How we started
Our family has had chickens in our back yard for over 20 years. The house we currently live in is in fact an old farmhouse which used to be called Oaker Farm (before changing it’s name in the last century some time) and we were lucky enough to have a small amount of woodland where we kept the chickens. When we had the opportunity to buy some farming land on the outskirts of our village I jumped at the chance and so started Higher oak Farm. We named it after the huge oak in the middle of our two fields as it is higher than any other oak around and it is just off higher Lane. We all thought it was a perfect name for a beautiful place. I was lucky enough to have the space to start breeding more hens.
My particular passion was for the Light Sussex and I was lucky enough to be able to buy some breeding stock direct Nick Smith (Nick Smith, from Herefordshire is a legendary breeder of the light Sussex). The other Traditional breeds we specialise in are Old English Pheasant Fowl, which are a breed originally from our area, as well as Araucana (lavender) because they are just so pretty and have lovely blue eggs and Norfolk Grey’s due to their stunning black plumage.
We are also selling a Blackrock Hybrid Hen.
Black Rock hybrid chickens are hardy, productive hens that lay up to 280 eggs a year and have been a very popular choice for both smallholders and backyard poultry keepers. Black Rock hens are bred by crossing two very unique strains of Rhode Island Red cockerels with Barred Plymouth Rock hens which have until now come from the Muirfield hatchery in Scotland.
For 40 years, Peter and Margaret Siddons have looked after and improved these strains and have distributed day old chicks all over the UK to distributors who have grown and sold them from this age to point of lay.
Peter and Margaret have now retired and have moved from Muirfield. At one point, it was thought that the Black Rock bloodlines would be lost forever but fortunately Eddie Lovett and his son Calum at Crosslee Poultry Farm (also in Scotland) have taken over the Black Rock bloodlines. Crosslee will continue to supply the Black Rock hybrid. We are proud to be an agent for original Blackrock hens.