Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Outbreak of Bird Flu in the UK - Tips for surviving the Bird Flu Rules

With the first case of Avian Flu confirmed on Thursday last week at a farm in Lincolnshire, tighter restrictions are now in place with all gatherings of poultry and captive birds currently banned in Wales. 

After taking some simple measures from our blog Avian Flu - Advice for Poultry Keepers
and the further advice from Chief Veterinary Officer that bio security should never be compromised. The following is a recap of the measures that should be in place and what to look for if you think your birds are sick.

Mother Hen protecting her chicks from Bird Flu

What you need to know about the Avian Flu restrictions

  1. Outbreaks of H5N8 Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) have been confirmed in poultry and wild birds across Europe and one case in the UK.
  2. The Exclusion zone remains in place until 6th January 2017 and may be renewed if the danger has not passed.
  3. All poultry keepers must keep their birds housed and under-cover to minimise risk of infection from wild birds.
  4. This is a precautionary action to help prevent further outbreaks in the UK.
  5. Increased bio security measures should be in place. This includes disinfecting clothing and footwear before and after entering poultry areas e.g. wear disposable gloves/coveralls and add a footbath outside the run area filled with Virkon S disinfectant
  6. Symptoms to look out for: - Swollen head; neck and throat discolouration; loss of appetite; respiratory distress; diarrhoea. If in doubt, call your vet. 
Boredom Buster for hens
Keep your birds occupied and reduce
boredom during the current Bird Flu
restrictions by providing pecking treats

What to do to help your birds survive the Bird Flu rules

  1. Disinfect house and run weekly. Add a footbath.
  2. Use plenty of absorbent bedding to keep birds dry.
  3. Sprinkle BioDri or Stalosan to absorb moisture and sanitise the house. 
  4. Hang boredom busters and pecking blocks to prevent boredom and feather pecking. 
  5. Put a good layer of wood chip in their run, don’t leave them to scratch around on bare earth.
  6. Create an enclosed area and cover roof with tarpaulin, rainshades or large PVC sheets

Bio-Security footbath
Create a simple footbath using a
tub trug and some Virkon S Disinfectant

Bird Flu - Minimising the risk of infection

We list our 6 top buys to survive the bird flu restrictions

To avoid running out of any poultry essentials over the Christmas period, our last order date for guaranteed pre-Christmas deliveries is Wednesday 21st December - Order by midday to avoid disappointment. We will be continuing to dispatch right up until Friday 23rd December, lunch time and we return to FSF HQ on 3rd January.

Rural Affairs Secretary, Lesley Griffiths is encouraging all poultry keepers, including those with fewer than 50 birds to provide details of their flocks to the Poultry Register so they can be contacted immediately in the event of any further avian flu outbreaks and associated restrictions. See https://www.gov.uk/guidance/poultry-registration for more information on how you can register.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

6 Top Tips To Help Your Hens Survive The Bird Flu Rules

With the news of the Bird Flu Prevention Zone declared by the Government Chief Veterinary Officer, we thought we could help answer some of the questions you might have. 

Mother Hen protecting her chicks from Bird Flu

After taking some simple measures from last week's blog Avian Flu - Advice for Poultry Keepers, here are our top tips to help you and your poultry survive the remaining days of the bird flu bio security requirements.

Bird Flu - What to do

  1. Disinfect house and run weekly. Add a footbath.
  2. Use plenty of absorbent bedding to keep birds dry.
  3. Sprinkle BioDri or Stalosan to absorb moisture and sanitise the house. 
  4. Hang boredom busters and pecking blocks to prevent boredom and feather pecking. 
  5. Put a good layer of wood chip in their run, don’t leave them to scratch around on bare earth.
  6. Create an enclosed area and cover roof with tarpaulin, rainshades or large PVC sheets

Brahama Chickens enjoying treats at Flyte So Fancy
Keep your birds occupied and reduce
boredom during the current Bird Flu
restrictions by providing pecking treats.
Creating a simple footbath for Bird Flu prevention
Create a simple footbath using a
tub trug and some Virkon S Disinfectant

Bird Flu - What to use
Keep your henhouse smelling sweet
You can use Stalosan powder throughout the
hen house to keep it sanitised, sweet smelling
and to absorb excessive moisture

Bird Flu - What you need to know

Including Why the restrictions and for how long? And what to look for.
  1. Outbreaks of H5N8 Avian Influenza (Bird Flu) have been confirmed in poultry and wild birds across Europe. No cases yet in the UK
  2. The Exclusion zone remains in place until 6th January 2017 and may be renewed if the danger has not passed.
  3. All poultry keepers must keep their birds housed and under-cover to minimise risk of infection from wild birds.
  4. This is a precautionary action to help prevent outbreaks in the UK.
  5. Increased bio security measures should be in place. This includes disinfecting clothing and footwear before and after entering poultry areas e.g. wear disposable gloves/coveralls and add a footbath outside the run area filled with Virkon S disinfectant
  6. Symptoms to look out for: - Swollen head; neck and throat discolouration; loss of appetite; respiratory distress; diarrhoea. If in doubt, call your vet.

