Health, welfare, happiness
Hens benefit from being wormed twice yearly, starting when they are six months old.
Birds should also be vaccinated to prevent disease and infection. Most chickens are cheerful creatures and you will soon notice if one of them is off colour. Things to look out for are a hen being hunched up, off its food, becoming a loner, or a general lack of participation in other flock activities. One of the most common conditions seen in chickens is feather mites, which are straw coloured and the size of a pinhead. They live on the bird to feed off them, causing the hen to look pale, lethargic and to lose weight. At the first sign of anything untoward, try to separate the affected birds and seek veterinary advice.