NEW to ROCK VIEW – CHICKEN CONSULTATIONS – by a Vet who owns chickens!
Have you just rescued some EX BAT (wire caged) Hens?
Did you know you should worm them 2-4 weeks after you get them?
Hens will not come across worms in the caged environment so have no immunity once you let them out in their new home.
It is advisable to worm them against round worm, hair worm, heterakis and gapeworm at least 2-3 times a year.
Wild birds spread worms and other diseases to your poultry.
We stock chicken wormer in small quantities.
Did you know that your new hens can suffer from stress as they adjust to their new environment?
Most have never lived outside and take time to adapt.
They have a natural instinct to scratch and forage for food but their guts can easily become upset and they can suffer from disbacteriosis – loss of good bacteria.
We stock a Starter Pack for your new recruits.
This includes a multivit and some good bacteria to assist the gut as it adapts to the new food.
- Chickens do not eat cake, biscuits, fat balls, human food.
- They do like – pellets specific to their age – usually layers pellets,
- Small amount of corn – scatter on ground so they can scratch for i
- Greenery – tie up some cabbage for them to peck at vegetables
- Do not leave food lying around – it will attract vermin (rats,mice)
- It is illegal to feed anything from your kitchen
- If you do feed vegetables then keep them in a shed or out house not in the kitchen
- Have a suitable house – perches to roost at night
- Ladder not too steep to get into house – chickens not use to climbing ladders – can damage breast bone as jump out
- Large enough hole in doorway – bullying can occur if door too narrow.
- Provide a dust bath – chickens love to dust bath, it helps them keep their feathers oiled.
Send in a photo of your ‘girls’ we would love to put them up on our Chicken Wall in the Waiting Room.
Chickens make great pets and can give you lovely fresh eggs too!
Remember they are animals and should not be fed human food – it will make them poorly!
If you have any concerns about your chickens call us for advice
If you want to rescue some hens call the British Hen Welfare Trust, www.bhwt.org.uk
They will tell you where there are some hens that need homes in your area.
There are a few things you need to remember when taking on an Ex Battery hen:-
- She will have spent her life on a wire cage floor.
- She will not have been exposed to faecel bacteria.
- She will enter a totally new environment at your place. She will be exposed to many bugs and bacteria.
- She will have a change of diet.
- She will need to cope with a new social structure.
When you consider all these issues it is not surprising that many ex battery hens get diarrhoea soon after being rehomed. One solution to this is to give rehomed birds probiotics every week for the first few weeks.
At Rock View Vets we stock Berlys friendly bacteria. This works by excluding nasty bacteria that can cause diarrhoea.
Things to remember – the law!
- If you have 50 birds or more you must sign the GB Poultry Register (Free).
- If you have over 350 laying hens you must sign up to the UK Salmonella Scheme.
The Salmonella Scheme Involves:
- Testing the sheds before birds are placed in the sheds – dust samples and rodent droppings.
- Buy vaccinated birds or vaccinate pullets before they come into lay.
- Samples of faeces taken every 15 weeks and tested for salmonella.
- Have a rodent control plan.
This all costs money!
It does mean eggs from these birds can be stamped and sold as Class A. Only class A eggs can be sold to restaurants, shops, B&B’s etc.
You can sell unstamped eggs at the gate. You must keep a medicine record book that is kept up to date. Some local authorities inspect farm gate egg sellers as a food business operator!