the ultimate guide to chick-hens

big smile...

big smile...

Since I last wrote about ‘The Supremes’, things have really settled down. In the last ‘snappy’ post, the day they arrived, the set-up wasn’t exactly complete.

the complete hen runhomemade chicken hen perchchicken hen feature old tree stump

  • The chicken wire I got wasn’t 6 foot tall [more 3′ approximately] and I only had enough to go once around. I completed the upper level with that green tennis court kind of mesh… [see pics above].
  • I made a little perch for them using the pole off a broken sweeping brush. And I threw in an old lump of a tree stump as a sort of feature. They use both to sit upon.

I know that the hens food can be expensive; [depending on what you buy] AND as a result of that…. I now realise the amount of S*** one can be sold and how the products and prices are figured out is almost beyond me. In some cases, disgraceful to be very honest. It almost makes me a little angry. Bad bandwagon jumping where nurturing and encouragement should be given….

To that…. I’ve seen such varient & useless paraphernalia; most of which I can only describe as ‘dog kennels on stilts’ and all sorts of fancy bags of ‘super dooper hen feed’ and honestly, 99% of it is all crap. FACT. Something I’d hope the likes of Richard Corrigan will point out on his show…. ? Whats worse is a lot of these bandwagon jumping guys are getting in touch with me…. ? A lot of them don’t even have chickens!! Some have even taken the notes from my blog…. hmmmm 😯

It’s a ‘family’ way. It’s a way of living. It has F*** all to do with this word as the media constantly suggests it does [and as does The RTE/ Corrigan show]. Not when a shed costs €360. A good ‘buy right & buy one once’ shed by the way. In my honest experience – anyone who has hens, fowl, chickens…. etc… [and to all of the press out there….] It is cheaper to buy a tray of eggs, for the first few years at least. If you do write anything else – you’ve never lived the good life and know nothing about it.

feed for hens barleyhen water feederhen feeder

  • Back to the nice business… the big bag of barley 40kg costs about €10 in a good old style honest farm supplies shop. This and the kitchen green waste will feed them. They absolutely love potatoes and the peels…. but not so much carrots it seems 🙂 I might change this to a bag of wheat when that runs out.
  • The water container [white kind of upside down bucket – see pics above with a red bottom trim] is only for baby chicks so they don’t fall in. Any bucket that will hold water will do. Even I can be sold ‘stuff’ that is unnecessary…..
  • The steel feeder is necessary if you have a daily job… but keep it inside so as to keep the food dry – otherwise it turns to slop.
  • The four hens cost me €12 each. That will give you a good guide on how much to pay.

...all this for an egg

And after all of that… and just 11 days after arrival…… I got my first egg 🙂

There was a bit more of a hullabulooo in the run today [see pics below]. I stepped in to see the ‘nest’ being prepared. Poor thing didn’t know what was happening…. but all is good. The other guys were faffing around like…. like, well headless chickens I suppose… 😉

I can now walk in and pet them. The dogs have grown accustomed to them. It has however been a learning curve and a journey of sorts; yet,  one I am glad to have taken part in and I do love dearly, still. I always have

Most of my materials came for free… or I had them already. Maybe in a year or 2 it will pay for itself…. but not this year. But then, I am happy. I am 99.9% of the time a very happy chappy and that’s something no amount of money can buy 😆

the other hens want to see whats going onhens perparing to layhen making the nest

Was it worth the money? every penny! Would I recommend it? 110% Whatever you do and however you choose to do it…. have fun, smile and above all enjoy…. I promise you, for the first egg alone, it’s worth it!!

this video is courtesy of my friend Blaithín.

All my weblog articles of hens [so far] are here:

17 replies
  1. Joy Redmond
    Joy Redmond says:

    Well if I’d been considering going down the chicken route, this honest blog has informed me to go back to buy me eggs from the farmers market and not be messing around. cheers peter.

  2. Peter Donegan MI Hort
    Peter Donegan MI Hort says:

    A Chara Joy,

    uh-oh!! wasn’t my intention…. 😯 its more the setup costs a few bob ‘investment’ [?]

    but once thats paid off you’re fine….

    hen-ce [?!] its still better fun than buying them in a ‘super'[grrr]market – and really egg[?!]citing stuff – especially if one has family….

    now if only our FF/ FG boys on Q & A last night didn’t waffle as much 😆

    go raibh míle maith agat – slán go foill

  3. Damian Bannon
    Damian Bannon says:

    We got 2 hens many years ago when I lived in the Wicklow hills. We got the sum total of 1 egg, and I’m convinced to this day that someone planted it there to make us feel better.

    We did have 2 very nice pet hens though – Bessie and Mabel.


  4. Peter Donegan MI Hort
    Peter Donegan MI Hort says:


    ‘save the economy & grow your own’ seems to be the medias favourite tagline at the moment 😯

    ….as long as it made you smile is what I say. We had another egg this morning, but one of ‘the supremes’ broke it… so i’m still on par with you 😆

    smiling now

  5. Mitzs
    Mitzs says:

    Hi peter, I will have to get my camera out and share mine with you. I agree they have so much junk out there that they really don’t need. We have 14 but ours are only 4 wks old. I am going to try them on some crack corn mixed with their feed this weekend. I love to watch them eat cucumbers. 🙂 Joy, serious, you should try just a few of your own. If you look at brown eggs you buy in a store or those you get from people raising their own. You will notice those that raise their own have a richer yellow yoke then those from the stores. I don’t know what they do to them now adays, but everything they add to our food anymore has me a little bit worried.

  6. Joy Redmond
    Joy Redmond says:

    Hi Mitzs
    I know the eggs are better and have more flavour but I’m afraid I’m going to stick with blagging a few fresh ones off my friend who has her our coop and the farmers market. I’m busy now trying to get my veg patch in order along with controlling the new puppie 😉

  7. Peter Donegan MI Hort
    Peter Donegan MI Hort says:

    A Chara Mitz [& Joy],

    in fairness Mitz, Joy’s methodology is the new ‘easiest/ ultimate guide to free eggs’. Lady has a point that not even I can argue with. 😆

    let me know how the chics/ hens go for you
    slan go foill

  8. mitzs
    mitzs says:

    Joy, I don’t blame you at all if you have a friend with one.

    What kind of puppy did you get?

    Pete, we are dealing with a death in the family right now. However, I hope to get some images for you this weekend. I have to admit they are my babies and I am eager to show off their pretty little new red feathers. Hard to believe that only 4 weeks ago they were all yellow.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

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