Only Welshpoultry is the sole Welsh agent for these specific bloodlines from French, Dutch and Belgium hatcheries in addition to our own parent stock. They offer superior longevity, hardiness and consistancy in lay. See the "About us" page to find out more
APOLOGIES FOR THE LACK OF CHEESE
Welshpoultry is a genuinely rural entrprise born from a determination to get hens out of cages, we do not get a farming grant, we built the farm ourselves from a field selling eggs door to door every Sunday evening, progressing to seling hens. We love to have a laugh with customers and make no apology for leaving out the cheesey pic of the family holding a chicken leaning against bales or a stone wall. We are however all about a positive experience of chicken keeping, unlimited after sales support and spending the profits on our conservation projects, the hens welfare and excess / tips goes to Welsh Air Ambulance.
GETTING BIRDS OUTSIDE
A DEFRA report once concluded that upto 40% of free range eggs in the UK were in fact from caged or barn systems, mostly Spanish and Russian imports. The reality is that is near impossible to tell the difference between an egg produced in a cage and one on a field. One of the ways used is to use UV light to detect cage damage to the cuticle of the shells. Most British Free range farms operate more honestly, however even then, some birds are trained not to wander beyond the hardcore stone of the sheds to the grass required for 70% green cover requirement. Eggs with dirt that requires washing and the loss of egg size due to active chicken behaviour on soils all lead to poor profits. Often birds are kept indoors by being fed on a conveyor belt which distributes feed hourly at the ring of a bell bringing the birds back into a heated barn. DEFRA estimated that on 14% of free range birds go outside.
Welshpoultry is about keeping productive pets , encouraging more people to keep a few hens where welfare is at its highest , and sell those eggs , competing with the supermarket shelf in order to enjoy a paying hobby with all the benefits that brings , especially to the kids whose Maths come on massively when they learn about profit !
The Blackrock beginnings of Welshpoultry
In 2003, we were invited by the breeder of Scottish Blackrock hens , Peter Siddons, to retail his livestock as the exclusive agent in Wales, and so started a steep learning curve with this fabulous but challenging bird that always repaid you in hardiness, egg reliability and longevity. As Peter's health declined and production of chicks slowed down , we had to embark on a search to find a comparable performing bird. This is no easy task as most heavy layers are built purely for egg production in specific environments. Following several failed trials on the mountain with Czech and Irish hybrids, either with Winter egg production or general poor health (one might sneeze at one end of the field causing another to drop dead at the other) Followed by the supply of 16 week olds that had never been outside or had much exposure to people or farm life with similar poor results on our busy mountain farm, it was clear a rethink was in order.
The birth of Welshpoultry
We finally had some good fortune and from our Field trials with the Dutch equivalent of the Blackrock, and some French coloured hybrids, followed by a White Leghorn producer in Belgium. Based on Hardiness, rearing behaviour (likelihood to featherpeck) Winter egg production, tolerance of bad weather on the moutain and a loss rate of 1% or less after hatch, we made our final cut of new suppliers
The Current Range of birds
The final range that we still rely on today come from France, Holland and Belgium. In addition to this we have developed our own breeding strains, in particular the commercial barred birds, the Rhondda Rock, the blacktails and silver sussex. All do well on the North facing moutain, first Winter egg production remains high in challenging conditions and customers continue to report good egg production post 4 years of age.
A busy 2022 season is underway. Standard Saturday only opening 10-4. Other times by arrangement. See the availability page for current ages for the upcoming Saturday