is a very keen gardener (veges especially) and has heard that banties would do less damage to the plants... I said I would ask some experts I know for their input!

Are there any breeds or types that are better than others?  Or will all laying creatures eat, scratch, pull up and dig up young plants?
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

darkbrowneggs

  • Joined Aug 2010
    • The World is My Lobster
Re: Advice please : Non-destructive banty /chicken / duck breed?
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2012, 01:51:39 pm »
I would say most chickens are pretty much of a disaster in the garden.  I have horrendous slug problems and use a flock of Minature Crested Ducks  as slug control, I have to say they do an excellent job and so far don't seem to damage the garden much, though you can't trust them round lettuces.  They lay reasonably well, but nothing like an egg laying type breed

I have heard Guinea Fowl are good and don't do any damage, and if you can find their eggs they can be reasonable layers.

Happy New Year

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little blue

  • Joined Jun 2009
  • Derbyshire
Re: Advice please : Non-destructive banty /chicken / duck breed?
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2012, 02:23:41 pm »
banties would, I imagine, make the same damage just smaller!

We have all our birds penned, they are used to it and when the odd one does get out, she just has a little wander before letting me pick her up to go "home again"
maybe this would be the best solution?
Little Blue

HappyHippy

  • Guest
Re: Advice please : Non-destructive banty /chicken / duck breed?
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2012, 03:04:53 pm »
II have heard Guinea Fowl are good and don't do any damage, and if you can find their eggs they can be reasonable layers.
But you can't deny they are one of (if not THE) noisiest birds there is - maybe not ideal if he has neighbours he want's to stay friends with  ;) ;D

I've got bantams & standard chooks (free ranging in our garden) and the wee ones do just as much damage  :-\ Plan had been to move them to their fabulous new house (yeah, still nearly finished) in the field, but given Boris & his new found liking of poultry......... ::) They're safer in the garden, which they've trashed (helped by the kids and endless rain we've had this year)

It's probably worth looking at having them in a run most of the time and only have them out when he's there to keep an eye on them - at least until he sees how they get on (and the plan is he'll be so in awe of how good the eggs are that he'll forgive a bit of foraging)  :thumbsup:
HTH

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Advice please : Non-destructive banty /chicken / duck breed?
« Reply #4 on: January 01, 2012, 04:49:42 pm »
I have heard Guinea Fowl are good and don't do any damage, and if you can find their eggs they can be reasonable layers.

Be careful with that one  - our Peafowl didn't touch the garden all summer, but the moment the frosts came, and other food became scarce, they decimated our winter cabbages, most of our leeks, and any sprouts below beak level!  Also, you'd be hard pushed to keep them in your own garden, so not a good choice if you have neighbours (and that's before considering the noise!).

I like the idea of miniature ducks though - our slug population has plummeted since we got our Indian Runners.
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett

colliewoman

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Jul 2011
  • Pilton
  • Caution! May spontaneously talk rabbits!
Re: Advice please : Non-destructive banty /chicken / duck breed?
« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2012, 05:19:43 pm »

I let my pekins in the veg patch once everything is full size, and they haven't done too much damage.
The feathered legs and feet make them less able to dig i think. :chook: :chook:
We'll turn the dust to soil,
Turn the rust of hate back into passion.
It's not water into wine
But it's here, and it's happening.
Massive,
but passive.


