Neil Armitage (529)

I am an experienced poultry keeper who has been raising chickens for over 20 years in challenging conditions in Yorkshire, UK. I am passionate about helping people learn about and enjoy the benefits of keeping chickens. I love raising chickens because they are such friendly and productive animals, providing me with fresh eggs, meat, and fertiliser, and they are a lot of fun to watch.
Should you get day old chicks, growers or ready to lay hens.

What is the best age to buy chickens. That's the chickens' age and not yours!

Chickens make good pets and lay eggs.

Why do people keep chickens?

A lovely pair of paint Silkie hens

The Paint Silkie

The self blue is a difficult colour to breed well.

The Blue Silkie

A buff Silkie hen walking on green grass.

The Buff Silkie

A splash silkie free ranging.

The Splash Silkie

A red coloured Silkie.

The Red Silkie

A cuckoo Silkie on green grass.

The Cuckoo Silkie

Young chickens in a wooden coop.

What is the best material for chicken coop construction?

Silkies are lovely birds and full of character but they are not good for every keeper.

Are Silkies right for me? The pros and cons.

Chicken coop roof, how much slope it needs and what to cover it with.

The chicken coop roof.

How to deal with and treat lethargic bantam chickens

Lethargic bantam chickens.

All chickens are different sizes and even bantams vary quite a lot.

How big do bantam chickens get?

What should you be using as a paint or preservative on your chicken coop.

Painting and preserving your chicken coop.

A barnevelder rooster ranging in the chicken run.

Chicken coop floors and foundations.

A selection of eggs from my bantam egg flock.

Why are my bantams not laying eggs? (with FAQ)

A bantam wyandotte hen wandering in the snow.

Are bantams easy to keep?

Two hens in a nest with shavings as bedding.

Chicken coop and nest box bedding

A batch of new day old chicks.

When is the best time to buy chicks?

Ice forming on the chicken coop vents.

Chicken coop ventilation. Why its so important and how to do it right.

Young chickens inside a chicken coop.

What should be inside your chicken coop.

A black Silkie chicken on fresh green grass.

Black Silkie chickens

How much height and head room do you need inside the coop.

How tall do chicken coops need to be?

A lavender Silkie hen in the grass.

Lavender Silkie chickens

A silver dutch bantam rooster.

Bantam roosters and cockerels

A raised coop makes the keepers life easier.

Should Chicken coops be raised up of the ground?

A frizzle chicken at a poultry show.

What are Frizzle, Sizzle and Frazzle chickens

A show quality partridge Silkie at a poultry gathering

Partridge Silkie chickens

A beautiful full white Silkie on beach sand.

White Silkie chickens

three colours of Silkie chicken sat on a perch.

Silkie colours.

Silkies are one of the oldest known breeds

11 fascinating Silkie facts

A chicken coop with the windows clearly visible.

Chicken coop windows

Bantam chickens do tend to be more friendly.

Are bantams friendly?

Broody hens on a nest but can you persuade hens to go broody.

Can you make a hen go broody?

A Silkie hen enjoying her time in the dust bath.

Do Silkie chickens need a dust bath?

A snake eating an egg in the nest

15 ways to keep snakes out of the chicken coop.

Should you put food and water in the chicken coop?

This is definitely a happy chicken. How can the keeper tell whether their flock is happy and in good health.

How do you know if your chickens are happy?

A pop hole in a home built chicken coop

Chicken coop doors and pop holes

A nest full of eggs from my light Sussex bantams

Are bantam chickens good egg layers.

Chicken coops can be too big or small and both have their problems.

Can a coop be too big or too small

A happy broody hen settled on her nest.

Are bantams broody?

A young chickens looking for food in fresh pasture.

What do chickens eat naturally?

Hens do like water but will drown easily.

Can and should chickens swim?

A mother hen with a large brood of chicks.

How many chicks can a chicken look after.

Chickens being fed fodder as fresh greens.

How to provide fresh greens for chickens in winter.

Silkies do roost and it is important for all chickens to be able to perch.

Do Silkie chickens roost? And how high should they be.

A whole flock of chickens sleeping in the nest box.

11 reasons chickens sleep in nest boxes and how to stop it.

What should you avoid when breeding or buying Silkies.

Faults in Silkies.

I test 4 of the current range of automatic coop door openers .

A review of automatic chicken coop door openers with 4 on test.

Washing a bathing Silkies  so as they look nice for they show.

How to wash and bath a Silkie.

Older hens have some special needs but are very useful to have around.

Dealing with older hens or biddies.

A showgirl Silkie perching

What is a Showgirl Silkie?

A close up of a silkie chickens feet showing some of the problems they have.

Looking after a Silkies feet. Common problems and treatment.

Silkie chickens are some of the slowest growing  chickens

How fast do Silkie chickens grow

A lost chickens peering out from under branches.

Lost chickens

Mother hens are very good at looking after their young but lack the equipment to nurse.

Do chickens breastfeed or nurse their young?

Two Silkie chickens in the snow.

Silkies in the ice, cold and wet of winter

A well bred Silkie hen.

Breeding Silkies and Showgirls

What happens if you breed bantams and large fowl chickens together.

Breeding bantam and large fowl chickens together

A tray of Silkie eggs showing the colour

Silkie eggs

Telling the boys from the girls is very difficult with silkies.

Sexing Silkie chickens

Bantams never seem to be sold sexed.

Why are bantams only sold as straight run

Bantams can be good egg producers as well.

Why keep bantam chickens

A selection of different types of bantams

Types and varieties of bantam chickens

Two different sizes and colours of Silkie chicken.

Types and sizes of Silkie chickens

Silkie cockerels are generally a pleasure to have around.

The Silkie cockerel

A selection of eggs from my bantam chickens.

Bantam chicken eggs

A beautiful white Silkie at a poultry show.

Silkies for showing and how to prepare for judging.

A sick Silkie chicken with an eye infection.

Silkie problems and diseases

Silkie chickens and parasites

A pair of Silkie chickens eating.

Feeding Silkies and what to give as treats

A free range chicken out on grass.

Should I free range my chickens and bantams?

How much is too much to pay for silkies.

Where to get Silkies and how much to pay for them.

The breed standard of perfection for the Silkie chicken.

Silkie breed standard.

A silkie chicken plucked and ready for cooking.

Keeping silkies for meat

A family of Silkie chickens.

Incubating and hatching Silkie eggs

A Silkie chicken from the history books.

History and origin of the Silkie chicken

Silkies need a little extra care.

Care of Silkie chickens

One of my Silkie cross chickens I use for hatching chicks.

Broody Silkie chickens