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    • CommentAuthorg page
    • CommentTimeJun 30th, 2010 6:47pm (Jun 30th 2010) edited
     
    I am amazed that people will go and buy housing and POL chickens from garden centres and from other novice private individuals.
    1. are they vaccinated, if so with IB live vaccines which will convert them into carriers
    2. who is the person , and the vet responsible for health and welfare of birds being sold at individual locations
    3. they are aggregating birds, potentially spreading disease
    4. their staff have no training and advice to pass on to buyers.
    5. as to coops they are largely selling rubbish chinese imported houses that afford little protection against predators, also made of soft wood with a splash of stain, those we have bought failed within 6/8 months.

    If you are unsure, or sufficiently caring go to a proper POL and pure breeds supplier.
    • CommentAuthorollie in UK
    • CommentTimeJun 30th, 2010 7:10pm (Jun 30th 2010) edited
     
    Hi there g page!

    Welcome to the group. You sound very fiesty - just what we like on Hencam.

    Red, who is a " Keeper of the hens" has just been finding stuff like this, though her problem was more with the conditions for the creatures still in the G'centers etc., She has been sending strongly worded messages to them!!! Not the first time either.

    You seem to be in UK but where abouts? We have members in other countries too. Have a look at "Googlemapdirectory" at the top of the page and you may like to add yourself.

    Looking forwards to reading comments from others...
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeJun 30th, 2010 11:24pm (Jun 30th 2010)
     
    People buy from garden centres because they don't know where else to go and (usually incorrectly) believe that they are a good place to start. The housing they sell looks nice and its easy to get someone to help you out to the car with it, again believing that they are a good 'starter home'.

    I have been on this group for a long time, but if I suddenly decided to get hens (no CC, I'm NOT going to!) I wouldn't know where to start but would hope someone on here would advise me. What would I do if I wasn't on this forum? Go to where I've seen hens - the local garden centre.

    The same is true of other pets sold by them - they're usually unhealthy, not properly cared for, and they give BAD advice too. Its refreshing that there are people like you and Red that will shout about it and try to make things better.

    By the way, what does POL stand for?!!!!
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeJul 1st, 2010 5:38pm (Jul 1st 2010)
     
    POL = Point of lay = old enough to lay eggs, I think.
    • CommentAuthorleevaux
    • CommentTimeJul 1st, 2010 9:21pm (Jul 1st 2010)
     
    Thats right CC about to lay eggs any time in the near future!
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeJul 1st, 2010 9:38pm (Jul 1st 2010)
     
    Oh, of course! Thanks for that.
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeJul 2nd, 2010 1:10am (Jul 2nd 2010) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Both our chicken coops have done really well (although the first we converted into a rabbit hutch) - the first was from a pet shop, the second off ebay. We have been very lucky.

    I don't think it's advertised widely enough where you should buy chickens from - Kate makes a good point, how are you supposed to know where to buy chickens from?! The first place we went to look for chickens, way back around 2003-ish, was a local chicken farmer, who sold us 3 POL pullets (Libby, Tilly and Penny)

    We were lucky that they were fantastic healthy chicken; we bought chickens on a whim, we didn't know about breeds or anything. Milly, we bought from the a local petting farm, and once again didn't really know anything about breeds or such...she was sold as a POL pullet, and looking back I guess she was about 10-12 weeks old.

    And, in all honesty, if we had a local garden centre that sold chickens then yes, I think we would have got them from there.

    The problem is that, especially back then, information on chicken-keeping and such wasn't widely available. Thankfully it's becoming much more easily accessible now; the chicken manual is an awesome book that covers just about everything, and even the Omlet website has lots of useful information.
    •  
      CommentAuthorneil
    • CommentTimeJul 2nd, 2010 11:34am (Jul 2nd 2010)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    I always wanted to get them from a local breeder - I'd already spoken to the farmer at the top of our road, and we got ours from the same guy who supplied someone selling free-range eggs not far from us...

    He was a nice old guy who lived on the edge of huge moorland, and obviously breeding hens was a bit of a hobby to him. I do agree we were naive though as we didn't know if they'd been vaccinated, or against what...

    I don't think I'd have trusted a garden center - though I still haven't seen one that sells hens, or even housing suitable for hens!

