Feedback good or bad is always appreciated.

Please leave your comments in ‘Leave a reply’ below.


Many thanks, Richard

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  1. I think this forum is full of friendly helpful people who are ready to consider other’s point of view, learn from each other and have a laugh togehter as well.
    I don’t know who ‘concerned’ is, or exactly what they are concerned about. I would say that they are definitely a minority.
    But everyone is entitled to their own opinion, even if it is abusive and unfriendly.

  2. At least the forum members can spell.
    I think Richard does a good job with his site, he has been a star campaigning against battery farming and gives up much of his time doing this website.
    But we all know who you are anyway and would expect those comments.

  3. Hi, I think your website is really useful and well laid out. Although, I do have one negative point. I don’t think it is wise for you to publish photos and publicly give the green light to steeling trays from Tesco, as they clearly have printed on them, they are Tesco property. I would hate for someone to report this and have your website closed down. I am new to keeping chickens and this is website is by far, the easiest to navigate and understand.

  4. Hi,

    Thanks for that, I had to think about where that could be as I usually say either ask or find in skip.
    But I think I’ve found it and reworded it so there’s no ‘intent!!’

    I get mine from the Cricket Club where, even though asking Suppliers to pick them up on countless occasions, there are literally hundreds gathering weeds!

    It’s a bit similar to Pallets. Legally you’re not supposed to take any from anywhere, but look how they are discarded and left to rot in a most environmentially unfriendly manner!

    Thanks, Richard

    Good point, thanks, Richard

  5. Wow, What a Welcolm many many thanks to you all. It has taken me this long to find all these lovely welcolm’s im not that quick on this thing, still alot of learning. It look’s a great web site to be involved in and I love all your pic’s, i have many i wish to show too. I’ll give it a go??

  6. I live in Australia and over the past ten years have kept chickens. I have two stories given to me from elderly people.

    I recently went to the local auctions to purchase some red chickens. An old man came up to and was commenting on my purchase. I mentioned it was a shame transporting them means they stop laying for a while…
    He told me to go to a local horse stock shop and to purchase some malasis they sell for horses. As this would have them laying again very quickly.
    At the horse food shop I told the young man why i was purchasing the malasis and he told me to add a cup full to their drinking water, so with a nine litre bucket of water i added just a cup full. I also put out a bowl of plan water to my dismay the chicken went for the water with malasis in it and left the plan water alone, the following day the children i collected five eggs. I have ten hens.

    I also went to purchase a good cover feed container from my local pet shop. We got talking and the man and lady mentioned a story of another old man that was a regular customer of theirs. He purchased rabbit pallets by mistake. I thought what the hell id feed them anyway. He said they were the best eggs his chickens had ever layed. Bright orange yolk. More tastier then ever before. So now he mixes both a bag of laying pallets to a bag of rabbit pallets. So i also purchased a bag of rabbit pallets to give it a go, scempticle to the story just told i purchased half a kilo and mix it with the laying pallet of 20 kilo bag. Next time i go their i plan to purchase a bag of each.

  7. I thought I would alert you to our next two lectures:

    Earthwatch Lecture – Forests and Climate Change
    Thursday 26th March, 7.00pm-8.30pm at the Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR

    Our forests, home to an extraordinary range of biodiversity, and arguably one of our greatest safeguards against climate change, continue to be depleted at an alarming rate. How can we set about securing their future?

    Chaired by explorer Paul Rose, the speakers are Dr. Mika Peck of the University of Sussex (Climate Change, Canopies, and Wildlife in Ecuador), and Dr. Dan Bebber, Head of Climate Change Research, Earthwatch (The Footprint in the Forest).


    Ticket only – free to students and current Earthwatch donors; otherwise a donation will be requested on the door.

    For tickets and more information contact our Events Department on (01865) 318856;

    Earthwatch Lecture – Conserving Biodiversity in the Americas
    Thursday 7th May, 7.00pm-8.30pm at the Royal Geographical Society, 1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR
    Speakers: Dr. Richard Bodmer (Durrell Institute of Conservation & Ecology, and the Wildlife Conservation Society) & Dr. Kathleen Sullivan Sealey (University of Miami). Chaired by explorer, writer and TV presenter Dr. George McGavin.

    The very fact that the Amazon and the Caribbean are such attractive locations renders them all the more vulnerable to over-exploitation. Hear how Earthwatch scientists are addressing this issue in the Peruvian Amazon and on the coasts of the Bahamas.


