Our little family would grow by the day if we A) had the funds and B) had the space! When Pearce and I moved in together, it wasn’t long before we had a Syrian hamster called Remus (yes after Lupin!) who we loved dearly. He lived a long 3 and a half years, loved to get out and play and liked to lick the ice cream spoon clean! (very occasionally – no need to call the RSPCA on us) We unfortunately lost him in December 2016. He had a neighbour; a tiny Roborovski hamster called Tonks who we adopted from the bit at Pets at Home where they re home pets. Tonks is still with us and sits side by side with our new Syrian hamster called Nancy.
So, needless to say – the second I found out we were getting our allotment; I was looking into chickens!
I did a bit of research and read around – I found out three was an optimum number to start out with to keep the mess down. Chickens are sociable animals, so like to be kept in groups. Anything more than three for a first time bird keeper may get a bit messy!
I also made sure I was going to be getting my birds from somewhere that keeps them happy and healthy – I didn’t want caged birds. As a side note, at some point when I’m more experienced and have my own garden; I would like to re-home ex battery birds – but I just don’t have the experience for that at the moment.
I ended up getting my chickens from a local woman who runs Beechwood’s Chickens from her very spacious back garden.
Without any further delay…
Each one of our girls is about 16 weeks old and we were told to expect eggs in about 4 weeks. The day after bringing them home, one of them (either Agnes or Betty) had given us their first egg – which was very impressive as we certainly didn’t expect any eggs whilst they were settling in!
Agnes will likely give us 290- 300 brown eggs a year when she starts laying.
Betty should give us a slightly lower yield of 260 brown eggs a year.
Mary-Lou should provide us with around 270+ deep brown speckled eggs per year.
So far, our girls seem to be getting along very well – they’re all beautiful and have attracted the attention of some of our allotment neighbours and their children!
Keep a look out for a post coming soon going into some more detail of the types of chickens you can expect to find in the UK and their qualities.