Firework season is nearing and hen owners are being reminded to consider their feathered friends as the festivities are enjoyed across the country.
The British Hen Welfare Trust is encouraging people to remember their responsibilities to their hens as well as other pets.
Whilst most hens cope well during this time, some do suffer from stress and often the shock of loud explosions can cause shell deformities or even stop them laying. In extreme cases hens have been known to smother other hens in their panic.
Gaynor Davies, the charity’s head of operations, said: “Obviously people are aware that hens need to be shut in at night but if you live in an area where there is high volume of firework activity you may want to consider ways to lessen the stress of the night.”
- Making your coop completely light proof if possible. Cover windows or set up a screen to limit light.
- Extra insulation to deaden noise is also helpful but remember to keep ventilation holes clear.
- If you can place a battery powered radio in the hen house set on a low volume the external noise will be masked.
- Calming supplements can be given to help your hens cope – Rescue remedy (Bach flowers) Oregano plus (Chicken Vet) or Chill Out (Global Herbs).
- Finally, check your garden for spent fireworks in the morning. You don’t want your hens eating the debris.