Anne has a new book out on 16 Jan next year
called ‘A Family Guide to Keeping Chickens,’
published by ‘How To Books’ (an imprint of
Constable & Robinson). You can pre-order a
copy now on Amazon!
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The Moult
As our girls replace their feathers, by shedding
their old feathers and growing new ones,
please remember that their bodies come under
immense strain during this period. As they may
be half naked, they will burn more calories to
keep warm; therefore they may need a few
extra grams of food each per day. They will be
replacing their feathers which consist of over
80%
protein, and during the moult your hens
will benefit from some vitamins to help them
through this time.
Preparing for winter
Richard Jackson BVMS (Hons) MRCVS
The summer may have bee wonderful f r us, but it w s a terrible one for red mites
and hopefully the colder weather has given our chooks some respite.
Going into the winter, there are three issues to keep in mind:
Our birds are likely to be in or coming out of moult
As the weather turns nasty, they will be more vulnerable to colds
Our hens need worming
Colds and Flu
There are a few reasons why birds are more susceptible to colds in the winter:
The weather is generally wetter and damp air can hold more bugs per unit volume
than dry air thus increasing your birds’ exposure to respiratory bugs;
Just as we tend to close our windows more in winter than in summer, so too do we
close up our poultry coops. Whilst this can keep our fowl warmer, it can reduce the
air flow in the poultry house, leading to a build-up of irritant gases such as
ammonia and bacteria/viruses;
The weather is typically windier in winter and this, combined with closed-up coops,
tends to increase draughts in sheds which can chill your birds, leaving them more
vulnerable to respiratory disease.
What to look for:
Sneezing birds
Runny nose
Runny eyes