Since we last all our chickens, ducks and geese to Mr Fox last year I decided to take a break from farm animals (with the exception of our sheep).
I can’t wait to start having my own constant supply of eggs again.
Chickens make great pets, they are usually really friendly and apart from cleaning them regularly they are pretty minimal work.
I would stay clear of Cockerells if you have neighbours close by though.
There is a fantastic poultry and farm shop called near Hickstead Show ground in Sussex where I usually buy my birds. They have a great selection and are so knowledgeable on everything.
My preference are Orpington buff hens, they are a large breed, super friendly and great with the kids.
I am also on the list for ex battery hens which I have picked up in the past.
I wouldn’t suggest this if you are new to chicken keeping though. They arrive in pretty bad condition and are very precious.
I have lost many ex bats because it’s been a little too cold for them (it is common for them to arrive with little or no feathers 😞).
If you have kept chickens before or have the time to spend with them however it is really worthwhile and gratifying.
If you saw the state these chickens are in you would NEVER eat caged hen eggs.
Because of Mr Fox I’m not going to risk free ranging them anymore so I will be buying (or making) a big run for them.
I have also ordered some fertile eggs to hatch some of our own chicks and ducklings.
We have done this in the past and the kids love it.
Ducks are my favourite, they are full of character.
Ducks imprint on their mothers (or whoever they bond with first after hatching) so my Indian runner ducklings would follow me all around the house!
The only problem with keeping ducks is the mess….. They can turn a beautiful lawn into a bog in no time.
As for my geese, I think i will wait a little longer before I replace them.
They were great guard animals but unfortunately they couldnt always tell the difference between welcome and unwelcome guests!
I’ll update you once we have our new arrivals.