Practical Affordable WATERFOWL AND POULTRY HOUSING available throughout United Kingdom
national mail order supplies of electric fencing, equipment, and incubators
Argyll JACOB SHEEP, raised here on the farm for their lamb, mutton, fleece and rugs
Full site map of all pages and topics
Ardchattan parish archive : the ecology, genealogy and social history of the area around us
Kintaline 2016 : WE ARE NO LONGER BREEDING OR SELLING BIRDS - please enjoy our information. : Buying Birds
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Buying birds is always an exciting time, but can be daunting/
Where do you start?
The very best is to find someone who you can respect, learn from, and is close enough for you to stay in contact with as you gain experience.
One of the worst is from dealers who dump the birds on your doorstep, when you have no idea how or where the birds have been reared, and have little or no chance of any support in the future. Just because its convenient for you does it mean that its been a good start for the birds. Young birds can have been shunted around the country at various ages, and conditions, mixed with other birds from different places. This can lead to a build up in a rearing unit of an assortment of nasty diseases which are then passed to your property and flock.
Good small breeders will be limited in the numbers of young adult birds they can produce each year, and these will often only be ready at certain times of the year, usually late summer and autumn.
Its important to do your research and book well in advance.
Obviously you can get birds earlier, if you can take them younger, but, for the pure breeds, these will not be sexed so you have to know what you will do with the unwanted cockerels.
If you know what breed you want try contacting the breed club, or get copies of the poultry magazines.
TRANSPORTING YOUR BIRDS
It is our aim that all birds have as safe and short a journey as possible
so please make sure your arrangements will ensure this. We will endeavour
to provide all assistance we can but the responsibility for making the
transit arrangements and the care of the birds whilst in transit is yours.
As all growers and adults are free range reared they are let out in the
morning. We must therefore be notified at least the day before if you
are collecting them,
PERSONAL COLLECTION :
Please ensure you bring plenty of well ventilated crates / cages or large, secure boxes, with plenty of airholes in and preferably shavings in the bottom. Please ensure you let us know when you will be arriving at least
24 hours in advance or we cannot guarantee to be able to catch them (we
also have a busy plant centre and visitor attraction which is not easy
to leave during opening hours).
It is also vital that you have their new home absolutely ready before
you leave – complete with food and water, bedding and a secure way to
keep them in for a few days (for adults). All new birds should be isolated from existing birds - they are both potentially dangerous to each other in the same way as kids going to school will pick up bugs from each other at the beginning of term. They have both been challenged by different bugs and strains in their environment to which they will have developed an immunity. Moving home causes stress and so you need to keep your new birds quiet and safe for at least a week. Any health problems that crop up after this and if you have not kept the birds separate we cannot be responsible for.
All brooding pens should be already warm and safe. This way your birds can be quickly transferred in to their new home and left in peace to settle. We advise they are kept secure for several days until they are happy that this is their new home.
If you already have birds, introduce them after a couple of weeks with mesh between them so new and old can get used to each other. All birds should have access to a
proprietary poultry feed at all times and clean fresh water.
Chicks will need a medicated chick crumb until they are 6 weeks old, Growers
need proprietary growers pellets until they are 14 weeks (for Black Rock)
-we suggest until 16 weeks for the traditional breeds, when they change
to layers food. We strongly suggest that feed is given ad lib, in a clean
no spill feeder, always inside the house. We understand the feelings about organic production but
do really recommend that if you cannot access organic feed that you resist
the urge to not use a growers / layers feed as you will not be doing the
best by your birds. Production will be lower and the birds will not be
getting the full general nutrition they require for long life, simply
from ranging. Grain alone does not provide enough protein nor vitamins.
It also tends to lead to fat hens which do not lay as well, and in danger of dying early from fatty liver syndrome.
We advise a small grain feed in the late afternoon in the winter and that all birds are securely shut in at night.
Tim and Jill Bowis
Kintaline Mill Farm,
Benderloch, OBAN Argyll PA37 1QS Scotland
all text and images are copyright, do not use without express permission and links back to this site. Website online : 1999-2016
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Our hardy PLANT NURSERY where we grow interesting and unusual
perennials, herbs and rhodies
Full range of BOOKS and DVDS's on poultry keeping, other smallholding topics and related gift ideas.
Let the white campbell drake lead you into the world of DUCKS
Around the garden we have a G scale Garden Railway track. Tim is delighted to meet fellow enthusiasts