5000 Visitors

Well a big thankyou to all visitors to the chicken keeper, the site got it’s five thousanth visitor today, which is almost a year to the day I started the site, I didn’t really get going properly on it til November 2008, it had only had 7 views until then, so the figures have primarily been achived in ten months.

One wet hen

One wet hen

This might not sound like alot in ten months compared to some other sites who can reach figures like that almost daily, but it far exceeds my expectations, and the most surprising thing of all is the list of countries that the visitors have come from, which if you are interested in you can view by clicking on the world map in the left colomn at the top, it can be a bit of a geography lesson too.

It’s great to see how many people are keeping their own hens, ”Coop It Going!”  (copyright R.Callaghan.2009)  What do think as a bumper sticker?

Thanks again

Betty Goes Broody

Broody hens can be a problem, unless ofcourse you are looking to hatch chicks without an artificial incubator. The reasons for me as to why a broody hen can be a problem are, firstly Betty has decided to go broody on the communal nest, so therefore the other 6 hens are having difficulty laying, hence I have found eggs all over the back garden, in the coop and other random places around the property.


Secondly the broody hen can make themselves unwell by sitting on the nest too long. When a hen is brooding over a fretile clutch of eggs, of course the eggs eventually hatch, usually within 2 weeks or so, however when a hen sits on a clutch of unfertile eggs, they ofcourse do not hatch, therefore the hen sits too long, they tend not to eat much or drink much as they are constantly on the nest, this in turn makes the bird weak, open to illnesses.

Ways to stop a broody hen are , taking the hen off the nest as much as possible, remove the eggs from the nest, and in extreme cases, remove the bird from the nest and place in a dark box for a couple of days, making sure she has food and water, this should stop them.

Finally Renee Lays

Hi there, we have had a Light Sussex hen now for a good 10 months, we got her as a hen, she was a show bird, and the breeder saad she wasn’t sure if was laying, anyway we took her home, she looked like a good hen. She’s a big girl, and it has taken her a while to be accepted by the flock, however she wasn’t laying, and I mentioned to the other half, how she might be nice for christmas, bit of sage n onion, well funny thing is she starting the very next day, I swear they can understand us, now I just have to get her to stop doing her rooster impression in the mornings and we’ll all be happy.



Egg bound Treatment Works

Hi there keepers, firstly appologies to any out there who have missed my regular postings, I have been very busy at work, and therefore haven’t had the time to post daily.

Anyway on to the business of trapped eggs. If you read the previous post about Daphne having this problem then you’ll already know the treatments that were suggested to me, but I shall go through them again for those that haven’t read the previous posts on the matter.

After catching the afflicted hen, and placing her under your arm like a rugby ball, head out the back, bum facing up, try the following.

Fistly inspect the vent to see if the egg is trapped at the vent, also look to see if they is a white discharge from the vent, if so this is just the urates passing around the egg, meaning that the solids are trapped behind the egg, futher up the tube.

Now to try and aid the realease of the egg, it is suggested that you don a rubber glove, preferrably( for the hen), that you lubricate the finger with vaseline, ky or olive oil, this will make it more comfortable for the hen, and add lubrication to help the egg past easier.

Inside the vent there are two passages, the top one  is where the egg comes down, word of caution this next detail wasn’t in anything I read, there may(probably is) alot of trapped wind, so you might not want to be looking to directly at the vent when you insert the oilled finger.

So apon entering through the vent you want go immediately up, when I did this I thought I could feel the top of the egg, but only just at the tip of my forefinger, I just very gently massage around the egde of the egg, it did feel soft shelled. It ‘s important not to break the egg, as this may lead to futher complications. I imagine this method alone would only work if the egg was trapped right at the opening of the vent.

The other method I incorporated with the above, was the warm bath, this sounds easier, I thought, well what you do is fill the basin with very warm ( warmer than hen body temperature), then sumerge the lower half of the hen in water, ensuring that her vent gets a good clean, and hold her in in there for 20 mins, this is a long time to hold a hen still in a basin, but it needs to be 20 mins to work, 10 mins won’t always do it, so the longer you can hold her in there for the better, this just generally helps all the muscles relax, loosens everything up. Daphne even closed her eyes for a little while during her second warm bath.

After the bath I gently dried her with an old towel, and let her back out in to the garden with the others, and the very next day her tail was up again, as we let our hens free range I didn’t find the offending egg. So if you have a hen that bum points to ground, try these methods first before taking an expensive visit to the vets.

Daphne our silent shaver

Daphne our silent shaver