The Omlet Blog

Category Archives: Pet Advice

Top Tips When Taking Your Dog To The Beach!

Many of us would agree that there are few things nicer on a hot summer’s day than a trip to the beach, and as long as you come prepared there is no reason to leave your pooch at home. Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise for dogs, and you can stay as long as you like without having to worry about getting home to let the dog out!

There are however a few things you need to do before you leave, and some things that are good to know when it comes to dogs and the beach. Here are our best tips for a successful outing!

 

Find a dog-friendly beach

Dogs are not always allowed on public beaches, but there is normally an area close-by where you can take your dog. Search for a dog-friendly beach nearby, read up on the rules, and make sure you follow them!

Keep an eye on your dog

Even if you’re at a dog-friendly beach you must always keep an eye on your dog, and show consideration to the other beach goers and dog owners. No one appreciates being sprayed with water from a wet dog as they’re relaxing with a good book! If you’re not absolutely sure your dog will come when you call or stay close to you, it might be best to keep it on the lead. Omlet stocks several leads in different lengths so that you can adjust how far the dog will be allowed to wander.

You also have to make sure your dog stays safe at the beach. Dogs are amazing at finding things in the sand that might not be good for them, everything from leftover barbecue ingredients to rotting fish. Glass, sharp shells, or even old fish hooks may hide in the sand, and can hurt your dog’s precious paws.

 

Teach your dog to swim

Many believe that all dogs know how to swim, but that is not the case. Even if all dogs will automatically paddle their feet if you put them in the water, there are several dog breeds that aren’t built to stay floating. Breeds with large heads and short legs will struggle to keep their head over the surface to breathe. If your dog seems to love swimming but you’re not completely sure about their ability, it might be a good idea to invest in a doggy life jacket.

That being said, there are lots of dogs that don’t really enjoy the water, or who will be perfectly happy running around in the shallow parts where they don’t have to swim. Never force a dog to come swimming with you!

Even if your dog is a strong swimmer, it’s important for you as an owner to keep an eye on them as they’re out in the water. Make sure you stay informed about currents in the water, and don’t let the dog in if there are high waves or lots of boats or jet skis around. Dogs can easily get too excited in the water and swim out into deep waters, where the current might be much stronger. You also have to supervise dogs playing and swimming with children.

Come prepared

Make sure you pack everything you need for a day at the beach. Dogs will need plenty of fresh water, so get enough for the whole family. It’s a good idea to have a collapsible water bowl, so you don’t have to make your dog drink straight from the bottle. This way you can also keep track of how much water the dog has actually had.

Bring toys that will entertain your dog throughout the day. If you’re able to throw balls or other toys down the beach, that is a perfect activity that will entertain your dogs, and give it a good amount of exercise. Just make sure the toys float if they end up in the water.

If you’re staying at the beach for a few hours, or maybe even the whole day, it’s important to make sure the dog can get some shade. If you’re not sure whether there are shaded areas where you’re going or not, bring a parasol or a small beach tent where the dog can relax during the hottest hours of the day.

Before you leave

Make sure you leave nothing behind, and clean up after yourself and your dog!

If there are taps or beach showers where you are, you might want to rinse your dog before you leave for the day. Salt can cause irritation to the dog’s skin, and sand can get in their eyes as they’re trying to get rid of it from their faces, which can cause eye infections and lots of discomfort. The dog will probably also have been exposed to plenty of dirt and bacteria during all the exploring.

If you can’t find any fresh water at the beach, it might be a good idea to scrub your dog with a towel before you get in the car (maybe mainly to not end up with a desert in the boot), and then give him or her a quick bath when you get home.

No comments yet - Leave a comment

This entry was posted in Pet Advice


7 Ways to Help Your Chickens Stay Cool This Summer

En flok høns nyder at gå i det grønne sommergræs

Did you know that chickens can’t sweat? Instead, chickens use their legs, combs and wattles to lead heat away from their bodies. They also pant and spread their wings in order to get some air through those feathers. Chickens also enjoy lying down in the shade when it’s very hot, and of course they drink lots of water. Did you know that it is actually easier for chickens to keep themselves warm in winter than it is for them to cool down during the summer? It isn’t just an issue of comfort either – chickens can die of heatstroke. Since chickens have a hard time cooling themselves down, when it gets extremely hot they rely on you to help them. So, what can you do to help your chickens keep cool in the summer heat?

