The Joy of Keeping Chickens - Damsons & Lavender Guest Blog

The Joy of Keeping Chickens - Damsons & Lavender Guest Blog

Helena (aka Damsons & Lavender) is a chicken keeper from Cheshire. Discover how her passion for sustainability and happy hens led her to using a Nestera recycled plastic chicken coop. 


Helena Vaňková lives in rural Cheshire, UK, with her flock of nine chickens. She keeps a mixture of hybrid and pure breed hens for their rainbow eggs on her small paddock alongside her kitchen garden and orchard. 
Follow Helena on Instagram @damsonsandlavender.


Plastic chicken coop

We welcomed our first three chickens to Damson Tree Paddock back in 2017. We had recently acquired the land that adjoined our house and saw a small flock of feathered friends as the perfect addition to this developing plot.

Three hens swiftly became five, then six and recently we added three 'day old' chicks to our ever-expanding flock. When you embark on a journey into chicken keeping no-one warns you just how rewarding - and addictive - it is! I can no longer imagine the paddock without their gentle antics – that space without my girls would simply be a patch of grass without a soul.

When asked why I keep chickens, here are my favourite replies:

Plastic Chicken Coop - Fresh Eggs
A Regular Supply of Fresh Eggs
The daily amble to the nest box with a basket never gets old. Many a meal (and cake) is produced in my kitchen from the endless supply of nutritious eggs that my girls lay. Research has shown that organically fed, free range eggs are significantly lower in cholesterol than shop bought eggs from commercial farms. A box of eggs tied up with string makes a wonderful gift and selling a few boxes a week from our honesty stand covers their board and lodgings.

Entertainment Value
There is nothing I love more than sitting among my flock sipping my morning coffee and watching their antics. Chickens are endlessly entertaining as they make their soft noises while pecking at my feet, chasing flies, and fighting over slugs. There isn't much in life that half an hour with a flock of chickens can't solve.

Chicken Droppings are a Wonderful Addition to the Compost Heap
Being rich in nitrogen, potash, and phosphates, chicken droppings are a great fertiliser for my vegetable beds. I garden organically using the 'no-dig' method and their little additions to this system are very welcome indeed.

Chickens are a Superb Way to Instil a Sense of Responsibility into Children
My two boys are actively involved in the day-to-day care of our flock, and they never tire of collecting the eggs, feeding the corn, and going about the daily chore list. Having a pet that provides breakfast from its bottom is the best way to connect them with the reality of where their food comes from.

plastic chicken coopOne of the most important elements of a happy flock is their accommodation. A safe, warm, and well insulated coop is essential. That’s why I love our Nestera Medium Lodge. I always favour a raised coop – being higher means it’s easier to clean and it provides a sheltered area under the coop for dust-bathing. Not to mention it deters rodents as there are no dark areas at ground level to hide under.

What really makes a Nestera coop stand out is the design. From the separated, dark nest boxes to the removable, chamfered perches that sit higher than them, it really is very well thought out. It has a significant amount of head height which is wonderful for larger breeds and the ventilation in the roofline is not only adjustable, but high enough not to cause a draft to the birds.

Sustainability is so important – each large Nestera coop is made with the equivalent of 2,000 recycled shampoo bottles here in the UK. Being made from recycled plastic means it requires no maintenance, it is robust, durable, and comes with a 25-year warranty.

Personally, for me as a chicken keeper the best part of owning a plastic coop is the resistance it has to the dreaded red mite. There are no cracks or crevices for them to hide in, and should you get an outbreak they can be easily washed away with a hose pipe.

Assembly is also incredibly easy, and each coop is delivered free within the UK using fully recyclable packaging. There really isn't anything that I don't like about these coops!


As you can see in her timelapse video below, Helena assembled her Nestera recycled plastic chicken coop in no time at all:


Helena also provided us with a fantastic tour of her Nestera Medium Lodge:  

Design your own recycled plastic chicken coop today with our Nestera coop customiser here and check out the rest of our handy coop accessories, like our removable Droppings Trays which make cleaning quick and easy, or our WiFi Coop Camera to keep an eye on your flock from your phone from wherever you are.
And don't forget to add code DAMSONS at checkout for 5% off your order!

Time to read: 3 minutes