Poultry For Sale

Ixworth

Ixworth Cockerels head picture

Ixworth Chickens

Ixworths are one of the rarest breeds in the UK but in our opinion one of best. We are very fortunate to have been able to source some excellent breeding stock.

Ixworth Breed Description

The Ixworth was created some time ago by Reginald Appleyard who also designed some other chickens and ducks. Ixworths are pure white with white legs and a pea comb. They also have small wattles in the hen and quite small wattles in the cockerel. They are a solidly built bird with a neat head and beady eye.

The Ixworth breed was created by Reginald Appleyard, starting in 1931 and launched at the 1938 London Dairy Show, and named after the Suffolk village of his birth.

His aim was to produce a top quality, fast maturing table bird that would also lay more and avoid the other utility problems associated with the Indian Game breed.

Breeds used in its make included White Sussex, White Orpington, White Minorca, White Old English Game, Jubilee and Dark Indian Game. 

The breed nearly went extinct in the 1950s as faster growing hybrid broilers arrived.  Rare breed conservationists began to revive Ixworth’s in the 1970s and now there are now about 20 enthusiastic breeders but only four exhibitors.

Appearance

  • The Ixworth is a deep-bodied, medium to large breed. They are solid and heavy.
  • Birds should have white legs with a pinkish tinge, orange eyes, a red pea comb and hold their tail fairly low
  • Ixworth is only in one colour, white.
  • This breed has small wattles in the hen. The comb and wattles on the cockerel are also quite small.

Uses

An Ixworth is a dual purpose chicken. This means it is suitable for egg production or a table bird. It is white fleshed and some say it provides the best quality meat of any pure breed.  However like most pure breeds it is best to prepare for the table at no more than 12-14 months. Depending on the strain the Ixworth hen should produce about 150-180 medium-sized off-white/cream eggs in a year.

Ixworth Breed Temperament

As a breed in general Ixworths are a mild mannered chicken. Both the hens and cockerels are good in a mixed flock with no behavioural problems. The Ixworth hen is a really sweet chicken, they are not aggressive at all in a flock. Ixworths are quite chatty but I have noticed that their voice and phrasing is different to other chickens. The Ixworth cockerels in particular are lovely. Both males and females are somewhat skittish, but nowhere in the same league as a Leghorn.

Breed Size

An Ixworth is a large fowl, light in terms of size. They are fast growing.

Eggs

Eggs from an Ixworth are pale tinted (off white)

Further Information

You can read further information on our other chickens here on our chickens for sale page. If you are keen to learn more, we run an online instant access course in Chicken Keeping. Find out more about our Courses Here.

Swedish Flower Hen

Group of Swedish flower hens

Swedish Flower Hens – Skånsk Blommehöna

Beautiful Swedish Flower Hens are as the name says, a native landrace Swedish chicken. They are exceedingly rare in Sweden and have been brought back from the brink of extinction by a few enthusiasts who have nurtured them and tried to keep them alive and kicking. These are now consequently finding their way across the world as people discover how beautiful they are.

Skånsk Blommehöna description

There is no breed standard for them because they are a landrace breed. This means that due to local conditions there has been a natural cross breeding taken place over many many generations until the chicken eventually became what it is today. A process of natural selection with no human intervention.

The characteristics of Swedish Flower Hens are that it can be with or without a crest. They can also have yellow, pink, white or pale mottled legs but the feathers all have a “flower” on each tip. There should be no “barring” on the feathers at all. Other than this the breed is not supposed to be selectively bred for colour or any other traits thus keeping it entirely as wild as it is. To add in selective breeding would destroy what makes them so special in the first place. The base colours for Swedish Flower Chickens are red, brown, blue, white, black and yellow. They have genebank status in their home country.

Our flock of Swedish Flower Hens (even the boys are named the same) is as multicoloured as possible with several boys to make sure the genes are well mixed to preserve the variety of colour which happens when nature decides the result.

The curious thing about Swedish Flower Hens is that until they are fully grown, you cannot tell what their final feather pattern is going to be. The grower chicks are often therefore a completely different pattern. They go through several changes of feathers until they earn their flowers by being mature enough to wear them. Although they are multi-coloured and may seem bright, they are actually superbly camouflaged in a field or natural setting. They just melt into the background.