Here are our 7 top tips:

1) WaterEn flok høns drikker vand af et Eglu Cube vandtrug

Eggs consist mainly of water, so producing an egg absorbs a lot of water from a hen’s body. Drinking cool water is also one of the main ways in which chickens cool themselves down. Your chickens will therefore need lots of fresh, clean and cool water in the heat of the summer. It’s best to change the water every day to make sure they have this. It is also a good idea to provide several water sources so all your chickens can drink at the same time and don’t have to fight for access and end up dehydrating.

Another way you can use water to help your chickens cool down is by providing some shallow pools where they can dip and cool their feet and legs, remember that this is one of the areas where heat leaves their bodies. Try filling some shallow bowls or tubs and leaving them around in the run or your garden. If your chickens don’t like to stand directly in the water you can try placing a brick in there which will be cooled by the water and which the chickens can then stand on top of.

 

Eglu Cube hønsehuset er hævet over jorden

2) Shade

It is absolutely essential to provide shade for your chickens and even more so when it gets really hot. If you let your chickens free-range in the garden they might be able to find shade under trees and bushes but in any case it is a good idea to provide shade in the run as well. You can easily create shady spots in the run for instance by having a raised coop and/or attaching covers to the run.

 

 

 

3) Treats and FeedingHøns elsker vandmelon

Try giving you hens some cool treats such as frozen berries, vegetables or pieces of fruit. You could even create hanging treats by freezing your chickens’ favourite treats in an ice cube tray with a string in the middle so they can hang in the run. Or try keeping a whole watermelon in the fridge to cool it down before serving as a summery treat.

Be careful not to give your chickens too many treat though, as you want to make sure they eat their layers pellets. Chickens eat less when it’s extremely hot because digestion produces more body heat, so it’s important to make sure they eat the right things and get the vitamins and minerals they need. Try feeding your chickens during the cooler parts of the day such as in the evening. See tip #4 as well.

 

 

En høne har fundet sig det perfekte støvbad - i blomsterbedet

4) Nutritional Supplements

It is a good idea to give your hens some nutritional supplements in the heat such as vitamins and tonics which can be added directly to their food or water. These can improve absorption of minerals, give your chickens a boost to improve their overall health and help them cope better with the heat.

Apple cider vinegar, for instance, can help with calcium absorption in the body which is essential for egg shell production.

 

5) Dust Baths

Chickens love to dust bathe in the warm weather, but you might not want them scraping around in your flower beds. The best thing to do is to build another flower bed (but not for your flowers) and fill it with some sand, soil and some louse powder. If you have a large flock you might even want to provide several spaces so all your chickens have a chance to dust bathe in the shade.
Make sure that you place the dust bath in a sheltered spot or cover it up when your chickens aren’t using it otherwise the rain might turn it into a mud bath.

 

Tre høns leder efter lækkerier i haven6) Space

Your chickens will need plenty of space during the hot summer months so make sure they aren’t overcrowded. It will be even hotter for them if they are crowded too closely together. Chickens need to be able to spread out and spread their wings for ventilation, and everyone in the flock needs to be able to drink cool water and lie in the shade at any time.

 

7) Cool Coop

All Omlet Eglu chicken coops have a unique twin-wall insulation system which works in a similar way to double glazing. This means they do not overheat in the summer. They are also built with a draught-free ventilation system, carefully designed to avoid air blowing directly over the roosting area whilst allowing fresh air to circulate.

If you have a wooden chicken coop, it is important to think about how you can keep the coop nice and cool for your chickens. Make sure you create plenty of ventilation either by opening windows in the coop or by using a fan. Be careful not to have too much thick and heavy bedding as it absorbs heat. Also keep an eye out for mould if you’ve got a wooden coop. Mould can make straw and hay start to rot faster, thereby producing more heat, so make sure you clean out the coop regularly and especially at any signs of mould.

