Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Realising a dream  (Read 1488 times)


  • Joined Jul 2020
Realising a dream
« on: July 27, 2020, 09:08:36 am »
Hello everybody!
I live in North Wales with my partner on a couple of acres. Most is field for his mum's 2 horses, then there is yard/parking space, garden, veg patch and soon to be a chicken run and house for 6 ex-commercial hens.

I have learned a lot about veg growing this year so that things can improve going forward ???? they are a safe zone for me because I helped my mum loads on her allotment. The new venture of chickens is different....I can do animal care, cleaning out etc but it's which products to use, that is getting overwhelming. Lots of reading going forward and I look forward to getting to know this community ????



  • Joined Mar 2017
  • Rhondda fach
Re: Realising a dream
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2020, 07:01:17 pm »
Hello AmyG, welcome to TAS :wave:

Steph Hen

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Angus Scotland.
Re: Realising a dream
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2020, 09:04:09 am »
Welcome to the forum AmyG!

Chickens donít really need Ďproductsí. You might choose to worm them once a year, or wait until you see some symptoms of a bird not doing so well. You donít need to vaccinate or booster jab or microchip or anything. Thereís no paperwork or registration to be done unless you get to over fifty birds.

Just about everyone either keeps hens free range (and eventually looses some to the fox or other predators) or in a wire pen where theyíre safer from predators but end up eating their grass down, needing more food and probably at more risk of parasites. If you can, some sort of movable chicken run/chicken tractor is a good system for keeping them safe and contained and giving them fresh food.

 Thereís loads on this forum and elsewhere on the web. But ití need not be complicated ;-)


  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Realising a dream
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2020, 09:18:07 am »
20 years ago, me and then hubs bought our first smallholding and wanted chickens.  We bought and read books.  Every couple of weeks we would have a chat with the chap at the local smallholding supplies place as we bought our dog food, and I always had chicken questions  :D   Finally he said, "You've done enough prep now.  Put the book away and get some chickens.  You'll be fine."  Bless him  :love:  :chook: :chook: :chook:
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 cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing


  • Joined Apr 2014
Re: Realising a dream
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2020, 09:47:51 am »
Chickens are relatively straight forward, so I am sure you will be fine! I echo other posters in that if they free range, you will likely lose some to a fox (or similar). I took the risk with mine and lost them to a fox, after 6 years of no issues.

I had mine trained to a whistle. Whistle and they would come running as it meant treats (dried mealworms in my case). It was handy as it was easy to get them back into their coop when required.


  • Joined Aug 2014
  • Conwy
Re: Realising a dream
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2020, 11:12:42 am »
We have found chickens to be a learning curve best done with chickens! We read lots First but really they are best understood by watching them and spotting usual behaviour and any changes. We used to fully free range Until very recently when a trio of foxes in broad daylight launched into our little flock killing three and leaving two carcasses.
Now they are penned up and am looking at creating a moveable day pen. Definitely worth doing something specific each time they have extra treat a ( whistle/ call) before they start to wander and they will come right away and at speed when you need them to get home. It will help us transport them from the mobile pen - sadly I have concluded that I wonít let them wander the fields as before.


  • Joined Jul 2020
Re: Realising a dream
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2020, 09:22:51 pm »
Thank you for the warm welcome and advice everybody! By products I meant disinfectant, bedding and that kind of thing :)
We have foxes that seem to live very close by as we get alerted to their presence in the field most nights by the dogs! So our chickens are going to be very well protected indeed. A movable chicken run for the daytime may be possible in the future but for now I'll just need to supplement and enrich their environment with greens which I can forage and scatter in the run if it isn't green enough. Really looking forward to having a happy little flock.   :chook: :chook: :chook: :chook: :chook: :chook:

Steph Hen

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Angus Scotland.
Re: Realising a dream
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2020, 06:43:44 pm »
No disinfectant. Straw in nest box, I donít use bedding as mine arenít in a hutch anymore, so their muck falls on the soil and gets shovelled away to the compost. Otherwise a horse size bag of wood shavings.  :)


  • Joined Feb 2016
  • Leicester
Re: Realising a dream
« Reply #8 on: July 29, 2020, 09:03:59 pm »
I got my first chickens about 10 years ago when I was living in a little terraced house in the middle of very crowded area of Leicester City.
Wouldn't get rid of them for anything!
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.

Steph Hen

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Angus Scotland.
Re: Realising a dream
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2020, 08:28:02 am »
Iím a big reader and researcher but if youíve got a safe place for them to live, some straw, wood shavings and bag of feed you wonít go far wrong. Then itís tweaking and watching to see how they behave, who lays, who looks bullied or shabby or goes broody, improving your feeding and watering systems.  :chook:


  • Joined Jul 2020
Re: Realising a dream
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2020, 04:14:27 pm »
You've all been really reassuring, thank you!

I don't have wood shaving, just Dengie fresh bed (have haylage available to me as well) I was going to just have a thicker layer of the fresh bed in the nest boxes. Will that work?



  • Joined Feb 2012
  • Somerset
Re: Realising a dream
« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2020, 05:19:58 pm »
Have you read the "Livestock" section at the top of the TAS homepage? It has some very good information on keeping poultry and i found it invaluable when I first started. :chook:


  • Joined Jul 2020
Re: Realising a dream
« Reply #12 on: August 04, 2020, 06:41:34 am »
Yes, I have read the poultry section, it was useful ??

The girls are now here and seem to be settling in nicely!


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