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High Quality & Low Maintenance Plastic Chicken Coops

No Tool Assembly - Strongest construction from the thickest plastic board in the market – Wide range of sizes in stock.

Welcome to S & Co Coops, the leading plastic chicken coop manufacturer in the UK with a wide range of handmade Plastic chicken coops for saleWe are a family run business designing and manufacturing plastic chickens coops for discerning poultry keepers who are fed up with the problems of traditional wooden chicken coops. All our hen coops are made in the UK using durable plastic board which uniquely and simply slots together with no need for any tools!

Here at S & Co we take pride in offering state-of-the art, environmentally friendly plastic chicken coops to our customers, we design and manufacture coops that are reliable and heavy duty but also exceptionally hassle-free for the user, a toolless assembly, cleaning will become a delight instead of a chore and no mites to get rid of.

We believe our plastic coops to be the ideal hen house as they are not only effortless to assemble without a single tool required but also our backyard chicken coops use the strongest material which is not only environmentally friendly but is a huge advance on the traditional wooden coops available.

Healthy, happy hens rely on a quality chicken coop that has a comfortable, right size, nesting box. Chickens love roosting and with the perch space available in our coops, no hen will be disappointed. Even In the depths of winter, although they like that snow, they won’t be missing a warm, cosy and inviting home to welcome them back with the plastic material and the strong roof offering 100% waterproof space.

An outdoor space is vital for your chickens but sometimes it can be a hazardous place to be when predators such as foxes, birds and many more are lurking. We created a chicken run that will keep your hens or even special breeds secure, and out of harms way. Our secure chicken runs  are triangular shaped for maximum security against big predators like foxes and dogs. Foxes are crafty animals and if they can’t climb in, they’ll dig their way in so we came up with a way to  attach an exterior mesh skirt on the outside. We believe this is the best solution as it doesn’t require digging mesh underground to stop them so your run is still easily movable like our plastic coops.

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Plastic Chicken Coop Runs

A safe and secure but attractive looking run for your chickens, let them experience the outside world without the dangers.

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Door Openers

You don't need to worry about locking away your chickens with this state of the art Chicken Guard, compatible with our plastic chicken coops!

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                                                            5 BENEFITS OF PLASTIC CHICKEN COOPS

  • Completely Washable 

Plastic coops can be washed with hose or even pressure washer and can be easily disassembled for an even more thorough wash of each part if needed.

  • Maintenance Free

Your coop will not crack, split, warp, swell, splinter or rot… the plastic will literally last forever… and without maintenance!

  • Pack Away

You can disassemble and store your plastic coop flat, it will be as good as new when you next use it.

  • Resale value

Plastic coops have a resale value! Getting a bigger coop or children given up on chickens? Whatever the reason your coop can be SOLD! Easily disassembled, washed, and sent flat pack via courier.

  • Quick Assembly

Assemble and disassemble without any tools following very simple instructions

CHICKEN COOPS - WOOD V PLASTIC - WHICH DO YOU CHOOSE?

Perhaps the biggest decision when getting chickens will be the coop, the hen coop needs to provide a safe house for your new brood, be easy to clean and last a long time.

In the contest for the best chicken coop design the material it is constructed from will play a very large part so; which material is the best, the safest, most durable, longest lasting and easiest to clean…? Let's take a look…Appearance 

If you are on our website, we are going to assume you are a pragmatic buyer wanting a strong coop to last a long time so it’s likely that looks are not top of your buying criteria, that said we still think our plastic coops look good in the traditional hen house style, not like something out of the Lakeland catalogue… have a look at our gallery to see for yourselves. 

 

Coop Cleanliness 

Healthy chickens need a healthy coop! An easy to clean home helps to prevent poorly birds, stops disease spreading and may even increase the number of eggs you get! Humans know that the healthier our homes, the healthier our children - why not the same for our hens?