If your chickens are reluctant to go into the hot coop during the day to lay their eggs you could try providing nesting boxes for them outside in cooler, shaded areas.

We wish you and your chickens a lovely summer!

Sources: https://www.fresheggsdaily.com, http://www.henrescue.org, https://www.omlet.dk, https://www.backyardchickens.com

No comments yet - Leave a comment

This entry was posted in Pet Advice


Fascinating Rabbit Facts!

1)

Rabbit teeth never stop growing and it is very important to keep a regular check on them. Rabbits have 28 teeth. Some signs of overgrown teeth are lack of appetite, listlessness and weight loss. Always seek expert advice about this.

2)

Rabbits live for between 4 – 8 years. Giant Rabbits generally live shorter lives – approx 4 -5 years. Dwarf breeds have a longer life span and can live for as long as eight years and in some rare cases, it has been documented, for even longer. 

3)

Rabbits’ eyes are on the sides of the head, giving them excellent vision all the way around, with a small blind spot at the point directly in front of them and directly behind them. As prey animals, this trait enables them to keep a lookout for predators.

4)

Rabbits cannot sweat. They release heat over their body surface, especially the ears.

5)

Rabbits have 5 toes on each front paw and 4 toes on each hind paw, so 18 total.

6)

A Rabbit’s pregnancy lasts 28-31 days and an average litter has 6-10 babies.

7)
A female Rabbit is called a doe
A male Rabbit is called a buck.
A young Rabbit is called a kit (or kitten)
8)
Baby Rabbits are born with their eyes closed, and the eyes do not begin to open until around the age of two weeks old.
9)

More than half of the world’s rabbits live in North America.

10)

Rabbits are crepuscular which means they snooze all day and are most active in the early morning and in the evening.

11)

When a rabbit is very happy, it jumps up into the air, twisting and flicking its feet and head. This movement is known as a binky!

12)

Rabbits chew 120 times a minute and have over 17,000 taste buds.

No comments yet - Leave a comment

This entry was posted in Pet Advice


Dogs and Hay Fever

DOGS AND HAY FEVER

Hay fever is a type of inflammation which occurs when the immune system overreacts to allergens in the air. Hay fever (or Allergic rhinitis) is typically triggered by environmental allergens such as pollen, pet hair, dust or mold. The condition can make feel people who are prone to it feel really miserable. But did you know dogs (and cats) can suffer from hay fever too? However, their immune systems are not the same as ours, so sneezing and runny noses aren’t usually the presenting symptoms. Pets with hay fever are often very itchy all over their bodies. The most commonly affected areas of the skin include the armpits, the groin, the base of the tail, the feet and the sides of the face. Signs of canine hay fever involve:

• Itching and scratching

• Bold spots

• Rash on the face and paws

• Redness

• Ear infections

• Scabs and lumps in the skin

Hay fever is a seasonal allergy, so the greatest problems will be during the summer and early fall. Some dog breeds seem to be particularly prone to hay fever, including terriers, poodles, schnauzers and the Dalmatian. Like humans, dogs can develop hay fever at any age although symptoms often begin when dogs are 1 to 3 years old. It can be difficult to figure out what’s causing your dog’s allergies, since the symptoms of hay fever are similar to many other things. Your vet can do allergy testing to identify if hay fever is indeed causing the problem.

 

CAN CANINE HAY FEVER BE TREATED?

With hay fever it’s not possible to remove the source of the allergy and unfortunately there is no cure for it. But there are a few things you can do for your dog to make him feel better:

Keep your dog indoors as much as possible on days when pollen counts are high, especially on windy days.

Wash your dog’s bedding weekly with hot water and vacuum regularly to remove the pollen your dog picked up during walks.

Choose the areas where you walk your dog carefully, keeping him away from longer grass and vegetation.

Wipe your dog’s coat over with a damp towel immediately after a walk to remove any pollen. Start with the face and end with the legs and paws (your dog may have been running on grass, coming into direct contact with pollen).

Boost your dog’s immune system. By improving the general health of your dog allergic reactions can be helped. Make sure your dog has a healthy weight and a balanced diet.