Swedish Flower Hen Temperament

These chickens are not generally a friendly breed in that you could describe them as standoffish. They are not aggressive to their other coop mates. Whenever you have any treats on offer they are then quite happy to be in your company. It is usually on their terms.

Breed Size

These chickens are a large fowl light category.

Swedish Flower Hen Eggs

Swedish Flowers lay a good number of pale cream eggs. Eggs size is medium to large

Cost

A Swedish Flower hen is a rare breed of chicken. The price starts at £10 for a day old chick up to £30

Sources of Further information

For more information about the chickens we sell please look at our chickens for sale page. There is a dedicated Swedish Flower Hen website which gives you a more thorough lowdown on the history of these beautiful chickens. If you have burning questions about how to look after chickens and have been stumped by the confusing contradictions online join us on one of our courses.

Hatching Eggs

Hatching eggs in incubator

Hatching Egg Availability

Please note that our hens are having a moult and a well earned rest from October to February so no hatching eggs will be available until Spring 2022

Hatching Eggs from our flock of lovely chickens are available as shown below:

Fertile eggs for hatching are available throughout the year, however some breeds are on shorter supply than others. If you are looking for a particular breed please get in touch via our contact page

Supply warnings

Our eggs are no more than a few days old at most and are available for collection directly from us. Collection in person is much the best way to get your eggs for hatching.

Alternatively we can post them. It should be noted that Mr or Mrs Postperson may not be very gentle with your hatching eggs despite our very careful packaging. Fertile eggs can suffer broken or ruptured air sacs, or displaced yolks if they are vigorously shaken. This can drastically affect your hatchrate. If the postal service has mistreated the parcel then you will get at best a poor hatchrate or even no hatch rate at all. This is entirely beyond our control unfortunately.

We hatch throughout the year from our own eggs so know that the fertility is good.

Choice or reliability of your incubator and incubation method is also a major factor in a successful hatch. Again, this is totally beyond our control and is no reflection on our egg viability.

Eggs will be posted on Monday through to Wednesday each week only. This avoids them sitting in sorting offices over a weekend. We sell them for £2.00 each. Postage and packing is extra and will depend on the weight and size of the parcel.

Hatching egg returns policy

Please note that our eggs are supplied as believed fertile because we hatch regularly throughout the year. However please view our returns policy before purchasing because we can offer no guarantees on the success or failure of the eggs. This is especially true for posted eggs. To rule out any spurious claims we need to verify the eggs as ours and their opening up during a Zoom call. We ask that you DO NOT crack open any suspect eggs if you are wanting to raise a dispute before the Zoom session. This is regrettably because we have been scammed in the past by some dishonest people.

Hatching Eggs breeds

  • Swedish crosses: Swedish boy running with, Ancona and Araucana hens. Eggs will be either blue or pale cream
  • Cochin eggs: Cochin boy with Cochin females in Blue, Black, and Blue Splash. Chicks will either be blue or blue splash
  • Ixworth eggs: Very rare breed of dual purpose chicken.
  • Faverolles eggs: Salmon and Blue Salmon or mottled. Colour will be one or the other. Short supply
  • Swedish Flower Hens eggs: Mixed colour hens as they are meant to be. The flock is crested and uncrested so the chicks will be either.
  • Sussex: Boy is a Coronation Sussex running with coronation and light sussex hens. Chicks will be either light or coronation coloured.

Our hens are classed as large fowl light and large fowl heavy. The Cochins and Faverolles are all heavy breeds.

We can also have fully automatic incubators and brooders to hire help you hatch and raise the baby chicks safely and successfully

Coronation Sussex

Grayson Coronation Sussex

Coronation Sussex Description

Coronation Sussex are very rare. We have been breeding these since 2017 and are very similar to the Light Sussex however where the Light Sussex has black neck hackles, wing tips and tail tip, the Coronation Sussex has a pale grey in those areas. We are fortunate to have these in our breeding flock with a magnificent cockerel called Silas. Sussex chickens come in various colours such as Light, Speckled, Red, White, and Coronation.

