Know How / Layers


Advice and tips


4 alternatives to spreading poultry manure on land 

Poultry farmers are increasingly looking at practical uses for poultry manure to future-proof their businesses and achieve additional income. The amount and timing of spreading on land – the most common way…


How to match nutrition to layer potential

Over a modern laying hen's lifetime it will produce many multiples of its bodyweight in eggs, and as genetic selection improves, so too does the length of the bird's productive…


Guide to inactive vaccine administration for pullet rearers

Like many of the processes in poultry farming, bird performance is tied to getting the basics right. The inactivated vaccine administration at point of lay is no different, with a…


Advice on cleaning free-range poultry sheds

Planning turnaround and the logistics is a big undertaking. But a well-executed clean can help set a new free-range flock off to a flying start. Andrew Watson of Bowler Eggs…

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Case studies


Why home-mix rations are making a comeback on poultry farms

Market conditions are tough for free-range egg farmers and one of the ways to manage the risk of lower returns, is to take control of the largest input cost any…


Avian influenza: One farm's robust plans to combat the threat

Chief among the threats to any poultry business in the UK is the incursion of avian influenza (AI). It is possible to reduce the risk of it finding its way…


Distillers' dried grains with solubles a viable feed

As part of the £2.6m Defra and industry-funded Link programme, “Environmental and Nutritional Benefits of Bioethanol Co-Products (Enbbio)”, recent trials, have proved that wheat distillers’ dried grains with solubles (wDDGS) can be…


Free-range egg enterprise installs multi-tier aviary system

Powys dairy farmer Rob Evans is the latest to diversify into free-range egg production in a bid to make his farm more economically sustainable. He has just invested in a…

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How latest red mite treatments perform in poultry flocks

Red mite is a pervasive pest present on almost all commercial poultry farms with varying degrees of severity. Mites can drink up to 5% of a bird's blood every night, and…


100% organic poultry rations: Challenges and solutions

Organic poultry production has long had a challenge in getting feed rations right. Farmers adopting the system accept that bird performance will be lower but, in theory, birds reared under…


5 minutes with... Poultry Farmer of the Year Philip Crawley

It's been a whirlwind few months for the Farmers Weekly Award winners – 15 extraordinary farmers, advisers, contractors and farmworkers who last year received one of farming's highest accolades recognising…


How a high-tech poultry unit is opening up to the public

If there is one criticism that can fairly be levelled at the commercial poultry sector in the UK, it is that engagement with its ultimate customer, the British public, can…

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Biggest poultry research centre in Europe opens in Scotland

Scotland is pushing ahead with its aim to become a global leader in agri-research, with the opening this week of a new £5.6m poultry research centre on the outskirts of…


Free-range egg contracts slammed for 'buyer bias'

The British Free Range Egg Producers Association (BFREPA) plans to introduce its own model contract for egg producers, to provide a blueprint for members and so encourage packers to improve the…


Trial reveals benefits of sprouted seeds in laying hen diets

Sprouted seeds in feed given to laying hens could boost financial returns for farmers and free up land for food production, a new study has found. Hens fed a mix…


Farmers on difficulty of housing poultry in face of AI risk

Concerns have been raised by free-range producers about chief veterinary officer Nigel Gibbens' decision to introduce a blanket prevention zone across England to help protect poultry from a strain of avian…

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Activists slammed for poultry farm break in

Poultry farmer and UKIP spokesman for agriculture Stuart Agnew has branded animal rights activists who broke into his free-range hen farm to take covert footage as “irresponsible” and “wilfully inconsiderate”.…

Activists film chick maceration in French hatchery

Dozens of French MPs have written to the country’s agricultural minister, Stéphane Le Foll, calling for legislation geared at ending the practice of macerating day-old chicks. It follows a video,…


Watch: Villagers feud with egg packer over new farm

A planning dispute has broken out in a Kent village characteristic of those across the country – local residents opposing the erection of a new poultry unit. This one, however,…

Welfare campaigners renew call to ban caged hens

Animal welfare body, Compassion in World Farming (CIWF), is stepping up its campaign to ban enriched colony systems of egg production, describing them as “fundamentally flawed”. The organisation has released…

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