Symptoms of Avian Flu and further guidance can be found here.  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu#about-avian-influenza

If you have any concerns about the health of your poultry, seek prompt advice from your vet.

For poultry supplies delivered to your door visit our Flyte So Fancy website here http://www.flytesofancy.co.uk/ We are doing our very best to stock everything you need to keep your flock happy and healthy until this risk has passed.  If you need guidance about which products to choose, please do give us a call on 01300 345229.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Avian Flu - Advice for Poultry Keepers

On 6 December 2016 the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) announced an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone to help protect poultry from a highly pathogenic strain of avian flu present in Europe. The zone covers the whole of England and will remain in place for 30 days (until 6 January).  (The Scottish and Welsh governments have also ordered that all poultry and captive birds must be kept indoors).

The zone requires the immediate and compulsory housing of domestic chickens, hens, turkeys and ducks, or where this is not practical, their complete separation from contact with wild birds. For farmed geese, game birds and other captive birds, keepers should take practical steps to keep these birds separate from wild birds.
The avian flu disease can spread from bird to bird by direct contact or through contaminated body fluids and faeces. The main risk of infection is likely to come from wild birds.  DEFRA’s prevention zone is a precautionary measure. DON’T PANIC!  We have created a simple checklist to help answer your most common avian flu concerns:- 

1. Keepers are advised to keep poultry inside.

The advice to keep birds ‘inside’ can mean just keeping your birds confined to their run. If you don’t have a run, you could construct a temporary one from old pallets or similar. The main concern is to ensure that wild birds cannot access the run, so any holes in the fence or wire need to be small. 

If you have a garage or shed that the birds can set up a temporary home in, then this is another favoured temporary housing option. The current restriction is in place for 30 days but it may well be extended.  If you would like to purchase a run, we have many sizes and styles to suit a range of budgets and house styles, most of which are in stock.

2. I already have a run but my birds are not ‘inside’

The best way to prevent droppings from wild birds that might have been exposed to avian flu would be to cover your existing run to essentially create a ‘roof’.  The simplest and most cost effective solution is to use a tarpaulin.  Our large PVC Rainshades with bungee fixings are ideal for this.  A more permanent solution could be to cover the roof with polycarbonate sheets or other lightweight roofing materials.

A tarpaulin is cost effective way to protect your birds

3. What if I have to confine my birds to their house?

The current avian flu restriction applies to all poultry and captive birds, yet for some it just not practical to create a run or move birds to an indoor enclosure.  In this instance, birds will need to be confined to their houses or coops.  More frequent cleaning will help to keep the birds clean and the addition of products such as BioDri Sanitising Powder will help alleviate the build up of moisture created by condensation of having birds in a confined space.

Bored birds can begin to get restless and bully each other, to help with this we would recommend items to act as a distraction, such as the boredom buster®  or perhaps a few playful items such as hanging up a cabbage. 

Feeders and Drinkers need to be kept inside, away from contamination, hanging feeders may be an easy option helping to keep the bedding dry and minimise the amount of spilt food in such a confined area.

4. The most effective disinfectant

There are many disinfectants on the market.  Our best advice is to use one that is licensed by DEFRA for Avian FluBi-OO-Cyst and VirKon S Disinfectant are the products that we would recommend using as these can be used for cleaning the house, feeders and drinkers  (rinse with fresh water) and for creating a simple foot bath.

A disinfectant footbath can be anything from washing up bowl to a tub trug, filled with water and disinfectant that can be walked through by all of the family on entering the poultry area.  The Virkon S Disinfectant liquid is probably the most cost effective product as once made up, it can be reused.  Protective and disposable gloves and masks are a practical consideration when handling and cleaning your birds.

In summary; no free ranging | prevent access by wild birds and their droppings | cover your runs | bring feeders and drinkers inside | more frequent cleaning | foot bath before entering | boredom busters |  no movement of livestock | keep vigilant.

Symptoms of Avian Flu and further guidance can be found here.  https://www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu#about-avian-influenza

If you have any concerns about the health of your poultry, seek prompt advice from your vet.

For poultry supplies delivered to your door visit our Flyte So Fancy website here http://www.flytesofancy.co.uk/ We are doing our very best to stock everything you need to keep your flock happy and healthy until this risk has passed.  If you need guidance about which products to choose, please do give us a call on 01300 345229.

For other useful links and links to our Bird Flu survival supplies, see our other blogs:

On 4 January 2017 DEFRA announced that the Prevention Zones in place across the whole of Great Britain will remain in place until 28 February 2017. With the added advice that Keepers of poultry and captive birds must “house” them away from wild birds. They must maintain their biosecurity and keep a close watch on the health of their birds.

Thursday, 27 October 2016

Preparing Your Poultry Pen for Winter

On Monday it rained. It rained for somewhere close to six hours continuously and by the time it finished our Brahma cockerel (who had refused to go undercover the entire time) looked bedraggled, soggy and unhappy.