Give your dog oatmeal baths frequently to sooth the skin and remove pollen. Oatmeal can give your dog temporarily relief from dry and itchy skin. Just poor one cup crushed whole oatmeal in a tub and stir. You can also use an oatmeal shampoo for dogs or other shampoo’s designed to reduce skin problems (although not so frequently that it dries out the skin).

For the rare cases where pollen allergy does provoke sneezing and runny eyes, eye and nose drops supplied by the vet can be effective.

 

If none of the mentioned treatments prove effective, your dog might be a candidate for hay fever medication or allergy shots. Consult your vet for further information.

sources: www.vetinfo.com, www.pets4homes.co.uk, www.kingsteigntonvetgroup.co.uk, www.selfselectionforanimals.co.uk

No comments yet - Leave a comment

This entry was posted in Pet Advice


Prevent and combat Red Mite

A familiar problem for backyard chicken keepers and commercial enterprises for laying hens, is infestation of the birds’ environment with Dermanyssus gallinae, also known as red (poultry) mites. Compared to other poultry parasites such as fowl ticks, lice and flies, mites are by far the most common, most destructive and difficult to remove. Red mites are nocturnal parasites and hide themselves in all kinds of gaps and cracks during the daytime. This makes the treatment of red mites harder and more complicated.

 

SIGNS AND DIAGNOSIS

Red mites are up to 1mm in size. The title “Red” has been given to this mite as it turns from grey to red after it has a blood feed. Once the infestation becomes significant, your chickens will become anaemic. Their wattles and the combs will start looking pale and their egg production will drop significantly. Red mites also cause skin irritation, feather pecking, weight loss and restlessness in the flock. Because of the mites your chickens will probably be reluctant to go to bed, because that’s where the mites are!

When checking your chicken coop for red mites, check the perch’s at the end and cracks and crevices. An even easier way to check is to run a white paper towel underneath the perches at night. If there are red mites, at this time they will be on the underside on the perch after feeding on your chickens and you will be able to see red streaks on your paper towel.

 

PREVENTION

Prevention is always better than cure. But this is not always that simple. Wild birds or new chickens can transmit red mites to your coop. It’s a good idea to check for red mite routinely when you clean your chicken coop and use some preventative treatment to the coop. For example, you can use Diatomaceous earth as part of the weekly clean (DE is a 100% natural powder which dehydrates parasites it comes into contact with). All types of chicken coops can get red mite, however wooden coops tend to suffer from infestations the most.

Unfortunately red mites can survive for up to 10 months in an empty hen house, so leaving a coop empty for a while doesn’t usually fix the problem. Choosing your housing carefully can help prevent infestations. Omlet’s Eglu chicken coops are made from plastic which makes it very difficult for red mites to make a home. And in the event that there is a Red mite infestation, they are quick and easy to clean. A quick blast with a pressure washer should do the trick.

 

TREATMENT

1) Cleaning

If you find lots of red mite in the coop, it’s time for a big clean up. The initial clean out will take a couple of hours for wooden coops, with a plastic coop it will take less time. Remove all birds from the house and strip the house down as much as possible. If you have a felt roof you will need to remove this and have your coop re-felted.

2) Mite disinfectant detergent

Mix a mite disinfectant detergent (such as Smite Professional Disinfectant 1 Litre Concentrate or Barrier Red Mite X 500ml Concentrate) with water (using the manufacturer’s guidelines). Apply this to the coop ensuring you get it in the cracks and crevices, concentrating where there are perch ends and concentrations of red mite. Leave for 15-20 minutes.

3) High pressure hose

Use a hose (preferably high pressure) to hose down the coop and the parts. Try to get in every nook and cranny as this is where the mites like to live. Leave for 10-15 minutes to dry. After this you will most probably see more mites, which have been disturbed, crawling out. Repeat this process until there are very few mites emerging after each wash.

4) UV

Leave the house to thoroughly dry. It’s ideal to do the initial clean on a sunny day as the UV can kill some bacteria and will dry the house quicker. Put the coop back together and add bedding (dispose the old bedding in a plastic bag in a bin as the red mites will happily find somewhere else to live).

