Go to work on an N21 egg

on Thursday, 17 June 2010. Posted in N21 Community


Dobbies, the garden centre chain has recently announced that it is to start selling hens at fifteen of its garden centres. Dobbies argue that this is a logical step for them, as they have witnessed a major upturn in sales of fruit, vegetable & herb plants and seeds over the past year. For example, In May, the chain saw a 27% increase in sales of grow-your own fruit and vegetables compared with the same month last year.

How practical is it to keep hens in a suburban garden?

Winchmore Hill residents Andrew and Simon have kept hens for the past five months, Dot, Sky and Beau, who have laid eggs for them nearly every day.  Here’s what they have to say:

The preparation
You do need to do your research and ideally get advice from someone who knows.  Fox proofing is essential - don't worry if you have neighbourhood foxes as long as your coop and run are secure.  If you want to have totally free range hens in London then we are afraid you will simply be feeding the foxes with free chicken.

The good
They are such friendly creatures.  As long as you feed them you are their friend for life. We love watching them roam around, turning over the compost heap or having a long and leisurely dust bath.They are cheap to feed, and really appreciate kitchen scraps.The eggs DO taste and look better than supermarket ones.

The bad
When one of ours (Beau) got ill and then died (due to a stuck egg) we were understandably upset. Also learning about (and preventing) the various chicken problems can be a little mind boggling (red spider mite, liver flukes, worms and all manner of parasites) but once you have made your mind up to be as organic as possible the routine becomes easy.

The ugly
There is a surprising amount of poo which can be quite smelly (it is however fantastic for compost!!)

 We got ours from Thorne's nursery (in Hertfordshire) who do provide a good amount of post sales help.








If anyone is thinking of joining in this new ‘Good Life’ trend, I’m sure N21’s own chicken experts will be happy
to offer their advice and maybe a free sample, after all the proof is in the eating!

Winchmore Hill residents Andrew and Simon have kept hens for the past five months, Dot, Sky and Beau, who have laid eggs for them nearly every day. Here's what they have to say:

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