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Devon Association of Smallholders

97 Incubation, Hatching & Rearing Poultry
911-97:Saturday 11th May (10am - 4pm)
Venue: Northlew, near Hatherleigh EX20 3PS
Cost: £65 (£85 for Non-members)
Tutor: Gillian Dixon
Course type: Classroom & practical handling
Course materials: Summary handouts to take away
Provided: Teas, coffees, soft drinks, biscuits
What you need to bring: Packed lunch, clean outdoor clothes & wellies

Who is this course designed for?

Anyone with an interest in starting to hatch their own poultry using broodies or incubators - chicken, ducks or geese - who wants to know how to get started. Suited to back-garden keeping; smallholding. Not commercial scale. Opportunity for plenty of questions

The course will cover the following:

Introductions: why hatch? natural incubation, excess males... seasonal cycle, eggs to POL
Eggs: a little about eggs - formation, structure, fertilisation
Sourcing fertile eggs: managing your own healthy breeding birds, setting up breed groups, maximising fertility, egg recording, trap nesting; or buying fertile eggs - sourcing quality eggs, collection vs. delivery, resting
Choosing & storing eggs for incubation: collecting eggs, how long do they keep? where to store, which way up? which eggs to select (size, weight, colour, shape/shell imperfections), turning
Managing broodies: which breeds are best? setting up your broody, how many eggs, daily care, feeding before vs. after hatching, hatch day, managing your broody when sitting & rearing
Preparing eggs for setting: to clean or not? candling, disinfection & hygiene routines
Incubators: different types - still air, automatic, semi automatic, hatchers, which one for you? Cleaning routine, where to site, temperature & humidity control, ventilation, turning, preparing your incubator for setting eggs
Chick development: incubation periods for different species, daily development during incubation period, candling @ day 7-10, weight loss, failures - infertility, inherited disease, vitamin/mineral deficiency, rough handling, poor hygiene, incorrect temperature/humidity
Hatching day: pipping to hatching, moving chicks to the brooder, problems - splayed legs, Dead in Shell (DIS), malformations, yolk sac not fully absorbed, beak deformity, curled toes
Brooding: Different types of brooder, where to set up, how many chicks to the space, litter material, brooder lamps & ‘electric hens’, getting the temperature right, daily management, problems - feather pecking, coxcidiosis
Growing on: feathering up, sexing (vent, feather, comb, down colour/pattern), when to move ‘off heat’, different feed types, amount and type determined by age, equipment, storage, mixed grit; rearing birds of different ages from chicks to Point of Lay (POL)
The Poultryman’s routine: Daily/weekly routine, timings through year, fitting in with work, letting out/shutting up, feeding, collecting eggs, cleaning out, bedding
Poultry health & treatments: Likely problems - worms, mite, lice, feather pecking, wounds, moulting. Less common problems - prolapse, sour crop, scaly leg, bumble foot, impacted/sour crop, egg bound, egg eating, unwanted broodiness, aggressive birds, respiratory infections, dispatching chickens… more?
Summary: Last questions
Handouts include: Hatching period table, temperature/humidity requirement, cold/hot chicks under brooder, different incubator types, egg development, medications & where to buy them, useful sources of information

Training Officer: Carolyn McAllister
The Retreat, Highampton, BEAWORTHY, EX21 5JJ
email: training@devonsmallholders.co.uk
Phone: 07737 055 618

Pay by faster payments:
Bank Account Name: DASH
Bank Account Number: 31351460
Bank Sort Code: 77-09-21
Bank: Lloyds
Reference: your membership
number and course number

Cheques can be sent to:
DASH Training
The Retreat
EX21 5JJ
Make cheques payable to Devon Association of Smallholders

To book your place on a course please email or phone to check availability. training@devonsmallholders.co.uk 07737 055 618

Please note: If for any reason you need to cancel your place on a course, 2 weeks notice prior to the course date will be required to receive a full refund. If you have reserved a place, please make sure we receive payment 3 weeks before the course (6 weeks for non-members). Thank you.

Most of our courses are aimed at adults and are quite intensive, so they are not aimed at children. If you would like to bring a child on a course please discuss it with the training manager before booking. It is assumed that bookings you make are for adults. Only people who have paid the course fee are allowed at the training venue. Do not bring pets or other animals to the training venue unless you are required to do so as part of the course. Most venues are working smallholdings and dogs or other animals (even if left in your car) are disruptive and compromise biosecurity.