One month to go to the publication of chicken expert Suzie Baldwin's new book "The Smallholder's Handbook: Keeping & caring for poultry & livestock on a small scale" on 14th May 2015.
You can pre-order from Amazon now.
The Smallholder's Handbook is a detailed manual to start, plan and manage your own smallholding. Suzie explains the level of work involved, how much space you need and how to prepare your land. There are chapters on keeping poultry (chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese), as well as pigs, goats and sheep, cows and bees. She also explains why having a variety of animals makes the best use of your resources and how many of each type to keep. Comprehensive advice includes choosing breeds, transporting, feeding, housing, daily care and wellbeing, as well as international legislation that applies to livestock.
A hen keeper for more than 20 years with a 300-strong flock on her Surrey/Hampshire smallholding, Suzie Baldwin offers her advice and April tips for keeping chickens.
Two of my pekins Fluff and Ethel are the proud Mothers of 18 chicks; they call them with a short, low cluck, which gets quicker and louder if their young fail to respond. They remind me of myself and my brood. Every morning, I calmly ask the children to make their beds and get ready for school and, as time ticks on and jobs aren’t being done, I raise my voice in a similar fashion. More chicks have hatched in the incubators so the nursery is very full and noisy. Hopefully, in a couple of weeks, the March chicks, weather-permitting, will be out in the field with the sun on their feathers and the lush grass in their crops, giving them the best start in life.
April is a popular month for people to start keeping chickens. It’s important to take time to do research, especially when it comes to finding a well-designed coop with adequate ventilation, good perches and nest boxes, and strong bolts to secure it at night, plus a run that’s partly under cover for sheltering in bad weather. The house is the most costly part of hen keeping but a quality one is worth the investment. The good news is that other essential equipment such as feeders, drinkers, food and straw (for bedding), plus wormers (try Verm-X) and red-mite control products (I use Diatom), are relatively inexpensive.
The new Hollywater Hens Shop is now open at our smallholding near Bordon in Hampshire.
The shop is fully stocked with a good range of poultry related items that we have tried and tested – from chicken coops and runs, to feeders, drinkers, wormer, tonic and bedding. We only sell products that are practical, and in our experience, work. (We have also managed to source pretty and practical, which I love). We also sell gifts and artwork.
If you need any help or advice come and visit; we can offer ideas for your individual requirements. We stock everything that you need to start your new venture, so come and take a look – we only stock products that work and that we use ourselves.
Chicken expert Suzie Baldwin has now opened Hollywater Hens
Hollywater Hens is a smallholding where chickens rule. With over 300 girls roaming around there will certainly be one here to suit you. We have a variety of organically reared hybrids and pure breeds – large and small hens, there will be a chicken here suitable for small gardens and large. At Hollywater Hens we have a variety of organically reared hybrid and pure breed chickens for sale as well as quail, geese, turkeys and ducks.
Chicken expert Suzie Baldwin is the bestselling Author of “Chickens – The essential guide to choosing and keeping happy, healthy, hens”, and “The Smallholders Handbook”.
This website will develop and grow over time. Planned items include:
- A gallery for all the chicken breeds
- Monthly tips on looking after your girls
- More Frequently Asked Questions
- Travel directions
- A new section all about our shop
- ADD…two peeled, slightly crushed garlic cloves into chickens’ water to boost immunity
- CHECK…the coop thoroughly for evidence of red mites – they hide in even the smallest cracks and crevices
- GROW…salad leaves on windowsills to provide hens with greens year-round
A cockerel’s courtship dance, when they make chattering noises and drop food, is called ‘tidbitting’?
- GROW…wheat on a windowsill or in an airing cupboard – chickens love the sprouted seed
- TURN…over the ground in fixed runs, apply disinfectant and add fresh bark
- MAKE…an all round tonic using dried seaweed to promote health, increase egg yield and darken yolk colour
- Make a scarecrow, spray it with perfume and place it by the run to deter the foxes
- Boil and mash potato peel, mix with oats, bran and cod liver oil to keep chickens warm
- Check hens’ vent area for small and straw-coloured lice; if you see them, use louse powder