When it’s new your Timber hen house can look good, there is no doubting that but as it gets older how clean will it keep? Whether you have had experience with trying to clean a timber chicken coop before or even just experience with cleaning your patio furniture or maintaining your garden fence you know timber isn’t easy to clean and the ongoing painting is a nuisance. Without maintenance (and even eventually with) rot sets in - even whilst quite new timber starts to soften, it absorbs moisture - the perfect environment for bacteria and pathogens. 

 

Getting a pressure washer out for chicken coop used to be the thing of dreams! But with a well-built plastic coop a quick blast is all that is needed. Try it with a wooden coop and you can kiss goodbye to your investment or at the very least have a soggy timber house to return your brood to. Plastic is the best way to go if you want to maintain a disease-free environment, with smooth surfaces that don’t let in the pathogens or bacteria and are easy to clean.

Chicken Coop Strength

You don't need to be a rocket scientist to know that plastic is stronger than timber, many products that used to be made from wood are now made from thinner plastics and are more robust - our coops are made from plastic board which is thicker than most manufacturers timber! The best of both worlds! Wood can crack, split, warp, swell, splinter, rot… the list goes on and on….. whilst plastic will literally last forever… and without maintenance! 

So for strength it has to be plastic every time, you can literally take a sledgehammer to ours without causing damage. That's why we offer the longest guarantees, what is there to go wrong?  No wood to rot, no fixings to rust. We know our coops will be here much longer than we will!

 

Weatherproof 

Any coop when it’s brand new should keep out the rain, the question comes after a year or two and the timber or roofing felt has deteriorated or the paint worn off.

Damp conditions in a coop will lead to all sorts of problems with your hens but also mean you end up adding extra bedding and then being faced with layers of wet straw on clean out time. Do yourself (and your hens) a favour and choose a material which is inherently waterproof to start with. 

 

Plastic Chicken Coop Costs 

Money will always come into your buying decision, so which is cheapest….? The original outlay on a timber coop may well be less but the whole life costs will be significantly more. Value is the initial price plus any maintenance cost divided by the lifespan, when you do this, you soon see which is most cost efficient. The interesting thing that has never been considered is resale value. With a plastic coop dismantled and scrubbed it is as good as new, ready to be advertised on Ebay and sent via a courier.

 

Obviously, there are different levels of quality of timber houses available and lifespans can be argued but using our experience and being very modest with saying a plastic coop will last only twice as long these are some example figures. Whichever way you look at it, a plastic coop will be less money in the long run.

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Where to buy

It seems everyone turns to Google these days and we see visitors to our site who have searched for;-

  • Second-hand plastic chicken coops

  • Best plastic chicken coops

  • Plastic chicken coops UK

  • Plastic chicken coop for sale

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  • Best plastic chicken houses UK

Whatever you have searched, we are sure we will be able to help.

  • Large plastic Chicken Coop

  • Small plastic Chicken Coop

  • Plastic chicken coops near me

  • plastic chicken nesting boxes

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                                                                 CHICKEN COOP BUYING GUIDE

When buying a chicken coop, you will need to consider several important factors such as size, appearance, strength, materials, usability etc….

Material

The main options will be timber or plastic. Plastic chicken coops have many benefits over wooden coops, although, wooden coops are mostly chosen because of the traditional style and price unfortunately they have a lot against them, particularly how hard it is to give them a proper clean and the need to ongoing maintenance. 

Size

Size Is obviously a factor that effects choice, wooden and plastic coops are found in a wide range of sizes from 2 to 12+ chickens

Chicken Runs  

Some buyers aren’t too concerned about chicken runs because they have a safe garden free for chickens to roam freely in, others don’t have this option and need a chicken run to house them, these need to be secure but don’t block out any light or air.

 

Beginner Options

The best coop for a beginner is simple to assemble, easy to clean and can be packed away as and when needed. Firstly, ask yourself; what do I want to buy? A coop that looks good or a coop that looks good and IS good? If you have a low budget, don’t mind some woodworking, and understand the issues around cleaning and maintenance them timber is an option. For low hassle and much lower total lifetime costs we would of course say go for plastic. 

 

Where Do I Put my Chicken Coop?

