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Welcome to Poultry Keeper

A hobby website for backyard poultry enthusiasts

Nova Ukraine
Nova Ukraine provides humanitarian aid to the people of Ukraine and supports several animal welfare organisations and volunteers.

Hello and welcome to our hobby website, run by a small group of enthusiasts, including me, Tim Daniels, located in Herefordshire, UK. Poultry Keeper is 13 years old, and our aim has always been quite simply to provide the best source of information available online for backyard poultry enthusiasts.

We constantly update and improve 500+ articles and guides on the website and add new pages monthly. I hope we can help inspire you in our fantastic hobby, and you will bookmark our website for future use.

Spring is here, and as the migratory season ends, there are unfortunately still some bird flu outbreaks. We must keep our birds in their houses with covered runs and strict biosecurity measures.

With the longer days, birds are laying again, and the breeding season is underway. However, with significant challenges keeping birds this year, soaring feed prices, and a cost of living crisis, many people have reduced numbers or even quit the hobby.

Still, these matters are minor when we look at the world news. Our thoughts are with our friends and fellow poultry keepers in Ukraine. We stand with you wholeheartedly. This website has blocked all access from Russia, and we ask everyone to declare your support for the people of Ukraine, who continue to resist an unprovoked Russian invasion.

We are animal lovers, and we would like to highlight the work of Nova Ukraine’s Animal Rescue efforts.

Spring
in Focus

Spring without question is my favourite time of year for keeping poultry. As the daylight hours increase, laying commences, I set up by breeding pens, dust off my incubators and before long, I am busy raising chicks!

Here are some articles and a reminder of spring jobs that you might need to do.

Spring reading

Worming Chickens Products

As temperatures rise in the spring, poultry worm eggs start to mature and hatch. It’s a good time to use a worm egg count kit to check whether your birds need worming.  

I still find it incredible that a fertile egg can develop into a chick in just 21 days!

Foxes are feeding young

One of the challenges of keeping birds safe while foxes are out feeding their cubs is being home in time for dusk to lock up.

The ChickenGuard automatic chicken coop door saves me a lot of worries if I’m not home in time to lock up. I reviewed it in my ChickenGuard Automatic Chicken Door article. 

Spring Worming

Springtime Worming

During the spring, poultry worms start to increase in numbers as the temperature holds above 10°C. It is a good idea to have a plan for springtime worming.

Apple Cider Vinegar for Chickens

Apple Cider Vinegar For Chickens

I have been giving Apple Cider Vinegar to my chickens for many years, and combined with good husbandry, I have seen a positive difference in my flock’s health.

Selling Eggs

Selling Eggs Off the Gate

Our chickens are productive pets and will lay a good number of eggs for us, so you may want to sell your surplus eggs at

Breeding Chickens

Breeding Chickens

If you are considering breeding chickens for sale or expanding your flock’s size, then one of the most rewarding ways to do this is by

Chicken Bedding

What is the Best Chicken Bedding Material?

I rate some of the chicken coop bedding I have used, from wood shavings and straw to shredded paper and cardboard, and even some of the specialist poultry bedding like Easichick and Auboise.

Incubating & hatching this spring?

Hatching eggs with a broody hen

Hatching Eggs with a Broody Hen

A step-by-step guide to hatching eggs with a broody hen. Selecting the right breed and setting up a broody coop for her to incubate fertile eggs.

Feeding Chicks

Feeding Chicks

Feeding chicks when there is no broody hen to take care of them and what you can feed in an emergency if you run out of chick crumbs.

Setting Up Incubator

Setting Up Your Incubator

Success using an incubator isn’t guaranteed, especially with some of the cheaper models available. Getting good results at hatch time won’t just depend on your

Incubation Humidity

Incubation Humidity

What is the correct incubation humidity for hatching eggs, and how do we measure it? How to get the right humidity for chicken, duck, goose & quail eggs.

Candling Eggs

Candling Eggs

What will you see candling eggs? Pictures and videos of candling chicken eggs at 7 & 14 days of incubation and a useful air sac development chart.

Spring jobs...

Get a Worm Count by Post

Poultry worms increase in numbers as the temperature holds above 10°C. Now is a good time to send off for a worm count to see whether your chickens need worming.

Set up your Incubator

If you are hatching eggs artificially using an incubator, then eggs will be fertile and in good supply during the spring and grass will be high in protein as it starts to grow.

Plan to Raise Some Chicks

You can hatch your own chicks or buy some day old chicks from a breeder. As long as you can provide them with some heat, a brooding area, food and water, they should thrive.

Sell Surplus Eggs

If you have surplus eggs, you can sell them at the gate to passers by but be careful how you do this because there are some rules to follow.

Plan Holiday Cover

It’s important to make sure your chickens are properly cared for when you are away from home, even if it’s only for a couple of nights. Plan your holiday cover now.

