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Health & Welfare

hen answering calls for the hen helpline
Health & Welfare

What is the Hen Helpline?

Our goal is to always help hens, all kinds of hens, whatever the challenges we face. That’s why in 2020 we rebranded our advice line as the new Hen Helpline, a service to give advice to backyard hen keepers when their hens were under the weather.

hen with exposed crop
Health & Welfare

An Issue That Keeps Cropping Up; Hen Crop Issues

Problems with the crop is sometimes hard to get to the bottom of when you don’t know what to look for. Find out more about your hen’s crop, the issues to watch out for and what you can do to help your hen if you can’t get a vet’s help straight away.

Health & Welfare

Tips on How to Keep Rats Out During Hen Lockdown!

As if Covid-19 lockdowns and tier restrictions weren’t enough to cope with, our hens are now in their own lockdown due to the Avian Influenza outbreaks and the DEFRA housing order. It is now more important than ever that good hygiene and best practices are observed to avoid attracting rats.

Health & Welfare

Creating a Boot Dip at Home

The Avian Influenza virus (AI) is a notifiable disease that can be easily spread by wild birds via droppings and fomites. Basically, dust and dander if you’re wondering. However, there is something that you can easily do to lessen and even eliminate this threat, provide a boot dip at the entrance to your hen house or covered run.

hen enjoying a dust bath
Health & Welfare

Winter Dust Baths for Your Hens

In this horrible wet weather, there is a shortage of dry dust bath areas for your hens to perform their ablutions. Normally you would find little craters in our flower beds and gardens but from November to March, it’s just not possible for them. Dust baths are important to keep parasites at bay and to clean the feathers.

hen eating Christmas scraps
Health & Welfare

Is It Safe to Feed My Hens Christmas Leftovers?

It’s tempting to think that our hens can join in the festive fun but should you be scraping the leftovers from your Christmas spread into the hen’s feeders? Find out why the answer is always no!

hens gathered around a zinc feeder
Health & Welfare

Can Hens Get Zinc Poisoning?

When your hen ingests tiny pieces of zinc through swallowing, this can cause zinc toxicity and can make hens extremely poorly; as many hen feeders and drinkers are made of galvanised metal they should also be checked routinely to spot any corrosion or damage.

Health & Welfare

How to Keep Your Chickens Calm

Believe it or not, hens can get stressed too. A visit from a neighbour’s dog or a close shave with a fox can leave your girls extremely stressed and unsettled. Here are some of our top tips to help you calm your chickens as well as hope to see the signs of stress.

firework sky
Health & Welfare

Keeping Hens Happy During Firework Season

Firework season is upon us, and bonfire night itself is nearing, which is terrific news for those of us who enjoy this time of year. But what about our feathered friends who can suffer from stress during this time?

hen in autumn season leaves
Health & Welfare

Top 5 Tips for Making Your Run More Fun This Season

With the Autumn season now showing its colours, and with the days beginning to draw in all too quickly, it is important to pay close attention to your hen’s autumnal needs. It’s important to let your hens out of the hen house for exercise and games!

hen drinking water from a plate with medicine in it
Health & Welfare

Getting Your Hens to Drink Medicated Water

Getting your hens to drink their water when it has antibiotics or liquid medicine in it can be tricky. If you are really struggling to persuade your hen to take medicine in drinking water, try adding a couple of drops of Ribena.

how to avoid mud, hen dustbathing
Health & Welfare

How Do I Avoid a Muddy Chicken Run?

As the months slowly tick over to autumn and winter, the rain in the UK can be inevitable. And with rain, comes the mud. So, what can be done to improve conditions for your hens until the sun starts to shine and we have drier ground again?

rats in the hen house
Health & Welfare

How to Keep Uninvited Rats Away From Your Hen House

It is often said that keeping hens will attract rats – but actually the two do not have to go hand in hand! If you follow these tips you can avoid these unwanted visits – rats are NOT an inevitable consequence of hen keeping!

hen suffering with wry neck
Health & Welfare

What Is Wry Neck and Can I Prevent It?

If you notice that your hen is having difficulty standing, or that her neck twists and it looks like she’s permanently looking upwards, they’ve likely developed wry neck. The good news you’d like to hear, is that it is easily treated…

how does a chicken breathe. chicken facing head on look serious
Health & Welfare

How Does a Chicken Breathe?

You may be thinking, “what do you mean, how do they breathe?” Because surely, chickens breathe like any other animal? Well, it’s actually very different.

Hen welfare, Moulting season
Health & Welfare

Moulting Season

With all this hot and stuffy weather, it’s beginning to feel like summer will go on forever, but it will soon be that time of year again – moulting season!

boredom
Health & Welfare

Boredom Busters For Hens!

Just like us, hens get bored if they don’t have stimulation. They love new ideas and activities, here are a few to keep them hen-tertained.

serious case of bumblefoot
Health & Welfare

What is Bumble Foot?

Does your hen look as if she is wearing overly large carpet slippers? If so, she might have Bumblefoot. The condition doesn’t seem to be painful but this can vary from hen to hen with some hens going lame if not properly looked after.

comb-wattle-hen
Health & Welfare

What do my hen’s comb and wattle tell me?

Young hens typically have much smaller combs, often resembling an inverted saw blade. So, if your adult hen has a tiny comb it is likely that she is showing signs of health problems.

hens enjoying probiotic treats
Health & Welfare

Why We Are Pro Probiotics

Probiotic is a word we often use, but what exactly are they and why do our hens need them?

We have all heard about good and bad gut bacteria and gut flora, you can’t turn on the TV these days without seeing adverts for healthy products to balance your gut.

egg
Health & Welfare

How does my hen produce an egg every day?

The humble commercial hybrid hen has been designed and modified over the years to ensure peak egg production and consistency of yield. We’ve listed the process which leads to a hen laying an egg for your breakfast.