    Ticket only – free to students and current Earthwatch donors; otherwise a donation will be requested on the door.

    For tickets and more information contact our Events Department on (01865) 318856;

    I would be very grateful if you could circulate details to colleagues and contacts.

  8. Thanks for the site absolutely practical and helpful in so many ways. I have read so much on keeping chickens yet this site is so down to earth and not over the top as many sites are, thanks. I got my four chickens yesterday and my young 8 year old daughter and I were up at 6.30 checking them out. I just need to finish the run off tonight as its only four foot high so I need to put a lid on it. It is six foot by 12 foot so should be enough to keep them happy I hope. Thanks again Mark Street Derbyshire

  9. Thanks so much for hosting such a great site. My partner and I have just bought 4 ex-bat chickens (the best £16 I have ever spent) and after the second day of letting them roam around my garden (and house much to my new kittens terror!) I can honestly say that I have never been happier! We plan to raise our first vegetables this year and for the first time in our consumer filled lives are actively recycling and the kids play more with the chickens than they do their games consoles (long may it last!) Good luck to anyone thinking of doing it.

  10. Hi all i`m a newbie to this web site and its great a lot of usefull tips,i have 4 chickens, 2 are recent additions there is a bit of bullying going on,so i have to keep an eye on them,the gardening info is good too, this year i seem to be growing veg for the girls and not what we like, its great to have the chooks around and the neighbours think i`m batty as i sit in the run with the girls and chat away to them, never thought i would become a chicken whispherer

  11. Hi
    Comments on paper logs:
    I have experimented with several methods over the last few months. Now Summer is here, I intend having about 500 for the winter.
    All newspaper:- too dense and bad burners. They tend to just smoulder.
    All shredded paper:- Ok but they expand when drying and get flimsy. Burn a bit quick.
    However, lay strips of newspaper all arounf the logmaker, with some hanging over the top. One or two layers max. Fill with shredded paper (80gm typing paper is best and soak for 2 days minimum) Fill it, cover newspaper over the top; press and leave to dry. Very good burner and gives heat. Best used during later part of evening when logs have settled to a glow. 3 or four on top will last an hour and save lots of logs.
    I am trying adding some wet sawdust into the shredded, saved from logcutting. Hope to report further when I try them

  12. Great site. I stumbled across it by mistake whilst looking for motorbike studd and spent 2 hrs reading all about you and your hobbies and life! Keep up the good work and I love reading your diaries.
    You certainly put life back into perspective.

  13. Your site is fantastic and I just wanted to say thank you for providing such wonderful information. You must have put such a lot of hard work into the content, it’s clear to me that you really do love your chickens.

  14. Wow! what a fantastic website, We’ve got 5 hens & two children, who fight to collect to the eggs every day, my daughter loves reading all about them so this is a perfect friendly site for her to get information, thanks very much for providing us with this, keep up the good work sharon.

  15. I have got everything ready for two ducks and two chickens. I like the Indian Runner ducks but I dont know which chickens to buy. I want good layers. can any one advise me on a good choice. thanks

  16. Hi Richard
    I have just found your site via a reccomendation on the Birmingham History Forum and I am amazed at the varied and interesting topics, advice and contibutions from others on the site and forum.

    I am going to savour going through all the memories of the 50’s & 60’s when I was growing up and yes I still practice many of the frugal ways I grew up with and try not to waste time, effort,money, food etc. I have tried to pass these values on to my children too.

    Thank you for all the effort you have put into making this interesting and informative website possible.


  17. i am 14 and i ave just got 3 hens and a cock and i will soon be adding to my collection! ive have read alot of useful information on ur site an i am grateful to you. i was just wondering is the egg grit essential???

  18. Thankyou for this web site, Richard. It’s made a huge difference in my quest for Frugality. To be able to learn so much from someone who’s been there, done that, got the tee-shirt has been a huge benefit to me. I am also thoroughly enjoying the forum and being able to interact with other frugally-minded people and share hints, tips and mishaps! Hat’s off, and look forward to getting to know you all better. Best, Graham.

  19. Love this site and would really like to sign up, contribute, chat, annoy someone maybe, BUT – I can’t sign in!! All is well until I arrive at the “Confirm Code” arae. I have tried about 10 times but I am always told I have entered it incorrectly. Now, I have be having senior moments laft and right but surely I’d get it right once? Any trick to sorting this one out??

