Friday, 10 March 2017

The Classic Duck House - A Photo Tour

When it comes to a home in the country, ducks look for decidedly different things than their chickens chums, which is why when purchasing a home for your ducks, it's important to get a home suited for them.

Flyte so Fancy Duck houses are built from our tanalised treated Scandinavian redwood, all the fixtures and fittings are galvanised steel making them robust and long lasting and all have been designed with the needs of ducks in mind

The Classic Duck house is one of our most popular duck houses for first time duck keepers and established flocks alike. Suitable for up to six ducks (Indian-Runner sized), the duck house has all the essential features for keeping your ducks healthy and their home hygienic. 

Timber Duck Houses Made in the UK
Large Access Door on the Classic Duck House
Ducks stand more upright than chickens, as such they need a larger door to get through. The Classic Duck house comes with a large pop-hole opening, and the door to the duck house folds down like a drawbridge, to provide an easy to navigate ramp for your ducks (most ducks don't do climbing or steep slopes). 

Timber Duck Housing
Easily Removable Side Panel for Cleaning
Ducks are messy. They like to make a mess, they don't mind a mess and if they can take a small puddle and turn it into a quagmire they will. As such being able to clean the duck house out properly is important. The Classic Duck house comes with a fully removable side panel, so when it comes to cleaning you can get right inside the duck house to clean every corner

Duck and Goose Houses - Flyte so Fancy
Ventilation in the Roof Apex and Side Window
As mentioned just above, ducks are messy. Due to this their home needs ventilation. Ducks don't perch; they sleep, poo and lay their eggs all inside the house. As such they need plenty of floor space and they need a thick layer of bedding to snuggle down in to. However all this messiness means duck housing requires top ventilation and the Classic Duck House (along with ventilation in the apex of the roof) also has a large ventilation window in the side panel; complete with sliding cover allowing you to open as you please. 

Made in the UK
Small Classic Duck House
The Classic Duck house is the ideal home for a flock of ducks, spacious with plenty of ventilation, to keep ducks in a healthy and hygienic house, with added rustic charm. 

If you have any questions about our Flyte so Fancy Duck Houses leave a comment below or call us on 01300 345229 to speak to a member of the Flyte so Fancy team; always happy to help. 


Thanks for Reading
James

Friday, 3 March 2017

A Photo Tour of the Maggie's 24 Hen House

One of our most popular hen houses since the workshop first nailed two boards together; the Maggie's Hen House range has everything you need to keep your hens happy and healthy. Coming with external nest boxes for easy egg retrieval, removable dirt trays for easy cleaning and a classic design that makes it easy on the eye, the Maggie's Hen House is ideal for first time poultry keepers and established flocks alike.

It even comes with an option for when your love of hens becomes so much you start to wonder where you are going to keep them all. The Maggie's 24 Hen House. A substantial and robust hen house, for large flocks has everything that hens need to live in spacious luxury. This week's Flyte so Fancy Chicken Blog is a photo tour of the Maggie's 24 Hen House and its many features.

Chicken Coop Perches - Maggie's 24 Hen House
Racked Perches in the Maggie 24 Hen House
Starting inside the hen house, the Maggie's 24 comes with a set of four raked perches providing plenty of room for each and every hen to roost in comfort. The hen house comes with ventilation in the apex of the roof, however there is also additional ventilation from a side window with a sliding cover allowing you to provide extra air during warmer weather and keeping the hen house fresher and more hygienic.

Flyte so Fancy Maggie's 24 Hen House
Maggie's 24 Nestbox
The Maggie's 24 come with a large external nestbox. Dividers in the nest box provide three cosy dark areas for your hens to settle down in. The lift up lid of the nestbox then allows you to collect your eggs with ease.

Removable Dirt Tray for Hen Houses
Removable Dirt Tray
 The removable dirt tray can be accessed from outside the coop via a sliding panel. You can then take the dirt tray directly to your compost heap to get rid of your used bedding; making cleaning that much easier.