After a surprisingly dry September and October, it looks like a Autumn might be finally rearing its sleepy head. The clocks are changing next weekend, the days are a little colder and the clouds look like rain. The perfect time of year to get ahead of the weather and make sure your poultry run is ship shape and ready for anything November can throw at it.
Flyte so Fancy Hardwood Woodchip
Hardwood Woodchip for Poultry Runs
Hardwood Woodchip

The best surface for any chicken run, Flyte so Fancy Hardwood Woodchip, is a sustainable, eco-friendly covering for the floor to your chicken run, to prevent your hens squelching through mud. Containing only hardwoods (no softwoods or bark used as they will quickly mulch), the woodchip sits on top of the mud, creating a sanitary and hygienic run.

Washed clean with the rain (or the garden hose) the hardwood woodchip in your run, with the correct care, should only need changing once a year. See our previous blog on How to get the most out of your Hardwood Woodchip for more detail on the best surface for your poultry run. . 

RainShades for Poultry Runs

Perfect for keeping the rain off your chickens backs, these large removable PVC rainshades for poultry runs, simply clip on to wire of your run. The rainshade will provide a dry area within the run, shedding the water to either side. Or if the sun is shining (unlikely as that may be) will provide a shaded and cool spot for your hens.

Measuring approximately 3ft by 6ft, these easy to use and movable rainshades makes keeping your hens dry during wet weather incredibly easy to do. Dry hens are happy hens.

Hen House Deep Clean

Shorter days and longer nights, mean your hens are going to be spending more time inside their hen house, so before true winter descends, now is the ideal time to give the inside of your hen house a thorough deep clean. Viratec-P Poultry Disinfectant cleans and disinfects in one application. UK DEFRA approved against all notable poultry diseases, it is highly effective against hundreds of strains of bacteria, viruses and fungi.

Perfect for a pre-winter deep clean in your hen house, Viratec-P Poultry Disinfectant, is safe for man and animals alike, keeping your hen house hygienic and healthy for your hens through the long winter months.

Rainshades for Poultry Runs
If you have any questions regarding preparing for winter with your chickens, or your own top tip, leave a comment below, or call us on 01300 345229 to talk to a member of the Flyte so Fancy team.

Thanks for Reading

Friday, 7 October 2016

Wheely Good Hen Houses - Mobile Chicken Coops for the Garden

My hens live in their Annie's Coop in the corner of my garden. A garden of which they have full reign and regularly abuse my flower beds, which have never been the same. However there are plenty of chicken owners with plenty of space to keep their hens and who are looking for a mobile chicken coop that they can move around the garden.

Flyte so Fancy have three hen houses on wheels, each uniquely designed to provide movable hen houses for large gardens, orchards and paddocks. 

Dorset Stroller

Not just the nickname of our ambling local gardener, but also the first of our mobile chicken coops, the Dorset Stroller. Designed with its wheels at one end and built in handles at the other, when you are ready to move it to fresh ground, it lifts like a wheelbarrow. Easily moved by just one person, the Dorset Stroller is designed to house 8 birds comfortably and has an external nestbox too.

Dorset Stroller Chicken Coop
Dorset Stroller Hen House
As well as its removable dirt tray and perches, a sliding lift out roof panel gives complete top down access into the coop, making cleaning this hen house quick and simple. With its easy ability to be moved by one person, this hen house is ideally sized for those keeping a flock of hens in a larger garden.  

Dorset Ranger

A highly mobile coop with a difference, the Dorset Ranger comes with an in-built run, to provide both a movable coop with the safety from predators of a fixed run. With its wheels fixed at the back of the house, a clever counter-balance system allows for the hen house to be lifted from the opposite end the run and be wheeled to pastures new

Flyte so Fancy Dorset Ranger
Dorset Ranger 10 Hen House
An external nestbox provides plenty of room in the coop and the Dorset Ranger comes in two sizes for flocks of either 6 or 10. The clever sliding roof allows complete access into the coop, making cleaning incredibly simple. The integral run is made from inch by half inch galvanised weldmesh stapled onto thick timber framing. The Dorset Ranger is ideal for people looking to move a flock of hens to fresh grass around their garden, while keeping them enclosed and not necessary giving them full reign of the flower beds. 

Handy 15

For those with a large flock of hens looking for a mobile hen house, the Handy 15 Hen House is just what they need. With wheels located at one end and in built handles at the other, it is a case of lifting the hen house and wheeling it to a fresh patch of grass for your hens. 

With an external nestbox and a removable ply resin roof, access into this spacious coop is easy, and the large front door makes cleaning a cinch. This is a large coop and can be moved by one person, meaning you move the hen house around your garden or paddock with relative ease. 

Handy 15 Hen House by Flyte so Fancy
Handy 15 Hen House
These hen houses on wheels are ideal for people looking for mobile hen houses for gardens, paddocks and orchards. Allowing for hens to be moved to to fresh grassy ground keeps your hens happy and healthy. If you have any questions about our hen houses with wheels, leave a comment below or call us on 01300 345229 to speak to a member of the FSF Team. 

Thanks for Reading

Friday, 23 September 2016

Hen Houses for Larger Flocks

Here at Flyte so Fancy we have built hen houses for small flocks. We've designed and built  hen houses for half a dozen hens and the full dozen. We've made houses suitable for a couple of ducks on the pond and we've made a Floating Duck Lodge suitable for a community of eight ducks to float in leisure.

