Buy my book! The expanded course notes for An Introduction to Chicken Keeping are now available as an eBook. Click to buy!

I run courses on poultry-keeping for both beginners and the more experienced. I have kept chickens in both a smallholding and a back-garden setting in the last forty years. I have a Further Education Teaching Certificate and used to teach in the Community Education Service. Currently, my courses are An Introduction to Chicken KeepingFrom Hatch to Despatch and Despatch, Pluck & Dress.

New Book! 

The course notes for An Introduction to Chicken Keeping are available as an eBook – click on the picture to buy from your preferred retailer. From Hatch to Despatch will be coming soon.

Because of family considerations, I have cut right down on my breeds. I will be hatching very small numbers of those remaining. I have a waiting list, so please do get in touch if you would like to go on it. I still keep Barnevelders and Salmon Faverolles, which are dual-purpose utility birds that lay dark brown and pinkish eggs respectively.  I also continue to breed bantam Millefleur Pekins and quail-coloured Barbu d’Anvers.



I have kept chickens in both a smallholding and a back-garden setting at various times since I was a child. I grew up on the smallholding where I now keep my birds and during my teens I bred a number of rare breeds alongside keeping one hundred ex-battery hens for eggs, which I sold for my pocket money. In my thirties I kept hens in a village garden. I feel that my approach to poultry keeping is based on extensive practical experience as well as reading around the subject in both modern books and pre-war literature about health and wellbeing. I have a Further Education Teaching Certificate and taught in the community for many years.

Please click on the links to see information about each course:

Introduction to Chicken Keeping
From Hatch to Despatch
Despatch, Pluck & Dress
Booking & Prices


My Breeds

I try to breed my large-fowl for utility, selecting the Barnevelders and Faverolles from the most prolific hens that lay early and late in the season and from the cockerels which grow fastest. Traditional utility breeds will not lay as much as a purpose-bred laying hybrid in it’s first year. But hybrids are often ‘spent’ by the time they are two years old (which is why ‘ex-battery’ hens are dumped when they start to moult after twelve months). A traditional utility hen will live longer and be productive over a longer time period.



Cheryl Arvidson
West Bagborough
Nr Taunton

Phone: 0797 0594 226

My mobile reception is sometimes unreliable. Please leave a message and I will call back.