Timber Hen Houses Made in the UK
Maggie's 24 Hen House
 The Maggie's 24 Hen House is a large hen house for larger flocks. It's many labour saving features and easy access for cleaning make it a simple and easy to use hen house for poultry keepers. The additional option of adding an automatic door opener, to save you early mornings to let the hens out.

If you have any questions about the Maggie's 24 Hen House why not leave a comment below or contact us on 01300 345229 to speak to a member of the Flyte so Fancy team.


Thanks for Reading
James

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Jobs to Do Before the Avian Flu Restrictions are Relaxed

If you are lucky enough to live in an area where the Avian Flu restrictions are going to be relaxed after the 28th February then you are probably excited to see your chickens out and about once more. However before you let them run free, there are a few jobs you need to take in hand.

Firstly (and most importantly) are you able to let your hens out or are you still within one of the remaining prevention zones? Check the interactive DEFRA map to see if, come February 28th, your hens are allowed out and what remaining restrictions may apply.

Avian Flu Restrictions & DEFRA
Silver Spangled Hamburg
However, there are still jobs to be done around the hen house, especially after all of our hens have been cooped up for just over two months.

  1. Kill Vermin - With all our hens having been contained for so long the chances of rats and mice being attracted to feeders and spilt feed around your run may have increased. The best solution is to get rid of them. Properly positioned lockable bait boxes are the way forward, keeping wild birds, pets and children safe while disposing of rats and mice. Equally tidying up any loose feed and around feeders (where hens can make a mess) will help deter any further vermin problems. 
  2. Treat the Ground - Even in covered runs the ground is possibly beginning to look "fowl sick" after such an intensive couple of months. If letting your hens out into a wider area remove any obvious signs of possible contaminant, then treat the ground with a Ground Sanitising Powder or Virkon-S Disinfectant. This will not only safely guard against Avian Flu, but also aid in more common poultry problems, such as worms. 
  3. Cleaning the Hen House - Similar to treating your poultry run or outside area, your chicken coop will need some maintenance and a thorough deep clean. It is easy when the hens are contained to allow the hen house to get into a bit of a state, but liquid cleaners and Flyte Coop and Run Sanitising Powder should be used to make sure that every nook and cranny of your hen house is clean and hygienic for your hens. 
  4. Feeders & Drinkers - You hens may be heading back outside, however, their feeders and drinkers need to remain covered and out of the way of attracting wild birds. Putting them inside a shelter or under a covered area within a run will help prevent contamination from wild bird faeces or direct contact. 
The last point is to double, triple and quadruple check the interactive map regarding what restrictions may be being lifted, or remaining in place, in your area. Some areas will still have the Avian Flu restrictions in place, so make sure you understand what your hens are allowed to do. The fines for not following the rules remain in place.

If you are and your chickens are still restricted by the regulations then read our previous blog entry, 6 Top Tips for Surviving Bird Flu, to help you and your hens until the restrictions are lifted. 

If you have any questions why not leave a comment below, or call us on 01300 345229 to speak to a member of the Flyte so Fancy team. 


Thanks for Reading
James

Friday, 10 February 2017

Plans to Relax the UK’s Avian Flu Housing Restrictions

After 28th February keeping your poultry housed will no longer be mandatory and only if your birds are located outside The High Risk Areas.

With the Bird Flu Prevention Zone Measures due to expire on 28th February and the need for clarification regarding the UK’s Free-Range bird status, DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) have recently issued their proposals to lift the housing order from the end of February in some areas.

Flyte so Fancy Chicken Blog
Stepping out
As poultry keepers ourselves we understand that the welfare of your flock is a priority and this is the news that all of our bored poultry have been waiting to hear! But wait. There are some preparations you need to make.

1.  Search the DEFRA Avian Flu Risk map

To identify the risk of Avian Flu to your flock, DEFRA have created an interactive map which defines the Higher Risk Areas in England See the Interactive Map here to find out if you fall within any restriction zones imposed by DEFRA.

