I have kept chickens for forty 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 and in my teens I earned my pocket money by selling eggs at the local market. I still live close by and am involved with my family's business.
Because of family circumstances, I keep a smaller number of breeds now than I used to, concentrating on Barnevelders, Salmon Faverolles and Millefleur Pekin bantams, as they make good broodies for either hatching or fostering chicks. I also keep tiny Barbu D'Anvers bantams.
Until June 2017 we sold eggs weekly at the local farmers' market in Minehead. I still sell surplus eggs in a basket by our gate 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 (usually on request). I also keep ducks and can run courses on these on request.
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.
A second adult from the same family and children (5 to 16) are welcome on my courses for £35 and £5 respectively - BY ARRANGEMENT, please. Additional fees can be paid on the day if necessary.
This host doesn't have any open courses at the moment