Hen’s Sneezing

Sneezing hens may have an upper respiratory problem and there can be discharge from the nose with this.

Hens are prone to respiratory problems.

There can be a number of causes:

  • poor ventillation (droppings give off ammonia),
  • sawdust (larger wood shavings sold in pet shops usually has the ‘dust’ extracted to prevent these problems),
  • straw may carry dust in it.
  • viruses – such as infectious bronchitis, pneumovirus, aspergilliosis, mycoplasma, infectious laryngotracheitis, Avian Influenza, Fowl pest / Newcastle disease, Coryza to name some.

All of these conditions show very similar symptoms which makes it difficult to know which it is, so the more symptoms you can describe or notice the more able to pick out what it might be.

My advice is to consult a vet, you may be able to phone your vet and ask for advice over the phone, without taking your hen in?

Here are some questions to conside if you hen is sneezing:

  • Are they off their water or are they drinking more?
  • When you pick them up do they feel thin?
  • How are they standing, are their wings droopy?
  • Is the area around their eyes puffed up?
  • What are their droppings like, what colour and consistency?
  • Does the hen’s breathing rattle?
  • Are they laying eggs? If so are the eggs ok, or are they thin shelled, mis-shapen etc

Answers to these questions can help to identify what might be wrong as sneezing could be related to a number of illnesses.

One of our farmingfriends forum members recently posted about her poorly hen and was seeking advice on what might be the matter. She let us know as much information as possible about her hen by answering a set of questions, which I thought was very useful.
I thought that these were useful questions to consider if you have a poorly hen and you are seeking advice.

What age is your hen? What breed if known and what gender?

What is wrong? What symptoms have you noted? – As much detail as possible please.

Full droppings description.- colour, consistency, frequency, offensive smell.

Respiratory Changes?- eg. breathing sounds, discharge, laboured breathing, facial swelling

Digestive Changes?- eg. eating, drinking, crop filling & emptying

Change’s in The Hen’s Condition?- eg. Weight, comb/wattle colour, skin, feathering

Behavioural Changes?- inc. socialising, laying, crowing, broodiness

Agility Changes? – eg. any lameness, favouring, energy levels

Have you wormed your hen? Do you have a cycle that you use for worming eg. every 3 months, or every six months?

1. When was the bird last wormed??- approximate date.

2. What product was used to worm the bird, and how was it given? ? eg. in the drinking water, on the skin, by injection?

3. Was a follow up dose given? (eg. 10-14 days later)

Any other recent medications?- antibiotics, coccidiosis meds, herbal remedies, etc

Other changes? – additions to the flock, diet, housing, extreme weather, predators, vermin, etc

If you have any photos of your poorly hen then they can also help others to suggest what might be the matter, but a phone call to your local vet is always helpful.

[eshop_show_product id=’4331,5724,4363,4341′ class=’hilite’ panels=’yes’ form=’yes’]

If you keep hens or are interested in keeping hens then visit the farmingfriends hen forum for the latest chat about hens and then check out the books shown below about keeping hens which are informative and excellent for the beginner and a handy reference for the more experienced hens keeper.

Visit Wells Poultry For All Your Poultry Equipment & Housing

If you would like to receive regular information about poultry then why not sign up to the farmingfriends newsletter.

Enter your email address to receive regular emails with posts from the farmingfriends website:

Delivered by FeedBurner

How Long Do Guinea Fowl Live For?

I have been asked how long do guinea fowl live for?

The lifespan of a Guinea fowl is approximately 10 to 15 years although they can live beyond this.

I currently have guinea fowl on the farm that are 7 years old.

Front Cover Of Incubating, Hatching & Raising Guinea Fowl Keets An eBook

If you fancy having a go at incubating, hatching and raising guinea fowl keets then check out my Incubating, Hatching & Raising guinea Fowl Keets eBook and if you are in the UK then I also have guinea fowl eggs for hatching for sale (UK Spring and Summer months).

[eshop_show_product id=’4309′ class=’hilite’ panels=’yes’ form=’yes’]

If you would like to receive regular information about guinea fowl and poultry then why not sign up to the farmingfriends newsletter.