You can put your coop anywhere but first do consider accessibility, you need to open them up every day, collect the eggs and lock them up at night so nearer the house might be better on a wet dark night. Make sure the chickens can get a lot of light, this is good for hygiene, also make sure the chickens have access to grass, mud, leaves etc – they won’t enjoy a hard surface. Consider a coop and run that can be moved onto fresh grass occasionally.

 

Is The Plastic Chicken Coop Fox Proof? 

A fox proof coop is one that can’t be accessed by a fox – sounds simple but check the base, some coops don’t have a solid base – could they dig through? Also check the door, can a crafty fox open it? The runs need to be made of a decent quality wire mesh and it should be dug into the ground or have a skirt around the side so the fox can’t dig in. 

 

Plastic Poultry Coops

Low maintenance plastic poultry coops have been growing in popularity over recent years and have many features better than timber ones, the best are made from solid plastic board  giving a robust tough easy to clean, easy to use coop that need no maintenance

 

Perches

The number of perches will depend on the number of birds, Inside of our coops you will find 2 or 3 perches depending on the size of the coops, and 1 to 3 nesting boxes placed at the back of all coops. Each nesting box has a simple but effective lid that uniquely slots through a gap in the coop to open.

 

Doors

Doors are key to the safety of your chickens but sometimes they can be awkward to open. Look for doors which are strong but easy and straightforward to open, using a handle that can be latched on to the roof to open, automatic doors are also available.

 

Cleaning

Timber coops cannot be compared to plastic coops when it comes to washing! A hose, pressure washer or bucket and brush can be used to wash the plastic coop. It can even be dismantled easily and quickly without tools for a super thorough clean if needed. The coop will then dry in minutes contrary to the slow process of traditional wooden coops.

 

Ventilation

Ventilation is important, look for coops which have ventilation holes to keep air flow constant. 

 

Assembly

When choosing your coop consider what assembly is needed – you don’t want an IKEA job on your hands! If you are going for a timber one, make sure it is delivered fully made up but can also be manoeuvred to where you want it. Modern plastic coops  go together in minutes with no tools Instructions are normally included or you can use videos on the suppliers website.

How to keep chickens in your back garden.

How to keep chickens in your back garden most things you need to know and a few things you don't about getting your own humble egg layers.

Transcript: Hi guys, hi girls. Basically I want to give you a run down of the things you need to do if you want to keep chickens in your back garden because it is seriously simple and very rewarding. So all you need to do, get yourself a coop.

                         These are available on eBay flat pack for about £145. They're really good. They actually have all sorts of things to make cleaning and accessing easier and you want to make those kind of things easy because they're going to be things that you're going be doing day in and day out. Point one: feeding. Firstly you need to feed your chickens a mixed feed. You need to include some grain, some grit, and I always make sure that our feed has peas and things in because effectively some people just give their chickens grain. That's not good because if you give them just grain it's like saying, I've got person living in my back garden, I'm just going to give them toast. It's not very interesting and not very good for their diet. So you've got think about all those things and consider it. Another thing, you can feed them with all sorts of table scraps. Things you shouldn't feed them: you shouldn't feed them egg shells. A lot of people kind of consider giving them egg shells and at one I point I did as well because it actually does help them get calcium in their diet which makes some lay more eggs, which is brilliant, however, if they get a taste for egg shells where you don't break them up enough and they understand that they are eggs, they will begin to see their own eggs as food. That's bad. Other things you can't feed them, you cannot feed them members of the nightshade family such as tomato leaves or potato leaves, I will give them cooked potato and things that's fine.  Things to avoid giving them too much, don't give them too much onions or too many tomatoes because acidic things are also quite bad for chickens, but it's not the end of the world if you give them a little bit now and then. They're quite sensible, they'll understand what they're not meant to eat.