What happens though when you look around and the five hens you started with has suddenly morphed into a flock of fifteen or more and your wondering where to keep them? The answer is of course a bigger hen house and Flyte so Fancy have a range of larger hen houses, with unique features, that make keeping a large flock of hens a stylish yet easy proposition.

The Handy 15 Hen House

A large, practical house, the Handy 15 Hen House comes with built in handles and wheels to make it easy to move. Built with room to house fifteen hens, the external nest box provides plenty of room to roost on its full length perches. Double ventilation louvres keeps the inside of the hen house light and breezy and the removable resin-coated board roof and the large front door make access and cleaning quick and simple.

Hen Houses for Large Flocks of Chickens
Handy 15 Hen House
A functional, mobile coop, this larger hen house has a floor space of approximately 5ft by 3ft is ideal for people with a large paddock or field and looking to move their hens to fresh pastures.

The Maggie's 24 Hen House

Our most popular hen houses's big sister, the Maggie's 24 Hen House is a large traditional style chicken house with plenty of room for approximately twenty four laying hens. With its external nest box the floor space for perching inside this hen house is approximately 5ft by 4ft. The Maggie's 24 Hen House has raked perches inside to provide plenty of sleeping space for larger flocks of chickens.

Flyte so Fancy Timber Hen Houses
Maggie's 24 Hen House
A larger hen house, the Maggie's 24 has several features to make it easy to maintain. A removable dirt tray and large back door make cleaning easy, with plenty of access into the coop. Should you feel like really getting stuck in, the removable nest box opens up a complete side of the hen house, allowing unlimited access. The Maggie's 24 Hen House is ideal for back gardens where the passion for poultry has gotten a little out of hand.

The Granary 6ft Hen House

A large, grand hen house with space for up to thirty hens to stretch their wings in luxury. Standing high upon its imperious staddle stones, the Granary 6ft Hen House is a mansion for the largest of back garden flocks. With three internal perches and an external nest box, the floor space measures approximately 6ft wide by 4ft deep.

Flyte so Fancy Hen Houses
6ft Granary Hen House
A large hen house with a rustic charm, the Granary is big enough to hold the largest of flocks and is ideal for when you realise you know have 20 more hens than you ever thought about keeping to begin with.

If you have any questions about our larger hen houses for larger flocks of birds, you can leave a comment below, or call us on 01300 345229 to talk to a member of the FSF Team.

Thanks for Reading

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Predator Proof Hen Houses Made in the UK

Here at FSF HQ we get phone calls everyday from people with questions about chickens but, in particular our hen houses; what are they made from, are they sturdy and most importantly will they keep predators out?

Often while typing has the muse descended on the Flyte so Fancy Blog and we have written pages about our hen houses aesthetic charms, the joys of keeping chickens, the numerous advantages of eggs for cakes and breakfast, as well the quality and strength of our British made timber hen houses.

Flyte so Fancy Hen Houses
Flyte so Fancy Protection Pen
So we thought we'd write something a little more industrial and scientific, highlighting the high quality of materials used in our hen houses and runs, and just why the materials Flyte so Fancy use make them the strong predator proof houses they are.

A hen house is only as good as its first line of defence, the run. Chicken wire simply will not cut the mustard in keeping foxes, badgers or anything else out. It is too weak to prevent a predator breaking through.

All of our Chicken Runs and Poultry Protection Pens are made out of 38mm x 38mm framework. Onto this durable lightweight frame is stapled European plastic-coated heavy 18 gauge weldmesh. This incredibly strong weldmesh requires wire cutters to cut it, so there is no chance of foxes, badgers or any other predators breaking through it. Truly predator proof chicken runs.

No Dig Skirts
Flyte so Fancy Hen Houses
No-Dig Skirts for Poultry Runs
With your chickens safe in their run from predators (unless they brought their tool kit), the second line of defence is to prevent any predators from digging in. A 10 inch wide strip of 2" x 2" weldmesh, that is held in place on the ground by 13 inch galvanised pegs.

Foxes, the usual culprit, like to burrow up against the fence, wall, etc, to make the smallest tunnel they can for the least effort. The No-Dig Skirt prevents them doing this, and rather than expending greater levels of energy, the fox will move off to find an easier dinner. No Dig Skirts are an economical but highly efficient way to stop foxes digging in and can be cut in our workshop to match any run size.

All the bolts, hinges, chains, and turn buttons on our hen houses are smelter galvanised, meaning they have been hot dipped in molten zinc. Not only strong and secure, keeping your girls safe at night, this top of the range galvanising technique makes them durable for well over a decade. The bolts and turn buttons on our hen house will stop any predator from breaking in, providing safe, sleep filled nights for your hens.

If you have any more questions about Flyte so Fancy Hen Houses and why they are so well built to prevent all and any predators from getting to your hens you can leave a comment below, or call us on 01300 345229.

Thanks for Reading

Friday, 19 August 2016

The Disadvantages of Ducks (HINT - THERE AREN'T MANY!)

