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Chickens & the community

Quick Care Tips to Keep Your Chickens Happy and Healthy

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

In recent years keeping chickens has become increasingly popular across the UK and if you’ve ever had experience of keeping chickens then you’ll know why we’ve all come to love it! You’ll get to know each individual chicken’s personality and the promise of fresh eggs in the morning isn’t something that you can pass up lightly!

Here at Cotswold Chickens, however, we understand that it can be difficult to get started with keeping chickens and that if you’re a complete beginner then you’ll need a helping hand to get going. We’ve put together some really quick and simple tips to set you on the right track:

-    Your chickens’ feed comes in 3 different forms: crumb, pellet and meal/mash. If you ensure that your chickens’ diet is made up primarily of one of these types of feed then you’ll have happy chickens laying fantastic eggs.

-    Hang fresh vegetation in the garden to give your chicks a varied diet and you’ll be rewarded with deep yellow, rich yolks.

-    Don’t give your chickens too much maize or corn.

-    Always supply your chickens will fresh water but keep an eye on the temperature. Don’t let the water freeze in the winter or get too warm when left out in the sun, chickens aren’t too keen on warm water.

-    Keep your chicken house clean with fresh bedding and by removing any droppings.

-    Clean the house from top to bottom around once a month and keep an eye out for critters like red mites.

-    Give your chickens a regular health check; they should have bright eyes and a clean beak, a pale comb, wattles and face. Again, keep an eye out for mites around the vent.

These are just a few quick tips to get you going but there’s plenty more information on our website. If you’re really unsure about where to start with your chickens then why not attend one of our courses?

If you have any questions or queries about our services or products then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us, we’ll be more than happy to help!

Wing Trimming: Is It Necessary and When Should You Do It?

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

Whether you’re an experienced chicken keeper or a complete beginner, sometimes it can be difficult to know where to start with new chickens. There is a big difference between caring for older, fully grown chickens and youngsters settling into a new home!

Here at Cotswold Chickens we are dedicated to helping you provide the best possible care for your chickens throughout their entire lives and we know that the first few weeks can be the most difficult. We often get questions about wing trimming; whether it’s necessary to trim your birds’ wings and if so, the best time to do it.

Trimming Can Help Her Settle In

It’s often a good idea to trim your birds’ wings when they first move into their new home with you. By trimming the wings you are restricting their ability to take off which means your chickens can settle in and get to know their new home before hopping over the your neighbour’s garden and finding a few tasty treats!

Once your birds have settled in, there shouldn’t be any need to trim the wings again.

How to Trim Wings

Many beginners will feel nervous about hurting their chicken by trimming the wings and it’s completely understandable to feel like that to begin with.

Please remember though, trimming a bird’s wings will not hurt them!

We’ve put up some pictures to help you know exactly where to trim the wings to and don’t forget; you only need to trim one side. Click here for our quick picture guide.

If you would like more information about caring for your chickens then you’ll find a whole host of guides and top tips on our website and newsfeed; feel free to browse! Of course, we’re always here to help so don’t hesitate to get in touch today.

Helping You Keep Happy Hens: Don’t Just Take Our Word for It

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

Keeping chickens has recently become very popular and with good reason; chickens are full of personality and access to fresh eggs for your family’s breakfast is something you simply can’t beat. Of course, a lot of us have little or no experience at keeping chickens so we need support and guidance to get started.

Here at Cotswold Chickens we absolutely love that so many people are discovering the joys of keeping chickens and we’re here to help you get going. We have a range of housing options, feed and accessories so you can give your chickens everything they need. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been keeping chickens for years or you’re thinking about getting your first every flock, here at Cotswold Chickens we’re here to help.

