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Why Keep Chickens?

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Keeping Chickens

Owning chickens can be great fun and very rewarding too!  They are incredibly easy to look after, don’t take up much room and give you a tasty breakfast every morning.  A healthy hen can live six to ten years.

Chickens need daily care and if you are not able to provide this you must arrange for someone with sufficient knowledge to do so in your absence.

If you’re thinking of owning chickens for the first time, or if you’re a seasoned owner, Mole Valley Farmers offer everything you need in one place – housing, fencing, bedding, feed and feeders.  If you have any questions please ask a member of staff who will be only too pleased to guide you through everything you need.

Find out More

Read on to discover more about...

Choosing your chickens

Poultry terminology

Hints and tips

Get to know your chickens

Housing

Health care

Feeding

Breeding

Regulations

Products


Choosing your Chickens

First you need to choose your chicken!  You need to decide whether you want them just for eggs or for meat as well.  There are lots of different breeds to choose from, but the best kind for the first time owner looking for a pet and a few eggs is one of the hybrid breeds.  These have been bred to be ‘human-friendly’ and to lay regularly – as much as one a day.  A dual purpose bird lays eggs and is ideal for meat as well. 

RoosterEven in small flocks, wherever you are rearing chicks cockerels will be a result.  More than one cockerel will usually mean fights, so extra cockerels are often culled for meat.  Many people keep chickens and other fowl purely for pleasure and even when the main reason for keeping a small flock is for egg or meat production, there is still great enjoyment to be had from seeing birds about the place.

There are many local suppliers who will be very happy to explain the different breeds and the advantages of each.  To get started, it is best to buy ‘point of lay’ (POL) chickens.  They are around 16 weeks old and, as the name suggests, ready to start to lay.  Your breeder will also have had the chickens vaccinated.  Also, don’t forget to check whether they have clipped their wings.

Poultry showing is popular and although it can become quite specialised, there is fun in taking your birds to shows.



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