Ivy,Chickens & a playhouse!

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Bristolbelle
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Ivy,Chickens & a playhouse!

Post: # 245382Post Bristolbelle »

Hi everyone, I have an area in the garden that I want to use to keep some chickens.
I'm going to convert my childrens old playhouse into the coop, but just behind the coop is a huge ivy. Is this toxic to hens? I dont want to leave any plants in the run that are going to harm the hens! Also there is a small ornamental willow tree and some hostas in a flowerbed. My plan was to section part of the garden off to include the flowerbed for the hens to dig around in. Are any of these plants going to harm the girls? I havn't got any hens yet, but I want to get the area just right for them :icon_smile:

The playhouse is 4ft x 5ft with a plastic glazed window and door. It is currently standing on upturned breeze blocks, so its off of the floor. Is this enough, or do I have to raise the house up higher?

And My last question honist :iconbiggrin: :iconbiggrin: :iconbiggrin:
The size of the run Is going to be 8ft x 8ft x 6ft high. And have the playhouse/coop in one corner. Would 4-6 girls be to much for this area. But when i'm able, the hens will have the run of my garden as well. I will post a photo of the area where its going to be, in the morning.
I would like to start with 3 POL first. and then introduce another 3 at a later date so we wouldn't have all the hens stop laying all at the same time. Is this the best thing to do? I know i'm rambelling on a bit but I want to get it right. We were going to get everything converted this year and then get the hens in the spring.
Last edited by Bristolbelle on Wed Sep 28, 2011 8:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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bonniethomas06
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Re: Ivy,Chickens & a playhouse!

Post: # 245395Post bonniethomas06 »

Hi Bristolbelle,

I can't answer your question with any scientific accuracy, but only to say my hens are currently free ranging in an area with both ivy and willow, and are fine. There are lots of other plants and trees and so far as I can tell, they just don't eat the nasty stuff. The house sounds fine - particularly for three - you will find that they snuggle up together at night anyway. I would say you could have 6 in there (and with the run size) easily, particularly if they will be ranging in the garden sometimes as well.

And yes, staggering them in terms of ages is a good idea - or get slightly older hens to start with, like ex-battery hens (who are 18months old) . www.bhwt.org.uk is a greatcharity who re-home exbatts.

And my henhouse is on breezeblocks - perfectly fine. Just enough space so that rats don't take up home there, and so it keeps it off the damp floor.

Good luck - you will be amazed at how unfussy and easy they are to look after.
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Bristolbelle
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Re: Ivy,Chickens & a playhouse!

Post: # 245431Post Bristolbelle »

Hi Bonnie,
Thanks for your help. The next couple of days are going to be taken up with emptying the childrens playhouse of all of there treasures and sorting out the whole area ready for the girlies :iconbiggrin: I was thinking of using straw as a base for the coop and run. At the moment we have weed supressing membrane and chard flint in the garden. My hubbie is going to pull out the playhouse and check it all over, so at the same time I can attack the ivy and hygranga thats at the back of it. I have the plans in my head for the hen house and run. Just need to sorce some fox proof galvanised mesh for the run. Oh and try to find where I can get a bale of straw from. I had a look on the bhwt site and I will definatly get the ladies from there. :hello1: :hello1:
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Re: Ivy,Chickens & a playhouse!

Post: # 245626Post Thomzo »

For the fencing, see if you can get some second hand Harris fencing from a builders' hire shop or similar. It's sturdy enough to prevent a fox chewing through. The thing to watch is that the holes of the mesh are too small for the chickens to get their heads through. I didn't realise they'd be so stupid and ended up with 3 headless chickens (yuk).

I've ended up with some security fencing from an old warehouse with normal wire mesh chicken wire tied to the inside.

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Bristolbelle
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Ivy,Chickens & a playhouse! Update

Post: # 246097Post Bristolbelle »

Here are the photos of the work in progress converting the playhouse into a chicken coop.
http://s1134.photobucket.com/albums/m60 ... =slideshow

Things needed to be done
Devide the nest box up into 3
Ordered the galvanised wire mesh for the fixed run, should be here soon.
Need to buy wood and something to use as the roof of the run .
Oh and smile very nicely at my hubby so he can make the run for me :hugish:

It didn't take very long to pull down the Ivy and Hydranga on the wall. What took the time was running away from the HUGE spider that lived in the Ivy :pale: Nearly as big as those on eight legged freeks ! Sorry I didn't get a pic of it, I was to busy legging it away :lol: :lol: :lol:
I'm really pleased with how the chicken coop has turned out so far. I also bought a black plastic tray to fit under the perch to catch some of the poop. Bargain of the day from my local garden centre. it was a tray used for there outdoor plants only £2.99
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