Check for Red Mite

As the temperature rises, red mites start to multiply. Feeding off your chickens at night they appear blood red in cracks and crevaces. Stay on top of them with weekly checks.

Poultry
Breeds

We have over 5000 photos on our website, and there are thousands of photos taken at poultry shows that give you some good examples of what a breed should look like on our poultry breed pages.

Domestic poultry breeds follow a standard that tells us how they should look. We have the British Poultry Standards and the British Waterfowl Standards in the UK. I have spent the last 10 years visiting poultry shows with other photographers, photographing some of the best examples of the breeds, as well as researching their origins.

There are other standards worldwide: the European Poultry Standard, the American Standard of Perfection and the Australian Poultry Standard. In fact, the same breed can have subtle differences, names, or colour varieties in different parts of the world. I have highlighted many of these on individual breed pages.

If you are considering which breed to keep, then the breed pages should help you!

Chicken Breeds Thumbnail

Chicken Breeds

Photographs of all 93 chicken breeds with many breed profiles.
Duck Breeds Thumbnail

Duck Breeds

Photos & breed profiles for every domestic duck in the poultry standard.
Goose Breeds Thumbnail

Goose Breeds

Photos & breed profiles for all domestic Geese in the waterfowl standard.

Breed in focus: The Wyandotte

This time it’s the turn of the Wyandotte to be updated from a breed page to a breed in focus page! Grant has done a fantastic job of sharing his immense knowledge of this breed to expand and update our Wyandotte page.

Gold Laced Wyandottes

New to
Keeping Chickens?

If you are a newcomer to the wonderful (and productive) hobby of poultry keeping or just wondering about what you need to get started, then you have come to the right place!

Here are some suggestions for the newcomer from our Chickens Category to help you get started:

For your research:

Keeping your chickens healthy:

Feeding Chickens
Keeping Chickens

Feeding Chickens

Domesticated chickens, especially modern hybrids, are fantastic egg layers; however, this performance increases nutritional demands, so how we feed our chickens has never been so

Omlet Chicken House
Keeping Chickens

The Ultimate Guide to Chicken Houses

The ultimate guide to chicken houses, exploring features you will need to keep your chickens happy, healthy and safe from predators in their coop.

Looking After Chickens
Keeping Chickens

Looking After Chickens in Ten Easy Steps

Looking after chickens is relatively easy, but like all animals, they still need care and consideration. Follow these ten steps to looking after chickens, and

Keeping Ducks
& Geese

Smallholders keep waterfowl for eggs, occasionally for meat, to mop up bugs in the garden, and for exhibiting.

If you are thinking of adding some domestic waterfowl to your allotment or back garden? You may find our articles on keeping ducks and geese useful. Contrary to popular belief, domestic ducks and geese do not need a pond, and a plastic tub refilled daily is enough for them to be content.

Most will enjoy a bath but spend the rest of the day dabbling in the grass and looking for insects. They are the greatest at environmental slug control on any vegetable patch. As a bonus, many ducks will lay good numbers of large eggs that are particularly good for cake making.

On the other hand, Geese will require plenty of grass and are useful as environmentally friendly lawnmowers! As well as keeping grass short, they will alert you to unwanted visitors.

Why not take a dabble in our sections on ducks and geese? I've included a few reading suggestions for you below:

geese feeding
Keeping Ducks
Keeping Ducks

Beginner’s Guide to Keeping Ducks

Keeping a few domestic ducks in the garden is growing in popularity. In this beginner’s guide to keeping ducks, I will cover all the basics you’ll need to consider before getting ducks. 

Feeding Ducks
Keeping Ducks

Feeding Domestic Ducks

This article provides information about feeding ducks: specifically domestic ducks. That is, pet ducks kept in gardens or smallholdings.

Imprinting in ducks
Incubating, Hatching & Brooding Ducks

Stop Following Me! Imprinting in Ducks & Geese

Ducklings and Goslings will follow the first moving object they find after hatching. They treat it as their mother. So even if it’s a large man with a big hairy beard, he becomes ‘mum’!

Beginners Guide To Keeping Geese

The Beginner’s Guide to Keeping Geese

This beginners guide to keeping geese will take you, step by step, through the basics of keeping geese, whether you are wondering whether geese are the right choice for you or if you have already purchased your geese and want to learn more.

Hatching Goslings with a Broody Goose

Hatching Goslings with a Broody Goose

One of the easiest ways to incubate and hatch goose eggs can be to leave it up to a broody goose. Not all breeds are good mothers. Heavier breeds can be quite clumsy and better at breaking eggs than sitting on them, but many lighter breeds will sit the term, hatching and raising their young.

Housing Geese

Housing Geese

Providing you can give sufficient space, adequate ventilation and security from nighttime predators, a goose house need not be complicated. In this article, Mo provides the low-down on housing geese.  

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