Health, wel­fare, hap­pi­ness

Your Chickens - - Feature | Chicken Keeping -

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.

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