Coronation Sussex Breed Temperament

She is a typical Sussex chicken temperament. A Coronation Sussex is confident but also not a lover of being cuddly. They are not usually the sort of chicken that dominates a flock. A Sussex mixes well with other chickens and are good layers.

Sussex Breed Size

This breed is classified as a large fowl – light. Sussex chickens in general have a rather matronly build. They tend to look rather stocky compared with something like a Leghorn for instance.

Eggs

Eggs are a biscuit colour or pale tinted and are produced in good numbers. Approximately 4-5 eggs per week in their first laying year. They come into lay at around the 25 week mark. The egg size is medium to large

Cost

These are £10 from un-sexed day-olds rising to £30

Availability

Our hatching season is from March to September. The Sussex breed in general is slow to show us whether they are boys or girls so they can be around 10 weeks old before they can be guaranteed female. Early to mid June onwards is the time when we have these in female form.

Sources for Further Information

For more information about the chickens we sell please look at our chickens for sale page. If you have burning questions about how to look after chickens and have been stumped by the confusing contradictions online join us on one of our courses.

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 29th 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 occasional Marsh Daisies. We have obtained some rather lovely Ixworth chickens as our breeding stock. Floyd our Ixworth cockerel is happily attending to his ladies and we have plenty of Ixworth chicken youngsters for sale. Ixworths 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 Poultry 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

Cockerels For Sale

Swedish Black based yellow

We invariably have several cockerels for sale whatever the time of year. They are £15 each. The breeds we currently have are

  • Swedish Flower Hen Cockerels uncrested various colours youngsters hatched May 2022
  • Ixworth cockerels hatched May 2022
  • Swedish Flower cockerels hatched May 2022
  • Salmon Faverolles cockerels – currently none available.

These roosters are what we have left from our breeding program. We handle them regularly so consequently, they are mild mannered and accepting of human interaction. All are hatched May 2022 so are still quite young. The younger boys might therefore be a better fit in a much younger flock. Please note that we never pass on any unruly or bad tempered cockerels. That is dirty pool as far as we are concerned.

Cockerels make a beautiful and valuable addition to a flock of hens because they excel as an early warning sign of danger. They will protect their flock of hens with vigour against any predator and very often with their lives. The boys also find food for the flock and will very happily provide fertility for the eggs when they are laid. It’s a tough job but someone has to do it – right?

It is always better to match the hen breed size with a similar sized cockerel. Something like a Cochin for instance is better suited to the large breed sizes like Cochin, Orpington or indeed another Brahma. You don’t need to get the same breed of cockerel as your hens, however, unless you want to do breeding for pure breeds.

Please note that we do not sell our boys for the table or for any other purpose than to accompany a flock of hens.

All our cockerels are categorised as large fowl and large fowl heavy. They will not be suitable for bantam sized hens to avoid a squashing event.

Examples of some of our Breeds in cockerel form

Available Roosters

The gallery above is a small selection of what we may have available at various times. Most are youngsters and don’t have proper tails yet as the hens they are with are finding them irresistible. Boys also feather up more slowly than the hens and almost always have a bare back and rather stumpy tail. These are the last feathers to make an appearance. Cockerels don’t show their true finery until they are at least 6 months old and even later in some breeds like Cochin.

All the boys we have are £15 each which reflects the amount of care and socialisation we have given to them as they grow. It also contributes to their feed and bedding costs. Selling the boys too cheaply also means that they could more likely become prey to those who might wish to do them harm or worst still use them for illegal fighting or baiting.

The benefits of having a cockerel

Many people will tell you that a cockerel will prevent any hens have too much of a fight for the pecking order because he becomes top dog. This is not really accurate. Cockerels have 3 functions, 1. to find food, 2 to protect the flock, 3 to make more chickens. They are not really good at breaking up fights. What they do do is to make sure that the hens feel safe because they can leave the protection duties to the boy. A flock without a guardian has to do all the work themselves so they are always on high alert to detect any danger. The hens form the pecking order amongst themselves. A head chicken is always a hen. Cockerels form their own hierarchy amongst the males. Just like humans, many males like to portray that they are in charge, but the reality is often a different story.

