Alisons Poultry

by Alison

I started keeping chickens when I was very young after my Nan brought me two black rock pullets. These hens proved to be good layers and hardy during the winter months. My little flock soon expanded with a few ex battery hens, which were surprisingly hardy and good layers with a few even going broody.

My interest in chickens grew and I soon wanted a 'proper' breed so my brother brought me a little silkie hen that was advertised in a local paper. She was a feisty little bird that proved to be a good broody looking after her chicks well.

Silkies soon expanded into every coop I possessed after I was given a handful of mixed silkie chicks, which included blacks, partridges and whites. Great characters and an interesting appearance I enjoyed this breed immensely. However I was also experimenting with other breeds including the bantam Australorp and Light Sussex.

During 2007 I took the plunge and entered my first poultry show with a pair of gold partridge pekins who did extremely well. Exhibiting poultry has since become an enjoyable hobby allowing me to compare my birds against the standards to ensure that the birds I am breeding are of good standard and type as well as providing a chance to catch up with other poultry fanciers.

In 2008 I decided to expand my little collection of different chicken breeds to include a few more rare breeds which I had been interested in previously. I hope to help preserve these rare British breeds for the future and develop my own strains thus helping to ensure their future survival.

2009 ? Saw the end of the pekin era here, as I decided to scale back on the number of colours to just one. My gold partridge pekins are remaining with me as they are such lovely characters and always look stunning in their runs. I have decided to add a few utility breeds to my little collection including the Rhode Island Red, which is often overlooked by poultry keepers but with good laying capabilities and been a hardy breed it will be interesting to see how they perform especially in our British weather.

2010 ? An interesting year with many weather extremes for the chickens to endure from the cold winter followed by a very wet summer. However it didn?t dampen the interest in chickens from those looking to start a new hobby. I only bred a very limited number of birds during the 2010 season due to the appalling weather conditions as it didn?t seem fair for youngsters be continually put under stress by the cold or wet.

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