                         In terms of letting them out, if they have a coop this size, you could keep them in a coop this size and just leave them in. I think that's quite unfair. I like to let ours out whenever I can. Effectively I treat them the same way as you would treat a dog. You wouldn't want to leave it locked up all the time, but now and then you can get away with it. Especially at the moment where I have to herd them because they go and eat all my vegetables if I don't attend to them. In terms of health checking the chickens, let me just go and grab one and I'll show you.

                         Who wants to come for a hug? Yes, just you, thank you. Chill out, chill out.

                         Right this is how you should hold a chicken. Hands around it, around the wings so it can't flap because if it flaps its going to distress you and the chicken and this way you can actually look at it. You can have a look all the way around you can tip them up, you have a look at the legs. Now this one specifically I grabbed hold of because it's got a little bit of something called scaly leg which the legs are normally a kind of glossy grey colour, whereas this goes a little bit scaly and horrible. Basically this means there's a mite problem. We're currently treating it and it is getting better. So you've got to keep an eye on these things, you've got to get your chickens out and make sure they're healthy. Likewise we can see on the top of their head behind their little red dewlap, you can see it goes a little bit bald when they have mites. So things to keep an eye on. Likewise checking over the feathers, making sure they're nice and glossy and they haven't got any mites in themselves. You can also listen or feel the heartbeat when you're holding it, and the heartbeat should be good and strong and quite fast. Chill out.

                         So yes, make sure to check your chickens, and if you want to trim their wings, if you open their wings out, these edge feathers here, literally just trim these feathers down with the pair of scissors. Just take all those off. We have done it before but we haven't had an actual issue with them trying to escape so we've not worried about it.

                         If you want to trim their wings, clip their wings so they can't fly, obviously it makes it a lot safer in the garden so they don't randomly go over your fence and disappear, if you do that, as I say a pair of scissors, just take those leading flight feathers off. There are plenty of video tutorials to do that, I might do one at a later point if people think that's necessary and they want one, but one thing to remember is clipping a chicken's wings is not a painful ordeal for them, it's the equivalent of like trimming their fingernails. So it's not a painful thing so don't worry about that if that's what you think. As you can see in the background, they are merciless omnivores and they will kill anything in their garden if it's small enough to fit in their fat beaks. There I think they've got a slug, but they have been known to eat frogs and even mice. I'm just going to go over there now and shoo them away from my peas. The fantastic thing with chickens is they are actually really good as natural pest control. They keep the slug and the snail numbers in your garden down and they can really also give things a good scratch over. If you dig in your garden, they're really useful. If you turn over the soil slightly, they will get in there and they will turn it over for you. scratch it to pieces and make a really good job, better than a spade. However, they are also increasingly suicidal, they will stick their head under the spade to try and get there, so be aware of suicidal chickens.

                         Right, another thing to be aware of is how often to feed your chickens. What I've got is I've got a little feed tub here where you just fill the food in there and they can help themselves and you just empty it as and when. Things to be aware of when you're doing this, we had an issue where sparrows were getting inside our coop. That's why we've got this little bund of soil around the edge so the sparrows can't get in. But this is really useful because it means chickens can just help themselves when they're hungry and that means you don't have to worry about giving them a specific amount per day. The same with the water, we've got this big high water hanging here which means they've always got fresh water. That's something to be really aware of because you don't want your chickens to get dehydrated.

                         Additional things to be aware of, if you want to use the chicken guano as fertilizer, make sure you water it down first because it can be very acidic for your soil and it can damage your plants if you put it on neat.

                         The chickens in this video, our chickens are Road Rock species of chickens, just so you know and that is pretty much it for this week's episode of Island of Rob, how to keep chickens in your back garden. If you have any other questions or you need any other bits of information to help you with your chickens, please feel free to ask. You can do that by sending me a comment below, you can send a message to my Facebook page and if you found this video useful please feel free to like, share and subscribe.

Keeping Free Range Chickens | British Farming

Chickens are in high demand. They've always been a big part of the farm, but never have we spent much time exploring what makes them tick. Hardworking, economical scratchers are just few ways we describe them. Let us know what you think in the comments. Fancy a few in your garden?

Transcript: 

MUM:                                           This is a cute little house for them.