Happy Hens: We Make It Easy

Take a look at the ‘Happy Hens’ section of our website to see how many of our previous customers are enjoying their chickens thanks to our products and perhaps more importantly, our support and guidance. See for yourself what some of them said about us:

“We travelled for 1 hour to see you and it was well worth it, you made us all feel so confident with the knowledge you gave us. We got the drink and feeder on the way home and as you said put the girls in their house for an hour. Then we opened the door and out they came as happy as can be.”
Janie Stephenson

“We visited you last Sunday just to buy some food as we had brought 3 chickens from a local farm the week before. You gave us a good half hour of your time answering all of our questions and offering great advice on things we hadn’t even considered. At no time was the any hard sell in fact you even advised us that we didn’t need some of the items we thought we should buy.”
Matt & Jane

If you’d like more information about our products or if you have any questions about your chickens, please don’t hesitate to get in touch through our contact page or you can submit your questions on the ‘Help and Advice’ section on our site.

Cotswold Chickens: We’re here to Support You

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

At Cotswold Chickens we take our role in the community very seriously. We don’t simply supply chicken keeping products and stop there; our ethos is to provide you with everything you need to keep your chickens happy and healthy throughout their lives. This, of course, means that we provide an impressive range of housing options, feed and even accessories but we also use our expertise to provide you with the support and advice whenever possible.

Support and Advice

We understand that it doesn’t matter whether you’ve been keeping chickens for 10 week or 10 years, sometimes you’ll be faced with a problem that you’ve never seen before and of course, you won’t know what to do.

Here at Cotswold Chickens we are dedicated to providing you with the answers to all of your chicken related questions and if you take a look at the ‘Help and Advice’ section of our website, you’ll see a number of frequently asked questions and their answers.

We’re here to Help: Give Us a Ring

Although we’ve done our best to answer as many of the potential questions as we could on our site, it’s simply not possible to answer every possible question; that’s why we have a contact form that you are welcome to send to us with your questions.

It doesn’t matter if you’re unsure about how to best protect against red mite or you’re worried that your girls are suffering from a particular ailment; feel free to submit your question to us and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Workshops & Courses

We also run a variety of courses that are designed to give you as much knowledge as you need to keep your chickens healthy; these workshops are a fantastic way to get to grips with chicken keeping if you’re a beginner.

Browse our site to find a variety of products and if you have any queries, you know what to do! Click here to contact us directly and here to go straight through to our help and advice page to submit your questions.

How To Keep Your Chickens Laying This Winter

Friday, December 21st, 2012

With the harsh winter elements firmly set in, you’ll very likely have noticed that your chickens will have slowed down the number of eggs they lay – or even stopped altogether. Fresh eggs from happy chickens are a great resource, and one you’ll want to keep up over the cold winter months. Here at Cotswolds Chickens we’ve put together these handy hints to keep the eggs coming this winter.

Keep your chickens comfortable

It’s important to follow our tips for preparing your chickens for winter to keep them happy and healthy. Cover any draughts, make your coop and chicken run weatherproof, keep the coop ventilated to avoid moisture build up and put in some dry bedding or deep litter to keep them warmer inside.

Make sure their diet is healthy

Protein is a vital dietary requirement for egg production – generally hens need their diet to consist of about 16% protein to lay well. Specially designed winter feeds, such as our super mixed corn, contain plenty of all the important proteins and vitamins to not only keep your chickens nourished and healthy, but to give them that extra boost to keep them producing a few more eggs during the winter. Some corn feeds are quite high in fat and fairly low in protein, so be sure to check the ingredients.

Ensure they have sufficient light

Chickens like a good 14 hours of light a day to keep their egg production cycles up, which is one of the reasons egg laying slows down or stops completely during the days of the year with those extra hours of darkness. Installing one or two lights in your coop on a timer for an extra couple of hours can give them all the light they need without stressing them out.

Remember that if your chickens are in their first year of laying then it’s natural for the process to slow or stop, so don’t overdo the extra light – a healthy chicken is the most important factor in egg production.
Worm and delouse; keep your chickens healthy

If your chickens are poorly, then they’ll not be up to producing many (or any) eggs for you. Ensuring your chickens are fully wormed, deloused and kept healthy during the harsh winters not only keeps them happy and in good shape, it’ll mean you’ll keep getting a few more eggs too!

Here at Cotswold Chickens, we’re always happy to help and offer advice. So if you have any questions or concerns about your chickens, particularly during these cold months, then feel free to contact us with any queries.

