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  #21  
Old 05.08.2011, 13:19
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Re: Any tips on keeping chickens?

May be worth just scratching the surface if the pen with a fork, this will encourage worms to come to the surface and encourage them to scratch around and forage for bugs etc. Make sure that they have some clean water!!
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  #22  
Old 05.08.2011, 13:36
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Re: Any tips on keeping chickens?

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We plan on getting some in a couple of year's time, when we will have more land, so this is a good thread for me!

Anyone known of any regulations re permits/regulations (this is CH after all)?

We've also been told that you should factor in 1msq per chicken - enough or more needed?

TIA
Very interesting read to find out about all this, I too would like to keep some chickens later

Only advise I can give tho is to keep them well away from porsch1909 and this lot The Quest for a 6-Piece (KFC) VIII
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  #23  
Old 05.08.2011, 13:47
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Re: Any tips on keeping chickens?

I'd love to keep chickens again. We have the space and enough grass to move them around regularly so they'd always have enough free green stuff. But we live surrounded by foxes, beech and pine martens - so it would be a constant battle. Our hens in our UK gardens were totally free-range but locked up in a chicken-house at night. We only forgot once- and that was enough. The difference in character between them was amazing- and they would run up to me and my girls if called, and jump onto our lap. They were almost bald and couldn't walk when a friend brought them to us, ex-battery hens- but they soon became the fluffiest pets as Smackerjack said, and they would almost purr.

Depending on space though, the area can soon become very smelly- so neighbour complaints are possible depending on location. Our never did smell as they were roaming over a large area with fresh grass.

Last edited by Odile; 05.08.2011 at 20:33.
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  #24  
Old 05.08.2011, 19:20
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Re: Any tips on keeping chickens?

A point to consider is to cover the chicken run and stop the wild birds crapping on the ground used by your chickens. Wild birds carry many diseases.
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Old 05.08.2011, 19:28
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Re: Any tips on keeping chickens?

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My husband just got given 5 chickens as a birthday present and we need tips on keeping chickens (especially in Switzerland).
You could remove the feathers and keep them in the freezer...
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  #26  
Old 05.08.2011, 20:00
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Re: Any tips on keeping chickens?

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I have always kept chickens and they really are the most incredible pets to have.
Regarding food, if you can, try to get the swiss version of layers pellets - these are ideal as with a lot of grainy feed some always get left and does encourage vermin. Withe the pellets all is eaten.

My girls loved it when I boiled potato skins up and let them cool...
There is nothing better than BBQ chicken breast. Enjoy your new family!
Fixet this for you
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  #27  
Old 12.08.2011, 14:25
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Re: Any tips on keeping chickens?

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Ask your local veterinary s/he should know all about it.

Why did he get all these chickens? What's the story?
I mean you don't get 5 chickens just like that no?
We live on the outskirts of our village and have quite a large garden with a biggish vegetable patch, complete with corn so 1 friend remarked that "it's starting to look like a farm, all we needed were chickens" - so he bought them for my husband's birthday! And oops, I haven't checked for regulations! We do have permission from the owner of the house, and didn't get a rooster so the neighbours cannot complain about noise!
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  #28  
Old 12.08.2011, 14:32
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Re: Any tips on keeping chickens?

Thanks for all the replies! They may be my husband's hens but I am enjoying them thoroughly and make sure I get there first to feed them in the mornings! They love apple, left-over pumpkin, and fresh berries, and have already rewarded us with some beautiful brown eggs! They recognise me and rush over to see what treats I bring them, just too sweet! Hubbie is building them a proper big coop under a tree!
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  #29  
Old 18.04.2012, 14:48
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Re: Any tips on keeping chickens?

I am curious how feasible it is to keep chickens in a more suburban built up area,.. anyone know? We have a garden, but we also have quite a few neighbours...do chickens make alot of noise? ( I looked after some baby chicks over Easter, and fell in love!)
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  #30  
Old 18.04.2012, 16:05
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Re: Any tips on keeping chickens?

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I am curious how feasible it is to keep chickens in a more suburban built up area,.. anyone know? We have a garden, but we also have quite a few neighbours...do chickens make alot of noise? ( I looked after some baby chicks over Easter, and fell in love!)
They make some noise, can be loud at times but are not normally loud the whole day.

Loud noises you and your neighbors can expect to hear will be roosters crowing (contrary to all the storybooks, they do NOT crow just at sunrise. They crow at any time of day they feel like, rarely at night but it does happen.) and hens cackling - most often when they've just laid an egg (so once a day, more or less) but also at other times when they feel like it.

They also have special (loud) calls when they are alarmed by something but if they have a safe environment hopefully you won't hear those too often.

In addition they make a variety of clucks, squawks and what I call 'conversational' noises. Some breeds, and some individuals, are a lot more talkative than others. These normal sounds will be heard by neighbors who are outdoors, not heard by neighbors who are indoors with windows closed.

