Thursday, 11 March 2010

Chicken run

Once you have moved to France, you may take up new hobbies and have different interests. One being keeping chickens!

Keeping hens can be amusing and will provide you with lovely fresh eggs.

Chickens are fairly easy to look after.

You need to house them to protect them from foxes - especially at night - and from the cold weather and the rain. You should find a shed or a hen house at your local garden center or DIY shop. The shelter needs to have a perch for the chickens to sleep on at night and a nest box for them to lay eggs.

Chickens need fresh clean drinking water and food. We give our chickens wheat (blé) and layer’s pellets (aliment pour pondeuses) as well as kitchen scraps. They have access to the whole garden and vegetable patch where they scratch around and find all sorts of exciting insects and worms.

Keeping chickens is always a great entertainment for children! All the little ones staying in our gite in Brittany love feeding them (they don’t seem to mind sharing their croissants with them!) and going to get the eggs. When they leave our gîte they often ask their parents if they can keep chickens when they get back home!

If you are looking for chickens, visit your local market or ask a local farmer who keeps hens. He will be able to tell you where to get them from. You can buy them ready to lay or as chicks to raise.

And if you get too many eggs, make some lemon curd! See my future post for the recipe!

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