Easter Recipe – Chocolate & Spice Hot Cross Buns

Chocolate and Spice Hot Cross Buns

If you’re considering doing a spot of baking this Bank Holiday weekend how about a modern twist on a traditional Easter snack?

These delicious Hot Cross Buns make an “eggstra-special” Easter treat for young and old a like!

hot cross buns

Recipe from BBC Good Food:

Ingredients

  • zest and juice 1 large orange
  • sunflower oil, for greasing

For the dough and crosses

  • 225ml semi-skimmed milk
  • 50g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 1 large free range egg
  • 450g strong white bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2 tsp fast-action yeast
  • 50g golden caster sugar

For the flavouring and glaze

  • 140g raisins
  • 100g chocolate, 70% cocoa solids
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 tbsp golden caster sugar
  • 100g plain flour

 

Method

  1. Make the dough first. Heat the milk in a pan until steaming. Remove from the heat, and drop in the butter. After a couple of mins, beat in the egg and half the orange zest. The liquid should be just warm for step 2.
  2. Mix the strong flour, yeast, 1 tsp salt and the sugar in a large bowl, then tip in the liquid and stir to make a soft dough without dry patches. Flour the work surface and your hands, then knead the dough for 5-10 mins until smooth and elastic. Use a stand mixer or processor if you like. Oil a large bowl, sit the dough inside it, then cover with oiled cling film. Rise in a warm place for about 1 hr or until doubled in size.
  3. Put the raisins and half the orange juice in a small pan or covered bowl, and either simmer for a few mins or microwave on High for 1 min until hot. Cool completely. Break the chocolate into a food processor with the cinnamon and 2 tbsp sugar, then pulse until very finely chopped. Mix in the rest of the zest. If you don’t have a processor, chop it by hand or grate it, then mix with the other ingredients.
  4. Turn the risen dough onto a floured surface and press it out to a large rectangle, a little bigger than A4 paper. Scatter it evenly with the chocolate mix and the raisins, which should have absorbed all of the juice (drain them if not). Roll the dough up around the filling, then knead it well for a few mins until the chocolate and fruit are evenly spread. Some raisins and chocolate will try to escape, but keep kneading them back in.
  5. Grease then line a large baking sheet with baking parchment. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces. Shape into buns by pinching each ball of dough into a purse shape, concentrating on making the underneath of the ball (which will be the top) as smooth as you can. Put the buns, smooth-side up, onto the baking sheet, leaving room for rising. Cover loosely with oiled cling film and prove in a warm place for 30-45 mins or until the dough has risen and doesn’t spring back quickly when prodded gently.
  6. Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. To make the paste for the crosses, gradually stir 6-7 tbsp water into the plain flour to make a smooth, thick paste, then put in a food bag and snip off the end to about 5mm. Pipe the crosses, then bake for 20-25 mins until the buns are risen and dark golden brown.
  7. Mix the rest of the orange juice with the remaining sugar and let it dissolve. Brush the syrup over the buns while they are hot, then leave to cool. Eat on the day of baking, or toast the next day.

How to Keep Ducks and Chickens Together

If you already have chickens but you want to branch out, you might have considered adding some webbed footed friends to your flock. Opinions are divided on whether you should do this, so we put together some tips for happy mixed species poultry keeping…

ducks_chickensFor some people the idea of keeping ducks and chickens together brings them out in a cold sweat, and even if they keep both species, they are kept in separate enclosures.

Both species are social animals and many people keep ducks and chickens together, usually in perfect harmony. However, they do have different care needs so it isn’t always plain sailing.

Here are some things you’ll need to consider if you’re thinking about having a mixed species flock:

Keeping the peace                                                    

Chickens and ducks will squabble both with their own species and with each other. This behaviour is normal and as long as this doesn’t turn into bullying you won’t need to worry about the occasional ruffled feather.

It’s important to provide your flock with enough room for them to be able to avoid a fight. You may find that they need separate poultry houses within the same enclosure and ensure there are plenty of water and food sources so everyone gets their fill.

However, if there is a squabble damage can sometimes be done by chickens’ beaks, which are far sharper than ducks. Fights are more common between drakes and cockerels during the breeding season than between female birds.

Having bachelor groups and removing overly aggressive birds should help to resolve this problem.

Feeding time

As said above, having plenty of food and water stations will mean that the entire flock doesn’t crowd around one place at the same time.

