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Helping You Care For Your Poultry

Hygiene in sheds is important. They need to be cleaned out regularly and treated for red spider mite, lice etc. Perches should be thoroughly sprayed. Jeyes fluid is a good all round disinfectant and special sprays can be obtained for lice etc. Louse powder is available for dusting birds.

Scaly leg is another problem which birds suffer from, especially older birds. They can be treated by rubbing with methylated spirits or paraffin. Grit should be available, even to free range birds, to help with digestion


The Orpington originated in the United Kingdom, it was developed in the nineteenth century by William Cook from the village of Orpington. Croad Langshans, Minorcas, Langshans and Plymouth Rocks were used to create this new breed. The original breeding objective was to come up with a chicken with excellent laying capacities, and this was successful. The first Orpingtons were black, followed at the end of the eighteen eighties by White and Buff. An Orpington from that period did not look the same as the present breed. The modern Orpington can no longer be compared with any breed whatsoever. The Orpington is a big heavy breed with a profusion of rather loose feathers. One of the most frequently bred Orpington varieties is the Buff. This is a beautiful warm light yellow colour, but it can soon fade because of the sun and the rain so it is important to protect the birds with a run with bushes and trees for shade and covered area to shelter them from the rain.


The Welsummer originated from the Netherlands, named after the village of its origin, Welsum on the river IJssel and was a mishmash of “mongrel poultry” and standard breeds, the Orpington, Malay and Brahma are mentioned. In its country of origin, the breed is found only in the red partridge variety, which is considered to be the true colouring. Welsummers are renowned for their beautiful large dark brown speckled eggs. They can be kept in a closed run, but thrive wandering around free, foraging for themselves, gathering most of their own food.

Avian Flu

Following cases of highly pathogenic avian influenza (H5N1) in wild birds in Dorset, on 10 January 2008 a Wild Bird Control Area and a Wild Bird Monitoring Area was declared around the place where disease was confirmed. On 5 March, the Wild Bird Control Area was lifted and as of 27 March the remaining Wild Bird Monitoring Area and associated disease control restrictions, including housing have been lifted. However, all keepers of birds should remain vigilant and practice good biosecurity.

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