We've had a lot of chickens turn broody this year and we have had three broods of chicks hatch out. My hope that one of our Cayuga / Cherry Valley crosses might be sitting on a clutch of eggs have been undone, for after a few days sitting, she is back on the Flyte so Fancy pond. 

I am a big fan of ducks and like chickens they make wonderful pets and companions in the garden. Like keeping chickens there are advantages and disadvantages to keeping ducks.

  1. Ducks have great characters and are very amusing to watch. Especially a flock of Indian Runner Duck gliding around the garden.
  2. Most breeds of ducks only require a small amount of water to be happy. NO large ponds required
  3. Some ducks are prolific layers, laying right through the winter months also. 
  4. Due to thicker feathers and their oiled covering, ducks do not suffer red mite.
  5. Ducks will clear a garden of slugs and bugs, great for vegetable patches. 
  6. Less fussy than a chicken, a duck will lay an egg anywhere. 
  1. Ducks are messy. If contained continually within a specific area they will, in time, turn it to mud. 
  2. Ducks require plenty of fresh water for cleaning and staying healthy. Water needs changing regularly to avoid disease. 
  3. Some breeds of ducks can be very vocal, i.e Call Ducks
  4. They will lay eggs anywhere.
For more information have a look at our Basic Guide to Keeping Ducks Information Page. 
The largest misconception people have about keeping ducks is the belief you need a large pond or lake for them to live on. This is far from true. A lot of breed of ducks will be happy with something the size of a large washing up bowl, in which to paddle. It is vitally important to provide separate water for drinking and for cleaning. Ducks need a water bowl for cleaning themselves, that is wide enough for the duck to sit in and submerge its head. This dunking of the head is vital for ducks for cleaning their feathers and washing their eyes.

Timber Housing for Ducks and Geese
The FSF Ducks
If you have any questions about Flyte so Fancy Duck Houses leave a comment below or call us on 01300 345229 to talk to a member of the FSF team. 

Thanks for Reading

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Poultry Feeders - 3 of the Best

A few months or so ago we posted a Blog entry about three of our favourite drinkers and highlighted what their individual advantages are for poultry keepers and their flocks. This week's Blog looks at three of our favourite feeders and the way that their clever designs and manufacture materials make them ideally suited for a differing range of poultry keepers' requirements.

Here at Flyte so Fancy HQ we stock a vast range of feeders, of every shape, size and material for chickens, ducks, geese and chicks. The video below from a few years ago, sees Boss Phill talking about some of the feeders that we have in stock and their particular merits.

Blenheim 6kg Feeder

The Blenheim Poultry Feeder from Flyte So FancyMade from a thick resilient plastic, the Blenheim Feeder holds 6kg of feed and is the perfect feeder for newcomers and old hands alike. Coming on strong legs to lift it up out of the way of mud and soil, the Blenheim feeder also has an inbuilt anti-flick grid to prevent excessive waste. A metal bar fitted internally also gives you the option of hanging this feeder inside a run.

A really brilliant feeder that covers all the bases, it has a final option of an additional outdoor rain hat, that sits snugly over the feeder, low down, to keep the feed dry and prevent spoilage. A versatile feeder, this is often my first recommendation to poultry keepers when they come in looking for a new feeder.

Galvanised Feeders

Galvanised feeders for chickens
Galvanised Feeders have proved popular with chicken keepers for decades. Made from strong, galvanised sheets these feeders will last a poultry keeper for years and years. UK made, these feeders come in varying sizes, from 2.5kg for smaller flocks to 7kg for those whose passion for poultry has got a little out of hand.

With adjustable height tubes (on the smaller model) and raincover hats to keep feed dry, the only galvanised feeder weakness would be the lack of attachable legs, to help prevent muck getting into the feed. Easily cured with a couple of bricks as a stand, these feeders are sturdy constructions and will serve a poultry keeper faithfully for many, many years.

BEC Wise Feeders

BEC Wise FeederTruly different to the previously two mentioned feeders, the BEC Wise Chicken Feeder is either a cage or wall mounted feeder, designed for runs and paddocks. Mounted through the mesh or on a bracket, the modular nature of the feeder allows you to increase its capacity by adding 5kg extension cartridges.

The Wise Feeder can also help reduce your feed bill, with its clever design of lips and dividers preventing 40% less feed being lost, while the higher mounting prevents vermin from being attracted to the feeder to begin with. With a nice design and clever features this feeder is great for poultry keepers not looking to take up extra space within their runs with conventional feeders.

Galvanised Treadle Feeders

One of Flyte So Fancy's most popular chicken feeders
The Treadle Feeders are getting a special mention at the end of the Blog due to their popularity both here at Flyte so Fancy HQ and with our customers who have purchased them in the past. Comprising metal and plastic components, the feeders are available in three sizes for all sizes of flock.

Top filled, gravity fed feeders, the food itself is sealed away by a lifting flap operated by the hen standing on the treadle. The hens weight causes the treadle to open and the feed to be exposed. Rats and mice, as well as wild birds, are too light and so can not trigger the treadle to lift. A great feeder for people with a vermin problem or just looking to keep their feed in a sealed, weather-proof feeder.

