Starting a Chook pen from Scratch

It’s been awhile since I wrote my last post, the website has changed several times, the world has gone crazy and we moved house – total chaos! Fortunately there is now peace in the chook pen at here at work as the three ‘home hens’ have found their place in the work chook pen. The old grey hen Lisa remains the ‘boss’ and matriarch, mainly I suspect because she has been in the pen the longest. The little bantam rooster ‘Grian’ and my feisty hen ‘Tiger’ spent several weeks fighting and but have totally made up… so we discovered that when a mate incubated a few of the eggs – all the green eggs produced chickens.

Given that chooks have suddenly become very trendy, (my grandparents would be thrilled to see that the backyard chook and veggie garden are the latest thing in virus survival 😀).  I thought it might be a good idea to put some lists together on what you need to keep them.  I classify chooks as a pretty easy care pet/live stock: you can leave them alone for a long weekend away and they don’t need daily walks.

So you’ve brought home a few ‘point of lay’ chooks, congratulations and welcome to the chook club. Chooks are good pets -they don’t sleep on your bed and have the bonus that they lay eggs! Yes you can create a chook palace and feed them a range of fancy treats but they can live on chicken crumbles or pellets and water. Water, food, some shelter and a nest box to lay eggs in. It’s really that simple.

Enjoy your chickens, Helen (aka the crazy chook lady) 🐣🐤🐥

The chook house here at work.

Links to our feeders, drinkers and nest boxes.



Nest Boxes:

The most popular choices:

Brinsea Mini Eco incubator

I had a customer ask about the Brinsea Mini Eco incubator… so since I took a number of photos to show them, it makes sense to share more details of this incubator on the blog. Yes yes, very weird of me to actually write about incubators on a poultry equipment shop blog, since I’ve written about ‘everything else’ and recipes 🙂 This will be only the second post on an actual incubator!

The Brinsea Mini Eco is a very cute (yes that’s my description, not Jeff’s – I don’t believe Jeff has ever called anything, much less an incubator ‘cute’ – probably not even the dogs when they were puppies 🙂 The Mini Eco makes it very easy to see the eggs with a clear top, great for watching the eggs hatch. It is classified as a 10 egg manual turn incubator but that will depend on the size of your eggs.

It has heat cables, is pre-set to 99.5F and comes with a glass thermometer. The Brinsea Mini Eco is a fan air circulated incubator. From a cleaning perspective (always something I think about!) the heat cables and fan are tucked away in the top of the unit, and like most incubators appreciate a vacuum when the machine is turned off and dry – the computer cleaning attachments for vacuum cleaners make this job even easier.

Humidity is managed with the water dishes in the base, you can keep on eye on this when you turn your eggs. As with all Brinsea products there is a lovely 2 year parts only warranty. Please note, a Mini Eco can not be ‘upgraded’ to a Mini Advance or Mini Advance EX due to their design.

To find this incubator on our website:

New Retail Catalogue just done.

I’ve just up loaded a new updated version of our retail catalogue to the website and feel totally exhausted…  It is a fiddly job that involves many fights with the computer and programs.  I am sure at times the publishing program hates me 🙂

Every few months I go through the list of changes that need to be done – additional products, price changes or photos that need to be updated.  I try to keep a list on my desk:  every time I find a change that needs to be done I write it down and then tick off when it has been done in the retail or wholesale catalogue or on the website.  Keeping all three up to date is ‘interesting’  job.  We still have a number of customers who can not or choose not to use the on-line website, so having a relatively up to date paper catalogue is helpful.  Many customers, like my parents down south, have no or limited web access.  My mother claims that her satellite dish (for web access) works best on a clear evening – no cloud cover- at around 2am!  This is not helpful when it comes to trying to do on-line shopping, especially when it decides to crash just as you are checking out and then loses all your shopping cart!

So if you would like to see/save/print the retail catalogue PDF file, it is here on the website – under the Downloads section (which also contains many of our products instruction manuals and other useful stuff).

As of 2018 the retail catalogue is here:

If you need a copy, just let us know – ring or email and I can send you a copy either as an attachment or by ‘snail mail’. For local call charge telephone 1300 88 1170 (Australia only)  Tel: 08 – 9524 1251  or email

25th July 2018: 4 yrs later and I’m still updating our retail catalogue and we still get requests to post them out.  If you would like one, please just give us call!

Catalogue front page

Lets Start at the very beginning

Well it has finally happened… I’ve been asking about setting up a blog section for the website for sometime. After all not everyone uses Facebook 🙂 though you can find us there – For those of you who haven’t been to the shop at meet us, I’m Helen – the one who talks alot and is more than slightly animal mad. My husband Jeff and I took over the business nearly 3 years ago now and while Jeff grew up with the poultry industry (and the shop since his father started the business) – I had a steep learning curve. I’m a farmers daughter, but we had sheep & cows and my Mothers chooks tended to free range and mostly take care of themselves. Hopefully I will be able to share some of the many interesting things I have learnt about the shop, poultry, poultry equipment, traps and probably life in general in the last few years.

WA Poultry Equipment as a business grew from Jeff’s family’s involvement in breeding quail and pheasant. As with many hobbies and especially birds (as those of you who breed them know) it is one of those things that has a habit of growing and consuming more time and resources. The Martins moved here to Baldivis in 1979 and eventually the equipment side of the business took over from the livestock. Today the poultry is limited to Chris & Rosemary’s dozen or so Isa brown hens, which lay eggs that the grandchildren love to collect, and our small mixed pet chook flock here at the shop – who will probably ended up featuring quite often in my writings. Bruce, the big ‘Plymouth Rock X’ rooster, who was named by the kids at school (and currently crowing loudly in the background) and two smaller ‘Plymouth Rock X’ hens I call Speckles and Dark Specks. I’ll add their story soon. They share the large chook pen space with two old Australorp hens. The rest of our pet family consists of my beloved 15yr old white cat ‘Princess Sophia’, 5 zebra fish and our ‘pound’ dog, Molly the toy fox terrier cross who is often at the shop with us.

So welcome to our shop. I currently plan on adding posts a few times a week- as time permits. Hopefully this blog will end up as a kind of virtual walk through of the shop and the items it contains, along with stories of what is happening in my world. I’m sure I will make mistakes (I’ve never blogged before.. ) and writing a blog is quite different to reading them.
Thanks for reading,… till next time, Helen & Molly (who is keeping my chair warm behind me)

Helen & Molly at work
Helen and Molly