2.  Identify the risk to your flock

The Protection Zone : Controls imposed if you are within a 3km radius exclusion zone around premises affected by confirmed cases of H5N8.
A Surveillance Zone : Restrictions imposed due to being within a10km radius of an affected premises.
Proposed Higher Risk Areas : Generally, these are areas which are near where wild birds (and in particular gulls and wild waterfowl) gather, such as lakes, marshes or estuaries; they include areas where cases of the avian flu H5N8 virus has been found.
Not currently in a Higher Risk Area? : Keep a check on the map as updates may mean that the areas change as new information gets recorded.

3. Choose a housing option most suited to you and your circumstances

Having ascertained which area or zone your flock falls, then all keepers of poultry and captive birds will also need to adopt one of the following three methods of separating their birds from wild birds and in particular from wild waterfowl:

a) Housing: Open to all areas of England / All zones. 
Although it is likely to provide the best protection for your birds from Avian Flu, keeping poultry housed will no longer be mandatory from 28th February. If you continue to keep your birds housed in temporary or permanent accommodation, then bird welfare must be monitored and suitable steps taken to ensure that the environment is suitably enriched –see our earlier blog 6 Top Tips to help your hens survive Bird FluContinued confinement is likely to affect your ‘free-range’ marketing status.

b) Total netting / aviaries / covered runs: Open to all areas of England / All Zones 
Allowing birds outdoors but only into a fenced run which is fully covered. Many of us have favoured this option throughout the Prevention Zone restrictions, keeping our flock separate from wild birds whilst maintaining room to scratch about and avoid boredom. If you have made do with a temporary structure and you are now considering erecting a more permanent solution, see our Poultry Protection Pens for secure and safe poultry runs.

c) Supervised access to enclosed outdoor areas: Only available after 28th February to areas outside the ‘Higher Risk Areas’ after a risk assessment.


There are some restrictions and to take advantage of this option, keepers will need to meet certain conditions. 
  • Areas must be made unattractive to wild birds, for example ponds have been netted, wild bird food sources removed
  • Action must be taken to reduce any existing contamination, such as cleansing and disinfecting concrete areas, ensure wet/boggy areas are fenced off
  • Assessments must be made of the risk of birds coming into contact with wild birds or contamination from them.
  • You will need to make sure that outside areas (ranges) are fully fenced and that birds are not allowed to roam outside this fenced area.  This area must not include ponds or other areas of standing water.
  • Where possible, you should not allow domestic ducks or geese to range alongside other types of poultry.  
To see the full measures, see Annex 4 of DEFRA's Planned controls in England from 28 February 2017 here. Anyone planning to allow their birds outdoors from 28 February should begin to prepare now.  

Flyte so Fancy Electric Fencing for Chickens
Electric Fencing is ideal for separating and containing poultry

4. Maintain bio security measures

Irrespective of the number of birds or how they are kept, keepers of poultry and other captive birds must adopt these bio security measures at all times.
  • Take all reasonable precautions to avoid the transfer of contamination between premises, including cleansing and disinfection of paths, equipment, vehicles and footwear, See our DEFRA approved product range of disinfectants here 
  • Reduce the movement of people, vehicles or equipment to and from areas where poultry or captive birds are kept; 
  • Ensure feed, water and bedding has not been contaminated by or been in contact with wild birds and in particular gulls and waterfowl; 
  • Implement effective vermin control where poultry or captive birds are kept. See our range of baits and bait boxes here
  • Records must be kept of all vehicles and people that enter the part of a premises where poultry are kept. For sites with over 50 birds, foot dips containing a Defra-approved disinfectant should be used on entry and exit to both houses and outdoor areas/range where the birds are kept.
These measures will provisionally remain in place until the end of April 2017. This approach remains under review and is subject to change, with a final decision being confirmed at the end of February 2017.

