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Chicken Month at Raystede

Friday 1 May

All this month find out all about Chickens, as well as some special events here at Raystede we'll be posting all sorts of interesting facts, tips and care advice on Facebook and Twitter all about Chickens.


Chickens-14SUNDAY 3rd MAY - Chicken Clicker training 1 day workshop by Jo-Rosie Haffenden. Booking info here.

WEEKENDS in MAY - Every weekend this month head to the Sanctuary area at 1pm where our Sanctuary Team will give talks about chickens. 

HALF TERM 25th to 29th - head to the Sanctuary area at 1pm where our Sanctuary Team will give talks about chickens. 

ALL MONTH - Chicken and Egg Activity Trail. Pick up your trail sheet for £1 at Customer Services and explore Raystede whilst learnign about chickens!



1. Never have a chicken on its own as they are social animals and enjoy company.

2. Keep them safe from predators and remember to put them away every night at dusk.

3. Give them as much free range space as possible as they love to scratch and kick up dirt.

4. Always worm them at least twice a year.

5. Always give them lots of enrichment by hanging up corn on the cob, cabbages and other vegetables or you buy enrichment foods from Raystede .

6. Fresh water daily as chickens drink lots of water through out the day.

Chickens-267. Have a bowl of grit available as they need this to break down food in the gizzard.

8. Clean them out  regularly to avoid fly strike in the summer months.

9. Health check them by noticing these signs of ill health: Hunched up , Pale comb, wattles, Dirty bottom, Depressed looking or loose droppings.

10. Seek veterinary advice should your hen show any of these signs.

11. Treat them for mites, lice etc using a recommended treatment by your vet or use a  dusting powder which can be brought here at Raystede.

12. Treat them as you would all your other animals and love them as they make wonderful first time pets if you have children.



We rescue hundreds of ex poultry hens twice a year from being slaughtered at 72 weeks of age .

These hens are called Hybrids and make brilliant hens to have at home as they become very friendly.

All the hens lay eggs for a few more years so they will gift these eggs to you for giving them a chance of a new life.




Did you know that chickens have full vision and see in colour.

Chickens can recognise up to a hundred different faces.

Chickens cant taste sweetness but can detect salt.

The chickens closest relative is the tyrannosaurus Rex.

The chicken we have now are decedents of the Asian Jungle fowl.

Chickens can show empathy to other chickens.

Chickens can dream and have R.E.M (rapid eye movement).




When you wish to re home chickens from Raystede we advise that you have a set up in place and bring in photos of your set up for us to see. This is not for us to judge but just make sure that the girls have a safe environment to go to once they leave here.

recommend that you re home a minimum of a trio of hens as should anything happen to one of your hems then you would still have a pair. We do also sell feed for hens and enrichment foods such as food sticks with Garlic that help keep the mites away and mint treats that deter the rodents from around the coup.

We are always on hand with advice once you have re homed from us.



Untitled 14 Of 55Chickens just love their food, and treats even better, so here are some tips on what to give and what to avoid. Your hens will develop their own favorites and some they dislike, but with all treats its important to feed in moderation and only later in the afternoon.  As chickens have a limited amout of space in their crops, giving treats later in the day will ensure the bulk of their diet is from a balanced feed. if its particularly cold at night, a little corn later on will increase the body temperature as its digested overnight.  Some vegetable treats are best suspended from the run to give the added advantage of easing boredom, especially good in winter when there is less time to forage in the garden and more time to squabble in the run !

 Suitable fruit and vegetables

  • Blackberries, Gooseberries, Raspberries, Peaches, Pears, Seedless Grapes, Strawberries
  • Apple chunks - minus the pips, don’t give unlimited windfalls
  • Banana - minus the skin, Water Melon - minus the rind
  • Red Tomatoes - not green, or any other part of the plant
  • Cabbage, Cauliflower, Brussels, Spinach, Kale, Swede, Carrots, Sweetcorn, Lettuce
  • Potatoes mashed, not green peel or the sprouting bits
  • Pasta and rice - freshly cooked
  • Chickweed, Shepherds purse, Dandelion
  • Nettle - young plants that have been cut and left to wilt before feeding

Do not feed anything that is showing signs of mould, or foods with salt added.  Treats that are not eaten the same day should be removed. Do not feed any leftover meat.

Don’t give grass cuttings or release birds onto fresh areas of long grass as both can cause blockages in digestion.

If you do give bread as a treat, only give a very small amount, avoid white bread and moisten it slightly, although traditionally fed to birds its not one of the best options.

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