Warnings and advisory about Cockerels

Cockerels are a very protective creature. As far as they are concerned, the hens belong to them, and them alone. They will take any perceived threat very seriously. A cockerel in attack mode will attack out of the blue with apparently no warning. Learn to understand their behaviour and more often than not they will not feel the need to feel defensive because of you. Adult Cock birds have VERY sharp spurs which will slice through wellingtons with ease. We would advise against allowing any children to be around any cockerels. Cockerels in attack mode can do some serious and potentially life-changing damage to a child.

Warnings to consider with cockerel behaviour

  • Making any loud noises or shouting around a cock bird will dramatically increase his alert level and can cause him to lash out.
  • He is more likely to be in a more alert state in peak breeding season which is Spring and Summer.
  • Don’t bend over facing onto a cockerel. This is a direct threat posture.
  • Always listen to his noises. If he is making a deep murmur with 3 syllables then he is definitely warning you. Stand still and don’t look him in the eye. Bop bop bop bop bop noises are generally good noises.
  • Always watch his body language. If he raises his shoulder or his neck hackles, or pacing back and forth – be wary.
  • Always look sideways to a bird. Looking straight in the eyes is a sign of a direct challenge.
  • Don’t allow noisy children to run around these birds. An attack on a child could cause serious injury or blindness.
  • If you try to pick up any uncooperative hen, he will see that as a challenge.
  • When the light is fading, he is on very high alert. He cannot see very well in poor light and will instinctively react if he feels insecure.
  • Despite all of the above, you may get very little warning so get to know your bird.

Gaining rapport

There are many schools of thought on how to build a good relationship with a cockerel. We find that as we handle them at least twice a day then they accept the interaction and don’t see us as a threat. Handle them respectfully and kindly as they need to trust you. Abuse that trust and you won’t generally be able to recover the situation. You only have to get it wrong once and they don’t forgive or forget.

Noise nuisance and Cockerels

A cock-a-doodle-doo can be issued at random hours of the night if they hear a noise outside the coop. They do like to join in with the dawn chorus. Crowing and singing at dawn is common with all birds and at random intervals during the day. If they can hear another cock they will have crowing competitions which can go on for some time. The cockerel who has uttered the last word is the most powerful so there is a lot riding on it as far as they are concerned. This has to be considered if you are within earshot of neighbours.

It is a total myth that cockerels need to stretch their heads and cannot crow if head height is restricted. Keeping them in absolute darkness won’t stop them either. Putting a cover over your coop will block ventilation holes which is obviously bad for their health. They know the time regardless of whether they can see daylight or not. They have acute hearing which means they can hear the dawn chorus which is an irresistible signal to them to join in and have a good old sing song. Cock birds in common with all other birds will have a little “natter” at dusk as the flock settles down for the night.

Facts about noise

In consultation with a noise engineer I gained the following nugget of information. “Sound is like water” if there is a hole, sound will escape. This means you would have to make your coop airtight to avoid noise escaping. Impossible right? Airtight and living creatures is not really a good mix.

A possible workaround to reduce Cockerel Noise

We bring all our cockerels in overnight into their own boxes so they don’t wake the neighbourhood. They go back out after 8am. This can work well for you as it did for us for many years. If you want to keep a cockerel in a built up area you need to be prepared to do some work. Environmental Health can make you get rid of the birds if they cause upset between the hours of 11pm and 8am or also if they cause a noise nuisance during the day. Noise nuisance of cockerels is measured by the local authorities in each area. Each authority tends to have their own definition of what their rules are, and which constitutes a noise nuisance so be aware of your obligations.

Cockerel noise is something which is a bone of contention. In an urban or rural setting, we are exposed on a daily basis, to dogs barking, children screeching and wailing, emergency sirens, cows mooing, house and car alarms ringing, motorbikes revving their engines, car radios blaring out, traffic noise, factories hissing, couples arguing, drunks staggering and yelling, dawn chorus, seagulls mewing, crows and jackdaws cawing, football fans chanting and church bells ringing. Despite all this, none of these loud events are thought of by the powers that be to be worthy of prosecution, yet cockerels are. We have been encouraged to learn that France has been enlightened enough to decree that cockerels are allowed to have their say without the fear of an enforced death sentence. Good for them!

