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Introduction To Chicken Keeping

Hosted by Cheryl Arvidson

Type: Chicken Keeping Course - Beginner

Date: Sat 23 Aug 2014

Time: 09:30 - 12:30

Price: £46.00

Wheelchair Access: Yes

Dog Friendly: No

Child Friendly: Yes

Location: Near Taunton, Somerset

Rating:            - 4 reviews


About the course

This is an introductory session for people who are thinking about keeping chickens. It is divided between theoretical and practical learning, including a look at the different breeds and housing we have and the chance to handle our birds.

  • Learn about different breeds - Which are best for your situation? Large fowl or bantam? Heavy breeds or light breeds?
  • What sort of housing and space do they need?
  • Bedding, cleaning, health and hygiene.
  • Pests, parasites and common diseases.
  • What do they eat?
  • How many eggs can you expect?

After introductions and a chat about what each person hopes to get out of the session, we spend a couple of hours outdoors looking at real-life examples of housing and pens (including an Eglu), handling some birds and talking about health and feeding.

For the last forty-five to sixty minutes, we come back indoors and over tea and coffee we have a general question and answer session based around what we have seen outside. We also have a look at the fourteen-page course booklet that participants go home with, that I hope covers everything that has been talked about during the afternoon.

You will need to bring sturdy footwear and clothes you don't mind being close to a slightly nervous and potentially dirty-footed hen. If it's absolutely pouring down, the outdoor aspects of the course might be curtailed slightly.


About Me

I have kept chickens for thirty years and I think that EVERYONE should have hens in the back garden! I grew up on our family smallholding on the edge of the Quantock Hills in Somerset. I still live close by and my large fowl are kept there, whilst my bantam fowl are kept here in our garden in the village.

I keep a small number of breeds, concentrating on Barnevelders and and Salmon Faverolles, breeding them for dual-purpose utility and their dark brown and tinted eggs respectively. I also have Cream Legbars, for their pretty, blue-green egg. 

I keep Millefleur Pekin bantams, as they make good broodies for either hatching or fostering chicks. They lay tinted eggs. I also keep bantam Araucanas in blue/black and am aiming to breed for splash next year. They lay green eggs. This year I have also started keeping bantam Welsummerswhich lay brown eggs. 

I sell eggs weekly at the local farmers' market in Minehead and I sell hatching eggs and young birds when I have them. I run courses from beginners, through hatching to despatching and preparing for the table. I also keep quail, ducks and table rabbits and can run courses on these on request. 

A second adult from the same family and children (5 to 16) are welcome on my courses for £30 and £10 respectively - BY ARRANGEMENT, please. Additional fees can be paid on the day if necessary.

Smaller children may be possible (free) on the beginners course by negotiation - it depends on how many places are available. I also sometimes run 'Family' courses that are particularly aimed at little children; but we are very flexible, so please do ask and I will see what we can do to work around them on a 'normal' course. 

I leave it to parental discretion regarding whether it is appropriate for your children to participate in despatching/plucking/dressing. I'm happy to teach children who are comfortable with it and I give plenty of time for everyone on a course to decide whether they want hands-on experience on not.

My website is

Contact Host

If you have a specific question about this course, you can contact the host by clicking the button below. If you have a general question about chicken, bees or rabbits, you can contact our experts here


Latest Reviews For This Host

  • 5 Star: 4 (4)
  • 4 Star: 0 (0)
  • 3 Star: 0 (0)
  • 2 Star: 0 (0)
  • 1 Star: 0 (0)
Average Rating:

           (Based on 4 reviews)

Write Review
Pages: 1

           Excellent informal course, perfect for beginners

- Anna, 09 February 2015

Thoroughly enjoyed my morning with Cheryl. She is clearly a very knowledgable lady and shared her experience and knowledge on all aspects of chicken care. We were a small group and had lots of opportunities to ask any questions that came to mind. We had the opportunity to visit her chickens, hold them and learn more about the differing breeds as well as how to care for them properly. The time flew. Thanks Cheryl.


- Sue, 07 February 2015

Lovely, warm welcome from Cheryl and a most informative and useful course. All information clearly explained with plenty of time given to course members' individual needs and plenty of hands on time with Cheryl's wonderful array of birds. Indispensable course for novices like me! Will be back!


- Steven, 18 August 2014

Cheryl was easy to get along with and put over information that was easy to understand, with a wealth off knowledge I could not rate her any higher and would recommend her to anyone. Many thanks for the course.

           Great family environment

- Kathy, 29 April 2014

I took my 4year old daughter and we had a great time. I'm very pleased we did the course before getting our chickens , I am much more prepared and our chickens will benefit from me knowing what to expect rather than learning as we go. It is a very informal family friendly environment and I recommend the course. I will no doubt progress to the next level in the future......

Pages: 1
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