There has been a real upsurge in the keeping of backyard chickens with specially designed arks etc. It has also been encouraged by the upsurge in rescuing ex-battery hens by the British Hen Welfare Trust.
You don't need a license to keep poultry but if you keep more than 50 you need to register with the local DEFRA office. The average life span of chickens in 8-10 years (but many rescue ex-battery hens are several years old when rescued). Some will last almost twice this.
During the summer when the daylight is long a chicken can lay up to 7 eggs a week (but most don't, and again ex-battery hens have often drastically reduced).
A standard diet is pellets, mash or meal with a source of grit to provide a grinding surface to break then down, and help with the extra calcium for egg laying. Pecking at grass is good, if that gets a little short or messy then hanging greens in the pen can help.
VETARK products are used in care of rescued backyard poultry etc. Our probiotic Avipro Plus is very useful for controlling non-specific diarrhoea or supporting birds when they are being treated with antibiotics. Critical Care Formula (CCF) is being used in the nursing back to health process.
Nutrobal & Arkvits can be used as high calcium vitamin supplements, especially when birds are being brought back into condition. Our BSP vitamin drops are ideal liquid vitamins for longterm routine maintenance in the drinking water.
For disinfection we have a superb disinfectant Ark-Klens which is effective against a wide range of bacteria and viruses including E.Coli, Salmonella, psittacosis/ornithosis and flu viruses. It is non-scented and extremely cost effective.
We enclose a couple of links below to Download an excellent poster/wallchart on diseases of free range poultry and a leaflet on Keeping pet Chickens - both compiled by Victoria Roberts BVSc.MRCVS and produced by The BVA Animal Welfare Foundation in association with The Poultry Club.