What temperature and humidity do you suggest for my incubator for hatching chicks/ducks?
This is the first question that we have included, as it is a very popular one and one which holds a big importance to your hatch rate. We would set the temperature for hatching chicks at 37.5 degrees and the humidity at 48% we find this works well for us.
With duck eggs this is slightly different, the number of days they take is breed dependent most being around 27 days. Temperature and humidity needs to be 37.5 and 55%
We wouldn’t suggest trying to hatch chicken eggs and duck eggs in the same incubator due to the difference in requirements.
Can you sex day old chicks?
Some of our breeds are sex linked, meaning you can easily sex them from day old due to their different markings. These breeds include Partridge Wellsummers and Cream Legbars, unfortunately with other breeds you will have to wait at least 3/4 weeks and some longer before their gender characteristics become more apparent.
...We have also been asked this in the past...no we cant sex eggs - that would be the dream!
When are you open?
As the buisness is based on the family farm we are pretty much here 7 days a week, 24/7, however we do request that you contact us before arrival to ensure that we are here. Our busiest season is February - September so you can pretty much guarantee we will be here every day throughout that time frame.
What age do chicks need heat until?
We would suggest keeping your chicks under a heatlamp, or heat plate for 4/5 weeks when you can begin to wean them off. If you find the chicks are still huddling at this time keep it on when it begins to get cold at night or during inclement weather etc until they are ready to manage without heat.
What age can my chicks go out and mix with the rest of my chickens?
We would say that it would be best to keep your chicks separate from the established chickens until around 16 weeks or more. This means they are big enough to stand up for themselves while they establish a pecking order. Keep an eye on them when you initially mix them as it can take several days for the birds to settle in.
What age will my chickens start laying?
Most chickens begin laying around 20-22 weeks old, however, you may find that if your pure breeds are coming to that age around September/ October when the laying season naturally dies down and therefore they will wait until the following Spring to begin laying.
What can I use to treat mites in the sheds?
We find that the most affective treatment of red mites is hydrated lime, we sell this in the shop, this can be placed on the perches and in the cracks of the shed as it is very fine. The lime sucks the life out of the mites. We recommend that you temporarily move the chickens out of the residence while this process is happening. When you are satisfied that the mites are dead clean the coop out again and introduce bedding leaving a sprinkle of lime on the ends of the perches. THey also can then be further supported with our mite rescue remedy to support them in refeathering after an attack.
What is the best way to worm my chickens?
We find the most effective way of treating worm burden is by using Flubenvet layers pellets. They need to be fed this solely for a week, twice a year, in order for it to work effectively. You can continue to eat or hatch the eggs during the worming process. Worming is hugely important as worms can have a profound affect on a chickens health.
Is there anything else I can provide my poultry with?
We sell numerous poultry products in our shop, (please ask for more details). We add cider vinegar to the water of our birds for at least three days a week, this is great for helping to fight any underlying infections, it also helps birds re-feather after a moult, aids digestion and is a natural wormer (birds still need worming twice a year). We also introduce seaweed vitamins for a whole week once a month, both products we supply.
Can you keep ducks with chickens?
You can, but it is something that we wouldn’t suggest, as ducks are a lot messier than chickens and mean that the water, bedding and run is a lot messier for the hens - which doesn’t impress them. They can run free range together of course but we would suggest separate housing facilities for them.
What is the best bedding for my chickens?
At Plas Poultry & Farm Toys we use shavings on the floors of our chicken houses and then straw in the nest boxes. We find that this is the most hygienic for the hens as the shavings dry up any mess and the straw encourages laying. Both of these items can be purchased in our shop to help get you set up.