Dayold chicks

Incubator Hire News

Brahma

An incubator hire story

Early in March 2019 we had an incubator hired out at Wirral Hospice St John’s in Bebington. I was a bit apprehensive to take it to somewhere that I felt might be quite a gloomy place given the massive healthcare issues the patients face. I could not have been more wrong. It is fair to say that they became ever so excited to witness the hatching of their eggs. Work stopped in favour of egg watching, you can feel the excitement in the air. The hot topic amongst patients and staff alike is not medical – it’s eggs and it’s chicks. The last thing on the patients’ minds was medical matters. They definitely are in the grips of chicken fever.

Hatching begins

On Monday 12th March the 21st day of the incubator hire period, the first chicks emerged to greet the world. But the rest are still to hatch so the incubator must remain closed to make sure that the humidity remains constant.

Conserving humidity

The way an egg incubator works is you need to wait until all the eggs have hatched before you can open it up to get at the chicks because otherwise you lose the humidity. Chicks need the humidity to keep their shell membranes soft so they can break through them. Moisture laden air also assists the chick so it is able to spin inside the egg to unzip the top by creating a crack all the way round to make an escape hatch. Any remaining egg yolk is absorbed by the chick into its body before hatching and they live off it for the first 48 hours. The early birds are safe to remain in the incubator until the rest of the batch of eggs catches up.

And there’s more!

A day later passes and another 4 chicks have hatched. The brooder has been delivered and installed and there was a rush of staff to the incubation site so they could get their first experience of handling a bundle of cute fluffiness. There is much distraction around, staff making excuses to just have a peek on their way to another task. Patients with families and friends ogling the little tweeting fluffballs and a real sense of pride that they have produced their own little creatures. The incubator hire was a winner in more ways than one.

Therapeutic benefits of chickens

From what I have seen in care situations, chicks bring a sense of new beginnings. This is true for the elderly or the lonely or those who are very sick or dementia sufferers. They bring a real joy to those who witness it. It is something that I never tire of. It is no wonder that care institutions are bringing hens in as therapy. They are a source of chatter, where once there was none, and a thrill of excitement where there was numbness or loneliness. A humble chicken can provide a sense of being needed and of purpose. This is the superpower of a creature that seems to know exactly the right things to say to make all other problems seem to melt into the background. Chickens bring a feeling of well-being, cooperation and togetherness to all those involved in their care – such is their magic.

If you need convincing watch this video by equalarts.co.uk View our incubator hire packages here

The Hen Men from Equal Arts on Vimeo.

Coops for the less mobile

We have just started to stock these coops called Henlays Chicken Coops. They are easy to clean because there is no stooping or bending needed to make sure they are clean. We think they suit the needs of a care/medical/support organisation more than any other coop we have yet seen. Check this page for more info or view the specifics on our shop page

Spread the love

If you know of someone or somewhere that can benefit from the therapeutic benefits of these bridge-building creatures please ask us to see if we can assist you get up and running via our contact page. They don’t call them a gateway livestock for nothing.

Day-old Chicks

Newly hatched chicks

Day old chicks need special care

Looking after day-old chicks is a rewarding experience for everyone, no matter their age. However, there are some things that needs to be in place before you contemplate looking after dayold chicks in your home.

The list below is considerations that need to be addressed BEFORE embarking on this exciting adventure.

  • Day old chicks are delicate and can easily die
  • Young chicks need a heat source in their first weeks
  • Day-old chicks can drown in a water source
  • Chicks need to be kept indoors for at least 3 weeks in summer
  • They must be indoors for longer when the weather is cold
  • Chicks need cleaning out regularly otherwise they will smell
  • Raising young chicks indoors creates massive amounts of heavy dust from their feathers. This can cause breathing issues in sensitive individuals
  • Most non-hybrid dayold chicks cannot be sexed accurately until they are 6-8 weeks old
  • Unsexed means there is a risk that you will get cockerels which can cause neighbour issues
  • Most important if we have sold them unsexed we cannot take the boys back due to a biosecurity risk for our stock.

