From Hatch to Despatch

This is a follow-on course from ‘An introduction to chicken-keeping’. Again it is divided between theory and practical learning.

  • Hatching with a broody or an incubator. Selecting parent stock and eggs, humidity, egg-turning and candling.
  • Brooding – Care of chicks. Bedding, heat sources, feed.
  • Bringing ‘growers’ on. How fast do they grow, when do the pullets start to lay and when are the cockerels ready for despatch?
  • Despatching – How to despatch using the ‘broomstick method’.
  • 3 hours, usually 9.30am to 12.30pm.
  • If you wish to bring your own birds for despatch, the cost will be £40 rather than £46.
  • Runs on demand subject to availablity of eggs to hatch and birds to despatch. Ideally I need at least four week’s lead-time in order to ensure I have eggs at different stages of incubation and birds to despatch.
  • Sturdy footwear and old clothing is required.

This course is very hands-on. It will offer the chance to handle eggs to assess suitability for hatching and to candle live eggs from the incubator. It will also involve a demonstration of culling using the ‘broomstick method’. You may also despatch a bird under supervision yourself if you wish.

This course does NOT cover plucking or processing for the table, which is addressed in ‘Despatch, pluck and dress’. The two courses can be taken together over a whole day with lunch provided.