Here at Merrybower we keep several breeds of poultry. For our eggs we have Light Sussex chickens as they’re gentle, good natured and decent egg layers. They are also relatively easy to keep contained, being reluctant to fly very high.
Our newest chicken breed is the Marsh Daisy from Lancashire, a rare rose-comb breed that we have found well suited to small holding and orchard work in particular. They are on the critical list so need help with their numbers.
For grass control we keep Pilgrim Geese – a bird on the critical list both here and in its home country the USA. It’s also noted for its relative gentle character, though our males aren’t that tolerant in the breeding season if we’re honest. They’re a light goose, so quite easy to carry and move on if needed.
For insect control we have the ever-working duck patrol, consisting of three male Call ducks rescued from the pot – Larry, Curly and Mo, and lovable Khaki Campbells. The men, in all honesty, are merely the jokers of Merrybower – forever waddling too fast and falling over their own bellies. The ladies are power houses, an egg each practically every day and slug, snail and grub devourers to boot.
It is important to state that we aren’t big breeders. Whilst we have flocks of decent sizes, they are primarily for our own enjoyment and, in return, we give them as comfy a life as possible. In the summer our chickens and geese roam our orchard, giving us eggs and eating bugs. In the winter they are brought closer to the cottage so we may keep an eye on them. Our income is not generated from sales of poultry – any for sale are simply because we can not home them all and keep the ground free of disease – it’s a hobby and a way of life that is good to share with others.
If you are interested in any of our breeds, please do get in touch using the details on our contact page. If you’re looking for egg laying machines then our birds aren’t for you – they’re pure breed and as such tend to have a less active egg laying ability, but it lasts longer into their years and the problems associated with high volume egg production are less of an issue. If you’re interested in helping to keep an endangered pure breed alive and well, and value diversity in birds, then we are right for you, and would love to chat.