Once upon a time, the sight of a chicken coop in anywhere other than a farmer’s yard or a rural smallholding would have been unusual.
But the nation’s passion for keeping chickens shows no sign of abating and it’s not unusual to hear the sound of chickens clucking around in a suburban garden these days.
There are no nationwide statistics on the number of people keeping chickens as a hobby but it could be as many as 750,000 – a huge leap since the turn of the millennium.
So if you’re keen to keep chickens, where to start? Like any other pet, they need regular attention so be prepared for at least twice daily visits to the hen house. Unlike other pets, you’ll hopefully reap the benefits with fresh eggs on a daily basis.
Keep them secure
The first step is to create an environment where they can be kept securely away from predators such as foxes. A hen house with a run is great as they have an indoor area to shelter from the elements and roost as well as an outside area to roam safely.
Ideally, they need an area of lawn or grass where they can be let out to wander during the day.
Chickens are a great way of disposing of your food leftovers but they do need specialist food as well. Our website has a comprehensive selection and staff in store will be happy to advise on what’s best for your chickens.
They also need unlimited access to water so investing in a free standing poultry drinker with a large capacity means you just need to keep it topped up.
Although they are hardy animals, chickens aren’t exempt from the common problems we get with our pets such as mites so having a stock of treatments will help you address an eventuality that might arise to keep your hens in tip top egg laying condition!