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Greenmeadow Poultry

Maintaining Health

If you keep your chickens in good conditions and feed them well, then they should reward you by staying healthy. Sometimes they do get sick - and it is very difficult to diagnose what is wrong with poultry. Few vets specialise in them and if you find one that does, you are lucky. Keeping them warm and hoping they recover is about all you can do.

However, there are a few additional things that you can do on a regular basis to promote good health.

The first of these is to ensure that your poultry housing is dry and well ventilated. In my opinion, many small hen houses are not ventilated well enough and need extra holes drilling around the top of them. Chickens do not like to be in a draft; but lack of ventilation encourages bronchial complaints.

It is an inescapable fact that if your birds are outside and in contact with wild birds, then they will get parasites and diseases from them. But if they have a strong immune system and are well fed and housed, they should, mostly, be able to fight disease off themselves.

Tonics

You can add various things to your chickens' food and water to promote health and wellbeing - cider vinegar, poultry spice and similar. Many people do swear by them.

Problems

I am not a vet or an expert in poultry ailments and this is really just a starting point. There are many books out there that specialise in the health and diseases of poultry and I would recommend reading one of them - Victoria Robert's 'Diseases of Freerange Poultry' is particularly good. Also, find a poultry-friendly vet before you actually need one, 'just in case'.

I would also recommend having a long, hard look at whether, if it came down to it, you could despatch a poorly chicken. If you keep stock, you have a responsibility to them; and that includes being prepared to end their lives if there is nothing more that can be done for them. If you know that you wouldn't be able to do it yourself, then find someone who could, who is willing to help you. You will more than likely never need to - but it's not the kind of thing you want to be having to have first-thoughts about if you have a sick bird that you know is suffering and needs dealing with.

Cheryl Arvidson,
West Bagborough
Nr Taunton
Somerset
TA4 3EQ

email: info@thegreenmeadow.co.uk
telephone: 0797 0594 226

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All the information and photos on this website © Cheryl Arvidson 2010.