Hen Keeping Tips for November

Now that Hallowween is over why not feed leftover pumpkins to your chickens? Pumpkins are high in essential vitamins and minerals. Just check for any rot or mold and cut up into large chunks. Your chickens will eat most of the flesh leaving just the skin.



Hen Keeping Tips for October

  • Check coops for leaks and fix stiff hinges or locks before winter.
  • Ensure perimeters of runs have no breaks which predators could penetrate.
  • Create a dust bath by filling a plastic box with play sand or dry compost for use when the ground is damp.
  • Provide extra shelter from the elements with a beach windbreak.
  • Clear up any spills in the feed store and make sure there is no damage from pests.
Salmon Faverolle chicken

Hen Keeping Tips for September

  • Collect bracken and hang bunches to dry – it is a great source of free bedding for your coop.
  • Do not be tempted to overfeed hens with corn, as fat chickens will stop laying.
  • Make a health busting treat:
    • 1 cup each of rolled oats, wheat and sunflower seeds, plus 1 teaspoon each of brewers yeast, garlic and dried sea weed, combined with cod liver oil.

Hen Keeping Tips for August

  • Gather stinging nettles (wearing protective gloves) then blanch them for a few minutes and freeze in small batches. Give them to your flock for a dose of vitamin c and iron
  • Keep chickens healthy by worming them with a natural product such as verm-x once a month
  • Hang bunches of fragrant herbs, including mint, rosemary or lavender, in the coops to mask odours which are especially pungent in the heat
pink feeders

Hen Keeping Tips for June

  • Gather dock leaves for your birds. They are a free source of greens and packed with vitamins, protein and iron.
  • Place a radio in the chicken run if you notice signs of predators in the area – human voices discourage them.
  • Pin a white cloth in the coop overnight when red mites are active, and check in the morning to see if there are any on it.
Hollywater Hens Shop Sign

Bank Holiday Monday Opening and Extra Chicken Keeping Courses

Open Bank Holiday Monday

Hollywater Hens has extended opening hours this Bank Holiday weekend and the weather is mostly looking dry and sunny 🙂

Saturday 30th April - 10am-4pm

Sunday 1st May - 10am-4pm

Monday 2nd May - 10am-4pm

Come and visit our Hollywater Hens smallholding near Borden on the Hampshire/Surrey border.

Come and see the chickens and all of the other animals we have on the smallholding

brown bird 300

white birds 300


lamb 2


The Hollywater Hens shop will be open for all of the equipment you need including our new hen house and run range or just stop by to have a chat and get some advice.

lambs in front of the Hollywater Hens shop



We also have some extra places available on our Chicken Keeping Course running this Sunday Morning - May 1st - See our Courses page for more details.

Merrist Wood College with their certificates of achievement and new Smallholders book

And we are now taking bookings for the following dates too:

Sunday 8th May

Sunday 22nd May

Beginners chicken keeping courses take place from 10:00–12:30. The cost of the course is £40 and includes sandwiches (egg – would you believe!), cake and tea/coffee or juice. Please contact us for more details and further information and to book your place.

“Fantastic course at Hollywater hens today. Suzie Baldwin is hugely knowledgeable and a real confidence giver. Can’t wait to get my girls.” – Helen Ellis via our Facebook page

The Hollywater Hens’ Beginners Chicken Course includes:

  • Setting up
  • Chicken breeds
  • Feeding chickens
  • Handling chickens
  • Common chicken health problems
  • How to handle your hens
  • Wing clipping
  • Questions and answer session with fresh sandwiches, cake and tea or coffee.

“A fantastic few hours learning from the Jedi Chicken Master herself Suzie Baldwin. We decided to take the course before we move to France in April and do this all by ourselves. Suzie couldn’t have been more helpful if she tried!! Fantastic course, great lady, great setup highly recommended to all!!!” – Andy MacPherson via our Facebook page

Holding a baby chick

The beginners chicken keeping course is a great way to gain confidence and knowledge enabling you to provide your hens with a happy healthy lifestyle.

Also they are a great way to meet like minded people.
Old clothes and wellington boots are advisable as this is a fun, hands-on practical course.


Telephone or email for more details and to book your place:

telephone contact details for Hollywater Hens07810 660817 or 01428 751749

email contact details for Hollywater Hens  suzie@hollywaterhens.co.uk


Suzie Baldwin on The Saturday Show

Suzie on TV

Chicken expert Suzie Baldwin from Hollywater Hens appeared on Channel 5’s The Saturday Show on Easter Saturday 26th March.

Suzie talks with Gabby Roslin and Spandau Ballet’s Tony Hadley about how easy it is to start keeping your own chickens, discusses some breeds and looks at what you need from a chicken coop. They move on to discuss selling eggs from your garden gate and then show some newly hatched day old chicks.