News and Events

Spring / Summer News

22 May 2017
Hello Chicken Friends

Well firstly I'm sorry for such a delay in posting! It's been a hectic start to the season and lots of work has been going on here at the Coop. It's also our busiest time of year at my 'normal' job too which is at a gardening and landscaping company so my time is pretty much gobbled up with those two as well as the other work here on the farm and also the small matter of washing & ironing, cooking, housework, food-shop etc.! 

Apart from the usual stuff the main news is that our classroom is very nearly complete AND we now have a lovely customer toilet for your convenience here on site. I had always planned to have this in my second year of trading and thanks to my fantastic husband Martin and his super farmer DIY skills it is very nearly finished, yaaay!

Our target date is Friday 2nd June when we're hosting a private Instagram chicken pal meet up. I hosted this for the first time last year and 15 lovely chicken people from all over the country came together to talk hens. This year it's exploded a bit and we've had to cap it at 45! I'm so excited to be seeing some returnees from last year and also brand new hen friends. Social media platforms can take a bit of a bashing and I must confess Facebook is great for my business but I've fallen out of love with it for personal use however, I've met some really lovely poultry people through Instagram. I discovered it two years ago and just LOVE it! Our business account is called warwickshire_chicken_coop so if you use IG please pop over and give us a follow!

Apart from Chicken Keeping Courses we'll also be hosting other rural and craft workshops so watch this space for details of exciting activities coming soon!

We have had a stonking start to the season (and very fortunately were not classed as a higher risk area by DeFRA and therefore were able to free range again early on) with LOADS of hybrids going off to their new homes. I've got around 150 in stock at the moment with deliveries each month so we've usually got what you're looking for.

Our pure breeds were a little late again this year - after chatting to other breeder pals we've all concluded that fertility rates were again quite low at the start of the season so this pushes everything back a bit. Our first hatch are now 7 weeks old, next hatch 5 weeks and the hatch after that 3 weeks old. Oh and also Pringle my dear call duck has hatched 5 ducklings who are just too cute for words!

I'm also thrilled to say I'll now be stocking one of my fave brands of feed, Farmgate. We'll be selling layers pellets, chick crumb with ACS, growers pellets with ACS and mixed corn.

We're also now stocking Nature's Grub Mega Pecker Blocks.

Hen boarding continues to be super popular and I only have a couple of spaces for July and August left now so if you're going away and want your hens left in capable hands please get in touch.

If you've visited in the last two weeks you may have noticed we now have a second big sign at the entrance so now (hopefully) if you've never been before you really can't miss us!

Well that's all for now so I'll sign off and hopefully it won't be such a long time until I post again! 

Jac x


Avian Flu Outbreak

9 Jan 2017
Hello Chicken Friends

I'm sad to report that over the last few weeks there have been several reported cases of Avian Flu in England. This particularly harmful strain is known as H5N8 and is very aggressive and highly contagious.

DeFRA have issued a ruling that states all hen keepers, whether you have a large commercial flock or keep 3 hens in the back garden MUST be separated from wild birds. This means they are no longer allowed to free range and you must take steps to keep them in a secure covered run.

Some of you may already have sensibly created one of these - if you haven't you will need to. It will take a bit of effort but with some tarpaulin or a thick groundsheet you can erect a makeshift covered area (see my Facebook page for ideas).

A lot of people are ignoring the information - I can't think why? Largely I think it's lack of communication from the media. As I run a poultry business I am already registered with DeFRA so I automatically receive text and email alerts when matters such as this occur. Since the initial announcement on 6th December I think I've only heard it once or twice more on the mainstream news. 

Some of those who have heard about it simply just cannot be bothered to make the effort. I will have no hesitation in reporting these people to DeFRA. There is a maximum fine of £1,000.00 for owners of backyard flocks who have not taken adequate steps to protect their flock. "I didn't have time, I'm too busy with my kids/husband/job/life/work, it would cost too much....blah blah blah" are not acceptable reasons for not adhering to the guidelines. 

If you don't use social media, don't listen to the news (and live in a cave) then it's possible you may not have heard about it at all. In my opinion this is very poor show from the powers that be. It means us hen-keepers need to be pro-active and regularly visit the DeFRA website to keep updated. I am updating my Facebook page regularly as reports are  announced so please follow me if you don't already (Warwickshire Chicken Coop).

It would break my heart for the men in white coats to come and cull both my business AND pet flock because someone nearby hadn't bothered to keep their hens safe and the disease had somehow made it's way onto our premises. PLEASE, do adhere to the guidelines and let's work together to try and contain it.

Here's the link to the latest news...https://www.gov.uk/government/news/avian-flu-prevention-zone-extended

I have installed a footdip at the entrance to the yard and would respectfully request any customers visiting us please use it.

Although there has been a ban on all poultry gatherings (shows, auctions etc.) there has not yet been a national lock down therefore with regards to hen boarding it's business as usual. All my boarder coops are individual Omlet houses and runs which are placed on stable matting. Between each set of visitors the matting and coops are thoroughly disinfected and fresh virgin bespoke poultry woodchip placed in the run. This is disposed of each time. My biosecurity is pretty tight anyway with boarders so there's not much change here for me. .

Let's hope we have no more confirmed cases and then hopefully the risk will have passed and we can let our hens free range again.

Jac

Autumn / Winter News

13 Nov 2016
Hello Chicken Friends

Well what a fabulous summer it's been and I've really enjoyed meeting customers old and new over the last few months since we moved the business from Ettington to home in Lower Brailes.