Chickens and ducks also have different nutritional needs, especially when they’re young. Generally speaking it’s not advisable to keep young chickens and ducks together as they should be fed on different food.

Adult birds can both be fed chicken layers pellets/mash but care needs to be taken to ensure the ducks are getting enough Niacin (Vitamin B3) in their diet. This can be done by adding Brewer’s Yeast to their feed or a Niacin supplement.

Here’s a great post that explains more about Niacin and Niacin Deficiency in ducks.

If you keep drakes you’ll also need to be aware that chicken feed has too much calcium in it for drakes. You’ll need to provide your drakes with wheat to keep their protein levels up and they’ll regulate their intake between wheat and layers’ feed themselves.

Keeping water clean

Of course, both species need water to drink but ducks also need water to wash in and this can lead to water sources becoming dirty quickly. There are a number of ways to combat this.

One common solution is to put a drinker higher up and provide perches for your chickens to access it. Nipple style drinkers, such as these, in addition to a trough or small pond, ensure that your flock can stay hydrated without your ducks making a mess of the only available water source.

 

Top 5 Duck Breeds to Keep as Pets

There are so many different breeds of duck it can be difficult to know which breed would be best for you, especially if you’re new to the world of duck keeping. Ducks come in all different sizes, shapes, and weights and they all have a different purpose.

For example, the Pekin breed is a popular choice for meat production as well as making good pets. On the other hand Indian Runners are prolific egg layers and make great pets, but don’t expect to get much meat from them!

Ducks are also grouped into different weight categories – Heavy, Medium, Light, and Bantam. Examples of the weight categories would be:

  • Heavy – Pekin
  • Medium – Cayuga
  • Light – Indian Runner
  • Bantam – Call

Of course, you can keep any breed of duck as a pet, but some are easier to care for than others. Here’s a look at our choice of top duck breeds to keep as pets:

Call Ducks

White Call Duck Drake

White Call Duck Drake

This tiny bantam breed is a popular choice if you’d like to have ducks but don’t have a lot of space. The breed originates from the Mallard duck and is thought to have come from The Netherlands.

Call Ducks are lively, friendly, and can be very noisy so if you live in a urban area they might not be right for you.

You can expect to your ducks to lay around 100 small eggs per year. Call Ducks are available in a wide range of colours including: White, Mallard, Yellow belly, Chocolate, Magpie, Bibbed, Apricot, and Khaki.

Pekin Ducks

Pekin Duck

Pekin Duck

95% of duck meat consumed in America comes from this breed but they also make fantastic pets and are good layers. Often confused with the Aylesbury breed because of their similar “Jemima Puddle-duck” looks the Pekin is fantastic if you have a larger garden.

They are a Heavy breed of duck and originated in China before spreading around the world. They’ll give you between 80 – 140 large white eggs every year and their calm, friendly nature makes them a great option if you have children.

Pekins like to be active, so they’ll appreciate having a bigger area to explore and their orange bills and legs make them an attractive addition to any outdoor space.

Cayuga Ducks

Cayuga Duck

Cayuga Duck

This striking breed is unmistakable thanks to its iridescent green/black plumage and they are quiet, hardy, and easy to tame. They’ll produce 100 – 150 eggs per year that start with black shells at the beginning of the season and gradually lighten to a light grey/white.

The Cayuga Duck was developed in New York in 1809 after a pair of wild black ducks were caught and bred for their colour. These days they are a rare conservation breed and can be hard to find, but they make worthwhile pets if you’re prepared to search for them.

Indian Runner Ducks 

Indian Runner Drake and Ducks

Indian Runner Drake and Ducks

As well as being prolific egg layers, up to 200 per year, the Indian Runner is probably one of the most popular breeds of pet ducks in the world.

Originally from the East Indies (Malaya, Java, and Lombok) rather than India these ducks were first known as “Penguin Ducks” because of their upright stance. As they are taller you’ll need to consider a duck house with a higher roof if you want to include Indian Runners in your flock.

They don’t fly, choosing to run instead, and they love foraging and swimming. They are available in around two dozen colours including: White, Fawn, Apricot, Black, Mallard, and Silver.

Muscovy Ducks

This is a Heavy breed of duck and the Drakes are usually twice the size of females. Muscovy Ducks produce 60-140 eggs per year and are well known for going “broody” so if you’re looking to breed ducks this could be a good option for you.

Muscovy Duck

Muscovy Duck

They are unique in that they are the only breed of duck not to originate from the wild Mallard. In fact, they are closely related to a sub group of perching ducks which is why they have sharp claws that allow them to perch comfortably.

