COVID-19 and your pet - see our home page for advice (last updated 27th March 2020)
There have been two cases of Alabama Rot - one confirmed and one suspected - in the Cradley/Suckley area. For more
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Richard Chamings, our vet, has three - one elderly called Suzie and two young egg-layers called Vic and Jess. If, like him, you love your chickens you'll know the importance of keeping them in excellent health.
We can help you keep your hens in peak condition - but the if they do die its important to get this analysed
quickly to avoid complications with the rest so we provide a free post-mortem examination - but come in
quickly to aid a speedy analysis and prevention of any further problems.
Lice are flat yellow and fast moving, and usually seen around the vent or under the wings. Louse eggs look
like clumps of granulated sugar attached to the base of the feathers; it is usually worse in the autumn and winter. They are not life threatening but can lead to itchiness, loss of feathers, weight
loss, depression and decreased egg laying.
Red-mites live in the coop during the day, coming out at night to suck the blood of the birds. About 0.7mm long, they crawl out pale grey and after a good feed go back a redish brown colour. Control is based on removing them from the cracks and crevices of the woodwork (they can live for six months with no food). The symptoms are very similar to lice infestations.
Internal parasites - worms
Intestinal worms are not always visible in the faeces and infection often does not cause any obvious
symptoms. However they can affect growth and egg production, and cause general poor condition, anaemia, and, in severe cases, death.
There are also Gape worms that cause respiratory problems.
Contact us to get a suitable wormer that can be added to the food, and you can still eat the eggs!
This usually occurs around the tail, but it can occur on other parts of the body such as under the neck or
under the wings. Often it is one bird that is doing this, and this may be the only one with all her feathers intact. She will particularly like the young feathers which are blood filled, and these
will therefore never get a chance to grow.
There are some effective anti-feather pecking sprays on the market, but this will have to be used daily.
This is probably the most common condition affecting individual laying hens. It may cause sudden death or the hen may stop laying eggs, have a swollen abdomen, and possibly a creamy discharge from the vent. They can survive for weeks in this condition. Early treatment may bring about a cure, but generally the outlook is poor.
This is a normal occurrence that usually takes place in the late summer or autumn and can last for three to four weeks. The hen replaces her entire compliment of feathers. Unfortunately egg production usually stops at the same time.
Is she spending more time in her nest box? Maybe become a bit aggressive? Not eating much? Her feathers
a bit fluffed up? She's probably gone broody.
If you can, separate her from the others, and put her somewhere where there will be no comfortable nest-box to sit in. It may take a few days for her to get back to normal.
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