And Finally

It should be noted that you do NOT need a cockerel for your hens to lay eggs. Hens will still lay eggs even if they have never seen a cockerel in their entire lives. There are many many cockerels needing homes due to the fact that they are noisy and they fight if there is another boy in the vicinity. If you are able to give a cockerel a safe and secure home then please do.

Salmon Faverolles

Group of Salmon Faverolles

The Salmon Faverolles is one of our favourites

The Salmon Faverolles is quite an unusual chicken. They have a lot of facial fluff (a muff and a beard to be precise) making their little choochy faces look so sweet. We keep the large fowl version but there is also a bantam variety which is a quarter of the size. They also come in a non-standard colour of Blue Salmon that is very hard to source as it’s not as popular as the Salmon.

Salmon Faverolles Breed Description

The Faverolles is originally a French chicken from the vicinity of the towns of Houdan and Faverolles in north-central France. This is how the breed got its name. A Faverolles is always written in the plural – never singular – and pronounced Fav-er-ol as it’s French you know!! A combination of Cochins, Houdans and Dorkings were used in its breeding profile. The Faverolles became one of the most important egg-producing utility fowl in the north-central region of France.

The Faverolles reached the UK in 1886, but then the British developed it further to meet British breeder tastes. British breeders developed a slightly different type with tail feathers that were longer and raised higher than their German and French Cousins. This new type therefore went on to become the accepted exhibition standard in the UK

The Faverolles name is always prone to confusion. It is pronounced Fav-er-ol, but always spelled Faverolles. We do find that many people use the following spellings for this wonderful chicken. Favorell, Faverell, Favourel, Faverels and many other variations of the name. All of which are incorrect. If you visit a breeder who misspells the name, then they are unlikely to know a good breed standard from a bad one. We recommend you avoid these as there are unfortunately a lot of poor quality birds around.

We have Faverolles in Salmon, Blue Salmon and some in mottled black and white. There are a number of dedicated UK breeders who are trying to breed the Faverolles in different colours. Apparently it used to have a few colour variations in its history but they have been lost over time. A number of project colours in the pipeline with these breeders, is Ermine, Blue and Black. Ermine is a similar colour to a Light Sussex which is also known as a columbian pattern. This translates to black around the neck hackles and a black tip to the tail. The rest of the body being white.

One of the things that makes a Faverolles stand out is the muff and beard and the fact that they have a fifth toe that curiously points up in the air, whereas most chickens have four toes. This breed has feathery legs and feet so therefore is not suitable for living on continually squishy muddy ground.

Male Salmon Faverolles are a dark mahogany colour. They are beautiful and calm so consequently shredded wellies are a very rare hazard. The male Blue Salmon Faverolles has a dark back and blue front. Both Salmon and blue Salmon have the straw coloured neck hackles. It is easy to determine the sex at 2-4 weeks of age because the boys start to show dark feathers early on. The Blue Salmon is not yet recognised as an official colour by the breed club as its still quite new.

They are a dual purpose breed because they are good for both meat and eggs.

Breed Temperament

They are a very inquisitive and chatty bird and always on the lookout for when the treats are handed out. Despite being a large bird, they have quite a timid nature so consequently, can get bullied if they are in with chickens that have more attitude.

Breed Size

These chickens are classed as Large Fowl – Heavy

Eggs

Faverolles can make good winter layers and are very hardy. Moulting time will stop them laying if that coincides with winter.

They lay a very good number of medium-sized, tinted pale cream or pinkish eggs.

Hedgerow Homemade

Hedgerow Lavender Hybrid

Hedgerow Homemade Breed Description

Our Hedgerow Homemade chickens are currently from a mix of Swedish Flower Hen boys with our laying flock of Swedish Flower Hens and Ancona. The Swedish boys also have Swedish girls in the flock. Any white eggs from the Ancona are readily identifiable for incubation purposes.

They come in a variety of colours especially with those Swedish Flower Hen genes.

Most are handled regularly to ensure that they are happy to be held by their new owners. They are all large fowl rather than bantam sized, so most will lay a good sized egg.

We have called them Hedgerow Homemade because that is exactly what they are. The exciting time is when they hatch and it’s like a Forrest Gump moment, “you never know what you’re gonna git”. We always love when they start to feather up, as it’s then that their true identity begins to show itself. It’s totally fascinating and consequently, we find it difficult to let them go because they do turn out quite unique and rather lovely.