If you have any questions why not leave a comment below or phone the FSF Team on 01300 345229. For the most up to date information and downloadable PDF copy of DEFRA's Planned controls in England from 28 February 2017 or for or keepers with over 1,000 birds visit website https://www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu#planned-controls-in-england-from-28-february-2017


Thanks for Reading
James

Monday, 30 January 2017

A Photo Tour of the Flyte Aviary 8 Chicken Coop

The Flyte Aviary 8 was designed a few years ago by the Flyte so Fancy workshop to fulfill the needs of a certain group of poultry keepers. Those with unused corners in the garden, or confined by limited in space, in which to keep their chickens.

The Flyte Aviary 8 is so jam-packed with ways to make poultry keeping quick and simple, that this week's Flyte so Fancy Chicken Blog, is a photo blog, highlighting the many clever design features of the hen house.

Flyte so Fancy Chicken Coops

All the access on an Aviary hen house is one side, for both the house and run. This makes the hen house ideal for placing in those dead space corners of the garden, or pushed up against fences and hedgerows. Access into the run is possible through a large door and there is a secondary smaller run door to give entry to the area underneath the raised house.

Easy to clean hen houses

The Aviary hen house comes with a raised living area. Inside the ventilated house area, there are a double rack of raised perches for your hens to sleep on. The whole floor of the hen house doubles as a removable dirt tray, while the large double doors provides full access into the coop, allowing for simple and easy cleaning. The floor is made from resin coated board (as is the roof) making it waterproof, so you can turn the hose on it for washing it off. The large external nestbox provides room for a couple of hens to lay at a time.

Wooden Chicken Coops

One of the most unique features of the Aviary Hen House is its rack of raised day perches. Running the width of the run, they provide somewhere for chickens to perch during the day, doze in the sunshine and have a chat with their chicken buddies. The raised day perches also means that no space is lost on the floor of the coop. Providing a multi-tiered home for your hens.

The Flyte Aviary Hen House is a cleverly designed chicken coop for hen keepers with a paucity of space in their back gardens. Its unique features make it easy to keep and clean, while also being a happy and healthy home for hens.

If you have any questions about the Flyte Aviary you can leave a comment below or call us on 01300 345229 to speak to a member of the Flyte so Fancy team.


Thanks for Reading
James

Saturday, 21 January 2017

3 Great Poultry Tonics for Chicken Winter Blues

When I started writing this blog at the beginning of the week it was a drab, drizzly, dreary Dorset day. But today it is one of those crisp, winter days where your breathe fogs in front of your face and the countryside glistens with a million tiny ice crystals. Cold weather to warm weather, from grey skies to blue skies, makes tough times for our hens in these depths of winter.

Flyte so Fancy Poultry Supplies
FSF Chickens
With all this cold weather your hens may need a boost to help them through the cold and wet winter. This week's Blog look at three of our best Poultry Tonics for helping your hens through colds, keeping their feathers shiny or for general health and well-being.

  1. Oreganico Poultry Tonic 
    A natural solution of Oregano oils vital for boosting your birds immune system. Its anti-microbial and anti-oxidant properties make it great for dealing with chickens colds and sneezes, prevalent at this time of year in chickens and their owners.
    Oreganico Poultry Tonic is incredibly economic, a few drops per litre of water is all that is required for helping combat diseases like Avian Flu, Blackhead, Coccidiosis and more.  
  2. Agrivite Chicken Lickin Enhance Tonic
    An intensive calcium and vitamin D3 liquid supplement for aiding bone strength, egg shell quality and to support feathering. The Vitamin D3 enables the body to absorb the calcium. if your hen is laying weak shelled eggs then Enhance Tonic will help re-stock your hen's calcium levels, thereby solving the issue of weak shelled eggs.
    5ml of Enhance Tonic should be added to each litre of water daily, for a period of one week, to top up your hen's calcium levels. After which the tonic can be given once a week. Effects of the tonic will not be seen immediately, but require time for the tonic to take effect.  
  3. Net-tex Vit-Boost Tonic with added Seaweed
    A complete vitamin and mineral tonic for all birds for maintaining health and well being all year round. The added seaweed aids in the absorption of the many vitamins and minerals, as well as improving yolk colouring. This is a good tonic to give to a hen after a period of stress, to aid in their recovery.
    Add 5ml to 4.5 litres of drinking water for a general tonic. At times of greater stress, add 5ml to a litre of water, to help boost the bird's health.
Winter can be a difficult time for hens. Shorter daylight hours, cold, frosty days and general coughs and sneezes can be a problem; however, these three tonics work incredibly well as general and specific tonics, to keep your hens happy and healthy this winter.

