Category Archive Animals


Japanese Quail

Japanese Quail are an incredibly popular breed of quail for hobbyists, amateurs and professionals alike. Being quick growing, they can be breed and matured in about 6 weeks, making them an ideal education creature.

Incubation: 17 to 18 days.
First 15 days at 37.5°C and turning at least 3 times a day (manual turning) or use automatic turner.
At day 15 stop turning / remove turner and place eggs into ‘lockdown’. Increase humidity in incubator to 70%. Once hatching begins, don’t open the incubator until all chicks have hatched or 3 days have passed from first hatch.

Egg Laying:
Quails will begin laying eggs after approximately 50 days from hatch. In year 1, the hens will lay about 200 eggs.

Quail are classed as mature at 6 weeks of age. This is also the approx age when butchery should take place.

Adult weight:
Male Quails will weigh 100g to 140g
Female Quails will weigh 120g to 160g

Life span:
Japanese Quails will live for 2 to 2.5 years.


About Pygmy Goats

The Pygmy Goat

The familiar “Pygmy” goat is actually a generalized term from the pygmy goat club UK of numerous variations which originated from Africa. Possibly the most similar in type is the West African which is a small short legged, barrel shaped little animal. There is another type which is more like a miniature version of a dairy goat, being slender and more proportionate in size called the Nigerian Dwarf, which is less common over here. For me I like to think of it as the dairy version and the West African as the beef due to its cobby type.

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The Boer Goat

The distinctively marked Boer goat with its chestnut red head and white body is native of Africa. They first arrived in Great Britain in 1987, and there have been several importations since. At present, there is only one imported registered herd in Northern Ireland and, due to the import restrictions; this is unlikely to change in the near future.

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Incubating Eggs


It’s that time of year again, when you are or thinking collecting eggs for incubation. This is one of the most exciting times of the year, no matter how many years you have been hatching fowl, and it makes little difference how old you are as it is always a learning experience.

Selecting Hatching Eggs

To begin with you need good hatching eggs. Try not to use dirty eggs and if needs be gently buff clean and maybe actually wipe down with a sanitised cloth to reduce the likelihood of contamination. Stay clear of eggs that are misshaped, fine cracks etc. Generally poor quality eggs will lose too much moisture (cracks and thin shells), be infertile or be contaminated.  If the eggs are precious and there is little choice, what sometimes works is a little nail polish directly on the crack, as it seals it up, but only a little as it will close up the minute breathable pores also. Read More


Growing the Chicken Vet Practice Network – New Additions

In September, Chicken Vet welcomed two new veterinary practices to its network of Associated Practices. To become an Associated Practice, a resident vet must have attended one of our monthly CPD training courses.  Run by our team of poultry experts, the course gives a comprehensive look at backyard poultry health and husbandry and provides vets with greater knowledge and expertise when it comes to treating your chickens.

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Saving Rare Breeds is an unfunded conservation farming and animal sanctuary charity.

Why Saving Rare Breeds?


Surely, rare breeds have become just that because they an uneconomical, difficult to look after or simply outclassed by modern breeds?

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Polytunnels Adapted for Sheep

There are many different types of housing that can be used to provide protection for sheep, their feed, bedding and equipment.  Traditional barns, metal buildings (and similar structures) and a lower-cost to traditional housing is the modest Polytunnel.  For farmers, a First Tunnels Sheep Shelter (typically a Polytunnel adapted for sheep) can quickly prove to be an invaluable and indispensable investment.

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You too could be “Lambing Live”!

Join Kate Beavan and husband Jim at Kate’s Country School… on their 800 year old, 300 acre Monmouthshire farm, location for the first series of Lambing Live.

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British Alpaca Futurity 2012

Hall 3A National Exhibition Centre

Friday March 16 and Saturday March 17 2012

A celebration of all things alpaca, the British Alpaca Futurity will be the first major show of 2012 featuring alpaca halter classes, an international fleece show, special ‘Introduction to Alpacas’ presentations for visitors, trade stands presenting alpaca products, workshops and seminars on textiles, alpaca health and genetics.

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Sheep Houses by Premier Polytunnels

Premier Polytunnels bring ‘EWE’ Premier Sheep Houses.

Lambing is the most important time of both the farmer’s and the sheep’s year. In November and December many farmers begin preparing for the forthcoming busy lambing season. Necessary supplies are gathered, plans are put in place to manage and feed the sheep properly, and the lambing facilities, such as housing and pens, are prepared.

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