    The petting farm / farm shop purchase seemed a pretty good one - they obviously knew chickens and how to look after them as the public get to see a fair amount of them on the farm walk.

    At least if you are buying from a breeder, they have experience and knowledge that you can (and should) tap when you make your purchase, and will be able to find out as much as possible about their husbandry before taking them home...
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeJul 2nd, 2010 10:55pm (Jul 2nd 2010)
     
    Our local garden centre sells what looks like a nice chicken coop for around £130. I think that's extortionate! I'd have to surf the net first to see what I could find, and thne find a carpenter and see if he could do something better for the same money / cheaper.

    Actually, my colleague's dad breeds chickens. Just a few at a time - her mom took 2 off him and keeps them as pets. The others he keeps for eggs or homes elsewhere or, occasionally I think, sunday dinner. (sorry!) He was brought up through the war and it seems to be quite normal to that age group to be self-sufficient where possible.
    •  
      CommentAuthorneil
    • CommentTimeJul 5th, 2010 10:57am (Jul 5th 2010) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Kate, I won't say what ours was (I think Scarlet paid nearly three times that)... £130 sounds quite reasonable if it's a decent size.

    The first coop they had was a rabbit penthouse with additional run and I think that cost over £150 - it's not cheap getting chicken housing, if you are diy-inclined then there are big savings to be had.
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeJul 5th, 2010 1:44pm (Jul 5th 2010)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Posted By: neilI think Scarlet paid nearly three times that

    Yeah, didn't she just!!!
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeJul 5th, 2010 3:02pm (Jul 5th 2010)
     
    The mansion I've just bought is about a yard square with 2 nesting boxes, and was £150 delivered.
    • CommentAuthorleevaux
    • CommentTimeJul 5th, 2010 7:19pm (Jul 5th 2010) edited
     
    that is very good cc i bought a fairly big one a few years ago which they still live in but i have had to reinforce as it is like balsa wood
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeJul 5th, 2010 9:29pm (Jul 5th 2010)
     
    I went to the garden centre yesterday and had another look. It was a rabbit hutch that was £130! The coops were £300+! I did notice that the ducks had all gone, and the brown hens had too. All they had were some bantams (that were dust bathing and looked filthy!) and some guinea fowl I think they were. I'd always thought they were little birds but these were big and ugly!!
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeJul 5th, 2010 10:03pm (Jul 5th 2010)
     
    It used to be traditional that pubs kept guinea fowl. Only a few round here do now...
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeJul 5th, 2010 11:50pm (Jul 5th 2010)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Aw i love guinea fowl, although they're bloody noisy!!
    •  
      CommentAuthorKateb
    • CommentTimeJul 6th, 2010 10:11pm (Jul 6th 2010)
     
    The ones at the garden centre are ugly! I don't know if they're just not in particularly good condition or if that's what they're like.
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeJul 7th, 2010 7:35pm (Jul 7th 2010)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Nah, I think a lot of people consider them ugly :smile:
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeJul 7th, 2010 7:36pm (Jul 7th 2010) edited
     

    Keeper of the hens



    • CommentAuthorleevaux
    • CommentTimeJul 7th, 2010 9:41pm (Jul 7th 2010)
     
    Yes I see what you mean they are a little out of shape !! :sad:
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeJul 8th, 2010 2:20pm (Jul 8th 2010)
     
    Oh poor things well I think they are beautiful and have the most amazing plumage. I had thought of getting a couple when I got the hens but didn't know where to get them from. I might see if I can get some fertile eggs next time one of my hens goes broody.
    •  
      CommentAuthorchief chicken
    • CommentTimeJul 8th, 2010 5:37pm (Jul 8th 2010)
     
    They do seem to have gone a bit mad with the lippy, don't they?
    •  
      CommentAuthorRed
    • CommentTimeJul 8th, 2010 6:05pm (Jul 8th 2010)
     

    Keeper of the hens

    Hmmm, I really want some some day, too...when there aren't too many neighbours to whinge about the noise :smile:
    • CommentAuthornanny north
    • CommentTimeJul 8th, 2010 8:30pm (Jul 8th 2010)
     
    yes they can be very noisy and are quick to sound their alarm screech.

    Ha ha CC it does look like they are wearing lippy