Health Problems

Here we have provided some guidance on some of the common health problems your pet hens can encounter.

This section is not intended to replace professional veterinary help and is based on our own personal experience and that of our supporters. If you would like to speak to one of our team, hen help and reassurance is just a phone call away on 01884 860084.

Search & Filter by Anatomy and Symptoms

  • Affected Anatomy

  • Symptoms

Prolapse

Prolapse

Every time a hen lays an egg she pushes out the inner lining of the vent slightly. In 99% of cases this shiny red protruding flesh immediately pulls back inside the hen.
In a small number of cases it doesn’t, resulting in a prolapse.

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Red Mite

Red Mite

Red mites are yellow / brown in colour becoming red after feeding on blood from the hens. Mites are almost invisible to the naked eye (0.6 to 1mm).

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Salpingitis

Salpingitis

Occasionally you may come across an abnormal object in the nest box that is neither egg nor dropping. This may be yellow or flesh-coloured and may look at first glance like a lump of sausage meat – this phenomenon is commonly known as a Lash.

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Scaly Leg

Scaly Leg

This is a condition caused by a mite called ‘Knemidocoptes Mutans’ which burrows under the skin on a bird’s legs to feed on the keratin.

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Soft Shell Eggs

Soft Shell Eggs

Soft shell eggs, caused by a lack of protein and calcium, can be difficult for a hen to lay as the egg has no hard shell to help it exit the vent easily.

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Sour Crop

This is caused by a yeast infection which makes the crop lining sore and inflamed. The condition is sometimes called thrush. It is possible to successfully treat the condition.

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Vent Gleet

Vent gleet is the common name given to a cloacal fungal infection caused by Candida albicans; it presents in a similar way to thrush. 

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Worms

Hens can pick up worms in exactly the same way as any other pet. However, caged hens are unlikely to have worms at the point of adoption as they have no contact with solid ground. Free range and barn hens often do have worms when adopted.

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