Our last post was on choosing the right breed for your backyard so now you’ve chosen your preferred breed and have contacted the breeder that you may of found in the magazine, pets 4 Homes or even gumtree and now you need to know what a healthy hen looks like to avoid any issues or to resolve them from bringing home a unhealthy bird.
First things first the breeder. If they’re hiding something from you its best not to purchase the birds, they may also take advantage of your knowledge if your starting to keep chickens. Best way to buy birds is ask, see on poultry networks and Facebook pages if anyone knows any poultry breeders near to you and what they think about them.
Now your breeder is secure just check the birds incase of any illnesses the breeder may of not picked up on.
- A bright shiny eye, no clouding or foam this could be a respitory problem.
- Nice smooth legs, scaly leg mites can cause rough and irratable legs on your birds if your hen has scaly legs coat them with vasaline.
- Sneezing and heavy breathing ; this also may be a respitory illness or mycoplasma and usually solved if taken straight to the vet for some antibiotics.
- Generally under the weather such as hunched over, siting in a corner etc. This could be a whole array of things and is best to search on the internet first with exact details or a trip to the vets to find out what may be wrong.
- A messy bum isn’t as such a life or death situation but Still nearly to be cleared up scince it can lead to maggots and secondary illnesses, if your hen has a messy bun it may just be where her fluffyness is getting in the way so just trim it. It could be lice so check for white clumps of eggs around he vent and if she does have lice purchase some poultry lice dust to shake under ur wings and around her vent. It could be worms so using a specialised feed or powder can clear this up.
- Lumps me bums, look for lumps especially below the vent this could be a stuck egg is the hen is not laying and is likely to need vet advice. A rock hard crop could be a impacted crop so massage the crop breaking up the food with help from olive oil then if it does not clear please get advice from a vet, otherwise it could be sour crop then withdraw food and water 24 hours an dose 3ml of neat brandy to help kill the fungus causing sour crop.
We hope this help you to resolve your chickens illness or make you feel confident when buying chickens.
At the moment we have a poorly chicken, Ivy the pekin you can get updated on her at Theurbanhens on Facebook.