Rosie’s Chicken Keeping Adventure – Fencing Success
Social Media Executive Rosie has been at Omlet for a year, and when she was asked by her managers if she was interested in broadening her chicken knowledge (and creating fun content for Omlet’s social media platforms) with her very own flock, she said yes straight away.
Read on to find out what the chickens have been up to in the summer heat, as well as some useful tips and advice from the British Hen Welfare Trust.
We decided to upgrade our setup and get the Omlet Chicken Fencing. The hens still really love free ranging outside the run, but they were pooing all over the patio where we have dinner in the garden, and scratching up all the stones from the borders and spreading them across the lawn. I do love the chickens, but it was getting slightly tedious.
With the fencing they still have a lot of space, but they are limited to the grass. That’s their favourite bit anyway, so we all win.
Has Evie the dog got used to the hens yet?
She has, actually. It took some training, but now she knows not to go for them. That’s another great thing about the fencing; even though she’s far from as interested in the chickens as she was in the beginning, I still don’t completely trust her. The fencing works as a nice barrier between them, so that we can all be out in the garden at the same time.
I appreciate it might not work for all dogs, but it’s been great for us.
Since Rosie started sharing her chicken experience on the Omlet social media accounts, she has received plenty of positive feedback from the community – as well as quite a lot of questions!
I’m far from a chicken expert, I’m still learning a lot and I couldn’t really be of help when people were asking questions about their flock.
One thing that has been great when I’ve been worried about my hens has been the BHWT Helpline. Anyone can call or email them, you don’t need to have rescued hens, or even live in the UK. So I got in contact and asked if they could help with some common questions I often see on the Omlet Facebook Group, and they were really helpful. I hope it’s helpful!
My hen is struggling to lay, what can I do to help her?
She could be egg bound. Egg binding is when a hen is unable to lay an egg in her system. You may have noticed your hen, who usually lays daily, sitting in her nest box for long periods. If she doesn’t produce an egg after multiple visits to her nest box, try a warm bath followed by a lubricant such as Vaseline just inside and around the vent to help her pass the egg. Placing her in a dark secluded place to nest away from other birds will also help.
If she starts to become distressed and doesn’t lay an egg, it’s advisable to seek veterinary help.
My hen has laid an egg with a very thin shell that breaks when I pick it up, is this OK?
A thin-shelled egg is usually due to a calcium deficiency, so feed a good quality layer’s feed which has balanced nutrients. You can improve shells too by cutting back on the treats you feed daily. Finally, there’s a chance your hen may be going off lay or moulting which will also have a bearing on shell quality.
One of my hens is being attacked by the others, shall I remove her?
If one hen can be identified as a bully it is better to remove her from the flock for a few days; this will drop the bully down the pecking order. Only remove the weaker hen if she has been injured, but try to house her within sight of her flock mates and reintroduce her as quickly as possible; make sure she has individual access to feed and water for short periods and give her some TLC, she’ll soon learn you’re her best friend.
My newly adopted hen is limping, why is this?
It is not uncommon a couple of days after adoption to see some limping due to bruising, but this should quickly resolve. If it doesn’t please contact the Hen Helpline and we’ll help you check thoroughly for any underlying issues.
My hen is standing really upright and waddling like a penguin, what is wrong with her?
This sounds like it could be egg peritonitis. Many hens cope very well with this condition, especially if fed just on a mixed corn diet. However, occasionally a hen may require antibiotics which you would need to get from your vet who may suggest a hormone implant to temporarily take her off lay.
My hen’s crop feels like a deflated water balloon. When I pick her up there is smelly brown fluid coming out of her vent and she keeps flicking her head. What is it and what should I do?
This sounds like it could be a sour crop. We recommend you call the BHWT’s Hen Helpline and chat to one of their team who will guide you and/or suggest if you need to seek veterinary help.
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