Muscovy Ducks, or ‘Scovies as they are known by their fans, are available in nine different colours all of which have a red crest (called caruncles) around their eyes.

Do you keep ducks? We’d love to see pictures!

Duck Basics – What Do You Need to Know?

Ducks make great pets, although it can take them a while to trust you, and their funny, charming, individual characters will entertain you for hours.

Over the next few weeks we’ll be looking at ducks in more detail including different breeds, how to ensure your ducks stay healthy and and happy, and why keeping ducks is a great idea.

In general ducks have fairly basic needs – as long as they’ve got food, fresh water, and a clean duck house they’ll be happy.

 

Ducks – the basics

As you’ll know ducks are mostly aquatic birds that can be found both on fresh and sea water. They are smaller than swans and geese although they are all part of the same species known as the Anatidae family.

The word “duck” is thought to come from the Old English word “duce” meaning “diver” or “to dive”. This is thought to be a reference to the way ducks upend in water to feed.

Almost all domestic ducks are descended from the Mallard, with the exception of the Muscovy breed.

Ducks eat a variety of foods and are actually omnivores. Grass, aquatic plants, insects, small fish, frogs, and worms will all make up a ducks diet if it has free access to them.

Most domestic duck breeds feed on land, on the surface of the water, or by upending and eating as deep as they can go without completely submerging.

The majority of domestic breeds of duck don’t need vast expanses of water to be happy and healthy. The absolute minimum amount a duck needs is a water source deep enough to submerge their whole head.

Not only does this help them swallow their food but also ensures their eyes stay clean as ducks lack tear ducts so cannot clean their own eyes.

Quack quack!

With domestic ducks the females of most breeds will make the classic “quack” sound. Ducks have a wide range of sounds including chattering, whistling, grunting, and squeaking.

Ducks use their range of calls to communicate everything from being scared or startled to informing other members of the flock that they’ve found a tasty treat.

Domestic ducks

Ducks have been domesticated for hundreds of years and have many economic uses including being farmed for their meat, eggs, and feathers.

Ducks are also common as pets, especially in recent years, where they are kept both alongside chickens and separately.

These days there are so many different breeds of domestic duck it would take pages to list them all. Some of the most common breeds of duck kept include Call, Aylesbury, Pekin, Indian Runner, Khaki Campbell, and Silver Appleyard.

Top 10 Most Commonly Asked Questions about Keeping Chickens

ChickenEgg

Keeping chickens is a fantastic pastime, one that people have flocked to in recent years, and chickens could make a fantastic addition to your garden and your family.

Here are the most common questions people that are new to chicken keeping ask:

#1 – Do I need permission to keep chickens?

If you live in the UK then you shouldn’t need permission to keep chickens. However, some old houses have bans on keeping chickens so it’s important to check the deeds to your house first.

You might also want to phone your local Environmental Health Officer just to cover all bases. And of course, asking your neighbours if they might is the polite thing to do!

#2 – What do chickens eat?

Chickens are omnivorous which means that they’ll eat pretty much anything! The majority of your hens’ diet should be made up from a commercial pellet or layers mash such as this range from Allen & Page.

You’ll find your hens look for their own food including grass, worms, bugs, and they’ll also enjoy kitchen scraps.

#3 – How much do chickens eat?

The exact answer to this question depends entirely on the number of birds you keep and their age, sex, and breed but here’s a rough guide:

  • Laying hens = 4/6 ounces of food per day
  • Bantams = 2/3 ounces of food per day

Larger breeds, such as the Buff Orpington or Jersey Giant, need more feed and all chickens will need an increased food intake during the colder winter months. Chicken keepers usually make sure food is available at all times so that hens can help themselves throughout the day.

#4 – How do I put my chickens to bed?

Chickens usually put themselves to bed at dusk, although this doesn’t always mean they’ll go to bed in their hen house!

For the first few weeks you may need to herd them in at “bedtime” or lay a trail of food to the chicken house door for them to follow. Chickens are creatures of habit and it shouldn’t take them long to get into a routine.

If you keep your chickens in a run then you could also try not letting them free range for a couple of weeks. After this point they should know where “home” is and put themselves to bed without you needing to get involved.

#5 – How long do chickens live?

This varies from breed to breed and of course depends on whether your chicken is injured or becomes ill. Generally a healthy bird will live for between eight to 15 years, although chickens have been known to live for as long as 20 years.

