Poultry Keeping – Egg Laying During The Winter Months

It’s absolutly crazy to think that we’re already into the second month of 2017, but time ‘flies’ when you’re keeping chickens! Okay… Enough of the bad puns. Though, the lack of daylight and cold weather can really affect their egg laying.

Free Range Eggs For Sale At Mantel Farm
Free Range Eggs For Sale At Mantel Farm

I’ve definitely noticed the evenings staying lighter for longer and so have my girls. I believe that they noticed the change in the day length very shortly after the shortest day (December 21st) as I started getting eggs again just a few days after. This makes total sense given that they spend plenty of time exposed to daylight so they’re able to have a well calibrated circadian rhythm. It was ever so exciting to collect that first egg after months of none at all.

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Poultry Keeping – Cold Weather, Food and Water

Cold weather can be a problem for our birds: we’ve had some very hard frosts over the past few weeks – it even snowed!

Cold Weather for Poultry Keeping
Cold Weather for Poultry Keeping

Frostbite:
Its worth bearing in mind that if daytime temperatures stay below freezing then large combed birds or birds with large wattles can get a touch of frostbite and this is most uncomfortable. The most noticeable symptom of this is darkened /black areas on the comb or wattle. One of the preventative measures, other than keeping them inside (something that you may already be doing due to the Avian Influenza), is to apply a small amount of petroleum jelly to the comb or wattle. Continue reading “Poultry Keeping – Cold Weather, Food and Water”

Chicken Health Advice – DEFRA Updates

Unfortunately this chicken keeping year has gotten off to a bad start with the outbreak of Avian Influenza (bird flu). DEFRA has extended the prevention zone measures until the 28th of February 2017. In light of this, please follow their chicken health advice. I’m sure I don’t need to preach to you the importance of keeping your birds inside if possible or under netting to prevent wild birds getting too close to your flock. I’m also sure that you’re keeping feeders and drinkers inside or under shelter to stop wild birds defecating in them.

For the latest updates visit – www.gov.uk/government/news/avian-influenza-bird-flu-in-winter-2016-to-2017

Biolink Bi-OO-cyst DEFRA approved for chicken health advice
Biolink Bi-OO-Cyst 1 Litre Bottle – £16.00

Second to all of this is keeping everything disinfected. It is a good habit and good practice to disinfect wellies before entering your run and, if big enough, your chicken house. Continue reading “Chicken Health Advice – DEFRA Updates”

Poultry Keeping – Josh’s Introduction

Josh holds a bantam and tells us about his poultry keeping adventures
Josh holding a bantam

Living in a residential area, it used to be pretty uncommon to have a flock of birds in your back garden; however, my parents decided, being that they were very much into self-sufficiency at the time, to begin their poultry keeping adventures by getting six point of lay chickens. I was only young at the time, but I have fond memories of collecting the eggs and listening to their relaxing chatter. I can still remember my excitement at hearing the vociferous clucking of the hens as they laid their eggs each day. Their house was a good distance from our house, but it could still be heard clearly at the bottom of the garden. Continue reading “Poultry Keeping – Josh’s Introduction”