If you have any questions about the best sort of tonics for your hens, why not leave a comment below or call us on 01300 345229, to speak to a member of the Flyte so Fancy team.


Thanks for Reading
James

Friday, 13 January 2017

5 Great Features of the Flyte so Fancy Protection Pens

Whether it is for keeping your hens off the vegetable patch or ensuring they stay safe from marauding foxes, the Flyte so Fancy Protection Pen, provides a secure, walk in run, for your hens to get about the busy work of being a chicken, in peace and quiet.

Walk In Runs for Chickens
Flyte so Fancy Protection Pen
With orders for Protection Pens flying in, this week's Flyte so Fancy Chicken Blog has a look at why they are ideal for so many poultry keepers (and why they are perfect for current Avian Flu restrictions too). 
Flyte so Fancy Protection Pens for Poultry
19 Gauge Weldmest is used on all our runs & pens
  1. SIZE - A strange one to start on perhaps, but as a 6ft 2" poultry keeper, being able to actually stand up right in a poultry run, is a real bonus. The maximum height of the Protection Pen stands at 6ft 6" means you can nip in and out of your run for topping up feed or spending time with your hens, without getting on your hands and knees. 
  2. SPACE - The large spacious area, gives plenty of room for placing perches, activity centres, feeders, drinkers and other things to keep chickens entertained, as they scratch about. 
  3. LENGTH - Not all gardens are the same size and we don't all have the same amount of room for our hens. starting at 9ft long, the protection pens can be increased in 3ft increments, to a maximum length of 24ft, meaning the Protection pen can match any garden size. 
  4. TIMBERS - The framing of the entire Protection Pen is made from sturdy 38 x 38 pressure treated timbers. Once screwed together this framework gives an incredibly sturdy but lightweight structure, strong enough to keep predators out and your girls safe. 
  5. WELDMESH - All of the framework of our Protection Pens is stapled in place with 19 gauge, inch by half inch galvanised weldmesh, so strong you can't bend it with your fingers. This is then covered with a plastic green coating, making the pen un-obtrusive in the surroundings of your garden. 
The Flyte so Fancy Protection Pens can also arrive with helpful additions, such as;
  • Polycarbonate Roofing to keep your hens out of the rain, sleet, snow, and any other weather that can be thrown at us. Fitted by the workshop, if ordered at the same time, the Protection Pen arrives with the roofing already installed. 
  • Handles. For Pens up to 9 x 15, helpful handles can be added to each corner, making it possible for the pen to be lifted and moved to a fresh patch of grass. 
  • Rainshades. If you don't want to cover the whole run roof, but still want to afford your hens some shelter, then our extra large removable Rainshades are ideal. Held in place in each corner by strong bungee ties, the Rainshades offer both shade in the summer and a dry spot from the rain in the winter.
Avian Flu - Regarding the current restrictions imposed by DEFRA, Flyte so Fancy Protection Pens fall within the restrictions of having your birds "inside" if the roof is covered by polycarbonate roofing or a tarpaulin. The welmesh used is small enough to prevent wild birds getting at your hens and as such allows your hens the freedom of "outside" while remaining safe. 

If you have any questions regarding our Protection Pens for Poultry why not leave a comment below, or call us on 01300 345229 to speak to a member of the Flyte so Fancy team. 


Thanks for Reading
James