Bring the peace back

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Advice please : Non-destructive banty /chicken / duck breed?
« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2012, 05:54:57 pm »
Thanks folks.  He had heard of a feathered-footed bantie being a good one, so that's the pekin then.  Anyone else had any experience, good or bad, of them in gardens?
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Advice please : Non-destructive banty /chicken / duck breed?
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2012, 10:47:59 pm »
 I would definitely agree with the Pekins.
 I'd always kept large fowl till recently, which couldn't walk past a flower border without spreading the soil and plants to at least six foot away.
 But 2 years ago I was given a trio of Pekins and they are the most delightful of birds, both for a beginner and a gardener. They are tame and placid, don't wander far, seem little inclined to scratch and dig, and if they do taste the odd plant, it's so half hearted you wouldn't notice.
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

Black Raven

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Nr Windermere.
Re: Advice please : Non-destructive banty /chicken / duck breed?
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2012, 06:04:31 pm »
I used to look after a trio of black Pekin bantams for a lady in Troutbeck. She used to open her garden for the NGS and was quite particular about it. Her Pekins had free range and the damage was minimal. Being a little bit  ;)biased about Peke peke pekins I can thoroughly recommend them. Just got 8 new ones today  ;D

colliewoman

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Jul 2011
  • Pilton
  • Caution! May spontaneously talk rabbits!
Re: Advice please : Non-destructive banty /chicken / duck breed?
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2012, 07:54:14 pm »
If he does decide he wants some, If you or he has and incubator, or if you have an broody hen when the time is right, I will gladly post you (or anyone who wants some) some hatching eggs ;)
mine are either pure pekin or pekin x pekin x sablepoot from the prettiest buff lavender cockerel :love: :love: the results are as near to rainbow colours as is possible! I've had all sorts of colours from them :chook: :chook:
We'll turn the dust to soil,
Turn the rust of hate back into passion.
It's not water into wine
But it's here, and it's happening.
Massive,
but passive.


Bring the peace back

Black Raven

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Nr Windermere.
Re: Advice please : Non-destructive banty /chicken / duck breed?
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2012, 08:07:10 pm »
I'm on a quest for Lavender hens atm. Seem to be hard to find. Got two Lavender Cockerels, one going spare if anyone wants him.

colliewoman

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Jul 2011
  • Pilton
  • Caution! May spontaneously talk rabbits!
Re: Advice please : Non-destructive banty /chicken / duck breed?
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2012, 08:14:01 pm »
When I see her next I can ask the lady I got Ichabod from if you like?
They are actually buff lavenders though (I was too lazy to type the extra word in the last post!:D)
We'll turn the dust to soil,
Turn the rust of hate back into passion.
It's not water into wine
But it's here, and it's happening.
Massive,
but passive.


Bring the peace back

Black Raven

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Nr Windermere.
Re: Advice please : Non-destructive banty /chicken / duck breed?
« Reply #12 on: January 02, 2012, 09:54:34 pm »
I will googlea buff lavender to see what it looks like  ;) The ones I really want are some Columbian marked ones, not easy to find. I'd love to breed them.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Re: Advice please : Non-destructive banty /chicken / duck breed?
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2012, 11:41:01 pm »
If he does decide he wants some, If you or he has and incubator, or if you have an broody hen when the time is right, I will gladly post you (or anyone who wants some) some hatching eggs ;)
mine are either pure pekin or pekin x pekin x sablepoot from the prettiest buff lavender cockerel :love: :love: the results are as near to rainbow colours as is possible! I've had all sorts of colours from them :chook: :chook:
Thanks for the offer colliewoman.  We get broodies alright - but we also seem to be a hotel for hedgehogs, who book in for rooms with eggs and baby chickens for breakfast...  But if we're better set up when the time comes, I may take you up on that.  :thumbsup:  They sound gorgeous.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

colliewoman

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Jul 2011
  • Pilton
  • Caution! May spontaneously talk rabbits!
Re: Advice please : Non-destructive banty /chicken / duck breed?
« Reply #14 on: January 03, 2012, 09:50:19 am »
I will googlea buff lavender to see what it looks like  ;) The ones I really want are some Columbian marked ones, not easy to find. I'd love to breed them.

My lot throw colombian!!!
I let you know when we start hatching  ;D
We'll turn the dust to soil,
Turn the rust of hate back into passion.
It's not water into wine
But it's here, and it's happening.
Massive,
but passive.


Bring the peace back

 

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