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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

  • More Snow, Egg Production Up

    Well Thursday's snow caused consternation in the flock who sent Chocky down to check things out before following her. Egg production on the increase as the days are getting longer. No news is good news on the Avian flu front.
  • Chickens in a Cold Winter

    It's pretty cold here at the moment, -8 C last night, which means we have to help our hens cope with the cold winter. It's a bit of extra work but not too much and anyway they're well worth it.
  • Making the Hens Work for a Living!

    Taking a lead from alternative farmers whose chickens are workers in an integrated pasture management system. Hens can be a real help on a veg plot and for keeping a lawn in tip top condition,
  • Eggs and Feeding Hens Better

    For maximum egg production hens require maximum nutrition - balanced feed designed to pack in as much as possible. Layers pellets or mash do this but is it right to feed them like that?
  • No Excitement – Avian Flu Update

    It's all routine at the moment, which suits me fine. After losing Bob we don't want any more drama. A brief update on the current Avian Flu situation.

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 882 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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