If you keep guinea fowl and want to ask a question to get some advice or just to chat about your guinea fowl then why not join the free farmingfriends guinea fowl forum.

Visit Wells Poultry For All Your Poultry Equipment & Housing

Enter your email address to receive regular email updates of the farmingfriends website posts:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Small Dorking Chicken Coop By Oakdene Coops

Oakdene Coops are renowned for their well designed, British made chicken coops. They have just introduced the Small Dorking Chicken Coop.

Small Dorking Chicken Coop

Small Dorking Chicken Coop

This pretty chicken coop by Oakdene Coops will house up to three chickens. Available in five colours.

It has a full recycled plastic interior, making it very easy to clean and ideal for beginners.

Made in England to a very high standard, matching chicken runs also available.

A great idea for a family gift. £167, T:07974 890 771.

Training Guinea Fowl To Roost In A Hut At Night

I free range my guinea fowl during the day and then put them in a hut to roost at night although guinea fowl will naturally roost in trees if you don’t train them to go in a hut.

I like mine to go in a hut at night so that they are protected from predators such as the fox and that they are also sheltered from the weather.

I use long sticks to drive my guinea fowl in the direction I want then to go. If the sticks get too close to the guinea fowl it spooks them and they fly up into the trees. Long sticks for driving the guinea fowl into a certain area can be helpful, but a word of warning don’t wave the sticks too close to the guinea fowl as this will frighten them and send them flying into the trees.

I tend to use a stick in each hand as an extension of my arm so that I can dirst the guinea fowl flock in the direction I want them to go.

Feeding them in the hut at the end of the day will also help them to return to the hut. They get used to the routine of their food being in the hut and will head back to the food source. I would introduce the hut with some food that the guinea fowl are really fond of. Mine love lettuce and apples. If you can get the guinea fowl to get used to a place and think of it as a place where they get something that they like then they will relate to this.

Training the guinea fowl to go into the hut will take some time and effort, you will need to go out at the same time each day so that the birds get used to the routine as they are creatures of habit and will range the same area day in and day out. I have found that guinea fowl have a route which they take every day and they are creatures of habit and can usually be found in the same place at the same time each day so your guinea fowl will establish them selves a routine in their enclosure.

After a few weeks of walking the guinea fowl to their hut they will get used to the routine.

Eventually the guinea fowl will return to the hut on their own and sometimes will even go into the hut on their own, but this is not always the case, as sometimes if left too late they will fly up to the roof of the barn or into the trees in the orchard timing needs to be just right.

Guinea fowl tend to want to roost earlier than hens in the Autumn/winter seasons and later than hens in the Spring and summer.

From experience I have found that it is definately possible to train guinea fowl to go into a hut and I have also had experience of moving the hut and the guinea fowl do then re-adjust to the new location, although it does take them a few days of re-training to get them to naturally know where they are going.

Front Cover Of Incubating, Hatching & Raising Guinea Fowl Keets An eBook

If you fancy having a go at incubating, hatching and raising guinea fowl keets then check out my Incubating, Hatching & Raising guinea Fowl Keets eBook and if you are in the UK then I also have guinea fowl eggs for hatching for sale (UK Spring and Summer months).

[eshop_show_product id=’4309′ class=’hilite’ panels=’yes’ form=’yes’]

If you would like to receive regular information about guinea fowl and poultry then why not sign up to the farmingfriends newsletter.

If you keep guinea fowl and want to ask a question to get some advice or just to chat about your guinea fowl then why not join the free farmingfriends guinea fowl forum.

Visit Wells Poultry For All Your Poultry Equipment & Housing

Enter your email address to receive regular email updates of the farmingfriends website posts:

Delivered by FeedBurner

New Book Launched By Cattleman Andy Frazier Called The Right Colour

The Right Colour (a novel about a cow) by Andy Frazier

Andy Frazier has been writing books for two years now, from his base in South West France. He started life farming with his father and brother at Coningswick farm in the English Midlands, which in those days specialised in quality beef and pork. After a string of successes exhibiting commercial cattle and pedigree Bleu du Maine sheep, Andy left the family farm to set up a livestock supplies business dealing specifically in grooming products as well as supplying services to the pedigree cattle industry. Over the next 10 years his achievements in dressing and preparing show animals saw him being twice in charge of the supreme champion at the Royal Smithfield show, as well as cattle and sheep breed champions in a variety of pedigree breeds at just about every national and county show. He has also judged cattle and sheep at many of these events. For a 12 year spell Andy successfully bred pedigree Texel sheep under the prefix Menithwood until the flock was dispersed in 2004. In addition to this he continued to help and advise with the prominent Coningswick flock of Beltex sheep run at the family farm. After selling his grooming business to Ritchey Tagg in the mid nineties and progressing into the IT industry, Andy’s career somehow evolved into that of a freelance business analyst. For a number of years he then worked for blue chip clients such as Barclays Bank, Cable & Wireless and Cisco Systems, mostly writing detailed and highly technical documentation that few people ever read!
In 2006 Andy opted for a lifestyle change and moved to South West France with the objective of one day becoming an author. For a while he ran a small building business alongside renovating a large old farmhouse until, with the support of his partner Wendy, he started writing novels some two years ago. During that period he has now written no less than nine books, many of which are targeted at children and most of which feature farm animals of some kind or other. He shares the smallholding with Wendy, two dogs, half a dozen sheep and a small collection of wines.

The Right Colour
Andy completed his first novel called The Right Colour in November 2010. Set in the mid nineteen eighties, the book tells a highly entertaining story of Princess, a calf born in north Scotland in a pedigree Aberdeen Angus herd but by a Limousin sire. The tale follows the calf as she tells her own story of growing up in hard times which include her being subjected to bullying and racism. As the Princess overcomes these problems, she sets her sights on the winning the greatest accolade a cross-bred animal could ever win, to be champion at the Royal Smithfield Show. She also develops a bizarre desire to meet the Queen herself. The book is written with sharp humour and there are some laugh-out-loud moments as Princess gets into some quite unusual situations and engages in some curious dialogue with a few other animals.
Drawing from the author’s own cattle experience, many of the settings and the people that this animal encounters are recalled with extreme accuracy, including the sights, sounds and smells of those great December days in Earls Court, London. Some of the characters even bear an uncanny resemblance to people involved in the industry at that time. However, the passion with which this tale is told provides its real appeal. That appeal is not just to cattlemen young and old but to a whole cross-section of the public, many of whom are blissfully unaware that the languid world of livestock showing could be quite so exciting.
The Right Colour has developed a cult following through the British livestock world and has had some fantastic reviews. One review in a Scottish national paper said “The book is littered with colourful characters…..It could only have been written by someone with a great deal of knowledge in the industry…. The tale is also a great insight into animal psychology!”
The Right Colour is now being made available through a selection of agricultural traders throughout  the UK as well as online in paperback or e-book form from www.andyfrazier.co.uk, published through Lulu Press.

Wall Or Fence Mounted Chicken Coop By Oakdene Coops

The New Way To Keep Chickens From Oakdene Coops!
Oakdene Coops are renowned for their well designed, British made chicken
coops.

Fence Coop by Oakdene Coops

Fence Coop by Oakdene Coops

Their latest chicken coop mounts onto a fence, garden wall or even a
tree! This new concept of keeping chickens has many advantages over using a
conventional chicken coop. This chicken coop takes up virtually no room in
your garden because its mounted four feet in the air! This makes it perfect for
medium to small gardens.
Cleaning out the chicken coop is simple, the floor is wire mesh, this means that most of the dropping will drop straight though it but the chickens won’t!. The roof, perch and nesting box are made from recycled plastic, giving a great life span and providing an easy to clean surface.
The chickens will put themselves away in the evening by using the fox
resistant ladder, all you have to do is slide the door shut.
The Chicken Coop is raised four feet from the ground, making egg collection
easy. This also helps prevent rodents, and the solid recycled plastic perch is
removable to help prevent red mite problems!
‘The Brockham’ is available from Oakdene Coops for £240 including nationwide delivery (assembled and painted).
Oakdene Coops
‘The Brockham’ is a registered design.

Incubation Period For Pekin Duck Eggs

I have been asked what is the incubation period for pekin ducks.

