New on the market to protect your chickens is an alternative, low-maintenance product called The Fox Stopper.
This simple device is said to allow your birds easy access to their hen house, but will prevent predators from doing the same. Hence, the manufacturer says, there’s no need to secure your hen house at night.
The inventor, Tom Pear, is a keen chicken enthusiast who’s developed and tested The Fox Stopper over the past two years using his own 20-strong flock of Leghorns.
The evidence was there that foxes had been active around the hen house during the night but not once did they ever gain entry. The simple, hinged spike arrangement allows chickens complete freedom of movement, but prevents larger creatures such as foxes from getting inside.
Tom, who is a professional blacksmith, manufacturers The Fox Stopper on his own premises, and says that the device is easy to fit on a range of hen houses.
For further details of this new device which costs £39.95, call 07900 576493 or visit the website at: www.foxstopper.co.uk.
We’re always on the lookout for new and interesting hen house designs, so felt we had to include this one we spotted recently.
According to the manufacturer, the Archdale (All In One) chicken coop and run represents the perfect introduction into rearing chickens.
Manufactured with quality materials including seasoned, 10mm thick fir board (screwed on to a strong and durable frame) this house is suitable for up to four large hens or six bantams.
There’s no red mite-harbouring roofing felt used and the design is said to be packed with neat, chicken-friendly features. The side of the coop has a large doorway and an access ramp to make it as easy as possible for your birds to get in and out, as well as a sliding door on the coop run to lock them in at night.
There’s also a slide-out droppings tray for easy cleaning and the wood used is treated using a water-based, anti-fungicidal animal and environment-friendly stain. The coop is also supplied with a nest box plus two internal and two external perches.
The Archdale (All In One) chicken coop costs £199 and you can find it and others in the range by visiting: www.feelgooduk.net. Alternatively, give Feel Good UK a call on 01162 600070.
For over 100 years, HG Gladwell & Sons Ltd, at Copdock Mill, have been supplying feed and grains to farms and smallholdings in Suffolk and the surrounding counties.
To give customers more choice, the company has now introduced the new 5kg range of poultry feeds, to compliment the very popular 20kg range of poultry rations.
The seven rations include; Baby Chick Crumb, Growers Pellet, Mixed Corn, Range Layers Pellet and Range Layers Mash. The other two rations are their award-winning Range Layers Pellets with Verm-X and Range Layers Mash with Verm-X.
The diet has an inclusion level of Verm-X so that it can be fed every day to give constant benefit. Verm-X is a natural formulation for the control of intestinal hygiene, and its formulation here is certified for use on all farms, and is free from artificial chemicals. Importantly, you can still eat your hens’ eggs while feeding Verm-X.
To find your nearest stockist, or learn more about this extensive feed range, call the customer services team on 01473 730246, or send an email to:
Edward Boothman, chairman of the Craven Poultry Keepers Club and The Poultry Club of Great Britain, emerged victorious at the Craven Feather Auction’s premier poultry show and sale, held on March 14th.
Mr Boothman was crowned champion with his pair of white Call ducks. The 2014- bred birds were, in fact, siblings of the brother and sister which won first prize at the previous show.
Mr Boothman said: “The secret is good breeding. I originally bought the parents from one of the top breeders in the country, S&G Hodge.”
After the show, the winning Call ducks were sold for £50, although the top-selling birds on the day were a trio of white Wyandottes, which earned £100 for their breeder and previous champion, David Pownall. On this occasion, David won second prize in the waterfowl category.
The show was judged by Jacqui Moore, who also provided expert feedback to the entrants, and the birds themselves were card-graded judged on quality.
If you’re looking for something interesting and thought-provoking to read over the Easter break, then we recommend Andrew Lawler’s Why Did the Chicken Cross the World? (£16.90, Atria Books, ISBN: 1476729891).
The book’s sub-title – The Epic Saga of the Bird That Powers Civilization – hints at the treasures within, and Lawler’s easy-to-read writing style, light touch and fact-packed text is a constant source of fascinating information.
The reader is taken on an adventure from prehistory to the modern era, with a enlightening account of the partnership between human and chicken (the most successful of all cross-species relationships).
Lawler argues that the chicken is among the most important creatures in human history, essentially because of its amazing adaptability; the Red Jungle fowl has been transformed into everything from tiny bantams to the enormous Jersey Giant.
He argues that it’s this unusual degree of malleability that led to the chicken being domesticated although, he explains, that using the bird as a convenient and efficient source of eggs and meat is a relatively new phenomenon.
For centuries before this modern-day exploitation began, chickens were revered around the world, and used at the centre of ritual and religious ceremonies.
Cock fighting played a massive part in its history and development, too, as did the bird's symbolic use on things such as weather vanes (a tradition begun on church towers and steeples).
Lawler also explains the development of the hybrid industry and expresses his horror at the way birds are treated in many commercial situations nowadays.
The revelation that, in America, chickens being reared for food aren’t classified as animals is a shocker. Contrast this with the way they’ve been embraced down the millennia – by Catholic popes, African shamen, Chinese philosophers and Muslim mystics – and you have to wonder at the morality of our treatment of the humble chicken today.