If you have any questions about poultry feeders and which might be best suited for your flock, 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

Friday, 29 July 2016

A Day at the Spa - Feeder Shelter Dustbaths for Chickens

One of the first designs that Phill came up with for Flyte so Fancy were the Feeder Shelter / Dustbaths for chickens. A simple, elegant design it did its job so well, that once photos were taken of it, way, way back in 2006, it was deemed job done.

Flyte so Fancy Timber Poultry Housing
Feeder Shelter / Dustbath Photo circa 2006
Over a decade later it was decided that perhaps it was time, as good as the photos were, to get some updated snaps for the website. The added arrival of our new Curved Dustbath and Shelter, as well as our new Playsand for Chickens for extra luxuriant dustbaths, made it seem to good an opportunity to miss. 

Placing the Feeder Shelters on the lawn, making sure the sun was shining and that our gorgeous trio of Pekins were adequately fluffy feathered for photos, we got to work. 

The Feeder Shelter / Dustbath

One of our earliest unique designs, the Feeder Shelter / Dustbath is made from our sturdy pressure treated timber and is built to last in any garden, saving flower beds and the lawn from marauding chickens. The reversible base means you can set the unit up as either a dry shelter for a feeder to stand upon or as a dustbath, filled with sand (see below) or topsoil, to allow your hens somewhere to clean their feathers.

Flyte so Fancy Made in the UK
Feeder Shelter / Dustbath circa 2016
Arriving in four sections for easy self assembly, a five minute job with a screwdriver, this handy little shelter provides your hens with a clean dry place to 'wash' their feathers. 

The Curved Chicken Dustbath and Shelter

Made from a perfectly formed demi-curve, the Curved Dustbath & Shelter provides stylish shelter for your hens. The arched roof spans the width of the dustbathing tray, providing maximum cover and protection. The tray is reversible to provide a raised feeding platform or a shady spot from the sun, while hooks on the provide a spot for hanging feeders, drinkers and treats.

Curved Timber Hen House Made in UK
The Curved Chicken Dustbath & Shelter
Made from strong tanilised timber and a secret wood bending technique, the Curved Chicken Dustbath and Shelter, provides a stylish spot for your girls in the garden. 

Chicken Play Sand 20kg

A good dustbath requires a good quality playsand for your hens to get clean. Chicken Play Sand is a washed and screened silica playsand ideal for use with hens. The pre-washed quality of the sand prevents the staining of feathers, while also allowing rapid draining during wet weather, to allow all year round bathing.

Flyte so Fancy Poultry Supplies
Chicken Playsand for Dustbaths
Providing a hostile environment for pests such as lice and mites, the Chicken Playsand come in a 20kg bag and is the perfect base going into dustbaths for chickens. 

Having taken the photos required and walked the Pekins back to their hen house (the cockerel may have little legs but he can zip when he wants to) it was time to update the decade old photos on the website. Perhaps we will do them again in another ten years. 

If you have any questions about chickens and dustbathing why not leave a comment below or call us on 01300 345229 to talk to a member of the Flyte so Fancy team. 

Thanks for Reading

Friday, 22 July 2016

The NEW Flyte so Fancy Catalogue is HERE!

 As always I've drawn the short straw. Upon opening the box of our new catalogues, it has fallen to me to get them sorted and in their envelopes ready for the postman on Monday. I'm just glad they don't make stamps from gum paper anymore.

Once again our Catalouge features all of Flyte so Fancy's signature Hen Houses, as well as its Duck and Goose Housing. From the popular Maggie's Hen House range, through to the stately Floating Duck Lodge, there is a house here for all and any garden.

Hen Houses Made in UK
Flyte so Fancy Catalogue
Also getting their own pages are Framebow Animal Housing (who joined the FSF workshop this year) with their stupendous curved timber structures and Dorset Log Stores, providing elegant timber stores for your garden.

Jam packed with all the essential, necessary and can't live without poultry products, as well as more treats and goodies than one chicken could ever hope to eat, the Flyte so Fancy catalogue contains everything you need for happy and healthy hens.

To request your FREE copy of the Catalogue CLICK HERE now. 

Thanks for Reading

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Terrific Tips for Happy Hens

Chickens are simple creatures. Give them some room to roam, shelter from the rain, plus the occasional extra treat and they're as happy as Larry. With June being a washout and July forecast to not be much better, keeping your precious girls spirits up and their health tip-top, takes a little extra attention.

This week's Blog looks at some of the best ways to keep your hens smiling through the rain and wind of this summer, because a happy hen is the best kind.

Timber DustBaths for Chickens
Feeder Shelter / Dustbath

The ground here at FSF HQ would best be described with a wonderful onomatopoeic word like "squidgy" or "squelchy".  In fact it would only take a hoard of lost festival goers in wellies to turn the whole thing into a quagmire. When the ground is like this, dust-bathing becomes a real problem for hens.

Hens clean themselves through dust-bathing, scratching a bowl into the earth, then ruffling the dust and fine earth through their feathers. With the ground sodden the way it is, this is an impossibility and it is now that the importance of having somewhere dry for your hens to bathe is really highlighted.

