Feedback good or bad is always appreciated.

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


Many thanks, Richard

54 Comments on “Down the Lane Feedback”

By Kate Gaunt. October 25th, 2008 at 7:07 pm

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.

By Ben. October 25th, 2008 at 11:18 pm

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.

By daniel. October 29th, 2008 at 3:46 pm

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.

By Richard. October 29th, 2008 at 4:17 pm


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

By nikki p. December 2nd, 2008 at 2:10 pm

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??

By Leanne. December 6th, 2008 at 11:45 pm

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.

By Connor. February 3rd, 2009 at 4:41 pm

You have a spelling mistake in the second fact up! You put his rather than this… Oh, fantastic facts! Mega help with my HLP!

By anna & andy fox. March 2nd, 2009 at 10:09 am

Hi we are currently looking to get some rescue chickens from yourself, but it will not let me send an e-mail as i cant find my server details. Could you pls contact me, so we can come and get some, we have 2 already and would like to get somemore. Thanks

By Simon Laman. March 13th, 2009 at 1:21 pm

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.

By mad mark. March 16th, 2009 at 1:31 pm

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

By Liz. March 28th, 2009 at 7:14 pm

Thanks so much for hosting such a great site. My partner and I have just bought 4 ex-bat chickens (the best Β£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.

By yamaha service manual. March 29th, 2009 at 9:17 pm

Interesting article, i have bookmarked your site for future referrence πŸ™‚

By Gardening. April 2nd, 2009 at 8:09 pm

Thans for giviving me valueble information about gardening

By trever blankenship. April 21st, 2009 at 12:43 am

I love your story I’m really excited to start raising chickens thank you

By lwalls. April 27th, 2009 at 10:38 am

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

By John McCann. May 8th, 2009 at 3:43 pm

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

By martin. May 18th, 2009 at 9:29 pm

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.

By Becky M. May 31st, 2009 at 9:48 am

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.

By Sharon. June 7th, 2009 at 9:17 am

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.

By denise. July 7th, 2009 at 8:01 pm

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

By Louisa. August 16th, 2009 at 9:41 am

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.


By Richard. August 16th, 2009 at 10:46 pm

I thank you and all others who kindly leave feedback.

Cheers, Richard

By Andrew Milne. August 17th, 2009 at 7:11 pm

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???

By Graham W. September 1st, 2009 at 2:55 pm

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.

By JM Axford. November 27th, 2009 at 7:36 pm

Hello Richard,
Could you help me to locate places in the U.S. to find battery chickens?
I looked online and could not find one site where this is possible.
Thank you.

By ananoushka. December 14th, 2009 at 10:03 am

How do you post an enquiry on the Forum? There doesn’t seem to be an obvious ” add a new post” link

Thank you

By Catherine. February 1st, 2010 at 11:27 pm

I keep rescue hens, I found your site whilst looking for a laying box. I found a lot more and found myself reading many articles..very interesting site, good work. Top bloke

By Stuart. February 2nd, 2010 at 9:43 am

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??

By jazzyjeph. February 9th, 2010 at 3:17 pm

Hi just wanted to say what a nice website you have, I have bookmarked it and will return often, thanks.

By knollgardener. February 28th, 2010 at 8:38 pm

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.

By Mike. April 7th, 2010 at 7:41 am

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.

By ASEWE. August 18th, 2010 at 1:31 pm

I wish you had a place for news letter subscription I woulsd have. This are good lesson will frequent visit send me a link on my mail

By george. March 2nd, 2011 at 1:57 pm

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.

By lynsey. June 9th, 2011 at 11:23 am

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

By Penny. August 23rd, 2011 at 8:21 am

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

By Doug. December 12th, 2011 at 7:39 am

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

By David R. Cowan. May 30th, 2012 at 9:14 pm

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

By David C. De la Garza. September 1st, 2012 at 11:04 am

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!


By Richard. September 1st, 2012 at 2:38 pm

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

By Peter Johnson, MD. December 30th, 2012 at 6:09 pm

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.


By Bob linford. September 8th, 2013 at 2:56 pm

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

By Richard. September 8th, 2013 at 4:55 pm

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

By bob. September 21st, 2013 at 12:28 pm

hi Richard just started keeping chickens(4)your site is helpful to us beginners please keep up the good work thank you

By Fleur. January 21st, 2014 at 2:44 pm

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.

By Jeff. March 24th, 2014 at 4:08 pm

Loved your section on British blues. The 60’s were a fantastic proving ground for music, paving way for 70’s rock and prog rock that really became fantastic. It was good to see John Mayall listed. He was such a great musician.

By Richard. March 24th, 2014 at 7:23 pm

Hi Jeff,

Many thanks for the comments – no one beat John Mayall and what a Father of Blues in GB, along with Chris Barber.


By Mary Lewis. June 26th, 2015 at 10:55 am

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.

By Richard. June 28th, 2015 at 3:16 pm


Although not specifically for Breeders, fill in some details on the Breeders Listings Submit form and I’ll put it on the Pembrokeshire page for you (free). Cheers, Richard

By Terri Jones. October 3rd, 2015 at 11:05 am

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 πŸ™‚

By Richard. October 3rd, 2015 at 1:14 pm

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?” πŸ™‚ But you’re right, as much as we’d like to have perfect all our own teeth, none is better than half ! Richard

By Peter. April 5th, 2016 at 3:30 pm

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.

By Richard. April 5th, 2016 at 6:26 pm

Sorry, dyslexia rules !! I will edit.What’s the url, there are a few Hedgehog pages ?

By Ann Haywood. April 5th, 2016 at 4:38 pm

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

By Richard. April 5th, 2016 at 6:25 pm

Hi Ann – Have done, don’t recall you asking for it to be removed. Many thanks

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