POULTRY AND WATERFOWL
Over the years we have kept lots of different poultry and waterfowl. They have not only provided us with eggs, and meat at times, but also much enjoyment as we have watched them free ranging around the paddocks.
The chickens are particularly useful for clearing ground in the vegetable patch before spring planting. They scratch up the weeds, eat the bugs, caterpillars, snails and slugs. The ducks are very fond of worms, slugs and snails too and are often seen foraging for them early in the morning when the dew is on the grass.
We hatch our own chickens to replenish our stock. Our oldest chicken was 9, but an average age is around 5-7 years and the most productive time of their life, in terms of egg laying, is from 6 months to 4 years, obviously this does dependant on what breed they are too.
We kept several pens of pure breed c hickenswhen we first started off running courses and breeding from them in a structured way. This ensured the blood lines were kept true. We are much more relaxed now and prefer to just let them free range together and have one main cockerel in charge of a dozen or so ladies.
Our ducks are lovely to watch. We have a pair of Welsh harlequins at the moment, but previously kept khaki campbells and aylesburys too. Ducks are not as scatty as chickens. They tend to have much more of a routine to their day. When they eat, when they go in their pond and the places they like to sit and relax. They forage for much of their food and our ducks will lay eggs from slightly earlier in the spring than the chickens and they are great to use for baking cakes and for making omlettes too!
Our quails live in a house and pen, they unfortunately have to be contained. We they let to free range they would fly off, never to be seen again. They don't make particularly good pets, but their eggs are adored by many. They are a special treat in salads, hard boiled for picnics or to accompany a bbq.
Turkeys, well they just make us laugh. From how they look when they are poults, to the noises they make and the darting about when they get older. It is hard to fall in love completely with a kelly bronze turkey!
Geese; we have kept the legarth strain which make an ideal table bird, and also some brecon buffs which act fiercly as guard geese, so watch out!
Poultry Keeping e-book
We have written an e-book all about poultry. It is very comprehensive and covers everything from; types of housing, feeding, cleaning, breeding and incubation, pests and diseases and much more.
It is available in downloadable pdf format for just £4.99
You can purchase it using Paypal. Please email me to get your copy.