Ian Shipley from Paddock Farm Poultry in Lincolnshire is a hobby breeder of bantams and large fowl and a supplier of point of lay hybrid pullets. After a challenging couple of years, Paddock Farm Poultry relaunched in April and here Ian shares his guidance for creating solid foundations to support healthy hens.
Breeding season has started later than usual this year for Paddock Farm Poultry with bird flu meaning that they have been unable to move their young birds into outdoor pens. As such they have focused on breeding a selection of bantam breeds but are also selling point of lay hybrid pullets.
Creating the very best environment to raise healthy, happy hens is crucial to Paddock Farm Poultry and they pass this expertise onto their customers, ensuring that they help them to continue this when they take their new hens’ home.
Ian explains: ‘The secret for happy hens is always good quality feed, clean water, clean housing, not to overcrowd pens and good husbandry for parasites, vermin and health issues.
We carefully select all the products that we sell in our shop to ensure our customers have everything they need to continue to provide the best environment for their hens. The poultry feed, bedding, feeders, drinkers and healthcare products have been picked based on their quality - we use them on the hens that we breed to ensure we are happy with the products.
‘Since I started the business in 2014, I have been using Farmgate Feeds and I’m a proud stockist of the range. Throughout the breeding season we always get the best results from our chicks by feeding Farmgate Chick Crumbs followed by Farmgate Rearer Pellets and our point of lay birds for sale thrive on Farmgate Layers Pellets. We recommend our customers continue this diet for their laying hens to support consistency of lay, optimum egg size and a lovely rich coloured yolk.’
If you are getting started as a poultry keeper or need some advice on growing your flock, then the Paddock Farm Poultry team will help you work out what type of bird and size of flock will be best suited to your environment and space. It’s so important to create a safe coop with plenty of room and a good-sized covered run in case of bird flu lockdowns in winter. Also consider things to keep your hens stimulated such as perches to jump on/off.