Remember remember (your hens on) the 5th of November

Firework season is upon us and hen owners are being reminded to think about their feathered friends during this time.

The British Hen Welfare Trust is encouraging people to remember their responsibilities to their hens as well as cats and dogs.

Most hens cope well and snooze through the festivities but some hens do suffer from stress and often the shock of loud explosions can stop them laying or cause shell deformities. In extreme cases hens have been known to smother other hens in their panic.

Gaynor Davies, the charity’s head of operations, said: “Obviously people are aware that hens need to be shut in at night but if you live in an area where there is high volume of firework activity you may want to consider ways to lessen the stress of the night.”

These include:

·       Making your coop totally light proof if possible. Cover windows or set up a screen to limit light.

·       Extra insulation to deaden noise is also helpful but remember to keep ventilation holes clear.

·       If you can place a battery powered radio in the hen house set on a low volume the external noise will be masked.

·       Calming supplements can be given to help your hens cope – Rescue remedy (Bach flowers) Oregano plus (Chicken Vet) or Chill Out (Global Herbs).

·       Finally, check your garden for spent fireworks in the morning. You don’t want your hens eating the debris.