  20. A very inspirational site; has given me loads of good information about downshifting. Not an easy lifestyle to achieve and maintain. I would take my hat off to you, but don`t wear one as a female, lol. Wishing you a happy life and successful continuation of your site.

  21. Great site Richard, brings us back down to earth and makes us remember what really matters (not the falseness of consumerism). We are about to take the plunge ourselves after redundancy a year ago (got another pressurised job immediately but the process makes you re-evaluate what is important). So we are downshifting to a smaller house in wiltshire to be mortgage free and will be looking for less demanding jobs to return the balance to our lives. Your site has been very inspirational, thankyou.

  22. Fantastic sight. I too am a victum of ageism and downsizing. Now live on small farm,wife City Gal, loves it, except she is still afraid of the bears and coyotees. I forgot what values were chasing $ as we all have done. I am at peace and at home once again, your site is so inspirational, thank you.

  23. i’m so glad i found this site, just getting chickens and needed some help thank you your site as been so helpful i will be visiting it again thanks again ….lynsey

  24. Thank you so much for some sensible information. İ live in Turkey and have never kept chickens before – now we have about 60 of mixed varieties. Far too many İ know!!! Your site has reassured me that İ am doing most things right

  25. Hi Richard,
    I confess I have been lurking around and enjoying your site for a very long time. Watching it develop in such an excellent way has been an inspiration.
    My own experience is certainly not similar to yours but you have inspired me to offer my own wisdom on a kind of parallel topic. The result is that I have just begun a modest blog – – in which I have included a link to Down the Lane. Hope that’s OK?
    Your new blog is good too – I wish I was 60 again!
    Best wishes, Doug

  26. Richard,
    My website and my book (Ley Lines and Earth Energies” give a comprehensive account of my 3,000 mile walk across Scotland (over eight years) following the ley lines with divining rods.

    This is the first time in modern history that this knowledge has been given to the public.

    Best Wishes,
    David R. Cowan

  27. Hello Richard–
    I found your website on google while searching for UXB in WWI battlefields. Excellent work. I have been exploring your site and hope to visit Ypres someday soon and tour the battlefields. My wife and I had the pleasure of visiting London, Normandy and Paris eight years ago and we enjoyed our first European visit immensely. Best Wishes!


  28. Hi David,

    Many thanks for your comments, really appreciated. The Battlefields and Cemeteries around Ypres really are staggering, very emotional and very well kept, you’ll enjoy it. I’m off again next Month for a few more days of research.

    Best regards, Richard

  29. Regarding travel to the WWI sites in Flanders:

    I took a cycling vacation there in 2011, stayed at a B&B and was very moved by the astonishing sense of loss. Over the following year, I wrote a novel about the area that links WWI to the present. It is part crime novel but also part travelogue. I also illustrated many of the area’s key sites. You may wish to take a look at it. It is called: “Lark Farm – In Flanders Fields -” and can be seen here (paperback and ebook formats):

    Many thanks and enjoy your travels.


  30. Hi hope someone can help I have kept chickens for just over a year six months ago one started to loose her under feathers then the others also started to loose the same feathers they look ok from out side the coop they have been dusted regular and wormed I have only four girls many thanks bob

  31. Could be the others are bullying her. Also, they sometimes ‘steal’ each others feathers if they’re broody and making a nest. To get more ideas, try either our facebook page or the Forum (link at top of page).You need to register for both, on Forum it is automatically accepted, on facebook you shouldn’t have to wait more than half an hour for someone to accept your request.
    Cheers, Richard

  32. Hi Richard about two years ago I decided to keep chickens and visited your websight on several occasion and learned a lot from you.It was thanks to you that I decided to create fox proof enclosure for my chickens. You were right they are such joy and the lovely eggs are great. I started with 4. I remembered you saying the numbers could grow how right you were. I then bought 6 bantham. I am now an expert in chicken ailment and have 32chickens sixteen of which I hatched myself. Big problem 4 beautiful large young cockerel and one bantham I do not need but I will not hear of killing them. Thank the lord my neightbour is ok with all the cockadododo as I have 5 mature ones crowing.

  33. Hello Richard

    I too gave up a job to move to Pembrokeshire to breed pedigree sheep and cattle at a small farm and run a small B&B. All this, and living in Pembrokeshire, was new to me and my husband.
    I also care for my mum in law.