All our day-old chicks get sent to their new homes with a full care sheet. The minimum needs are listed below.

  1. Brooder to contain the dayolds. Rabbit or hamster cage. They must NOT go outside in a coop till they are at least 3 weeks old in warm weather. This will be longer in cold weather.
  2. Water dish or drinker, which should be shallow initially
  3. Food dish or specific feeder with chick crumb constantly available
  4. Warmth minimum 28C for the first week which can be reduced as they feather up. Suitable heat sources are electric hens, reptile heat mats or heat lamps. Bear in mind a possible fire risk from unsuitable equipment
  5. Safety from other animals including and especially other chickens
  6. Companion of other day old chicks because a solitary chick is very noisy indeed

Finally please don’t ask us for young chicks if you have no equipment ready we will not sell them to you.

Warning!!!

Don’t expect that a broody hen will take on the day-old chicks you present her with. Always have a backup plan. Broodies can be remarkably fickle, moody and dangerous. Unless a hen is showing clear signs of being very broody then she will NOT look after chicks. She will more than likely try to kill them. If she has not looked after young chicks before then please supervise any introductions and be prepared to intervene quickly if she decides to attack the chicks. A swift angry peck to the head of the chick can render them unconscious or severely bruised. A normal broody/chick communication is a gentle tap to the head. This is the broody telling the chick to pay attention to what she is telling it. If she sounds angry then she is so watch very carefully. More info on broody hens here

Latest Stock

Latest Stock For Sale

and Breaking News

Latest stock page so you can see at a glance what we have going on and what is the latest chicken availability for sale.

  • Black Rock Hens
  • Sussex group
  • Young Ixworth cockerel
  • Coronation Sussex Trio
  • Swedish hens
  • Pair of Cockerels looking into the kitchen window
  • Ixworth Cockerels head picture
  • Araucana egg in nest
  • Cream Legbar
  • Young grower hens

Latest Chicken availability as at 1st July 2022

We had a busy few years post COVID 19 as it has encouraged people to begin to keep chickens in the garden. 2022 is beginning to show a similar pattern so we are hatching as fast as nature will allow whilst still being mindful that we need to give them the best care possible. We have started late this year in our hatching so we have more youngsters now rather than point of lay. The nice thing about youngsters is that they are easier to handle for novices.

New Breeds Available

We will be offering some new breeds this year such as Ixworth and Marsh Daisies. We have obtained some rather lovely Ixworth chickens as our breeding stock. Once the Ixworth chickens start to produce eggs in sufficient numbers for us to incubate, we can offer those for sale in due course. Ixworth are a rare and splendid dual purpose bird which are pure white. Marsh Daisies are a chicken breed which originated in Lancashire. Marsh Daisy chickens will be offered for sale at intervals through the year albeit in small numbers.

Hatching Eggs – available Now at £2.50 per egg

We have various hatching eggs available

Waiting List – Not currently needed as we have plenty of stock.

Our waiting list is still active because demand remains high. Join our list if you want to be told when our latest stock is ready. You can register on our contact form to go on the waiting list if you would like to keep informed. How our waiting list works. You can sign up to our occasional newsletter service if you wish as an alternative.

Latest stock Available Listed below

Breaking News!!!!


Teacher chicken

Exciting development. Our chicken keeping courses are now ONLINE. See our Chicken Keeping Courses Page for details so you can START ONE TODAY.

Easy to follow

We are hoping that people will find the easy-to-follow bite size chunks an enjoyable experience. It is crammed with masses of information you should know about keeping chickens. It will take you on a deep dive into the fascinating world of this wonderful creature. We guarantee that you will therefore learn things that will make you think about chickens in a totally new light.

Getting it right

It will help you to make good equipment choices, and get your husbandry right. Spotting illness quickly is a biggie because unless you are able to spot sickness, it can rapidly get way out of hand. A slow or wrong diagnosis can then be catastrophic for the chicken.