RUFUS:                                        The farm has a lot to offer and the more we look the more we find. Here is an unusual peek into our wonderful world of chickens.

MUM:                                           Chickens are wonderful creatures, I mean they're not only wonderful and they're lovely to have and they're lovely to see and watch, because they've all got different personalities, different chickens, but you know they're such hard workers, such hard workers. And also you know if you're a bit stressed, you need to just sit down in your garden, get yourself a cup of tea and just sit and chill with them. They're lovely. Have a little coop, have a little place and have a couple of girls. Go and rescue some from one of these places. They're just awesome.

RUFUS:                                        Chickens are in demand right now and they can be quite hard to come by. In the past, mum likes to re-home older commercial laying hens and charities can help with that.

MUM:                                           I bought some of those that have come out of a battery and they have looked a write how is your father. They've got no feathers and you'd be surprised how those girls grow and they just need a bit of love and bit of sunshine and off they go man honestly. Fantastic girls, yes they're really good. They soon put some feathers on and then they start laying. You might have to be patient but they were awesome. At the farm the chickens are all free-range, perhaps a little too much so at times. They are in the cage because there's lots of predators, red kites and foxes. So that wouldn't be good and there's nothing worse than going home and seeing your chickens been eaten by one of those things.

RUFUS:                                        Of course chickens on all sunshine and eggs. If you are considering taking the leap, there are a few things you'll want to think about before getting started.

MUM:                                           Before you start you've got to get yourself a little hen coop and you there's all these fantastic ones there's these plastic ones you can get or you can get a little wooden one, or you might have had a rabbit and you've got a nice rabbit house or something you can just do some adjustments to. So that's really what you need. You don't need all these expensive feeders and this that and the other for this.

RUFUS:                                        What is all that?

MUM:                                           It gets a bit black in there. They need fresh water every day so you can use a china bot whatever you've got. They love sort of drinking from puddles and anything you know they're not fussy and then you want to like to put your food.

RUFUS:                                        You put their food in there?

MUM:                                           yes.

RUFUS:                                        That's ingenious.

MUM:                                           So they really love watermelons, actually we've got another one and they'll scoff that. They absolutely love that.

RUFUS:                                        It's organic feed bowls.

MUM:                                           Yes, she's having a strawberry. Apparently you are not meant to give them chocolate or raw potatoes. Well I usually cook them for them anyhow, but they don't need masses and masses.

RUFUS:                                        They're super economical and oh, a little bit different.

MUM:                                           All different shapes and sizes. I like the little bantams and I've just bought some little pullets, I've got three little pullets, little white. Oh Rufus, they are such characters. They may be small but let me tell you they make their presence known.

                                                      A pullet is a young chicken, a young female chicken so and they are bantams as well that means bantams are always the smaller variety. Flipping fabulous they are because you don't have to have massive ones, you can have small ones. And you think the eggs are like this, teeny-tiny, and let me tell you, those yolks in them chickens are just fantastic, fantastic. They're very highly strung, very intelligent, they're not super friendly but they are such hard-working girls. The black ones, that's a Burford Brown and I must have had them, oh my goodness, five, six years, perhaps more than that. I mean they just keep, they probably don't lay any eggs and it's like the chicken for the elderly. But they might lay a few and I'm very happy. The first two to two and a half years is when you're going to get the majority of your eggs and then they'll dwindle. They'll still lay you some eggs and they'll last till you know, if you look after them they'll last four, five, six, seven years and some people keep their chickens going until they're about twelve. You know if you love them and look after them they're grand. The hybrid ones, the ones you get from these battery cages or these free-range places where they're getting rid of their hens, they will lay a good amount of eggs, but the pure breads, say you were going have White Sussex or one of those old fashioned breeds, they wouldn't be that much, you know 150 eggs a year or 120, not as many. But what you get are lovely, that's what you have got to remember.

RUFUS:                                        It's interesting to know that like your veggies, eggs are slightly seasonal in principle. You would have thought they would lay more in the light, no? Than in the dark.