    I also have done lots of different casual work: it is difficult to get a job which fits in with my other commitments. Pembrokeshire, whilst beautiful and healthy to live in and come for a holiday, is very difficult to earn a living in. This is for both employed or self employed, as many people are either not employed or poorly paid, even when doing a job with responsibilities and skill. The recession ‘did not help’ and some big employers have gone.

    I am starting up again chicken keeping courses, and I am wondering if you had a space to advertise it and/or my B&B.

    I am still looking for ways to earn with the time I have left in the day, after my other jobs!

    Many thanks, and thank you for your website.

  34. Hi Richard – I came across your site after googling hedgehog droppings but got so fascinated by all your other ‘stuff’ that I’ve been wading through it for quite some time now. Your ‘dentures’ blog was really interesting. I had all my teeth out in 1985 when I was 38, due to constant tooth problems. Like you, I had an impression made for dentures to bw fitted in immediately after extraction but – they lost the impression so I had to exist miserably (and like a hermit) for 6 weeks without any teeth – until a new set arrived. Your outlining of the problems was spot on and now – 25 years on – I see others around me paying extortionate prices for dental care and/or having difficulty even finding a dentist and I feel a sense of relief that I’ll never have toothache again. Thank you for sharing – Terri 🙂

  35. Hi Terri – Very many thanks for your comments. The only problem I have is when my daughter shouts down the Garden “Dad, supper’s ready, have you done your teeth?” 🙂 But you’re right, as much as we’d like to have perfect all our own teeth, none is better than half ! Richard

  36. Enjoying the web site, I found it looking for images of what I hope will be hedgehog droppings in our garden. Small point, please sort out all the unnecessary apostrophes. Plurals like “areas” and “ones” don’t need them and detract from the presentation. Thanks.

  37. Hi, please remove my details – The Chicken Lady of Upton Warren – from your site. I no longer breed and I’m getting fed up of phone calls and then people being incredibly rude when I say I don’t sell any more.
    Many thanks
    Ann Haywood

  38. Thank you – we are now very happy that we have hedgehogs in our garden again, after a gap of several years.
    One little point in your comment about owls – as a science teacher – owls are animals, just not mammals. Children learn that birds are a major group of vertebrate animals so they could get a bit confused (I imagine lots of kids look up pictures of animal poos as they tend to find this fascinating)

  39. Hello!

    We are interested in advertising on your website,, on behalf of one of our clients,

    A sponsored post on your blog (with a Do-follow link) or a text ad on your homepage (also with a Do-follow link) would work great for us.

    Please do not reply to this email, if you want work with us, contact me to my personal email:


  40. See email below –

    Hope you can help

    Our tel no is 01458 851 488 – we have clearly been allocated your old no
    We are getting 10 calls a week asking if we are selling chickens – we are not!!!

    See below – all callers are referencing the website

    Please can you delete this ad as it is getting quite annoying being called for chickens……………….

    Avalon Poultry
    Chicken Breeds: Cream Legbar – Variety of Hybrids
    Other Poultry: Muscovy Ducks
    The Haven
    Phone Numbers: 01458 851488
    email address:
    ‘Day olds to POL hens, with the emphasis on chicks. Phone for availability’

    Please can you remove this off your website
    thank you in advance

  41. Hi Richard. So interested to read your efforts. I was looking for the original song which included “cos he were a fool and a gurt big fool, ‘cos he were a fool we all did say” which was part of a pre-war song and eventually came across your site. Born 1927, there’s not many of us left now My dad came from down your part of the country but I’m from the midlands and have been in Aust for a few years now.
    Great stuff, keep up the good work and more power to your elbow. Cheers, Derrick

  42. Hi Richard,
    I don’t know if you have a Facebook account but it may we of interest to you to visit the Facebook site – Memories of Riverhead which I believe you would find interesting as there are a number of articles about Bullfinch Close and other parts of the village.

  43. “Chicken and Poultry Breeders in Surrey…”
    The landline number for White House Farm chicken breeders is disconnected. I think you will find they have closed down.

  44. It looks like you’ve misspelled the word “reccomendation” on your website. I thought you would like to know :). Silly mistakes can ruin your site’s credibility. I’ve used a tool called in the past to keep mistakes off of my website.


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