Easing the burden

Getting the right coop for example will make the cleaning out of your chickens a 10 minute job rather than a real thankless task. We help you get it right, first time. This saves you money and time and who doesn’t need some of that?

Benefits

Chickens are enjoyable however making poor choices can take the shine off it very quickly.

Premium Chickenguard

We are now able to offer Chickenguards for your coops

Having chickens is great but getting up early in the morning however to let them out especially in Summer is not so great.

Fitting a chickenguard on your coop means you can have that lie in or even just get up at normal time rather than chicken time.

Chickenguards will allow you to go out of an evening and not have to get back at dusk to shut your chooks away. Chickenguard will do it all for you. Your chickens will not demand that you become party poopers.

Battery powered with 4 AA batteries which last from 6 to 12 months.

Visit our shop page for more info

Henlay Coop

We are now stocking Henlays Roost chicken coops.

Perfectly designed coops that are manufactured from 12mm thick recycled plastic sheets.

Built with both chicken welfare and human welfare in mind because humans matter too. They look and feel solid.

No more back breaking stooping or crouching to clean out. Contortionism is also not required. Just open the roofline, lift the well spaced perches out and hey presto, the entire coop area is at the mercy of your shovel and scraper.

Red mite will be spotted in double quick time so therefore you can treat if necessary as they have no where to hide.

Visit our shop page for details

New Delivery of Black Rock

Black Rock Hens

We are expecting a delivery of Black Rock hens and Brown Rock hens direct from the Muirfield hatchery week commencing 17/1/2022.

We have have placed an order for young chicks which are ideal for youngsters. They are past the delicate stage but are still small enough to be easy to handle. We have also added some point of lay birds to our order.

If you want to know more about these birds we have a page devoted to the breed. The breed page also a link for the Muirfield hatchery website. Eddie Lovett is the owner and breeder of the famous Black Rock birds which originated in Scotland. He (Eddie) took over the breeding line when Peter Siddons passed away. Before he died, Peter had given all of his knowledge to Eddie. This has enabled Eddie to could carry on Peter Siddons’ work of breeding the birds he loved. Black Rock hens also have a facebook page.

As we are an official Black Rock agent we get a regular delivery of Black Rock hens. Keep watching our site for news throughout the year. Our area is North West of England and North Wales. You could also join our newletter list to be updated.

Get in touch via our contact page if you would like to book any.

Chicks for Easter is Upon Us

Newly hatched chicks

Chicks for Easter are traditional in every Easter picture for almost every product you see. There can be nothing more archetypal than seeing Easter chicks. Raising baby chickens is definitely one of the nicest things about what we do. It is very much a guilty pleasure handling as many as possible. To satisfy this craving for fluffiness and cheeping I needed to upgrade my incubator. I went for something a little more substantial and space-saving. Chicken and chick equipment is taking over the house so a bit of rationalisation was needed. In comes my Heka incubator which is totally fabulous but there is definitely method in the madness. This gives me more brooder room to house more chicks until they are ready to go outside with the big girls.

Pitfalls of chicks to be aware of

This year 2021, the year of the COVID19+1 catastrophe, we are beginning to get some hatchlings from our incubators. If getting chicks for Easter seems like a good idea please bear in mind that they are delicate and need specific care. If you are wanting chicks for Easter, please consult our blog article on chick care before you make a decision. Our chicks are not sexed at the fluffy stage so there is a potential high risk of boys. Boys turn into loud cockerels and are difficult to rehome if you cannot keep them.

We don’t offer a return on chicks that are sold as unsexed. If you want a hen guarantee then you will need to wait until the chicks are roughly 6-8 weeks old before purchasing. This means they are beyond the fluffy stage but they do look quite cute in terms of they are just diddy versions of the older birds.

If you are not quite ready and want to go on our waiting list please join via our contact form

Our breeds are Cochin, Swedish Flower Hens, Salmon Faverolles, Coronation Sussex, Brahma. We will also be getting official Black Rock, & Brown Rock at intervals during the year. There will be some chicks for Easter but we will have some probably through till September.

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