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I have kept my lovely chickens now for almost five years and I have four of them at my allotment. They are all female hens and this is where I get all my eggs from and I never have to buy an egg from the supermarket, which is nice, as I like to know where my eggs have come from. Sometimes I have so many eggs I have to give them to friends at my Church or to my daughter or my son.
My hens are called Mabel, Bluebell, Octavia and Keith. My granddaughter was responsible for the one named Keith as I let her choose a name. My hens are all very friendly and inquisitive and very intelligent. I think this bird is highly underrated as far as intelligence is concerned. They live in their coop which I bought flat packed just before I bought the chickens. They seem to be very happy at my allotment and I have to let them out of their coop every morning. I tend to do this at about 8am and then I put them back in at 8pm at night. They are always ready to jump out every morning and seem to queue at their little door and usually by the time I have walked up there at night they are all inside and waiting for me to lock them in. Their little house is very secure and it is up on blocks and off the ground. This is to make sure than the vermin cannot get in and it also makes sure that they are warmer as they are up off the cold ground. They have a run outside of their coop and it is secure from predators.
They like to have about 12 hours of daylight every day and I try to make sure they do. They are very easy for me to keep and look after and I love to go up to have a chat to them. As the years have gone by they will eat out of my hand and they recognize my voice and respond to my calling for them. Occasionally Mabel is the last one in her house at night and she will run off and away from me and refuse to go to bed. The only way to deal with her is for me to be ready with my jumper which I have to throw over her head and this stops her from moving and allows me to pick her up and gently put her into her house.
My chickens eat a good diet and I like to give them greens as a bit of variety, mainly stuff from my allotment such as spring cabbages, which they like to peck at. They have a constant supply of fresh water as they are heavy drinkers and I give them layer pellets these have all the nutrients that my lovely little birds need. In the afternoons I will scatter corn because they like to scratch around go this. All four of my chickens are hybrids and I have 2 white ones which are called Light Sussex and 2 blue/grey ones which are called Bluebells or Blue Haze. They started to lay lovely brown eggs about 4 months after I got them, and they came with all their inoculations but their wings have not been clipped so I had to make sure there is a mesh roof on their coop. They each lay about 270 to 300 eggs a year, so I do eat a lot of eggs. I know they will slow down as they get older though because their best laying years are supposed to be the first three years and they are all older than this now.
My birds are all very friendly and I have put a little mirror in their run so they can look at themselves, because not many people realise that chickens really like to look at and admire themselves. I also have some bark in their run as they like to peck at the bark and it makes sure they don’t get bored, as they are an intelligent little bird. I do love birds. I also have some little blocks which are free hanging, inside their coop and they love to peck at these and sometimes they seem to get quite cross with their blocks as they peck away at them. My chickens loves to scratch and keep busy and I also have an area in their run where they have a lovely dry spot with dust where they can roll about as this is how they keep clean.
I know my lovely little birds will not last forever and I can see that their egg production is slowing down now, but they are lovely little inquisitive things and they each have their own little personality. They are lovely to keep and very easy to take care of and I have made many lovely friends at the allotment due to my chicks. I recommend them to you.