Gaynor’s Hen Tips

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Vent Gleet

Oh the shame of it. One day your hen has a lovely fluffy bottom the next she has a nasty sticky yellow white paste around her vent and soiling her beautiful feathers. You may also notice her flock mates might keep a wide birth as the smell is really unpleasant! These are all signs that […]

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Oh rats!

Rats! It can be frustrating to find that some unwanted four footed company has moved in to our hen run. Often the first indication is a chewed corner on a feed bag, but you may also notice strategically placed tunnel entrances in the soil close to your coop. It is certainly NOT inevitable that hens […]

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RSPCA’s 5 freedoms

Keeping any pet is a responsibility and hens are no exception. As hen owners we have a duty to ensure that as far as possible all their physical and mental needs are being addressed. The RSPCA list 5 freedoms that any animal should be able to enjoy: Freedom from Hunger and Thirst: By ready access […]

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Oral Cankers

When hens stop eating it is not always easy to pin down an obvious cause without a fair amount of detective work. A head to toe examination will rule out problems and help you to decide if your hen is just having an off day or needs to go to see a vet. It may […]

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Bumble Foot

Does your hen look as if she is wearing over-large carpet slippers? If so she might have Bumble foot. Bumble foot normally starts out with a small hard black spot or raised rough patch on the bottom of the foot. In extreme cases all the toes and even the lower part of the leg can […]

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Hens have ears too!

It is sometimes easy to forget that hens have ears too… Hens’ ears are very well disguised and hidden under a flat of dense feathering. If you gently lift up the ear flap you should see a clean dark round hole. If the ear becomes infected this hole may be full of a yellow waxy […]

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Remember remember the 5th of November

Remember remember the 5th of November… For those of us with pets we are all too aware that firework season is upon us again (not just confined to one day anymore). While you are keeping your cats and dogs indoors, don’t forget you have responsibilities to your hens too. Most hens cope well and snooze […]

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Hens and worms

All animals can (and do) pick up worms. Hens are no different. Do not be lulled into thinking that your hens don’t have visitors just because you haven’t seen any in their droppings, if you are actually seeing worms in the droppings your hen has a heavy worm burden. Worms lay thousands of eggs every […]

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When your hens feathers drop like Autumn leaves

The annual moult is one of the more perplexing aspects of keeping hens. Your hen is in peak condition, glossy feathers and red comb one minute then almost overnight she starts to drop her feathers. Some hens drop lots of feathers (a hard moult) while others have a partial moult (soft moult). The important thing to […]

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An issue that keeps cropping up…

One of the more regular calls I receive at Hen Central relates to issues with the crop.

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Each hen to their own

Each hen to their own. On re-homing days people often ask for hens that don’t look alike so that they can remember which is which when they get them home. Hens are really good at changing their appearance when they feather up and features that stand out on day one (a large floppy comb or […]

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Hens are very good at disguising illness

Hens are very good at disguising illness. As prey animals they don’t want to be singled out by a predator so symptoms of illness may go unnoticed. Routinely checking your hens will provide you with a blueprint to enable you to spot early signs of health problems. It is also useful to have as much […]