The Feeder Shelter / Dustbath provides a dry space to fill with sand or top soil to let your hens clean themselves. With its over-hanging roof, you don't have to worry about the inside getting wet either. If the weather ever clears up, the base is also reversible and becomes a handy covered place to put feeders and drinkers.


Here in the office we all have our favourites when it comes to being our to turn to bring in biscuits. Personally I like a dark chocolate digestive. Nothing gets me through a long day like a biscuit. Occasionally our hens need a little cheering up too. Mixed Corn as an afternoon treat and supplement is ideal, but Boredom Buster Pecking Rings and Peck Blocks, can really help hens through long miserable days. They have the added advantage of preventing bad behaviour, brought about by boredom, like bullying and feather pecking.


Healthy hens are happy hens and vice versa. There are poultry tonics and cider vinegars aplenty all ready to sit on the shelf and provide year round nutrients and vitamins for your poultry.  A few that I would recommend in particular are the; Oreganico Tonic to boost your chickens immune systems and help to combat diseases, Life Guard Poultry Tonic for an all round natural tonic that will help and boost all areas of your chickens' immune system and health, and finally Hilton Herbs Cider Vinegar with Garlic, which aids the digestive system, bright eyes and shiny feathers.

Any one of these tonics will provide your hen with a healthy boost during this dismal summer and healthy hens are happy hens.

Feeders / Drinkers

Making sure that your hens have food and water is obvious when it comes to keeping them happy, but what is more important is keeping their food and water clean and dry. Feeders and Drinkers raised up on legs, helps prevent mud and detritus from being kicked into your hens food and water. Equally putting feeders somewhere sheltered will prevent feed being spoiled by rain.

Flyte so Fancy Poultry Supplies
Feeder Raised on Legs
These few simple tips will help keep your hens happy whatever the weather, but if you have any questions why not leave a comment below or call us on 01300 345229 to speak to a member of our team.

Thanks for Reading

Friday, 17 June 2016

Rain Shades for Poultry Runs

Its been raining. It's raining right now actually and I am willing to bet a pound to a penny, that when you read this, it'll be raining too. Even the FSF ducks, usually stalwart enough to sit on the pond regardless of the weather, have got fed up and moved inside.

When the weather is like this, the question is how do you provide your precious girls with a dry area for them to scratch about in outside? There is nothing that looks more sorry for itself that a wet, bedraggled chicken. Here are three ideas for providing your hen with a little shelter from the wettest June in a long, long time.

Rainshades for Chicken Runs
Flyte so Fancy Hen House Accessories
Rainshades for Runs

Rainshades for Chicken Runs are large PVC rainshades for attaching to your chicken run. Perfect for protecting an area of your run, they measure approximately one metre wide by two metres long, and are held in place by four strong bungees that simply hook onto the weldmesh of the run. Meaning if you wish to move the rainshade or remove it entirely, it is the job of but a minute.

Providing shelter from torrential rain (very likely) or an area of shade from the summer sun (less likely) the rainshades are a versatile, movable and simple solution to providing a sheltered and dry area to any run.  

Polycarbonate Roofing
Roofing options for Chicken Runs
Polycarbonate Roofing

Made from a transparent 6mm twin walled UV stable polycarbonate, this roofing provides a permanent option to keeping your hens dry. Affixed to the existing roof panels with polypins, the roof not only sheds the water to the side of the run providing a dry area beneath, but also prevents contamination by wild birds of your feeders and drinkers.

The Polycarbonate Roofing can be cut to fit nearly all of Flyte so Fancy's runs and with the addition of a silicone tube and gun for the joins, provides a permanent option for protecting your hens from incessant down pours.

Chicken Shelters

If you have your flock in a large paddock or free ranging, then roofing simply isn't an option, but that doesn't mean that you can't provide them with some isolated islands of protection from the rain. The Chicken Shelter is a simple weather shelter, built from our sturdy pressure treated timbers, to give your hens somewhere to go out of the rain.

Timber Shelters from Rain
Chicken Shelter
With a perch inside for day time naps, hooks for hanging treats, feeders and drinkers, the overhanging roof provides maximum protection from the elements. Available in three sizes; Small, Large and Jumbo (which is very big) the Chicken Shelter is ideal for providing dry havens for your hens.

With the weather map for next week looking no better than it was for this week, now is the time to provide a little shelter for your hens from the elements. If you have a question regarding one of these options why not leave a comment below or call us on 01300 345229.

Thanks for Reading

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Revenge of the Red Mite

The rain has been hammering down on Flyte so Fancy's corner of Dorset over the last few days. I'm talking about raindrops falling so quickly, they are hitting the ground, bouncing back up in the air and falling again. The thing is, here at Flyte so Fancy, we're still wearing shorts and t-shirts despite the heavy downpours that are falling and hot, humid weather can only mean the return of red mite.

Flyte So Fancy Poultry Supplies
Flyte Mite RTU
& Diatomaceous Earth
Hot, damp weather is the ideal conditions for red mite, they love it, so now is the time for paying extra attention inside the coop. Elbow grease, the right products on the shelf and a sharp eye for the tell-tale signs of an infestation will mean that you can prevent or kill any mite that take up residence in your coop.