Everything's pretty much now in place - I've got my long-suffering husband Martin lined up with a list of winter jobs he can do whilst the farm is slightly quieter. The main priority job is to get building the classroom! If you're a regular visitor to us you'll know where the ducks are currently living - well the new classroom will be right there next to the shop! This means David, Victoria and the young ducks will all be moved but don't worry, they'll still be on site here for you to see!

Once the classroom is built and I have the internet set up down there it'll be an ideal space in which to run our chicken keeping courses as well as other rural type workshops, I have a friend who teaches willow weaving which I'm keen to have a go at! It will also serve as a great meeting room so if there are any home-workers that need a meeting space please do get in touch!

As the winter closes in we adjust our opening hours - I'll usually be open Friday to Sunday now from 10am to 2pm but please do check the website and Facebook page for weekly updates. I've also gone back to my previous 'normal' job but on a part time basis, Monday to Wednesday which is an Office Manager at a local garden/landscaping company. Being Self Employed is really great but can be very isolating so it's good to be working with other people again. I wouldn't want to end up as a mad old lady who talks to chicken all day now would I?!.........

We've been busy re-planting all the pots and bins down on the yard with heathers, cyclamen and violas - a bit of colour always looks pleasing on a cold wintery day don't you think?

The outdoor chicken pens have all had a good clear out and fresh woodchip putting in. This is also the time of year we seem to see an increase in mice so we're being extra careful to clear up any spilt feed and keep everything spic n span.

I'm now stocking the fabulous Chubby Mealworms, a brand from the US who have just started distributing in the UK. The mealworms are fed on vegetable protein only so it's absolutely fine to feed them to your chickens and a great source of protein for them.

Hen boarding is as popular as ever and I've only got a couple of spaces left over Christmas and the New Year so please get in touch if you need to book.

I've still got a few lovely pure breeds left from this years hatching so please get in touch if you're interested.

Thank you for your continued support - as a small business I do appreciate it.

Jac x

WE HAVE MOVED!!!!

3 Jul 2016
Hello Chicken Friends

I'm SOOOOO thrilled to tell you all that we are moving this week, I repeat, THIS WEEK(!) and will be trading from the new site in Lower Brailes from SATURDAY 9th JULY.

The full address is Green End Farm, Holloway Hill, Lower Brailes, Banbury, Oxfordshire OX15 5JA. You'll also be relieved to know that Satnavs recognise this postcode and bring you straight to our door!

This means we will no longer be operating from the old Ettington site. The grand move is taking place during this week so I will be closed unfortunately until Saturday when we re-open at the new premises.

It's all looking peachy and coming together slowly, although my To Do list doesn't seem to be getting any shorter!? In fact, as soon as I manage to tick a job off another two seem to add themselves to the list!

Still, I'm confident we will be all ready for you on Saturday with a spanking new batch of hybrids being delivered midweek so you'll have lots to choose from. In addition we now have our first batch of pure breeds ready so if anyone fancies something a bit special (or even if you don't) why not pop along, have a cuppa and a nosey at everything.

The boarder area is looking very neat and I'll naturally continue to offer this service going forwards. Having said that, we're pretty much fully booked now throughout the whole of July and August but do still have some availability over Christmas (did I just say the C word?!) and New Year.

Really hope to see all my lovely regular customers and of course, lots of new ones very soon!

Jac .

We're moving!!!

30 May 2016
Hello Chicken Friends

So finally, after many weeks of waiting we received planning permission on Friday to go ahead with our relocation.

It was always my plan to bring the business to our home in Lower Brailes where I can keep a better eye on the hens, have extended and evening opening hours, as well as running the hen keeping courses and creating a brand new boarding area (when hens can stay for their holidays getting a well earned break from their humans!). 

It's now full steam ahead with getting the new buildings erected, the new boarder area set up and also the all important maternity wing where our pure breeds are raised. We'd love you to see them at all stages of their growing up, from newly hatched to energetic toddlers and finally teenagers ready to step into the big hen world!

I don't have a firm date on which we'll be ready to open yet so please watch this space and keep pinned to our Facebook page for the actual moving date. In the meantime, if you visit our existing site in Ettington please bear with us whilst we are dismantling some areas and slowly transferring some bits over to the new place. I'm keen to remain open for you all during the re-location but please note our opening hours may be limited on certain weeks.

Boarder customers will be contacted on an individual basis regarding drop offs and collections so please don't worry, your booking is completely secure and there will be no interruption in this service during the move.

I'm very excited about the move and can't wait to welcome you all the new premises.

Jac

New Course Date! Hen Keeping for Beginners

7 May 2016
Our next course date for Hen Keeping for Beginners is Saturday 4th June 2016 from 10.30am to 12.30pm. What could be more fun than learning about keeping chickens, chatting to like-minded hen enthusiasts, drinking tea and eating lots of yummy home-made cake!

On this short introductory course you'll learn all about keeping chickens, whether you've already got hens but could do with a bit more knowledge or perhaps you're thinking of keeping them and want to learn more before taking the plunge. You'll get to actually hold and handle a hen (if you want to) and learn the basics to ensure your girls have a happy and healthy life with you.

The course will run from our breeding site which is also Jackie's home in Lower Brailes, around 15 minutes drive further south from Ettington.

Places are limited so please book now by contacting Jackie on 07960 693724. Adults £25.00 Children £10.00.



 




Jacqueline Vallance
Warwickshire Chicken Coop
   Green End Farm

 
Holloway Hill
Lower Brailes
Banbury
Oxfordshire
OX15 5JA
 

07960 693724