Workshops & Courses: Keep Happy and Health Chickens

Monday, December 10th, 2012

Workshops & Courses: Keep Happy and Health Chickens

Keeping chickens is becoming more and more popular and it’s easy to see why; having chickens is rewarding, enjoyable and once you’ve tried the fresh eggs, there’s no going back! Here at Cotswold Chickens we’re passionate about providing you with all of the necessary equipment as well as the chickens themselves! It doesn’t stop there though, we want to help you keep your chickens as happy and as healthy as possible so we run some fantastic workshops and courses.

Getting Started With Chickens

Enrolling on this course is a fantastic way to build up your knowledge of keeping chickens if you haven’t had any previous experience. You’ll learn everything you need to know about the day to day care, housing, feeding, healthcare and picking a suitable spot in your garden.

This is the perfect course to help you build you confidence before you buy any chickens and you’ll even learn the best way to hold your chickens. You’ll come out of this workshop confident, excited and with a fantastic goodie bag!

Avoid the Vet

Vet bills are expensive at the best of times and this course is designed to give you as much knowledge as possible about your chickens’ health so you don’t have to go to and from the vets on a daily basis.

You’ll be taught about common illnesses and ailments in chickens, learn what unusual behaviour to look out for and ultimately, to recognise when you should you take your chickens to the vets.

Trying Something A Bee-t Different?

Before you get confused, this course is about Bee Keeping! If you’re looking to try something off the wall and see if it catches your fancy then our Bee Keeping course is ideal. The course is designed for complete beginners so if you’ve never tried bee keeping before but you’re interested in it then this is the perfect workshop for you!

Why not browse our site for more information about our workshops and start learning today?

Winter Care: What Should You Expect?

Monday, November 19th, 2012

For many loving chicken owners this will be the first winter and it can be a daunting prospect. It’s understandable that you’ll worry for your chicks’ safety, whether they’re warm enough and if there’s something extra that you should be doing now that the weather’s turned nasty. Here at Cotswold Chickens we’re here to help you through your first winter, give you some useful tips and let you know what you should and shouldn’t be doing:

Feeding

This is usually our biggest worry in the winter: am I feeding them enough? In the winter you should always give your chickens plenty of food to compensate for the energy it takes to keep warm in the colder weather. You should also try giving your chickens some corn in the evenings as it takes longer to digest so can keep them warm throughout the night.

Water

This presents quite a large problem in the winter as the water will often freeze when the temperature drops and unfortunately, there’s not an awful lot you can do about it. There are a number of heated drinkers and similar products available which will do the trick perfectly but if you haven’t got electricity outside, this won’t be an option.

It’s simply a case of defrosting your drinker on a regular basis to keep your chickens well hydrated.

Housing

There’s no need to wrap your chicken coops in insulation, put up wind shields and add heat lamps; there’s simply no need. You should, however, ensure that your coop is free from holes and drafts to keep out the harsh weather and the rain.

It’s also important to ensure your coop is well ventilated as excessive moisture in the coop can cause respiratory problems.

Welfare

Your chickens face much of the same problems in the winter as they do in the summer; potential problems such as red mites will still be a problem in the winter so it’s important that you keep an eye on it.

You should also be aware that egg production is likely to slow during the winter but don’t worry, this is completely normal.

Here at Cotswold Chickens we’re the experts and we’re here to help. We have a variety of products available to help keep your chickens happy and healthy this winter; why not browse our site to see the full range?

Top Tips for Caring For Your Chickens in the Winter

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

As the weather is quickly becoming icy cold and windy, it’s understandable that you’ll be concerned about your chickens’ welfare and worry that they’ll suffer from the cold. Of course it’s important to make adjustments to the way that you care for your chickens in the winter but there’s really no need to worry about them. Here at Cotswold Chickens we put together our top tips to help you care for your chickens in winter:

Keep Out the Drafts

Chickens are very good at keeping themselves warm in cold weather; they fluff up their thousands of feathers to trap warmer air underneath; over 8,000 feathers make a cosy coat!

The problem arises however, when drafts and rain come into the coop as the moisture can cause respiratory problems. Keep out drafts but ensure that the chicken coop is well ventilated; it’s best to have vent high up near the roof.

