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Practical Poultry News
Chicken course at Highgrove
Monday, 11 August 2014 00:00

Andy Marshall

In response to popular demand, there will be further chicken keeping courses at Highgrove, Gloucestershire, by kind permission of HRH the Prince of Wales.

Once again, Andy Marshall will be the course tutor on October 25th, and the topics set to be covered will include breeding, incubation, winter management and some dos and don’ts for the chicken keeper. There will also be plenty of opportunity to discuss specific issues.

Refreshments will be served through the day, with lunch provided in The Orchard Room at Highgrove. The course, which costs £75, begins at 10am and the day will finish at approximately 4pm. Further details are available by calling 0845 521 4342, or you can book online by visiting the Highgrove website at:


Tuesday, 05 August 2014 00:00


Mark Francis, the Chichester-based blacksmith and chicken house manufacturer, has just added a new and larger hen house to his range that has the capacity for up to 120 birds.

Built in the same way as his other units, using plastic boarding and metal framing, the new walk-in, wheeled unit should prove just as easy to clean – and convenient to live with – as the smaller units he produces.

This new house is 16’ long, 8’ wide and 7’ high at the apex of the roof. The base is built from 2in galvanised box tubing and 9mm thick plastic sheeting forms the floor.

Smaller sizes are available, too, but this one costs £3,500 (plus VAT). For more information visit:, send an email to: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or give him a call on 01243 773431.


Convenience, automatically
Tuesday, 29 July 2014 00:00

Convenience, automatically

The ChickenGuard automatic door opener is a gadget the maker says you can't live without in the constant battle with Mr Fox.

ChickenGuard's range of openers give you the peace of mind and security that your hens deserve. Let’s face it, we love our chickens, but the daily rush back to lock them away safely at night isn’t much fun, and realising that you’ve forgotten to do it once you’re settled in bed is a real worry.

This great little gadget will open and close your door at a time to suit you, using a timer or light sensor (or both). An additional clever feature is the red light that blinks when your door is firmly shut; this is visible from up to 100m away, so you can check from your bedroom window.

For more information about the ChickenGuard product range, visit the company’s website at:, or give them a call on: 0845 868 5817.


Soothing scaly leg
Tuesday, 22 July 2014 08:34

Soothing scaly leg

Chickens can suffer from unsightly and uncomfortable scales which form on legs and feet, and are caused by a mite which infests poultry and other birds, burrowing under the scales of legs and feet.

Poultry Scaly Cream, applied every two or three days, soothes and relieves the symptoms, eliminates the mites and leaves legs and feet smooth, with no signs of lifting.

Available in a 50g pack with an rrp of £3.19 (inc. VAT), Poultry Scaly Cream is available from pet stores and garden centres, and you can fi nd your nearest stockist by visiting:


Royal Highland
Tuesday, 22 July 2014 08:29

Royal Highland

Scotland’s premier agricultural event – the Royal Highland Show at Ingliston Showground near Edinburgh – was uncharacteristically blessed with four days of brilliant sunshine in mid-June.

This huge, sprawling agricultural show attracted nearly 180,000 visitors, who enjoyed a dazzling array of tractors, food freebies, horsey goings-on, parades of pigs and stalls galore (I even found some hen earrings!)

The fine weather, while great for picnics, proved something of a trial for livestock owners trying to prevent their charges from wilting, especially in the oppressive heat of the poultry tent on the fourth day.

Nevertheless, visitors to the tent were treated to some spectacular entries of fancy poultry and waterfowl breeds, excellent examples of more utilitarian fowl and a brilliantly imaginative junior fancy dress egg display.

Best in Show went to Hazel Dickson’s silver-laced Wyandotte female, while J Cuthbert’s black Orpington won Best Soft-Feathered Heavy Breed and Rory Innes’ Scots Grey male scooped Best Soft Feather Light Breed.

Gill Fraser

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