Hosted by Cheryl Arvidson
Type: Chicken Keeping Course - Beginner
Date: Sat 23 Aug 2014
Time: 09:30 - 12:30
Wheelchair Access: Yes
Dog Friendly: No
Child Friendly: Yes
Location: Near Taunton, Somerset
Rating: - 4 reviews
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.
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 Welsummers, which 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 http://greenmeadowpoultry.co.uk
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