Suzie Baldwin Talks Turkey in BBC Countryfile Magazine

Talking Turkey

Look out for the December issue of BBC Countryfile magazine where Hollywater Hens’ poultry expert Suzie Baldwin contributes to an article all about turkeys.

The firs time Europeans saw turkeys – in North America – they believed the birds must be related to guinea fowl. As guinea fowl were thought to originate in Turkey, their larger American ‘cousins’ were given that name.

The article “Turkey: A Natural History” tells you everything you never knew about the Christmas bird.

Keeping chickens – November tips

A hen keeper for more than 20 years with a 300 strong flock on her Hampshire / Surrey smallholding, chicken expert Suzie Baldwin from Hollywater Hens offers her advice and November tips for keeping chickens:

The trees are almost bare of leaves, there's a nip in the air and fireworks are pervading the night skies. It must be November! This can be a trying time for the girls. Rosie, a very independent, headstrong Pekin Bantam, who's generally last to bed, is firmly tucked up before dusk, while the usually contented and mellow Buff Orpingtons are being rather tetchy with each other - disturbed nights really don't suit them! In recent years, firework displays seem to be more frequent, causing problems for some chickens. They are sensitive creatures and susceptible to stress, which affects their behaviour, Iowers their immunity 
and reduces egg production.

Dried lavender, either sprinkled on their bedding or placed in bags and pinned inside the coop, helps them to relax. You can also use homeopathic treatments such as phosphorous, or Bach Rescue Remedy - these anxiety-relieving solutions seem to work almost instantly (both products are available from most good health-food shops). Covering the coop with blankets
 can muffle the outside noise (take care
 not to block ventilation holes) and
 extra bedding will help them feel secure. During the day, I place crushed garlic
 cloves in filled drinkers - it boosts the
 girls' natural defences without altering 
the taste of their eggs

Click here for details of Suzie Baldwin's hen keeping courses at Hollywater Hens, and have a look at some more of Suzie's tips for keeping chickens