My hens are a joy, they are getting older now and don’t lay as regularly as they used to but we still get two or three eggs a day which is more than enough to still justify having these amazing birds in our garden. The feed is about £8 and a bag of mixed corn about £7 this lasts 6-8 weeks. They free range in our garden and on the field at the back which helps with the variety of food they eat and gives them plent of fresh green plants to nibble at. They are great at keeping the lawns down over winter and early spring! I clear their nest boxes daily and add fresh shredded paper, the coop needs to be cleaned out weekly in the spring summer months but over winter I leave them with a deeper layer of straw and shredded paper to help keep them warm, cleaning out every three to four weeks.
You have to watch out for frost bite if we have a really cold snap as their combs suffer. Vaseline seems to stop this, a bit dabbed on their combs soothes and prevents! They can also suffer mites, you will know when this is a problem and we powder ours over the warmer months to keep this problem at bay. They really aren’t much work and you don’t need a cockerel for hens to lay. They have a finite number of eggs, they will lay one a day unless they are having a moult, for the first year or so then they slow down. We don’t keep our hens for meat so they will have a home here until they naturally pass away. This our third lot of hens and I can thoroughly recommend keeping some if you are allowed where you live to do this and have the room.
They provide us with eggs, amusement as they are fascinating to watch, their ability to turn over and weed a piece of vegetable plot is amazing, they fertilise it at the same time! The manure from their coop gets rotted down and put on the garden, and they follow me around like the dogs, so funny.
They escape quite regularly to an elderly neighbours garden and they sit outside her patio door looking in, she says they are company, they also clear her garden a bit too. In return the eggs are something else! The colour is awesome and you just cannot beat fresh eggs on toast or crumpets, what a way to start the day.