As you may well know there has been a very high increase in the amount of householders that grown their own vegetables. You don’t even need a large garden; as long as you have some space a terrace can be sufficient enough. Herbs such as mint, thyme and coriander can be grown indoors on the kitchen windowsill. As the trend gets bigger celebrity chefs such as Hugh Fearnly-Whittingstall, Gordon Ramsey and Jamie Oliver are also encouraging keeping animals such as pigs, sheep and chickens as part of a more organic lifestyle change.
Increase in the selling of hens
Most people think that you need a special licence to keep chickens and that a huge garden is needed to rear them; this is in fact a common misconception. As long as the council don’t have any strict policies for your area and your neighbours have no complaints there is no reason as to why you cannot have chickens in your garden. If however you choose to get a Rooster to encourage breeding with the Hens then you may have to give them away if a neighbour complains to the council.
There are many garden centres that have noticed an increase of families wanting to buy chickens so have now started to sell them in most of their stores nationwide. The down side to this is that many people will be tempted to buy chickens from random places with no guidance or information about rearing them beforehand. Garden centres are selling chickens for as much as £60 or £24 in some places, they are ridiculously overpriced!
Having chickens as pets can be rewarding because in return you get fresh eggs on a daily basis for a minimum of 4 years depending on the breed of chicken. Garden centres that are taking advantage of clueless organic wannabes are not providing enough information about the care of chickens beforehand. This leads to problems when people who have had no background info bring chickens home only to find that they are much more hard work than they first thought.
What to take into consideration when buying a chicken?
Initially chickens cost a lot of money, they need shelter, a fenced off area, food and stimulation. Here is how it all adds up:
3 chickens: £40 (2 hybrids at £12 each and a pure breed for £16)
Food for a month: £15
Now just imagine how long it’ll take for three chickens to give you £275 worth of eggs?
If you do decide to keep chickens in the garden then do some research first there are ways to bring the initial costs down. Buy chickens from a farm or reputable breeder who is willing to provide information should you ever need it.