Hi, I just wanted to ask about my peking duck.  She has become broody and is laying on her eggs, but I am unsure how long the incubation of these are.


Pekin duck eggs take 28 days to hatch from time of incubation. If your duck is still laying eggs then she won’t start to incubate the eggs until she has laid a clutch of eggs which could be 6-12 eggs.

Check out the following books about ducks and incubating and hatching eggs.

[eshop_show_product id=’4319,4326,4368,4372′ class=’hilite’ panels=’yes’ form=’yes’]

If you would like to receive regular information about poultry then why not sign up to the farmingfriends newsletter.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Will Two Drakes & Two Ducks Get On?

Duck keepers often wonder what is the best combination and ratio of male to females and I am often emailed about the numbers of drakes and ducks in a group and whether they will get along ok.

Carolyn has just emailed as she has two draks and two ducks.

The ducklings I got at Easter have turned out to be 2 drakes & 2 ducks. Will this ratio work, or will there be problems with having two drakes? Hope you can help Many thanks Carolyn

My response is:

There may be rivalry between the drakes when they reach maturity so they may fight to see who is top drake!

They may also prefer one female over the other and both my fight over the duck which could hurt the duck as well as the drakes.

You could separate them into two groups of one drake and one duck during the breeding season and then put them back together during Autumn and Winter when they will probably get on fine. This may depend on the amount of space you have and the housing you have and if you are able to partition it off.

You could also increase the number of females. 1 drake to about 6 ducks is a good amount.

If you keep ducks or are interested in keeping ducks then check out the books shown above about keeping ducks which are informative and excellent for the beginner and a handy reference for the more experienced duck keeper.

[eshop_show_product id=’4319,4326′ class=’hilite’ panels=’yes’ form=’yes’]

If you would like to receive regular information about ducks then why not sign up to the farmingfriends newsletter.

Enter your email address to receive regular email updates of the farmingfriends website posts:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Brooder Temperatures For Ducklings

In the farmingfriends forum we have been asked about brooder temperatures for ducklings.

the temp in his brooder is about 93 degrees F. Is that good? or should it be different? Badoodle


If the duckling is moving away from the heat lamp, is laying down alot and panting then the temp is prob too high, if the duckling is huddled under the heat lamp then too low a temp. moving around and sitting in different places usually means the temp is right. The link that Mo gave says, The duckling will need a temperature in the brooder of about 86 degree fahrenheit day one and then by day 7 about 81 degrees.

Once your duckling is dried out and strong enough it won’t rely on the heat lamp so much, like other birds such as guinea fowl.

Check out the following books about ducks and incubating and hatching eggs.

[eshop_show_product id=’4319,4326,4368,4372′ class=’hilite’ panels=’yes’ form=’yes’]

If you would like to receive regular information about poultry then why not sign up to the farmingfriends newsletter.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Signs That Incubated Quail Eggs Will Hatch

I have been asked how to tell if incubated quail egg will hatch.

Deana is looking for signs that her incubated quail eggs will hatch.

Hello, I was looking at your website and didnt find the answer to my question. I’m currently trying to hatch out 48 quail eggs its the 21st day of incubation and my question is how can you tell if they are hatching? I’ve been seeing little light spots in the egg shell that I havnt noticed before almost like they were trying to pick off the inside of the shell (that started on the 20th day) but since then its just stopped. Am I going insane waiting for them to hatch? Or did they try to hatch and die? Thank you! Deana

Things to look out for are:

* Look out for signs of pipping where the chick has broke through the shell with their beak.
* Cracks in the shell.
* Also hold the egg up to your ear and listen for cheeps.
* Look for movement of the eggs.

If you can’t candle the eggs and quail eggs are hard to candel then leave the eggs in the incbator for up to 7-10 days after the hatching date to see if they hatch late.
If you keep quail and want to ask a question to get some advice or just to chat about your quail then why not join the free farmingfriends quail forum.

Check out the following books about keeping and raising quail.

[eshop_show_product id=’4302,4296,4368,4372′ class=’hilite’ panels=’yes’ form=’yes’]

If you would like to receive regular information about quail and poultry then why not sign up to the farmingfriends newsletter.