Happy Easter to everyone! It’s a beautiful day, so I’m inside blogging? Makes sense huh?
Easter is a time traditionally associated with chicks, bunnies and all things fluffy (and of course Jesus Christ) and the Easter bunny himself is of German origin, popularised by Americans. Baby rabbits and baby chicks are also common at this time of year, however, as we all know, chicks hatch all year round, not just during the Spring and here at Warwickshire Chicken Coop there is no difference.
We have recently had our second hatch of Legbars and Marans, which has been a little disappointing compared to the first, with many dying in shell quite late on in the development stages, but we are still getting good numbers of chicks, which will be ready by the end of May to go to their new homes. We are trying out some new breeds this year to compliment our core breeding groups and these include Sablepoots (tiny bantams with huge feathered feet and striking colours) – affectionately known to us as Stable Boots! As well as a few Silkies thrown in for good measure! Our core breeds of Marans, Legbar, Buff Orpington and Pekin will still take centre stage though. Orpingtons in particular sell out very quickly, so it’s advisable to put your name on a waiting list to make sure you don’t miss out!
This time of year is a good time to do two things as a priority for your chickens
1. Worm them! The beginning of Spring is the perfect time to give the hens an overall health check – for mites, lice, scaly leg, weight, clean bottoms and general well-being and worming should be added to this health check. The only licensed wormer on the market is Flubenvet, available from licensed premises such as ourselves, or your vet. It is a straight forward process where the medicine is added to the layers pellets and fed to the hen daily for a week. There is no egg withdrawal too which is a bonus at this time of year!
2. Give your hen’s coop a really good spring clean! Pressure wash it clean with some Poultry shield disinfectant, apply total mite ready to use spray and leave to dry. Once dry, powder all the nooks an crannies (don’t forget under the perches!!) with a liberal layer of diatom. Add fresh shavings and voila, a lovely clean hen house all ready for Spring!
We will be running our first course of the year on Sunday 12th April – Chicken Keeping for Beginners. We are running it from our breeding site (and friends/helpers extraordinaries/all round good eggs) home in Oxfordshire, about 15 minutes from our own site in Ettington. This will enable the course to be a really hands on session, with each participant having their own bird to handle and health check. There will also be around 150 birds to see (including our breeding groups) as well as viewing the ideal set up at home! Places are still available, so call 07768 555974 if you wish to book on.
That’s it for now as I’m going to go and enjoy the sunshine outside with the hens!