Thinking about buying a few hens but are wondering how to keep chickens or think looking after chickens will be difficult? In comparison to looking after a dog or a cat, keeping your own hens is easy; they don’t need walking & they don’t need constant attention! All hens need is a super spacious area, delicious food & lots of water. And in return for your love and attention, they will follow you around the garden, give you lots of entertainment and – lay eggs – of course! At Hollydene Hens we strongly live by the RSPCA’s Five Freedoms (click the link to find out more) – in accordance to RSPCA’s animal care recommendations we have put together our own guide to how to keep chickens, read on to find out four simple steps to looking after your hens.
Here’s everything you need to know about how to keep chickens happy and healthy!
1. A chicken pen that’s fox proof
A chicken pen needs a roost to snuggle up at night time, a comfortable nest box so hens can lay eggs in private, a run for outside scratting, a feeder and a water container. Foxes are mostly around at night so make sure you hens are secure and locked in their pens by dusk. Fox proof your run by ensuring all gaps are protected by chicken wire and prevent foxes from digging underneath.
Not sure what hens you like? Click to see our varieties of chickens for sale.
2. A secure garden with space for dust baths
Chickens love to explore, that’s why it’s best to have a secure garden or else you’ll be finding them in your neighbours garden too often! You’ll need a small area with loose fine soil or sand so your chickens can keep themselves clean by shaking dust into their feathers. The dust settles on the feathers and soaks up oil from their skin. Bathing in dust prevents parasites too!
3. Chicken feed & greens
Chickens are always scratting the ground for food or following you around for a bit of feed! For a complete diet, your hens simply need a diet of vitamin fortified pellets, meal and a variety of green vegetables.
TIP: Tying up broccoli & cabbage leaves in their pens keeps your hens entertained as well as full & healthy!
4. Add apple cider vinegar into their water and scatter grit in their run
By eating grit regularly, your hens’ eggs will develop better and become stronger. Like apple cider vinegar benefits our health, apple cider vinegar is amazing for chickens too! Ensuring your hen gets apple cider vinegar in their diet will aid their digestion, boost their immune system to fight off any viruses & infections, keep their feathers shiny and their combs red and glowing!
Recipe: For every 1 litre of water add 20ml of apple cider vinegar.
If you’d like advice on caring for your hens feel free to call/text me on 07712772280. You can also find us at www.facebook.com/HollydeneHens. ‘Like’ or page for advice, special offers & news in the world of chickens!
Sue & Hollydene Hens.
P.S Going away? We can look after your hens! Feel 100% reassured to know your chickens shall be treated just the same as our own, we take pride in our chickens and we are happy as long as they are! We can look after 1-2 hens up to 30 hens. We welcome ducks too! Go to our Hen Boarding page to find out more information and reserve your hen holiday via our booking form!