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Shane & Emma's Smallholding


"How To" Booklets

Due to popular demand, we have created this page, it is where we can share with you some of the non food items that we think you might enjoy, namely our "How to Guides" Currently we have a couple on animal raising and welfare, and a couple on things to build. I have been selling these on eBay and they have been doing very well, it seems that a lot of folk out there are doing something similar to us and benefit from some of our experience.

We have chosen to use PayPal as a payment method as it is really easy to use and gives you a degree of security whilst spending your money...

I am certain that I have said this before but there really is no substitute for good quality hands on experience,
however, these little booklets will put you on the right track with some good solid advise for starting out with animals.

The booklet are A5 in size (half A4) To keep the cost of these booklet as low as possible and by definition value for money (something close to our own hearts) we have decided to send these booklets electronically (via email)...This saves money and time on postage and you get your booklet quicker.

Once we have a payment (via PayPal) we will send the booklet to your registered PayPal email address, the booklet will be an Adobe (.PDF) file which can be read by anyone with a PC.

Please ensure that you are able to receive e-mails to your e-mail account, and that you are having no e-mail difficulties.

Also ensure that you are able to read an Adobe (.PDF) document, if unsure go to

Please note…Each of the booklets sold via email will have a “Not for Re-Sale” watermark on each page, we do want to share our knowledge but we do not want to give it away…we don’t love you that much!  And the money generated by the sale of the booklets goes towards our animal feed bill…So buying a booklet helps us continue with this lifestyle an is very much appreciated.

Any questions please email me...thank you for looking at our sale page.


Beginners Guide to Keeping Laying Hens - 2.75

Emma and I started with chickens when we were still living in a Milton Keynes, we had six Orpington hens that were more pet than anything else, it was a fantastic hobby and unbeknown to us the start of our lifestyle change from townie to smallholder, we still keep Orpington hens now and interestingly enough as I write this we still have one of the original six hens still roaming around with us, we also have a great many other chickens now as you've no doubt seen from the regular updates, everything from rescue battery hens to adopted bantams (small hens) which are great for raising chicks.

Emma and I have produced this "beginners" guide for raising hens for eggs, which we believe is invaluable to anyone who is interested in taking up one of Britons fastest growing hobbies.

Our booklet covers:

General Introduction
Types of hen
General Health

The booklet also includes DEFRA guidance and advice on poultry, this section of the booklet contains all information needed for the successful raising of your hens and covers:

Health and Welfare
On-Farm Welfare
Laying hens
Other poultry
A-Z disease index
Useful links

There are also a full list of web addresses to all associated DEFRA documentation that may be required, depending upon your situation.

The booklet is A5 in size (half A4) and contains 16 pages, and we believe it's a good guide to starting with hens written by us through our own experience.


Beginners Guide to Raising Rare and Traditional Pigs - 2.75

Our first love are the pigs, we started around five years ago and as "townies" with no farming background and both Emma and I being desk jockeys we had to learn "on the job" that said, since we made the break we haven't looked back...You can see our progress over the years via the updates on the left.

Emma and I thought that a "beginners" guide for raising pigs might be of benefit to anyone who is interested in taking the plunge and changing their lifestyle or even thinking about it.

Our beginners guide covers:

General Advice

The booklet also includes "A Guide For New Pig Keepers" by DEFRA, this section contains all of the legal requirements needed for the successful raising of your pigs and covers:

Obtaining a County Parish Holding number (CPH)
Movement Licences
Section on disease

The booklet is A5 in size (half A4) and contains 19 pages including photos, and we believe is a good guide to starting with pigs, written by us through our own experience.


We have also created some items that will benefit either the smallholder or the smallholding, please see the following "How to Make" Booklets.


How to Make a Hot & Cold Smoker/Cold Oven - 2.50

We provide about 80% of our own meat and enjoy turning the quality meat that we raise into fantastic meals, which include making salamis, bacon, and ham, that makes having a good smoker essential. However one the size we wanted which could cold smoke, effectively curing the meat/fish and making it last longer and taste fantastic was going to cost more that I could afford...So the only other option was to make one!

Once designed it only took an afternoon to make, I made it out of inexpensive materials...namely a couple of readily available 55 gallon steel drums, and to construct it I used a drill and a jigsaw...yep, it was that easy!

It was so easy I thought that others may like to try it...so I created a "How To" booklet, nothing fancy just A5 in size (half A4 size) and a whooping eight pages...it truly is that simple to make the smoker / cold oven, and cheap because the only equipment you need are the two 55 gallon drums (assuming that you own or have access to the drill and jigsaw).

We also have from time to time drums and build smokers for sale...If you would like me to build you one please e-mail me for details.



Large Poultry/Fowl, Chicken, Duck, Goose Ad-Lib Feeder/Storage bin 2.50

Our chickens number over a hundred and include ex-battery hens for eggs, good free ranging table birds for meat and our favourite, the Goldlace and Buff Orpington's just for fun. I am sure you can image the amount of feed that takes, and the amount of time feeding!...well we needed to find a solution to our problem because without secure storage there is always the added threat of rodents!

For us we like to keep our feed off of the floor as we have found this reduces the amount of worm eggs picked up by our poultry, it also reduces the number of food thieves (the flying sort) as well as reducing the risk of rats!

We think that our "100kg ad lib feeder cum storage container" or steel drum feeder as I like to call it, fits the bill perfectly, not only is the feed off of the ground it is the right height to deter any food thieves, and you can store your poultry feed for weeks with only limited top ups...thus reducing your daily feed routine to a daily walk around your chicken pen with a cuppa!

Once designed it only took an afternoon to make, I made it out of inexpensive materials...namely a 55 gallon steel drum, some timber I had laying around, a feed dispenser and six bolts. To construct it I used a drill and a jigsaw...yep, another easy build.


Hedgerow Wine Making for Beginners - 2.75

Emma and I started making hedgerow wine because it combines two of my favourite words…”Free” and “Alcohol” the very first wine we made was elderberry and produced a great full bodied red port like flavoured wine…delicious!...that was it we were hooked.
We have of course had our own fair share of failures or as we call them, bulk vinegar making, and following some of our attempts we have had remarkably clean drains! All that said, it is a great way to spend a late summer day collecting a hedgerow harvest and producing something that is delicious.
We are a small family who raise rare and traditional animals on our smallholding in South Lincolnshire including pigs, cows, chickens, ducks, geese and sheep. If you are interested we run a small blog style website where you can see our progress over the years www.durston.org.uk

Emma and I have already produced a few booklets which shares with you some of our experience, and you guys seem to like them very much, so we thought that a "beginners" guide for hedgerow winemaking might be of benefit to anyone who is interested in taking up one of Britain’s favourite hobbies.

Our beginners guide booklet covers:

What you’ll need
Summery (of the wine making process)

The booklet is A5 in size (half A4) and contains 20 pages (not including back and front cover
)and we believe it's a good guide to starting with hedgerow wine making.


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