MUM:                                           The lack of light is not good. They want, these short days and they are tourists.

RUFUS:                                        So how are there so many eggs in the supermarkets?

MUM:                                           Because they have artificial light. They have put the lights on in the chicken houses.

RUFUS:                                        It's like Vegas?

MUM:                                           Yes it is like Vegas.

RUFUS:                                        Sitting there with no sleep. What are all these holes?

MUM:                                           Rat holes.

RUFUS:                                        Rat holes?

MUM:                                           Yes.

 RUFUS:                                        It's so gross.

MUM:                                           Gross yes.

 RUFUS:                                        The worst thing about chickens is rats. They have even got a window and everything.

 MUM:                                           I've just put these bantams out here. Those are the bantams that were all around there, and I've had to put them in there because Mr. Reynolds did come calling.

 RUFUS:                                        Who's Mr. Reynolds?

 MUM:                                           Mr. Fox, and you know my little Bruce, my lovely little chicken that I had?

RUFUS:                                        Yes.

MUM:                                           He came and at him, and  one of my cockerels.

 RUFUS:                                        So you called him Mr. Reynolds?

 MUM:                                           Mr. Reynolds yes.

 RUFUS:                                        That's the name for a fox?

 MUM:                                           Yes that's the name for a fox, Mr Reynolds.

 RUFUS:                                        Mr Reynolds.

 MUM:                                           Yes. so they have had to come in here which they are not very happy about but I've told them.

 RUFUS:                                        Well it's better safe than sorry.

 MUM:                                           Yes, better safe than, that's just what I told them Rufus.

They do destroy your garden and do a few little things about the place that are not so good but oh, they're friendly though and creatures of habit and they really are funny. I love them and I like seeing free roaming but you can't always have them free roaming, when you're planting your seeds and doing your, it's not good. But in the autumn when it's not as, you can let them out a bit more but they're stress-busters. They really are, they're joyful I think.

 RUFUS:                                        They're everywhere, gross.

 MUM:                                           I am no chicken expert but I just love them. They are great company and yes, they're marvelous critters and they lay you an egg for God's sake.

RUFUS:                                        On reflection, chickens have always been a big part of farm yet often overlooked, but they're the most accessible way for you to bring a bit of the joy we find to your garden at home. Subscribe and I'll see you again. Take care.

 

All videos - Information on keeping and caring for chickens.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mtEu3h00RXY

Keeping Chickens In Your Back Garden

ON SCREEN TEXT:                                 What's it like keeping backyard chickens?

                                                                    Ludlow

                                                                    Video by Joanne Roach @ The Foodies.

                                                                    This Shropshire family have just started keeping chickens in their back garden.

                                                                    How did you get your chickens?

PENNY:                                                     We got them from a place at Queen's Wood at the New Hereford, I found it on the internet.

ON SCREEN TEXT:                                 Were they expensive?

PENNY:                                                     Yes they were only six pounds each.

ON SCREEN TEXT:                                 What do you need to get started?

PENNY:                                                     Well you have got to get them a home. We were very lucky and someone gave them a house. We transported them home in the box and then the place where we got them from, they gave us food and bedding, so we set up their bedding and we did all of that and then put them into the chicken house.

ON SCREEN TEXT:                                 Why do they need a fence around them?

JODIE:                                                       Because to stop them flying over and foxes don't get them.

ON SCREEN TEXT:                                 How much space do they need?

SEAN:                                                        However many chickens you have, you need like, like when you have two chickens you need two square meters of space, one square meter each.

ON SCREEN TEXT:                                 What are your chickens called?

JODIE:                                                       That one is Princess Emily.

SEAN:                                                        And this one, the greedy one.

ON SCREEN TEXT:                                 Show us where your chickens live.

ON SCREEN TEXT:                                 What's the ladder for?

SEAN:                                                        So they can actually get up on their own. They fly down. No they jump down. Yes they jump down and start flapping.

ON SCREEN TEXT:                                 So what do you do each morning?