Do Not Use a Heat Lamp

Although you may think that you’re doing your best to keep your chickens warm by putting a heat lamp in the coop, you may actually be doing more harm than good. Your chickens will all huddle under the heat lamp and as a result, they won’t fluff their feathers up. This means that they’ll be much colder when not under the lamp.

Remember: there are very few breeds of chicken that are not cold-hardy.

High Quality Feed Is Essential

It’s important to remember that your chickens will often eat bugs in the summer and will be burning a lot more calories in the winter to stay warm so it’s essential that you’re feeding your chickens high quality feed to ensure they’re getting the nutrition they need.

If you would like more information about caring for your chickens in the winter, browse the site or contact us directly.

A Beginner’s Guide to Keeping Chickens

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Chickens are quickly becoming a very popular choice of pet and with good reason! Here at Cotswold Chickens we are passionate about chickens and want to do everything we can to give you a helping hand in getting started. We’ve put together a quick guide to give you all the information you’ll need to get going:

Where Should You Keep Chickens?

Chickens, like the majority of pets, need a lot of space and your chicken coop should be large enough for the number of chickens you’re planning to keep. You’ll need:
-    Minimum of 250cm2  floor space for each chicken
-    Exercise space or run
-    Nesting box with wood shavings

Protecting Your Chickens

It’s essential to protect your chickens against predators such as foxes and there are a number of ways to do this:
-    Attach wire mesh around and above the coop
-    Ensure the coop is closed at night
-    Monitor your chickens regularly
-    Secure wooden boards to the bottom of your fencing

What Breed Of Chicken Is Best?

The breed of chicken that will suit you the best really depends on your level of experience and your preferences. Here at Cotswold Chickens our goal is to provide you with happy, healthy chickens that are right for you; take a look at the range of chickens available and read the details provided to determine which breed best suits you and your family.

Shopping List

You don’t want to miss anything so here’s your essential shopping list:
-    Layers pellets/meal
-    Super mixed corn
-    Mixed Grit
-    Bale of shavings
-    Hanging feeder
-    Hanging drinker
-    Diatom Powder
-    Mite kill & disinfectant spray
-    Net Tex liquid tonic
-    Galipot
-    Feed Scoop
Our complete starter kit includes all of these essential items so to make getting set up for your new chickens as easy as possible.
If you’re thinking about getting chickens then there’s no better place to start than here at Cotswold Chickens; why not visit our website for more information or contact us directly?

Make Your Chickens Happy With Our Chicken Houses

Monday, August 20th, 2012

Keeping chickens has become a loved hobby for so many of us across the country; if you keep chickens then you’ll know how rewarding it can be – not to mention the wonder of fresh eggs in the mornings. A lot of people, however, are put off by the thought of keeping chickens because they simply don’t know anything about how to care for them. Here at Cotswolds Chickens we’re here to help. Whether you’ve just started to keep chickens or you’re only thinking about it for now, here’s everything you need to know about keeping your chickens happy with our range of chicken houses.

Safety

You may think that the image of a farmer chasing off a fox from his chickens is just a stereotype but there’s no smoke without fire. Foxes can pose a real danger to your chickens and if your chicken house doesn’t provide the necessary protection then your chickens will be far from happy. Our chicken coops can protect your chickens from predators as well as the harsh wet and windy weather.

Hygiene

A chicken with a clean coop is a happy chicken. Keeping your chicken house clean can be a nightmare whether you’ve got two or ten chickens; and if you can’t access your coop easily for cleaning then it can quickly become unhygienic and potentially dangerous for your chickens. Luckily, our chicken houses are easy clean thanks to the simple yet effective pull out tray.

Appearance

Well, your chicken might not care what their house looks like but we know that you do. A chicken coop can look equally at home in a classic, rustic farm house garden and a stylish, classy home thanks to our range of styles to choose from. We stock traditional wooden coops as well as modern eco-friendly Eglu coops for the more contemporary look; so you’re sure to find a coop to compliment your garden design.

Keep your chickens safe, happy and house proud with our range of quality chicken houses. If you would like more information or wish to view our range of products, please visit our website today.