The Tell-Tale Signs
  1. If your girls are reluctant to go into their hen house at night, its probably because they know what is waiting inside for them. A chicken not wanting to go to bed at night is the surest sign that red mite are inside your hen house.
  2. A red dust or detritus building up in the coop, the left overs from an industrial population of red mite.
  3. The vaseline trick. Put a smear of vaseline around the end of the perches, as red mite crawls through the vaseline some will get stuck, allowing you the next morning to see if there are any in your coop.
Prevention is always better than cure. When it comes to your hen house, a little elbow grease and the right cleaners will see the issue taken care of before it even starts. Flyte Mite Ready to Use Spray, is a an all round cleaner and disinfectant. Using an anti-bacterial action, it provides effective mite control, by removing the organic matter in your house that insects live and lay there eggs in. Flyte Mite Spray should be used in conjunction with Diatomaceous Earth. Used throughout the coop, it removes moisture and the damp areas where mites, moulds and lice can thrive. Traditionally Diatomaceous Earth has been used against parasites such as lice, fleas and mites as a preventative treatment.

Killing Red Mite
Flyte so Fancy Red Mite Solutions
Net-Tex Total Mite Kill

Sometimes, despite you best efforts, red mite will still take hold in your hen house. When this happens it's time to upgrade your cleaner and take care of the issue. Net-Tex Total Mite Kill is a multi-purpose cleaner and insecticide, containing permetherin for rapid knockdown of the pests inside your coop. As well as killing mites and lice, it will also kill off bacteria and viruses. Organ-X Mini Insect & Mite Smoke Bombs are highly effective fumigators for clearing all types of insects from inside poultry housing. Simply remove the birds from the house, seal it up tight and then set a fumer off. Once you have left it for a few hours, open the coop right up and give it a good clean through.

Red Mite can show up any time, but the hot, damp weather that we are currently experiencing is a particular favourite of theirs, so around this time of year it is best to be vigilant and if you see any, to take care of them quickly.

If you have any questions about red mite or how to best to get rid of an infestation from your hen house, leave a comment below or call us on 01300 345229 to speak to a member of our team.

Thanks for Reading

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Poultry Drinkers - 3 of the Best

I moved down to Dorset just over a decade ago. Before then I had never known the simple undeniable joy of an ice cold cider on a very hot day. If there is any other drink that cuts through a parched mouth quite like a cold, tangy, amber cider, frankly I don't want to know about it. Unfortunately for my hens, the closest they can come to a cider is the cider vinegar I put in their drinker.

However, as the weather warms up (and we have had a few days here in Dorset that have been very hot), here at FSF HQ we make sure that the Poultry Drinkers, both for our hens that live by the shop and in our poultry paddock around the back, are all filled up with cool, refreshing water.

In this week's Blog we thought we would highlight three of our favourite poultry drinkers and illustrate what makes them ideal drinkers for your flocks.
Plastic Poultry Drinker for Hens
6L Rapid Clean Dirnk

Rapid Clean Tripod Poultry Drinkers

Hugely popular with poultry keepers as it easy to clean and to re-fill. Raised up on its durable tripod legs, the water is protected from contamination from ground litter by messy hens. Using a clever float and valve system, the drinker regulates the flow of fresh water into the basin, making sure that your hens always have a fresh source of water to drink. Made from high grade plastic, the drinker simply fills from the top, allowing for easy re-filling when the water gets low.

These drinkers are ideal for people with medium sized flocks, a 6 litre and 9 litre, as they won't need filling everyday. The cleverly designed valve and float system also means that you can rest assured that your hens will be getting a constant source of fresh, clean water.

Check out our new video on how to easily put together one of these superb drinkers, below.

Maxi Cup Drinkers

Chicken Poultry Drinkers
Maxi Cup Drinker
A British made semi-automatic drinker, it is designed to be used on old water tanks and buckets, turning containers into "mobile reservoirs" for your girls to drink from. Easy to fit and maintain, the clever valve system, self-fills the cup, allowing constant fresh water for your hens.

These versatile little drinkers are great for people looking to set up multiple drinker points around a larger paddocks or fields for their hens to drink from. They work equally well inside smaller runs providing fresh water to just a few hens.

Gaun Tripod Drinkers

Chicken Water Drinkers
Gaun 20L Tripod Drinker
New into Flyte so Fancy are these superb tripod drinkers by Gaun. Coming in three available sizes, 20L, 30L and 40L, these drinkers are ideal for larger flocks and for use in larger paddocks. A top fill drinker, the outlet pipe always keep the drinking saucer filled from above with fresh clean water. The raised drinking bowl also means that there is less chance of your hens contaminating the water, or from ground litter being kicked into it.

Made from durable plastic, these sturdy drinkers are ideal for those looking for a larger robust drinker for an area of the garden, or for setting up multiple poultry drinkers around a larger paddock or field.

These are just a few of the great poultry drinkers available from Flyte so Fancy's vast selection. If you have any questions about the drinkers mentioned, or if you would like to discuss which drinker may be best for your hens, why not leave a comment below or call 01300 345229 to speak to a member of the Flyte so Fancy team.

Thanks for Reading