Having started 2013 on a bit of a downer, I am pleased to say we are now ‘back on it like a car bonnet!’ In the past 24 hours alone, so many exciting things have happened or are developing, that I just have to tell you all!
New Hybrids Arriving
Our first batch of hybrid hens for 2013 are arriving on Monday. They will include; Warwickshire Bluebelle, Light Sussex, Speckeldy, Gold Ranger, Rhode Rock and Warwickshire White Star. Getting new hens in is always exciting and it will be nice to have a good range of breeds available again. On the downside, the two weeks we had allocated to cleaning out and replacing all the old woodchip and disinfecting the coops now has to be done in three days! Thank goodness for boyfriends and friends! Even though I am going to have to do so much baking and buy so much beer in thanks!
We have decided this year to allocate a good proportion of our marketing budget to attending trade shows. So, we will be at the Edible Garden Show in March, the Pet Show in July and the Moreton in Marsh Show in September. We are also doubly excited that we have been chosen to sponsor the Poultry tent at the Moreton in Marsh show, which is a real honour.
The Pet Show is a new one for us; in fact it is new for everyone as it is a new show this year! They are promoting welfare and education in keeping pets and the Battery Hen Welfare Trust are sponsoring their avian section. We hope that we can really educate people about the right way and the wrong way to keep hens. (As believe me, there is a wrong way and many people do it unfortunately.) We also want to show people that chickens really can be the perfect pet and are especially good for young children.
This year we are working with a local chap (he’s a lovely hound!) to breed our own pure breeds and are pleased to say we have just ‘given birth to’ 3 Vorwerks, 5 Copper Black Marans and 8 Legbars! A new 80 egg incubator has also landed in the hound’s lap, so in this weeks batch, we have; Vorwerks, Orpingtons, Sablepoots, Pekins and Araucanas going in. Fingers crossed for hens! We may have some more news about pure breeds in the next week or so, but will keep you in suspenders for a little while on this one until everything is confirmed! Unlike many pure breed breeders, we are vaccinating our chicks for Mareks, Gumboro, Mycoplasma and Coccidiosis to minimise disease risk and bio security threats. Just call me Dr Doolittle!
Due to the popularity of our 2012 hen boarding, we are expanding and moving our boarding area to make room for 5 new houses. This means that the boarders will now be housed a good distance away from our hybrid hens and will all be housed in Omlet accommodation. (Which makes my life easier, as it’s sooo easy to clean!) And even better (and a little too girly for me really) we can have; the green house, the red house, the yellow house, the pink house and the purple house! Simple pleasures.
Expansion Plans FULL STOP
Our first year, (yes it’s our 1st birthday on 3rd March) was so much more successful than we’d hoped, that in 2013 we will be expanding! I will update the blog further in March & Feb about how this is progressing, but the expansion will make room for three new hybrid pens, two new pure breed pens and five breeding pens. We are hoping the expansion will be complete by April. Did someone mention ducks?!!
See, I told you I was excited! Next time in the blogs, look out for our new housing range, details on our two new hybrid hens and an invite to our first birthday party!