such a shame as so many of the larger pure breed suppliers have stopped trading over the last few years, we lost the Wernlas Collection, The original Domestic Fowl Trust, Poultry Park and many more - I think the costs and work involved make it not financially viable and its making it harder to find pure breed chickens.  We ideally need to find someone to rear the birds offsite - anyone with some large barns and lots of chicken rearing experience please contact me!

 

Two of the pure breeds I will definitely be continuing with are the Serama's and Pekin's.  I have now got the showing bug and have been to shows with my Serama's in Wales, The Three Counties,  The Malvern Autumn show and Northampton show and have been lucky enough to be placed and get results in all of them.  Showing chickens is a whole new world for me, I'm a total novice and I'm really enjoing learning about this new, different side of chicken keeping.  I am now expanding into Pekins, another breed I have fallen in love with.  The show type Pekins are so different to the pet type Pekins I am used to, they are like little round footballs stuck on the ground, but are so cute and friendly.  A local breeder has been really helpful starting me with good birds and plenty of help, her advice has been invaluable.  I will be breeding black Pekins, cuckoo Pekins, blues and splashes.  I visited the National Poultry Show at the weekend which is an amazing event with thousands of chickens on display.  On a sad note, little Tyler, my tiny Serama cockerel died last week - he is the weeny Serama that is often in the shop on the counter, warming up in someones pocket or being carried around by someone. I probably get asked by customer dozens of times a week where Tyler and his girlfriend Peach are. Tyler was one of the very first Serama's I hatched, brought as a hatching egg from ebay and I'm really missing him.  He spent his last week living in my kitchen, warm and cosy which he loved.

 

The most common question this time of year is regarding muddy chicken runs.  We road tested and came up our chicken mud management system a number of years ago, and have tweaked it a few times but it is still similar to our original system.  I have plenty of runs here to test everything on, and I still find the woodchips the best option.  It is essential to lay down the turf protector below the woodchips, without it the woodchips just mix and sink into the mud below.  We used to suggest using a weed proof membrane below but no longer recommend it as it can make the area slightly damper as the rain takes some time to drain through.  If any weeds manage to grow through the woodchips the chickens make short work of them, so its not really necessary.  In the larger runs I also put pallets down by the doorways and to cover any really muddy areas.

 

Other plans for the winter are improving our online shop and increasing the product ranges we do.  The most difficult thing is getting reasonable carrier rates but after much negotiation we have managed to find a slightly cheaper transport quote that will make us more competitive.  All the new prices and products should be in place by Christmas, ready to launch for 2016.  One new brand I have been stocking this year is the Versele Laga range which has taken off and now outsells our other brands.

 

I've been using the Versele Laga Show bird range for all my pure breeds and I'm really pleased with the results. We are feeding every bird on the property with one of their feeds, it is slightly dearer than feeding the budget brands, but what we spend in feed we get back in reduced bedding and labour costs changing all the litter.  My husband and I had an ongoing 'discussion' about how the cheaper feeds caused loose, wet droppings and made the chicken housing much damper.  We did a trial in 2 barns and fed one a cheap chicken feed and the other either Garvo or Versele Laga chicken feed - the results were shocking and I've never fed a cheap brand again.  In the barns with the high quality feed the bedding stayed dry and friable, doubling the time between a full barn clear out.  I have had to admit he is right!  I've been told (but don't quote me on this as I have yet to research it!) that it is to do with the quality of the protein in the feeds and how much of it is absorbed, but I do know that on a practical level the good quality chicken feed produces low odour, hard droppings (apart from the odd slightly looser cecal dropping), cheap food produces smelly, loose droppings.  

 

I've also used by boarding chickens as guinea pigs for this experiment.  I'm in the lucky position of caring for many different chickens, of all breeds and all ages each week, who are all fed differently.  When they arrive here for their chicken holiday I check the feed they are on and monitor how quickly their Eglu chicken house and run has any odours and needs the bedding changing - I am now learning to recognise some of the different chicken feeds by the droppings trays, its that obvious.  I don't think this counts as a useful skill but small things make me happy!

 

Talking of chicken sitting, we are now booking up fast for Christmas, so please contact me asap if you need to book.

 

 

 

OPENING HOURS

Week commencing
26th June 17

Our opening hours are updated weekly, but we are not a standard 'shop' & we are closed Sunday - Tuesday to enable us to breed, clean & care for all the birds and the farm, as well as have a few hours off!

Monday: CLOSED
Tuesday: CLOSED
Wednesday: 10 - 4pm
Thursday: 10 - 4pm
 Friday: 10 - 4pm
Saturday: 10 - 3pm
Sunday's: CLOSED

 

Contact Us

Telephone:
07830 176254

Email:
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Newland Grange,
Stocks Lane, Newland
Malvern, Worcestershire
WR13 5AZ