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Chickens Under BushesFor Back Garden & Small Scale Poultry Keepers

John Harrison and Hen

John Harrison and Hen

When I was a child I came home with a book – Poultry Keeping for Beginners – which stated ‘All you want to know about poultry keeping whether you start with day old chicks, 8 16 or 20 week old chickens or pullets in laying condition

This was not well received by my parents who felt getting me to clean out the rabbit hutch was work enough and the book went to the shelf.

Then, in the 1970’s, I came back from a holiday in Wales with the Backyard Dairy Book and the Backyard Poultry Book.

Dreams of a smallholding, milking the cow and eating eggs still warm fresh were not, sadly, to become reality although some backgarden chickens soon appeared to amaze the neighbours who loved the eggs.

The Poultry Blog

  • Helping a Fellow Bird Out

    Sometimes chickens can really surprise you, I didn't expect mine to act as they did when they saw a cat trying to catch a blackbird.
  • Hot weather, stopping the hens escaping.

    Hot hens but they're happy enough, spoiling them with garden waste, roof repairs to the run and putting a new fence around the main run.
  • How Many Eggs – Feeding Cat Food to Hens

    Answering some chicken questions. How many eggs should my hens be laying and should I feed my hens cat food or dog food to help them get through the moult.
  • Cleaning and Feeding Hens

    Cleaning the coop is a weekly 10 minute job but the run takes a few hours every few months. The thin eggs problem sorted and the hens are now getting their treats again along with their feed.
  • Watch Out – There’s a Fox About

    Most of us rarely see a fox and they tend to be dead on the side of the road. In my whole life, I can only recall seeing a fox twice. That doesn't mean they're not about though. Foxes are shy and elusive creatures. Because we don't see them, we might think there aren't any around. But they are around.

The Allotment Poultry

Fast-forward to a 14 years ago and I took on my allotment. Growing my own vegetables and actually becoming self-sufficient to a degree fanned the smouldering dream back into life.

After this there was a bit of a battle with the local council, which resulted in permission to keep poultry on the allotment. Our small back garden wasn’t really suitable for a number of reasons but mainly our cats.

It’s not that the cats would hunt the chickens but that the cats are phobic about large birds after living for three years by the seaside and being subject to attack by seagulls. Hence the great keeping chooks on the plot war with the authorities.

Now we have the place in the country we dreamed of on our honeymoon and our grown-up daughter and her family live nearby to us in Wales. She’s quite an expert on home poultry keeping having had flocks of chickens, ducks and quail in her back yard in Yorkshire and so is now setting up our poultry enterprise on the smallholding.

Our Book For Back Garden Poultry Keepers

Between us we wrote the popular Backgarden Chickens and Other Poultry for people like us starting on the poultry keeping road.

Where to Buy Chickens, Ducks & Other Poultry? – Turkeys, Geese, Live Hatching Eggs, Bantams & POL Hens

Because I kept getting asked ‘Where can I get some chickens?” I came up with the breeder’s lists to help both keepers and breeders. We’ve got 827 breeders listed now, split up by what they offer and where they are. So now you can find a local supplier.

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