Over the years our dedication to preserving the rare breeds of poultry has grown and we are working hard to improve and keep these breeds going for future generations. Each season we look to improve our stock and work within the poultry standard. All our lines are all 'work in progress' as we always aspire to achieve the poultry standard and keep the utilities of the fowl. We have to hatch and grown on many pullets and cockerels each year and be very selective in what goes into our new breeding pens for the next season. There is no such thing such as the 'perfect chicken' and 'perfect parents' do not produce 'perfect progeny'.
We make available hatching eggs during the season. We do our very best to produce quality stock. Not every rooster mated to each hen is going to produce perfection. Please understand that when chicks hatch not all will be identical and not all will grow up to be perfect replicas of their parents. It is all in the genes so please be understanding when recessive genes pop up every now and again. We cannot guarantee hatching eggs and chicks sold from our heritage pens will all be show winning birds - some might not meet the standard but will still make great backyard layers or be good for fattening for the pot. It is a matter of selecting the best standard birds and working with these to improve the breed. A lot of time, passion and energy goes into keeping the heritage breeds going and we hope you get as much enjoyment out of them as we do!
The heritage season kicks off each spring and once hatching is under way we will have our new progeny under heat lamps in the brooder pens. Once off heat we move the young chickens into larger pens with access to outdoor runs where we grow them on until they are ready to go to new homes. Heritage breeds cannot be successfully sexed from day one so we need to grow on all chicks until we can be sure of their sex. For some breeds this is as early as 6 to 8 weeks other can take 8 to 12 weeks. Once we have determined which males are and which are females then we make the girls (pullets) available for sale. The young males (cockerels) generally do not find homes as no want wants a fine handsome fella that crows and does not lay!
Pullets are usually ready around 10-12 weeks of age. This is a great age to receive them as they can then settle well into your hen house/chicken coop and your backyard or lifestyle block routines.
We very seldom grow birds onto Point Of Lay (POL). At 12 weeks of age these pullets will be on the Westons Chicks Choice. This is the feed they have been on from hatch day and they have become accustomed to eating. We recommend keeping them on this same feed that is high in ruminant proteins till point of lay. If purchasing our heritage girls they do need to go with a bag of the chicks choice to their new home. Pullets are usually available from late November through to February each season. This date can vary from season to season depending on the weather. Exactly when they will be ready is determined by many factors: the breed variety, age of hens, the rooster (his fertility), weather, predators etc.
The breeding season is an extremely busy time of year for us with much planning, long hours and ‘chicken dedication’ that we ask our customers to be understanding that hatching and growing birds takes energy and time with no guaranteed result. Each season we will have some breeds that are not available for sale these will change from year to year depending on our breeding programme. Please note we do our very best to sex our heritage birds but occasionally we do get it wrong. Please let us know as we are more than happy to rectify. We welcome any questions.
Please note that when you pre-order your heritage pullets we ask for a non-refundable $10 deposit per pullet. Should you choose to cancel your order at a later date this deposit is non-refundable and non-transferable. We cannot issue this refund as an e-voucher to use in our store on other products. Sorry! Just too much time and energy goes into setting up orders, growing on and putting birds aside for customers etc. Thank you. Please note we also have the right to refuse the sale of livestock should we choose to do so - thank you.
All livestock is pick up from our store in Mt Heslington Road. If picking up poultry or ducks we can provide boxes at a $2.50 per box otherwise please remember to bring your own boxes or bird travel cages. A cat or dog travel cage or box will be perfect. (no chilly bins or sacks please).
Price is per egg. Availability depends on demand and time of year. We sell a minimum of 6 hatching eggs per order. Eggs are usually sold in dozens or half dozens but can do numbers in between! We can also supply a surprise dozen (what's available on the day) or a selected dozen (your choice). We courier eggs on receipt of payment at the beginning of each week (Mondays and Tuesdays). We package our eggs with extreme care in good-sized boxes. Eggs are individually wrapped and placed in egg cartons. These cartons are then packed with shredded paper into good sized boxes. We package with extreme care in strong cardboard cartons well labelled with fragile stickers. We courier at the beginning of the week to avoid unnecessary postal delays and the risk of eggs sitting idle in depots over weekends.
As there are many variables for incubating eggs and their transportation to you we cannot guarantee fertility and hatch rate and please note we do not offer replacements or refunds. We do our very best to send out fresh, clean, hatching eggs collected from the pens of our breeding groups. If it has been a wet week eggs can be a little 'muddy' please be understanding as this is out of our control as hens do transfer dirt onto eggs. We recommend not washing eggs prior to setting. We sell our hatching eggs from the breeding pens of birds when fertility is high. To do this we must monitor fertility every week by setting eggs in our incubators and candling at day 7 to 10. We make eggs available for sale when fertility is good. This is the only way to do it as there is no other way of monitoring fertility that we know about. When we collect our hatching eggs from our breeding pens we do our very best to code these eggs correctly (we are only human!) and we store them under the right conditions and we turn eggs daily prior to sending out. We believe in doing the best we can to ensure our hatching eggs have the best chances of success. Once eggs leave here with the courier they are out of our hands. We have no control how they are handled in transit. Rough handling/shaking or dropping of a parcel will affect fertility as eggs are not designed to travel and be shaken around. Once eggs are in your hands it is up to you to handle and store them correctly prior to setting under your hen or in an incubator. We recommend resting eggs before incubation. Hatching eggs need to settle for at least 24 hours if they came via the courier/mail. This allows the air-cell inside the egg to return to its normal size. Eggs should be stored with the pointy end down or on their side while they are ‘in the hold’. It's a good practice to follow and it will help your hatch. Do not write on them in felt tip or permanent marker as this will affect the fertility as eggs are porous. Don’t wash or clean hatching eggs. Washing removes the protective cuticle, making the egg more susceptible to contamination. The breeding season runs from late winter/early spring through to mid summer. Hatching eggs are best set in the first half of the season for best results. This is when the days are cooler, the roosters are keen and eager and full of renewed energy after a long rest period. Chicks hatched from eggs set prior to Christmas will grow into the length of the day and do better than those hatched in February, March or April when the days are getting shorter. Fertility and hatchability drops off towards the latter part of the season as birds relax, the weather becomes warmer and finally the moult sets in. We recommend hatching from July to October for best results.
We do not offer refunds or replacements on hatching eggs.
We charge a $3 dispatch per bird and a $5 disposal fee for any roosters/hens/birds left with us. We are also happy to assist with sexing your chickens that you have purchased from us if you need any help telling the boys from the girls.
We have available from time to time Flemish Giant rabbits for sale. We make them available to go to new homes at 8 weeks of age. We do our very best to sex the rabbits as best we can but cannot guarantee 100% we will not get it wrong! To date we have got it right so far so good! Rabbits please need to be picked up when arranged. We will charge extra for rabbits not collected on time.