#6 – How many eggs will my chickens lay?

Again, this depends entirely on the breed and age of your chickens. Commercial hybrids, such as the Warren, could lay 320 in a year. Pure bred or rare breeds tend to lay fewer eggs.

You’ll also find that hens lay fewer eggs as they get older but most breeds are fairly productive layers during their first laying year.

#7 – Do I need a cockerel to get eggs?

No, and your neighbours would probably appreciate it if you didn’t! You’ll only need a cockerel if you want to start breeding your chickens and need fertilised eggs.

#8 –  What do I do if one of my chickens is ill?

Because chickens are prey animals they don’t usually start to look ill until it is quite serious. This means that if one of your flock does become ill you’ll need to act quite quickly.

Remove the ill bird from the flock, place it in a warm, quiet place with food and water, and watch for any changes. If your hen doesn’t improve then consult a chicken friendly vet – finding one can be a challenge, so it’s worth sourcing a good vet before you purchase your chickens.

#9 – What do I do with my hens if I go on holiday?

The easiest option is to make friends with another chicken keeper and take it in turns to look after each other’s flocks when you go away. Another option that is gaining popularity is to send your chickens on a “hen holiday” where they’ll be cared for until you return.

One company that offers this service is Feufield Farm and Trust who are based in South Lanarkshire. A quick internet search should turn up a company that is local to you.

#10 – How big does my chicken house need to be?

This is another question that entirely depends on the number of birds you have and their breed. As a general rule your run or enclosure should provide 2/3 square feet per bird. If your birds aren’t going to free range then you should look at an enclosure that gives them 10 square feet per bird.

The huge range of chicken house designs out there can make it confusing to know what is best to buy. Take a look at our article – “Buying a chicken house? Get it right the first time” for a more in depth answer to this question.

Eight Reasons Why Keeping Chickens is a Great Idea!

It’s pretty safe to say we love chickens and there are thousands of other people all over the world that love their chickens too. Today, we’re looking at the top reasons to start keeping chickens.

I love chickens

We love chickens!

  1. Fresh eggs!

This is probably the top reason that people start keeping chickens and having a daily supply of fresh eggs is certainly a good enough reason for us.

Not only will you get the satisfaction of collecting your own eggs but you’ll also know exactly what went into making them. You are what you eat after all!

Coloured_eggs

  1. Chickens are educational

Keeping chickens in your back garden is a great way to teach your children a little bit more about where their food comes from.

Having any pet is a valuable lesson in respecting and caring for animals but having a pet that gives you a tasty treat back in return for your love and dedication is even better.

  1. Your garden will be bug free

If you let your chickens free range you’ll be amazed how quickly they get rid of all the bugs in your garden.

Worms, slugs, beetles, flies, snails, and spiders all make a tasty snack for hens so you’ll be provided with free pest control all year around.

chicken-little-in-the-garden

  1. Chickens are low maintenance

Most common breeds of chicken are hardy, easy to care for, and low maintenance making them an ideal pet.

Usually as long as your flock has food, water, exercise, and a clean shelter they’ll be happy. Of course, how fancy you want to make your chicken house is up to you!

  1. You’ll get free fertiliser

Whether you let or hens free range or not you’ll still have an abundance of glorious free fertiliser that your plants will love.

The high nitrogen content of chicken poo means that it turns into brilliant compost so put it on your flower beds and wait for your plants to thrive.

  1. You’ll cut down your food wastage

Chickens are like compost bins and will happily guzzle down your left over kitchen scraps.

A squashed cauliflower, a handful of sweetcorn, or a few pieces of bacon rind will always be a welcome treat for your flock.

  1. Chickens enhance any garden

Even the plainest breed of chicken is beautiful and there are plenty of ornamental breeds if you want something really spectacular.

MJ_porcelain

  1. Chickens are entertaining

In return for as little as 15 minutes per day of your time you’ll get hours of entertainment back.

You’ll soon learn that each chicken has her own personality and all of the different breeds have their own character traits.

How to Look After Chickens in the Snow

Chickens in the snowChickens are usually fairly hardy creatures and shouldn’t require a lot of human intervention to continue to thrive in the winter months. However, as temperatures drop and snow falls across the country there some things you can do to make your flock more comfortable this winter.

Like many poultry keepers you might find that your birds shut up shop in the winter and don’t lay eggs. This is perfectly normal so unless your chicken looks unwell you don’t need to worry.