Breed Size

Our Hedgerow Homemade would be classed as Large Fowl and either light or heavy. Some are definitely more chunky than others!

Breed Temperament

Variable mostly placid but some may be a little flighty or standoffish if they have more Ancona in them for example. Given the right handling they are apt to become quite calm and interactive. They do reserve the right to be contrary 🙂

Eggs

Egg colour could be anything from white through to a medium brown colour. They will be medium to large in size. Quantity would be anything from 80 to up to 200 in their first laying year.

Cost

The Hedgerow Homemade starts at £7.50 for unsexed day-olds and rises to £25 each with age

Availability

We have some growers left at around the 10-12 week mark.

Egg Laying Flock Retirement Ladies

Laying flock of chickens

Retiring Egg Laying Flock Description

The bottom of the page shows a selection of our egg laying flock that are due for retirement. Our retirement ladies come from our egg-producing flock and most are still laying but won’t be expected to lay an egg every day. When a chicken gets older, then her laying capacity will tail off. Some might even lay very infrequently. They are all in good health and would like to find a nice home, preferably in a small laying flock so that they can enjoy their well-earned rest.

Our retirement “policy”

All our girls get to live out their lives here till their natural demise if they are not re-homed. None are ever “dispatched” just because they no longer lay enough, or lay at all. Egg numbers are not that important to us, their good health is. Our retirement option is not a “rescue hen” situation because their fate is not in dispute or at risk. They get to live their full natural lifespan either way.

What to expect from our retirement girls

Our retirement selection is usually done in Autumn. As they have been with a cockerel for some time they could be looking a little “careworn” for example, they may look somewhat scruffy. Cockerels are truly magnificent birds, but their “bedroom manners” are not very tender. As they mate every 10 minutes, they do cause some feather damage or loss at times to our girls. When a cockerel has a favourite (usually the easiest or most submissive hen) then she will have more feather loss than most. The feather loss pattern will be around the top of their heads and mid backs due to being firmly grasped and trodden on by the cock bird. Feathers will grow back in a few weeks with some TLC, a good diet, and some girly “me” time. Depending on the time of year some hens may be in moult (annual phenomenon) and as a result may resemble a hedgehog in parts while they are in the process of growing their new finery. They are all in excellent health.

Hens are priced individually according to age and breed. Please ask for details of our availability as it changes regularly. See below for the individual birds profiles. Hopefully they will be living with you soon 🙂

Laying Flock Breed Size

They are all classified as large fowl. Some are light and some are heavy.

Breed Temperament

All our egg-laying flock are pretty docile with no real squabbles going on. They are all good-natured girls.

Eggs

You may get some eggs from these girls below. They are medium sized and blue.

Chickens Currently Looking for Retirement

We have three Araucana ladies. One in blue one in black and the other is lavender. All were hatched in 2018 and they are currently going through a moulting period. They had been laying well until the moult happened. I cannot guarantee that they will lay to the same degree or if at all. The hens are £20 each. They have quite a wary temperament. The blue especially is not particularly happy in human company. Blue Araucana also goes broody and can be very possessive of the nest box. She often gets dragged out of the box by her feathers by the other hens which causes her a great deal of feather loss at certain times of the year. Her feather condition currently is quite good as she is just finishing her moult and she hasn’t been broody since August.

The Araucana above is a Lavender but she is not mine. My lavender has a beard and so does the black. The blue looks more like the lavender in the picture above except her colour is darker. Araucana commonly have just crests or facial ear tufts or beards or a mixture of them all.

Hedgerow Light Sussex

Light Sussex pullet

The Light Sussex is one of our oldest breeds

The Hedgerow Light Sussex hybrid is a new and improved version of the heritage breed of Light Sussex. A Sussex breed has been around in England since AD43. This breed fed many a family during the 2nd world war when food was hard to come by. Sussexes are often used as the basis for many other breeds and due to its egg-laying ability, it is often used in hybridisation programmes to enhance the egg quantity.

