THE CHICKEN Hotel offers a range of spa services all year round.
“I thought it would be fun to call the chickens ‘guests’, describe their meals as ‘open air buffets’ and provide pedicures (claw trims) and nose jobs (beak trims). I even offer a mite powder spa treatment, to keep them mite free,” says The Chicken Hotel’s owner David Roberts.
Claw trimming is necessary for many hens and David keeps his chickens on a patch of earth which is quite soft with few rocks so that their claws naturally grow and aren’t worn down.
“Clipping their claws is quite a delicate job,” David notes. “If you’re not used to it, you don’t want to clip too much as they will bleed, but if you’re experienced you can see where to clip. It’s the same with the beaks. If the top beak grows too long it becomes a problem at feeding time. These clippings, if done correctly, are completely painless, like clipping your own fingernails. I also give them a little file afterwards to tidy them up. Sometimes a chicken that hasn’t been handled very much can get quite panicked by the experience, but one little trick I discovered is to hold them upside down with one hand (on the back). They kind of get hypnotised by the world being upside down and they go to sleep. When I turn them back up again I hold them, give them a gentle stroke to calm them, and they’re OK.”