Although your chickens might not be giving you anything in return for your hard work it’s important not to let care standards drop in the winter. Keeping them in tip top condition will ensure that they start their new laying period raring to go.

So, here’s how to look after chickens in the snow:

Housing

Generally speaking chickens don’t mind the cold, what they do mind however is draughts, wind, and rain – particularly if they haven’t got any shelter.

Houses should be waterproof, draught free, and with ventilation above head height. Ventilation is vital, as tempting as it can be to block all ventilation holes this can cause frostbite as any moisture in the coop freezes over night.

If your chicken house is usually in an exposed area of the garden it might also be worth trying to find a more protected place for it to live in the winter.

A thicker layer of bedding will also make your birds happy but remember the house still needs to be cleaned out regularly to prevent mould, bacteria, and fungal growth making your birds sick.

  • How often should your clean your chickens out?

We recommend at least a weekly deep clean that involves removing all bedding, allowing the house to air, and checking for any general wear and tear.

If you do have quite a thick covering of snow you might find your chickens prefer to stay indoors rather than get cold feet. If they do opt to stay in their coop then you will need to clean it more often.

Water worries

Providing your flock with fresh, clean water will probably be your biggest challenge during snowy weather. Drinkers tend to freeze or fill up with snow quickly so you’ll need to think of a solution to the problem before it happens.

Here are our top tips:

  • On very cold days check the water as many times as you can throughout the day
  • Remove drinkers at night and empty the water – it’s easier to refill a drinker daily than to defrost one
  • Move the drinker to a more sheltered spot

You may also want to consider investing in a heated drinker if you live in a part of the UK that is prone to extremely cold weather and snow.

Food for thought

In terms of feed your flock shouldn’t need anything different – although you may want to feed them more. They’ll also appreciate a warm mash on colder days and a few handfuls of corn before bedtime to keep them warm overnight.

You can use this recipe from our friends Hedgerow Henporium if you want to feed a warming mash.

Why keep ducks?

Keeping chickens has undoubtedly become extremely popular in recent years but that isn’t the only option if you want some feathered friends to share your garden…

Here are our top reasons why keeping ducks could be the best thing you ever do:

  1. Delicious eggs all year around

As tasty as chicken eggs are duck eggs are usually richer and creamier, which is why they’re so popular with keen bakers. Plus, their eggs are bigger and contain even more nutrients and goodness than chicken eggs.

Ducks also lay all year around, unlike chickens who stop in the winter, so you won’t need to buy eggs even in December.

duckeggs

  1. They’re cheap to keep

Once you’ve had the initial outlay of a suitable duck house and other equipment you’ll need, ducks are incredibly cheap to keep.

Depending on how many birds you have one bag of feed could last you for weeks, they’ll love your kitchen scraps, and they’re experts at finding their own food in the garden.

In fact, if you’re looking for free pest control then a couple of ducks could be the answer.

duck ark

A Jim Vyse Arks “Budget Duck Ark”

  1. Ducks are made of tough stuff

For some reason, and I’m not enough of an expert to know why, ducks are generally less susceptible to disease and infection than chickens. They cope well in extreme weather conditions and if they do become ill they usually recover fairly quickly with minimal human assistance.

duck_surfing

  1. Your neighbours won’t notice you have them!

Although most female ducks do make the classic “quack” noise they only do this when startled or frightened. The majority of the time ducks are silent or make quiet noises.

If you’re worried your neighbours won’t like the cackles and squawking that hens make then duck might be a better choice.

pekin duck

 

 

  1. They don’t need that much water

Many people think you need a lake or at least a large pond in order to keep ducks but depending on which breed you keep that isn’t always the case.

A child’s paddling pool, sawn in half barrel or an old bath tub can all make suitable “ponds” for backyard ducks. As long as the water is deep enough for them to get their whole head under then your ducks will be happy.

duck pond

  1. Ducks make friends more quickly

Many poultry keepers can’t resist adding to their flock after a while and this can cause disruptions to the pecking order. However, ducks seem to accept new additions to their group more calmly than chickens so if you think you’re likely to expand your brood ducks are a more tranquil option.

runner ducks

  1. Ducks have great personalities

If you talk to anyone who keeps ducks they’ll tell you all about their ducks individual personalities. For example, with my small flock, Astrid is inquisitive and always on the hunt for bugs whereas India prefers to sunbathe or have a bath in her “pond”.