Hedgerow Light Sussex Breed Description

This Hedgerow Light Sussex hybrid is a commercial quality hybrid created by carefully selected utility strains of Light Sussex. This beautiful girl is more like the old fashioned strains of a by-gone era when egg quantity was not sacrificed for beauty. She is still a very striking looking bird but does not have the full-on dark black neck hackles of the show standard Light Sussex hens but she will outlay them considerably. Her neck hackles are a very dark grey and not as bold. The tip of her tail and wing tips are also classic Light Sussex.

For those that do not know, the term “utility” means that the birds are a pure breed but the breeders have carefully selected them to excel by function rather than score points in a beauty pageant. They may not be show winners, therefore, in the beauty stakes because they don’t tick all the boxes for perfect feather patterning etc.. When it comes down to egg laying, however, they beat the beauties hands down. A Light Sussex has always been a dual purpose breed because they put a good amount of meat on their frame so would be suitable as a table bird.

The hens have quite a matronly body whereas the boys stand tall and large. Sussex chickens come in a variety of colours, red, light, white, speckled, coronation, silver and buff. There is also a bantam version which is a quarter of the size of the birds we have.

Breed Temperament

This is a fairly gentle breed, which is usually in the middle of the pecking order status of the flock. She gets on well with other hens in a mixed flock. Her temperament is calm and yet attentive and not generally known to be feisty.

Breed Size

They are classified as large fowl – light. This breed is quite matronly looking as they are quite stocky.

Eggs

This hybrid strain is not a “fancy” fowl but her egg laying credentials are top notch. She will to lay around 300 tasty light cream tinted eggs in her first laying year.

Further Information

You can read further information on our other chickens here on our chickens for sale page. If you are keen to learn more, we run regular courses in chicken keeping. Find out more about our courses here

Brown Rock ®

Brown Rock ® chickens direct from the Muirfield Hatchery in Scotland

The Brown Rock is another lovely hen that we get in as chicks from the Muirfield Layers Hatchery in Scotland. She is essentially, half Light Sussex and half Rhode Island Red, which is a popular, and often used pairing. Furthermore, this gives a sex-linked chicken where the boys and girls can be determined at hatch by the colour of their down feathers.  Boys hatch yellow and girls hatch brown.  This pairing is frequently called a Blacktail. More information from the Muirfield Hatchery here

Breed Description

The Light Sussex and Rhode Island Red in her makeup are from top UK utility breeding lines to capitalise on her excellent laying ability. She is a lovely ginger hen which shows a complimenting black tip to her tail and wings. You will see black markings in her neck hackles, and additionally, you will find black flecks in the body feathers of some individuals. She can also be described by many as a Blacktail.

Brown Rock Temperament

This brown hen is a brilliant addition to any mixed flock because she is very confident, just like a Black Rock, and she produces a good number of eggs for the family. She has the capacity to be extremely friendly to her human owners, however, she is not flighty either, so you will rarely need to clip wings. You will often find her at the head of the queue when you are handing out any treats, which could dominate other milder mannered hens. If you do like the more traditional look in your chickens, then this breed is therefore a good one to get.

Breed Size

A Brown Rock is classified as large fowl – light – therefore, she mixes well with chickens of her own size or larger.

Eggs

Eggs are a medium to large size and light brown in colour. She will comfortably produce 4-5 eggs per week in her first laying year.

Further Reading

More info on our birds for sale can be found here. If you are looking to join us on one of our courses please check out our courses page

Black Rock Chickens ®

Grower Black Rock

All Black Rock Chickens are not the same

We are an official agent for the famous and original Black Rock hens that are supplied all the way from Scotland’s Muirfield Layers hatchery. Our area covers Wirral, Merseyside, Cheshire and North Wales. Click here for further breed information. If you don’t get your Black Rocks from us in the area above then it is very unlikely that you have the genuine article.

Breaking news

We have had a delivery of young Black Rock® from 4th Sept 2021 – (hatched 13/8/2021) all female. They are off heat now so can go outside in a sheltered area/run. Bookings now being taken. We also have some older Black Rocks closer to point of lay.