SEAN:                                                        We normally let them out, feed them, do the water and collect the eggs.

JODIE:                                                       They love that food.

SEAN:                                                        Yes that's their favourite.

ON SCREEN TEXT:                                 Is the food expensive?

PENNY:                                                     No it's not too expensive, I just get it from a local store, it's called Country Wide. They sell a lot of pet food and it's about seven pounds for a big bag which will probably last as three months or so. And the bedding was about seven pounds and well I've used about a quarter of the bag and we've had them for four months so I should say that lasts a long time.

ON SCREEN TEXT:                                 Are there any eggs today?

JODIE:                                                       There's two eggs.

ON SCREEN TEXT:                                 Do they always lay them in there?

JODIE:                                                       Yes, sometimes they lay it very far.

SEAN:                                                        Sometimes they lay it over here and they eat them all.

TOM:                                                          Yes once it came out here.

SEAN:                                                        Yes and it cracked and they ate it.

ON SCREEN TEXT:                                 How many eggs do they lay?

SEAN:                                                        Well we have one each day, two each day, one from each chicken.

ON SCREEN TEXT:                                 What must you do in the evening?

SEAN:                                                        Shut them in. Get the chickens in there and shut them in. That will close and that will open it in the morning. And you leave it open in the day time.

ON SCREEN TEXT:                                 How often do you have to clean them out?

SEAN:                                                        Once a week. Well you have to like move this and the house you take the house, take out that, and clean it all up and put the hay in there. Yes and clean up all the hay and put the poo away.

ON SCREEN TEXT:                                 Can you pick chickens up?

SEAN:                                                        Yes but you have to pick them up carefully, just like this. If they will let you.

TOM:                                                          Sometimes he flaps. Yes.

PENNY:                                                     What do you have to remember when you hold them?

SEAN:                                                        Near your chest.

PENNY:                                                     Where is that?

SEAN:                                                        Hold their feet.

PENNY:                                                     Why do you have to hold them like that and hold their wings in?

SEAN:                                                        To keep them warm?

PENNY:                                                     So that they don't flap.

ON SCREEN TEXT:                                 What's wrong with flapping?

SEAN:                                                        Because they could flap or hurt you or they might hurt themselves.

ON SCREEN TEXT:                                 Do they ever peck you?

SEAN:                                                        No.

JODIE:                                                       They only peck you when you have got nothing in your hand.

SEAN:                                                        They peck you when you have got food in your hand, she is going to peck me now.

TOM:                                                          They think there's one piece of food left, so they peck it.

ON SCREEN TEXT:                                 Do they get sick?

PENNY:                                                     There are some illnesses they can get. They can get lice and the best thing is just to keep an eye on them if you have regular contact with them and try to keep their hygiene, clean them out and because you see them every day, if you notice that they're poorly, they're not laying eggs or and they're just not getting up in the morning then I it think I would get in contact with the vet.

ON SCREEN TEXT:                                 Have your chickens had any problems?

PENNY:                                                     We did have actually, with Briani she moulted and I was a bit alarmed because I came down and she had quite a lot of feathers missing and there were feathers everywhere. She started laying really sort of soft eggs that just dissolved and then she ate them. I read about it and found out that that is just a normal think that happens to chickens once a year. They moult, they lose their feathers and get new ones and during that period which can take up to six weeks, they don't lay eggs or they lay very soft eggs.

ON SCREEN TEXT:                                 Any other problems?

PENNY:                                                     The other thing is we weren't giving them enough shells. When we first got the chickens we weren't giving them enough shells and they started to lay softer eggs, and then they started to actually eat their eggs. And again I was quite alarmed and when I'd read about this it's a habit that they form and then that's it, they will always eat their eggs but we gave them some shells and fortunately they started laying hard eggs again and we have not had a problem with it.

ON SCREEN TEXT:                                 What's it like keeping backyard chickens?

                                                                    Thanks so much to Penny, Sean, Tom and Jodie for showing us your hens.

                                                                    Visit us at www.thefoodies.org

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