  1. They make loyal friends

Dogs might be mans’ best friend but ducks come in at a close second. Sometimes it can take them a while to trust you but once they’ve imprinted on you and see you as part of the flock you’ll have a friend for life.

duck

If you’ve been convinced that ducks are a great idea then it’s time to get shopping for the duck house of your dreams!

Boredom Busters for Hens

In the colder months your hens can spend more time in their run and less time free ranging in your garden, field, or orchard. This can lead to boredom and bad behaviour as chickens need something to occupy their time…

In many ways chickens can be like small children – they like shiny objects, they’re easily distracted, and they can cause mass destruction if they’re not kept entertained.

Luckily keeping your hens occupied doesn’t have to be difficult and unlike small children they won’t be clamouring for the latest toy or games console. In fact, a head of cauliflower could be the best present you could ever give them!

If you’re new to the world of chicken boredom busters or you’re looking for more inspiration here are our top tips for keeping your flock amused:

Fun and healthy!

Any treats that give your poultry something to do and ensure they get all their vitamins and minerals have to be a good thing, right?

Hanging a cabbage or cauliflower from the roof of their enclosure will keep them occupied for hours playing “piñata” and then they can forage for fallen bits of veg when they’re done.

Mirror mirror!

Now we’re not saying that chickens are vain but they do like to check out their reflection from time to time. Lightweight, shatterproof, and plastic mirrors are an inexpensive purchase that can be found in many bargain homeware shops.

Fix the mirror to your run using cable ties and watch your hens pamper and preen!

Chicken swing

Yes – chicken swings are a thing!

Another level

Chickens love to have a “bird’s eye view” of the world so providing them with outside perches, swings, or stumps to stand on will give them a better look at their surroundings.

Tree stumps, branches, old ladders, and broom handles can all be used to give your hens a multi-level environment.

For something fancy and ready to go you can purchase a chicken swing from the British Hen Welfare Trust shop, or if you fancy a bit of DIY, you could also make your hens a swing.

Piles of leaves

This is a great tip for the autumn months when you’ll have an abundance of fallen leaves in your garden. For reasons known only to themselves chickens hate piles so try putting a pile of leaves in their enclosure and see how quickly they start to destroy it!

Something new

Chickens love anything new that they can investigate – wooden crates, a plastic rake, an old broom head, or even a tub of mud – will be greatly appreciated by your flock.

As long as the item can’t injure or damage your hens in any way go ahead and let them check it out.

Move things around

If you can easily move your chicken house then try putting it in a new part of the garden. Not only will this give a bit of your garden a rest but it will also allow your hens to explore a new environment.

If you’ve got a permanent poultry enclosure then why not move your flock’s feeder and other accessories to new places? Your chickens will have fun looking for things that have moved and moving things might even reveal worms, bugs, and other edible goodies!

Added Extras for Your Chicken House

Once you get everything set up keeping chickens really is a walk in the park, which is possibly why they’re such a popular pet even with the urban crowd. All you need is the right coop and a little bit of green space and your chickens will be happy.

In the past we’ve discussed the things you should look for when buying your first chicken house. This week we’re going to be looking at the added extras you can get for your chicken house that will make keeping hens even easier!

Here are some chicken house accessories that make your hen’s home more luxurious and will definitely make keeping chickens easier:

Easy moving

If you’re looking for a chicken house that you can move around your garden then you’ll need something that is easy to move by yourself. Moveable chicken houses are very popular and there are a range of wheels and handles you can get to make moving your chicken house quick and simple.

SS100351

Let there be light

Lighting your hen house during the autumn and winter months is a proven method of extending your chicken’s egg production period.

Solar hen house lighting kits are easily set up and because they don’t need to be linked up to a mains electricity supply they are able to be used even in the most remote areas.

Sunshine Solar_kit

Shutting the door behind you

Whilst getting up early to let them out is part and parcel of having chickens everyone likes a lie in sometimes.

This is where automatic doors for chicken houses become a really useful accessory. They are set on a timer to open in the morning and then safely lock your hens in at night. This is a good idea if you don’t get home from work until after dark during the winter to keep predators out of your chicken house.

Autodoorunitslide-600x600

Keep them where you want them

If your flock is free-range but there are parts of your garden you’d rather they stayed away from then you can invest in some electric fencing to keep them where you want them.

The poultry netting style of electric fencing for chickens is also a good deterrent for predators including, foxes, dogs, cats, and rodents.

BatteryFencingKit600x600