From some interesting bedding alternatives to a way to stop rats stealing the feed, plus more products…

Rest easy, with an auto closer

• Chuxaway

With the dark evenings and colder weather on its way, it’s time to think about protection of your flock from both the elements, rodents and the dreaded fox!

With food more scarce, your chicken coop will become an easy target for rats and mice looking for an easy meal and your flock will make a very tasty snack for Mr Fox.

Make sure you protect your flock from predators by using an automatic door closer to keep them safely inside their coop and unwanted intruders kept out!

The Chuxaway SCX is a fully programmable, automatic door opener and closer which uses 3 AA batteries.

It is easy and simple to install with only two wires to connect the motor control unit and the timer unit.

It requires no calibration and no external sensors and can be programmed to open the coop door in the morning when it is light and close in the evening when it is dark – you have full control.

No more panic to get home before dark, and the return of the guilt free lie-in. Keep your stock protected, safe and warm this winter!

For further information please visit our web site at

Get the best bedding

• Flyte so Fancy

Winter is here, with it frosty mornings and chill winter nights and so keeping the coop cosy for your girls is a must. HempBed-E Poultry Bedding from Flyte so Fancy is a natural, highly absorbent, dust-free, eco-friendly bedding with added eucalyptus.

As part of preparing for winter, making sure that you have a good layer of bedding to keep the huddled masses warm and insulated in the coop is important, through both wet and cold weather alike. British winters are as unpredictable as its summers, so keeping a good supply of sustainable bedding for your birds is key.

Chopped hemp is highly absorbent, taking up to 12 times more liquid than straw and four times more than shavings. It lasts much longer and is more economical than other beddings. The special ingredient of added eucalyptus is known to be a mild decongestant which can kill airborne germs and it has anti-bacterial properties, as well as providing a fresh smell to the coop. It is quick to compost and can be used year-round. HempBed-E Poultry Bedding will keep your hens cosy as well as making cleaning chores so much easier for you when it is cold and wet.

MORE: Available exclusively from Flyte so Fancy in a compact 15kg bale at £11.95 HempBed-E Poultry Bedding will help you and your chickens through the winter ahead. Visit or call 01300 345229 for more information.

Stop feeding the rats!

• Grandpa’s Feeders

If you’re wondering where all your precious poultry feed is going, the answer will most probably be down the throats of rats and other vermin.

Grandpa’s Feeders may well have the solution. The weight of a chicken standing on a platform opens the lid giving them access to the food, but pests such as wild birds, rats and mice aren’t heavy enough to open it.

These feeders will allow chicken’s owners to go away for weekends or longer without worrying about feeding their hens. The Standard Feeder holds 9kg of feed and the Large Feeder 18kg. 9kg being sufficient feed for 10 chickens for 6 days.

Grandpa’s Feeders are made of high quality galvanized steel which ensures a long working life, and are designed for outside use. Many people who bought them when they first were introduced in New Zealand are still using the same one today.

The standard feeder sells for £99, the large for £135 inc Vat, (both plus £12.50 p+p). As they can quickly pay for themselves in saved feed it makes them excellent value. Grandpa’s Feeders come with a 12 months guarantee.

MORE: visit Contact: or phone.01684 311729

Tackle those vermin now!

• Solway Feeders Ltd

Now is the time of year when poultry keepers need to pay particular attention to vermin control.

With shorter daylight hours and dropping temperatures together with a shortening supply of naturally available food, mice, rats and other undesirables are tempted to take advantage of your poultry feed. This is obviously wasteful in terms of time and money but also raises the problem of health concerns to your flock and possibility of disease getting into the food chain. We all need to be vigilant and take action immediately vermin are seen to be active and before the problem gets out of control. In essence the old adage Prevention is better than the cure is still the best policy.

Here at Solway Feeders Ltd we are able to offer practical advice and a range of products to combat vermin problems. We supply live catch cage traps, spring traps, place station tunnel type bait boxes and a range of suitable rodenticides to cover most applications. When dealing with traps and rodenticides always follow the instructions and wear protective clothing particularly gloves.

MORE: For further information or to place an order please see our website

You can also email us or phone 01557500253

Why plastic is perfect

• Green Frog

Why buy a plastic chicken coop?

There are now several types of plastic housing on the market, but why would you consider buying one?

Firstly, plastic doesn’t rot and is maintenance free. With care, plastic lasts for many years.

Plastic houses are easy to clean and dry in minutes. A simple hose down does the job, and any stubborn dirt can be removed with a stiff brush.

Plastic houses are less likely to suffer from the dreaded red mite, an ectoparasite that reduces egg production and can kill the birds, as there are fewer nooks and crannies in which red mite live. Even if you do find mire in the house, plastic housing can be quickly and easily cleaned.

Some plastic houses are made from recycled materials making them very environmentally friendly. Not only is the material made from plastic waste, but offcuts from the production process are recycled too, minimizing manufacturing waste.

The cost of buying a plastic house and a good quality wooden house are much the same. However, the life time costs of a plastic house work out to be lower than that of a wooden house, if the costs of wood preservative and the various red mite agents are taken into account.

MORE: or call 01963 371563

A great winter surface

• rubber chippings

It’s that time of year again when we all need to prepare for the cold and wet weather to come. And that includes looking after the comfort of our livestock. There can be nothing so unpleasant for your chickens than to have a cold, wet and muddy ground to walk on – so why not treat them to a new surface made of rubber chippings this winter?

Chipped up rubber tyres are not only environmentally friendly because they are recycled, but they create a warm, cushioned and comfortable surface underfoot. Chickens are able to scratch about in them safely in the normal way and the chippings do not biodegrade and therefore will not need regularly replacing. The rubber chippings are completely non-absorbent and easily cleaned with a hosing down.

In a well-drained area, rubber chippings can be placed in both small pens and larger runs and kept in place using an edging material such as lengths of timber; recycled railway sleepers are ideal, but any kind of garden edging material will do.

The chippings can be laid on the bare earth but preferably on a layer weed suppressant mesh to prevent them being pushed into the soil.

Simply measure the length and width of your run in metres and go to the Rubber Chippings Ltd website where a handy calculator is available to work out the number of manageable 10kg bags you need and the dimensions of the mesh underlay to go with them, it couldn’t be easier.

Wishing you and all your smallholding family, season’s greetings and a happy and healthy New Year.

MORE: Advice and further information about chippings is available at or call 07436 535412.

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