Thinking of Planting a Wood?

Carr’s Group and Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust (YDMT) are working together to create a lasting legacy for Dales agriculture.

Our partnership will provide support for people, innovation and the environment to deliver sustainable farm improvements that benefit our communities.

As part of this three year partnership YDMT, together with partner organisations, can offer free advice and funding to Carr’s customers to create new native broadleaf woodlands, including gill planting, fencing and planting which can help with natural flood management.

For more information contact: Carol Douglas, 015242 51002

Making an Application

To be eligible for funding your proposed woodland should:

  • Signifcantly conserve, enhance or add to the natural heritage
  • Be accessible to the general public or be clearly visible from a public right of way
  • Be supported by the local community

The main focus of your application should be the planting of native broadleaf woodland. However, we may also be able to fund other additional project elements, such as planting non-native species or hedgerows, providing they meet eligibility criteria around biodiversity and conservation.

We can cover the costs involved in the establishing your new woodland, including the supply and planting of trees and guards, fencing to exclude stock, gates to allow access and initial weeding costs. In some circumstances applicants may be asked to contribute cash, materials or labour.

 

The woodland grants programme is managed by Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust (YDMT) with partners including Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority, the Woodland Trust, Nidderdale AONB and the Forestry Commission. The programme is sponsored by Carrs Billington Agriculture. Find out more at ww.ydmt.org

 

 

 

Poultry Preparations for Winter

There is no denying that winter is upon us. Dark nights, frosty mornings and damp air. Follow the short, snappy check list below to get your poultry coop in order to keep those hens happy.

·         Carry out any essential repairs to the coop and consider a sheltered run if not already installed.

·         Ensure the coop and run are fully waterproof and address appropriately if not. Tarpaulin is an excellent temporary solution.

·         Check the ventilation- ensure there is airflow within the coop, essential to prevent ammonia build up which could be detrimental to the health of your poultry flock and yourself if inhaled.

·         Choose a clear day to take the opportunity to deep clean the coop. Scrape off any dried droppings and then scrub with hot soapy water. Using a safe disinfectant is advised and a variety of products are available in our stores.

·         You may have read our article relating to mites, even in the winter they can persevere due to the flock spending more time in the coop. So take the opportunity to spray a multi action product that will also act against bacteria, fungus and viruses. Ensure you get in all the cracks and corners.

·         To keep the benefits of your hard work, disinfect weekly ensuring you pay close attention to drinkers, feeders and anything else in the coop.  

·         Clean out more regularly due to the time they are spending inside the coop

·         Keep a close eye on the ground condition, damp conditions can encourage fungal infections on the chicken’s feet. Ensuring the run is covered and there is adequate drainage should help but depending on the type of ground you may need to lay down bark or hemp chippings.

·         DEFRA often enforce Avian Influenza prevention zones, please be aware and check whether your area is included and ensure your coop and run comply with the requirements.

Our Country stores have a variety of products to help ensure each and every point is ticked off your to do list. Pop down to your local branch and browse our range of poultry products including feed, bedding, supplements and disinfectants.

Vaccines – Top Tips for Effective Use

Here are some top tips to help maximise the effectiveness of any vaccines you may get prescribed this autumn. Something we come across when prescribing these vaccines is our assumption that everyone already knows the best practice for using these valuable products. So this is a quick, concise guide that is great to refer back to

  • Storing correctly is vital

Vaccines are incredibly temperature sensitive, invest in an accurate thermometer for your fridge and ensure the temperature stays between 2 and 8 degrees. Extreme cold can be more damaging to the vaccine so do not leave in an exposed place during the winter.

  • Correct dosage

Weigh your animals in groups before heading to collect your prescription. Buy just enough to treat the amount of animals you can physically manage in 8 hours. Once the vaccine has been open 8 hours or more, there can be questions about how effective the vaccine will be, as the air and pathogens that are naturally around us can affect the vaccines. Most vaccines come in a range of quantities and so the best advice is to dose in batches, maximising the effectiveness of the vaccine.

  • Method of giving the vaccine

Ensuring you are giving the vaccine to a healthy animal is very important as they need their full immune system to respond to maximise the effectiveness of the vaccine. Injecting the correct part of the animal, through clean skin/ fleece with a sterile sharp needle will increase the chances of the vaccine entering the blood stream and not resulting in an abscess. Always ensure you read the instructions that come with the product

  • Timing is everything

If your vaccine is aimed at young stock via the colostrum then it is imperative that you time the dose according to the guidelines for that product. If it is dosed too far away from birth or too close to birth then there will not be sufficient antibodies in the colostrum and they will not get into the blood stream of the animal in that short window where absorption is at its best, meaning your vaccine many not be effective.

  • Colostrum

Leading on from the timing, if your young stock does not get 5% of its body weight of colostrum in the first 6 hours of birth and then a further 5% within 24 hours then the antibodies from the vaccine will not be at the optimum levels in the blood stream. With a calf this can equate to 20 minutes of suckling. Monitoring is key to ensure the calf takes the full amount if with the mother.

 

Find your nearest branch here to chat to our qualified staff about your current health plan

 

Moulting chickens? We’re here to help!

Don’t panic if you find your chickens are moulting, they go through several moults in their lifetime naturally, here Clare Taylor (aka The Chicken Whisperer) discusses the steps you can take to support your birds through what is a stressful period:

  • A chicken’s first moult is shortly after they hatch and they will have two, sometimes three moults before they achieve their adult plumage.
  • They will moult once a year, usually in early autumn although this can be dependent on the amount of daylight available. “An early moult, or perhaps an interim small moult, can be triggered by a sudden change in the daylight hours or temperature.
  • Typically, as the daylight hours shorten a chicken’s metabolic body clock changes.
  • They eat less and they start to moult. Some birds will experience a gradual moult, replacing feathers progressively, working down the body from head to tail, whereas others (the best layers can often be the heavier moulters) can experience a ‘total feather-drop’ and be virtually naked, which can look alarming!

“From the bird’s perspective a heavy moult takes up a lot of energy and nutrients and can have an adverse effect on its immune system” Clare notes. “It may become apparent that they look withdrawn, paler in the face and will possibly have stopped laying eggs so it is essential to support them through this difficult period with high-quality nutrition alongside vitamin tonics or powdered minerals. I usually take them off layers rations and my pure breeds are producing very few eggs by this time anyway” she continues, “and I feed them on growers’ pellets, which have more of the protein that they need to grow new feathers.

  • During moulting your chickens may benefit from some extra powdered Biotin as this also contains the ‘building block nutrients’ for forming feathers
  • It can also be advised to add a liquid vitamin tonic to their water everyday during the moulting period.
  • A vitamin tonic can help support condition, and B vitamins help to manage stress levels.

It is important to remember that during the moulting period your flock should be handled less frequently. “The emerging feathers in their quills have a strong blood supply and are very sensitive, so handling them will cause some discomfort” Clare notes. “I avoid any unnecessary handling at this time and hold off on routine medication such as worming until they are fully feathered again and I try not to move any birds to different pens around moulting time as this adds to the stress on the birds. Hens will typically all start to moult at different times (well mine do!), and it can take up to a month for them to all finish the process, and a further 3 weeks or so to start to lay eggs again”.

The moulting process is completely natural and happens on an annual basis but some simple management, and nutritional, adjustments can help support your birds at this key time to keep your flock comfortable and productive for as much of the year as possible.

Find your closest store here and our friendly, knowledgeable staff will be more than happy to help recommend the best products for your feathered friends.