You can tune in to the sights and sounds of a normal chicken yard here:
http://flyingskunk.com/live.php
I find it makes wonderfully soothing background noise. Unfortunately for you I'm not one of your neighbors. If I were you I'd float the idea casually with a few of them and see what their reactions are like - just to give you an idea of how much enthusiasm or resistance you could expect.

On the practical side there is lots of advice tailored to urban/suburban chicken keeping here: http://urbanchickens.org/
My #1 piece of advice (aside from the obvious food and water stuff) is to spend lots and lots of time with them right from the beginning, so that they become tame and fond of human company. If you can train your chickens to come when called, take food from your hand, fly up to your shoulder even - it goes a long way toward presenting them to the neighbors as unusual pets rather than livestock.
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  #31  
Old 18.04.2012, 17:18
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Re: Any tips on keeping chickens?

British Hen Welfare Trust - Caring for hens and FAQs
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  #32  
Old 18.04.2012, 22:57
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Re: Any tips on keeping chickens?

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I am curious how feasible it is to keep chickens in a more suburban built up area,.. anyone know? We have a garden, but we also have quite a few neighbours...do chickens make alot of noise? ( I looked after some baby chicks over Easter, and fell in love!)
You need to check your zoning. If you are in what we call round these parts "villa" zone, you can't keep chickens. Breaks my heart as I'd love to keep some as well. Check the rules with your commune.
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  #33  
Old 22.04.2012, 13:56
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Re: Any tips on keeping chickens?

Thanks for the thoughts... I think keeping chickens would be fab, but not too sure I live in too urban an area, will have to do some research and talk to the neighbours! I did wonder about communal chicken in our communal garden, not sure that will go down too well at our yearly meeting but one can always try :-D
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  #34  
Old 18.02.2013, 13:10
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Re: Any tips on keeping chickens?

Is there anyone in the Zug area that has bought chickens to raise - where from and a rough idea of cost?
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  #35  
Old 28.02.2013, 11:17
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Re: Any tips on keeping chickens?

I recently bought some chickens and built a shabby but mostly functional coop. No roosters, just hens, and they won't be laying for a few months yet. I'm finding it incredibly easy and enjoyable to have chickens so far.

I got my chickens from a local farmer from whom I also buy beef. He just ordered a few more chicks and I picked them up when we could be reasonably sure of sex. I paid 20 CHF per pullet, I think they were about 12 weeks when I picked them up. The younger they are, the less they cost. Had my wife been a little more adventerous, I would have taken my chances, purchased a bunch of chicks, and processed any unwanted roosters!

You can order chickens of various breeds and supplies here:

www.schweizerhuhn.com
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  #36  
Old 06.03.2013, 23:17
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Re: Any tips on keeping chickens?

Thanks for all the interesting info. I am planning on keeping hens too. So this helps me get started.
Just a question, can I keep rabbits in the same run as hens?

Thanks
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  #37  
Old 07.03.2013, 16:53
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Re: Any tips on keeping chickens?

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Thanks for all the interesting info. I am planning on keeping hens too. So this helps me get started.
Just a question, can I keep rabbits in the same run as hens?

Thanks
Not really.

They don't often get along well (chickens will peck the rabbits), there are potential health issues (coccidia) and diet issues as well. Chickens will probably ignore the rabbit food, but not vice versa - and rabbits can't digest corn well at all.

With careful preparation and some luck it can be done (see here for example) but I wouldn't recommend it, especially if you are new to keeping either kind of animal.
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  #38  
Old 29.05.2013, 12:52
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Re: Any tips on keeping chickens?

Our hens all got taken by the fox on Sunday night!! We are terribly heartsore! They were such a part of our family, and became very tame. The cheekiest one, Cool Chick, even used to fly onto my husband's shoulder. And my favourite, Big Mama, used to follow me around the garden when I did the weeding, because she knew she would get the odd earthworm. And now they are all gone! I don't know yet if we will get more, I want to but my husband doesn't. Apart from the pleasure they gave us, it was just so good having proper eggs instead of those pale ones from the shops!
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Old 29.05.2013, 13:36
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Re: Any tips on keeping chickens?

Oh no! Really really sorry to hear that.

Did this happen at dusk while they were still outside? If so there's a chance that some of them might still be alive - unharmed, even - and just too scared to come back yet. Put a bit of food and water out for the next few days just in case.

Or did a fox somehow get into the coop at night, after it was shut up? If so, have you worked out yet how he got in? (They're like cats, can fit through all sorts of narrow spaces where you mightn't expect.)
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Old 14.06.2013, 14:12
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Re: Any tips on keeping chickens?

Sorry I took so long to answer, Mathnut. No, early morning hours, in fact my husband went outside at 6 a.m. and the fox was still in the garden! And there was no chance of them surviving, the remains were proof of that! It happened to 2 other families in the village within a matter of days, so it is probably a fox with young ones.
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