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Posted on 27 February 2018 in Chicken Chat and tagged under , ,

If you’re still on the fence about keeping chickens, or you know someone who is, there might be hidden benefits of poultry keeping that you haven’t considered.

Here are our top seven benefits of keeping chickens:

You’ll have a better diet
Chickens that are allowed to free range and eat a wide variety of plants and bugs produce healthier eggs – fact. Your hen’s eggs will contains higher amounts of vitamins A, D, and E, they’ll have less saturated fat and cholesterol, and more Omega-3 fats.

You’ll be doing chicken welfare a favour
If you have your own eggs at home you won’t need to buy eggs, therefore you won’t be financially supporting chicken factory farms. Of course, buying free range eggs are a solution, but the definition of “free range” isn’t always what it seems.

 

You’ll be doing your bit for the environment
Chickens love to eat weeds and protein packed bugs so you won’t need to use chemical bug sprays or weed killer. Their waste also makes great fertiliser so your plants will look wonderful without any chemical intervention.

They’ll improve your soil
If you’re a keen gardener having chickens scratching over tired looking flower beds will improve your soil no end. Put a layer of compost on your beds and they’ll be more than happy to mix it in with the soil for you!

You’ll get outside more
Fitting exercise into a busy working week can be hard but keeping chickens means you’ll have to spend a certain amount of time each week in the garden. Cleaning out the chicken house, plus moving feed sacks and bales of bedding is also a good cardiovascular workout.

Chickens are a natural antidepressant
When you stroke a pet a stress reducing chemical called Oxytocin in released leaving you feeling calmer, and more contented. The calming effect of chickens on a persons’ mental state can be so strong they have even been used as therapy animals.

You could prevent extinction of heritage breeds
The commercial farming of chickens has meant that many breeds are no longer kept and are now facing extinction. Getting involved in keeping rare, heritage chicken breeds means that their genes are preserved and valuable genetic material isn’t lost.

Posted on 21 February 2018 in Chicken Chat and tagged under , ,

Did you know there are well over 100 breeds of chicken being bred in the UK? Each breed has its’ own characteristics, attributes, purpose, and personality. The question is, how do you choose a breed that suits your lifestyle and needs?

Chicken breeds break down into three categories – chickens for meat, chickens for eggs, and chickens that are dual purpose. The majority of beginners want chickens that will produce eggs and are easy to look after.

Here are the top things to look for in any breed of chicken:

Is your chosen breed friendly and easy to tame?
Is this breed easy to care for?
Is this breed quite common? You’ll find it easier to get help and advice if your breed is well known.
If you want to keep chickens for eggs – is this breed known for high egg production?
If you want to keep chickens for meat – is this breed known as a good table bird?
If you want to keep chickens as pets – is this breed known for being docile and having a good personality?

Our top chicken breeds for beginners

Wyandotte

This breed ticks all the boxes as they’re pretty, practical, and produce great eggs. Not only are they incredibly friendly and placid but they’re also great layers so you won’t be short of eggs.

If you’re looking for a chicken breed to enhance your outdoor space then you’ll be pleased to hear that the Wyandotte comes in 14 different possible plumage variations in the UK.

Orpington

Whether you choose the large fowl or the bantam Orpington you’ll find you’ve got a great pet – especially for children. They’re not always great layers so if you’re looking for high egg production then this breed isn’t for you.

You’ll also need to make sure that your chicken house pop hole is big enough for the large fowl variety and consider keeping them separately if you have mixed breeds as the Orpington can be subject to bullying.

Warren

This is the most common hybrid breed of chicken and people will recognise Warrens as a classic brown hen – seen here in the popular Mercedes-Benz advert.

They’re friendly, docile, and love human interaction making them the perfect pets for adults and children alike. Originally bred for battery egg production they really are laying machines so you’ll never need to buy eggs again!

Silkie

If you’re not worried about egg production and you want a pretty pet then this breed is ideal. Silkies are small, incredibly tame, and have great personalities. They also have some unique features with black skin and bones and five toes rather than four.

They’re great mothers so if you’re looking to start breeding and want a broody hen to sit on eggs then get yourself a few Silkies.

Brahma

If the Orpington isn’t quite big enough then the Brahma is even bigger! They might not lay a lot of eggs but they are one of the friendliest breeds of chicken. They’re great if you have children but standing at up to 30 inches tall they might be a bit big to sit on your lap!

As with the Orpington, you’ll need to make sure your chicken house can accommodate these gentle giants – you might even want to consider a bespoke design.

Posted on 13 February 2018 in Egg Recipes and tagged under , , , ,

How could we let Pancake Day go by without giving you a delicious pancake recipe?

This simple recipe is foolproof and should ensure you get perfect pancakes every time.

Ingredients

100g plain flour
2 eggs (your own or free range)
300ml milk
1 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil
Lemon wedges and caster sugar to serve (this is our favourite way but you can put whatever you like on your pancakes)

Method

1. Put the flour, eggs, milk, and oil into a large bowl
2. Season with a pinch of salt
3. Whisk until you have a smooth batter
4. Set aside for 30 minutes or more for every better results
5. Wipe a frying pan with oiled kitchen paper and set over a medium heat
6. Cook your pancakes for a minute on each side. Use a spatula or fish slice to turn them – or flip if you dare!
7. Serve with lemon wedges and sugar. We also enjoy chocolate spread and strawberries for an even more decadent treat.

Posted on 7 February 2018 in Chicken Chat and tagged under , , ,

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and if you know you’re further down the pecking line than your significant other’s feathered friends then maybe a chicken themed gift will keep you on the right side of the coop.

Here are our top Valentine’s Day gifts for the chicken lover in your life:

Chicken Love Mug

They can be reminded of you (and their love of chickens) every time they have a cup of tea with this gorgeous Chicken Love Mug from thanksalatteshop on Etsy. £10.99.

Sitting Hen Statue

This pretty, hand-painted hen from Wayfair will look gorgeous in any kitchen or on the mantle piece. £21.99

Personalised Chicken Family Print

A gorgeous gift that will really show that special someone how much you love them and your family. Seedlings Cards and Gifts at Not on the High Street. £17

Rose Gold Hen Necklace

If a rose gold hen necklace doesn’t say “I love you” then I don’t know what else will. Alex Monroe at Cotswold Trading. £132.

Chicken Print Scarf

A lovely chicken print scarf which will brighten up any outfit. Amazon. £7.99

Crystal Rooster

The ultimate gift for a chicken fan and one that’s sure to get you extra brownie points – who wouldn’t want a crystal rooster? Swarovski. £109.

A Chicken House

Who says a present can’t be a practical one? They say that home is where the chickens are, so how about treating them to a new home this Valentine’s Day? We also offer gift vouchers if you’re not sure which style they’d like best.

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