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Devon Association of Smallholders

20 Poultry Keeping for Beginners
912-20:Saturday 5th October (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 keeping poultry who wants to know how to get started - either with your first few birds or before you buy. Back-garden keeping; smallholding; covers: ducks, geese, chicken & bantams. Opportunity for plenty of questions

The course will cover the following:

Introductions: Keeping birds for eggs/meat/pleasure. A history of chicken; seasonal cycles

Regulations: Deeds/noise, Poultry Register, selling eggs/meat, hatcheries, packing station, Transport certificate / transport regulations, animal welfare, feed/kitchen scraps.     

Choosing the right breed for you: Size bantams vs ‘Large Fowl’, layers vs meat, ‘look’, hybrid vs traditional. Where to buy birds - private, market, society sales, contact breed clubs etc. What to look for / what to avoid. What age? Likely prices.

Housing & runs: Permanent, moveable arks, placement, design +/-, houses for chicken vs waterfowl, size, materials, isolation/broody coops, sourcing, costs, cleaning, predator protection, maintenance, perches, nest boxes; Managing the land - fencing - height, type, rotation, grass height, shelters

Feed & water: 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

Eggs: variation in size, shape, colour; internal contents, age, selling, fertilisation

Breeding: egg care, broodies, incubators, incubation periods / process, humidity, temperature, hatching problems, brooders, feathering-up

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?

Meet the birds (practical session): Equipment, Signs of good / poor health, handling, wing trimming, Worming, lice/mite treatments, applying leg rings

Summary: Last questions

Handouts include: What to look for in a healthy bird / housing, breeds list, comb types, feather markings, how to wing clip, medications & where to buy them, price list, 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.