Gaynor’s Hen Tips

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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 […]

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Why do my hens lay soft shell eggs?

Why do my hens lay soft shell eggs? There is no nicer treat than checking your hen’s nest box and finding a perfect egg laid just for you. However, sometimes the eggs we find are not the smooth perfect eggs that we would find on a supermarket shelf. It is important to remember that whatever […]

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The correct way to diagnose Coccidiosis

I often receive calls from worried hen owners that have Googled their hen’s symptoms and come up with Coccidiosis. Coccidiosis is included in the cocktail of vaccinations that your hen will have received before going into cages so a newly re-homed hen is unlikely to have it. However, hens can pick up Coccidiosis from wild […]

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Fly Strike

Hens are really good at disguising the fact that they are unwell. This is a natural defense mechanism, because hens don’t want to appear vulnerable to predators. Because of this diarrhoea or a discharge from her vent and soiled feathers may go unnoticed. Your hen may also stop preening and grooming and be more reluctant to […]

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Do your ex-bats require vaccination?

I am often asked if ex-bats require vaccination? I guess this is because we are all so used to our dogs and cats having routine boosters. All commercial laying hens are vaccinated as path of the course when they are usually just day old chicks. Hens need to have protection from diseases that can be fatal […]

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Something lurking in the nest box

Occasionally you may come across an abnormal object in your nest box that is neither egg nor dropping. Usually this is yellow or flesh coloured and looks at first glance like a lump of sausage meat. Yeuch! This is commonly known as a lash. Lash eggs result from an infection (bacterial or viral) that causes […]

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How your chickens breathe

Chickens have a specialised system for getting oxygen into their body and removing carbon dioxide. In doing so they employ an efficient combination of two methods to obtain oxygen, allowing them to indulge in highly energetic activities such as flying and running. As you might expect, air enters through the nostrils, and passes through the […]