They are a very special recipe which has been handed down over generations and is only available from selected agents throughout the country, more importantly, be sure you don’t confuse these hens with a Rhode Rock. The Rhode Rock is a commercial style hybrid which comprises of a Rhode Island Red and a Barred Plymouth Rock, therefore, a lot of chicken suppliers will try to capitalise on the Muirfield Layers name and excellent reputation by claiming the same name for their birds. All black and gold birds are consequently not the same. If you are unsure, you can check the agent status through the supplier by following this link to the Muirfield Hatchery or here If you get offered a Black Rock cockerel, or hatching eggs as rest assured it is not the genuine article, as they do not exist.

Black Rock Breed Description

This hardy breed is renowned for having a long laying life and is bred to be happy in the sometimes challenging Scottish weather. It is not unusual for it to be a bit parky up there.

Her stunning blue/black plumage comes alive with a vibrant sheen when the sun shines. She also has a collar of gold coloured feathers which extend down to her abdomen. The gold patterning on the front and neck is often different on each bird, therefore, some have more gold than others.

When looking for a Black Rock chicken please ensure that you are getting the genuine article by coming to us. We get regular deliveries of day-old chicks that we raise to point of lay. They are handled daily to ensure that they are socialised and not prone to panic. Consequently, a hen that is already quite a friendly bird, becomes more so when we get our hands on them.

Temperament

This lovely hen is a friendly inquisitive and confident bird, consequently a Black Rock is not usually at the bottom of the pecking order. They are well suited to a mixed flock of similarly sized or even larger birds.

Breed Size

A Black Rock is classified as large fowl – light

Eggs

The eggs are the normal supermarket biscuit colour or sometimes slightly darker. She is a good steady layer of medium to large eggs. Her famous genetics also mean that she will lay 4-5 eggs a week in her first laying year. As long as she remains in good health it is usual for her to continue to lay well for longer than your average hybrid.

Further information about our chickens

Checkout our chickens for sale page here. Our Courses page may be of interest if you want to learn more about keeping chickens

Cochin

Blue Cochin hen sitting on a perch

Cochin are an old breed with no bantam equivalent

The Cochin is huge, and there is no denying their beauty and adorability. They are the giant fluffballs of the chicken world. We keep them in Blue Splash, Blue and Black. For the uninitiated, Cochin is pronounced Coach-Inn

Breed Description

A Cochin is the largest of the heavy breeds of chicken. Queen Victoria, of all people, is responsible for the original popularity of this monumental chicken. They were originally documented way back in the early 1850’s when they were known as Shanghai’s or Cochin-China. It is believed that the Chinese bred them with such profuse feathering for filling duvets. This phenomenal bird has no sharp angles and is very rounded in appearance. A single comb, feathery “pantaloons” and feathered feet are all classic features of this breed.

The Cochin genes have been used in the makeup of several breeds, the most notable being the Brahma, and the Orpingtons. This breed have been highly prized as show birds and have been selectively bred over generations for their feather quality and quantity. They are very hardy birds in winter, but need plenty of shade in the summer as they risk overheating due to the feather duvet they carry around with them. A non-muddy environment is the best for keeping this breed, as their feathery feet will generate quite substantial mud balls. As they have such feathering they are not overly destructive to your prized begonias either!! Although with any chickens, never say never – ahem.

They are reputed to be quite long lived in chicken terms compared to their egg machine cousins. The cock birds can weigh up to 12lb but are very placid and totally magnificent to look at as they are large, round and tall.

These are a dual purpose bird if that is your bag.

Cochin Breed Temperament

Cochins are a very placid and mild-mannered giant. These chickens are calm and love to be cuddled too, and it happens that there is a lot to cuddle. A boisterous flock is not really a good situation for a Cochin as they are quite placid. Some hens may go broody occasionally.

Breed Size

Despite what the Americans say there is no bantam version of this chicken. Cochins are classified as large fowl – heavy therefore will mix with other quieter heavy breeds. She is also happy in groups with smaller hens too.

Eggs

Profuse feather quality is much admired in show Cochins. Egg numbers have suffered as a consequence of their show achievements. The hen is an average layer in most specimens, however, we have found that our flock is actually rather good and I would class mine as good layers. They are producing 4-5 eggs a week each, and they are a very reasonable size. Eggs are a medium size and pale cream tinted in colour. She will need to be at least 35 weeks old before being mature enough to lay for the first time

Further reading

More info on our birds for sale can be found here. If you are looking to join us on one of our courses please check out our courses page

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