5) Red mite powder

Sprinkle the whole coop and your chickens with a red mite powder. Ensure you rub the powder onto the perches so any remaining mites will have to crawl through it to reach your chickens. Omlet stocks a large range of red mite powders and diatom powders to deal with red mite infestations.

6) Repeat red mite powder treatment

Re-apply the red mite powder every couple of days or when it has rubbed of. Red mite are only active during mild weather, so in the UK the red mite season usually falls between May and October. During the fall and winter, the mites become dormant and do not feed. But this doesn’t per se mean they are gone…

Sources: www.omlet.co.uk, www.poultryworld.net, www.accidentalsmallholder.net, www.wikivet.net, www.poultrykeeper.com

No comments yet - Leave a comment

This entry was posted in Pet Advice


Crate Training Tips

Why Crate Train?

It’s very common for people to assume that crate training is cruel and that dogs don’t like small spaces, but it has been shown that dogs love a calm, safe place that they can rest in and call their own. A dog crate offers a place to train as well as a place to sleep at night. It offers security from loud noises like fireworks and thunder, and a place to snooze after a long and tiring walk.
Crate training is an important process in your dog’s life, and is really helpful with toilet training your dog, so you’ll want to make the experience enjoyable for both you and your pet. The key thing is to make sure that your friend is happy and comfortable in their crate. There are a number of things that you can do to reinforce the idea that this is a nice, safe space for your dog to be in.

 

Here’s 7 reasons why crate training is important for a new puppy:

Security:
Appeals to a dog’s instinctual desire for a den-like structure.
Self-confidence
Sets a puppy up for success by reducing wee and poop accidents.
Self-reliance
Prepares a pup for handling alone time.
Privacy
Serves as a time-out device for pups and owners needing breaks.

 

Behavioural Health 
Discourages and reduces separation anxiety in many cases.
Practicality 
Gets pups used to confinement that may be required at the vet’s, the groomer’s and during car trips.
Transport Device 
Contains a pup if he is injured and his mobility must be limited.

Make crate training an enjoyable experience

  • Create a positive association with the crate using food and treats. Start feeding your dog near to the crate, and perhaps even put treats in the bedding. This way the idea of food, which is positive, will be associated with the crate.
  • Use a blanket. Covering the top of the cage will give it a more solid, den-like appearance, and may make some dogs more comfortable with using it.
  • Crate train slowly. You need to be patient with your pet, as this can be a bit of a difficult concept for them to grasp. If you rush training, it’s unlikely to stick, and this can create frustration for the pair of you.

You can secure a traditional dog crate in the Fido Nook when you are puppy training. Using the innovative quick release lock you can remove the dog crate whenever you want to transform the Fido Nook into the ultimate luxury dog kennel.

No comments yet - Leave a comment

This entry was posted in Pet Advice


Heading On A Roadtrip With Your Dog? Check Out These Top Tips….

  • It is always best to crate your dogs when travelling in a car so that they are secure and wont be at risk of injury if you break sharply or are involved in an accident. It also means they are not a distraction to you as the driver making it a much safer journey for everyone.
  • Make sure your dog is crate trained before you first want to take them on a trip. Some dogs find journeys stressful, you don’t want to increase this stress by putting them in a crate for the first time and then putting them in a moving vehicle.
  • A crate shouldn’t be used as a form of punishment, positive reinforcement will encourage your dogs to use the crate with ease. Never force them to go in their crate, leave the door open and let them go into the crate by themselves.

  • Make sure you take them on a long walk before you are heading off on a trip, this way you will tire out your pups and they will more likely want to rest once they’re in the car, this also prevents accidents happening.
  • That being said make sure you plan stops en route at least every 2 hours to allow them the opportunity to stretch their legs and go to the bathroom.
  • When you do stop, remember not to leave your dog in a parked car, you’d be surprised how quickly your car can become very hot and will leave your dog dehydrated which is potentially fatal, never risk it.
  • Make sure you have the right sized crate for your dog. Omlet Fido Classic Crates are available in 24, 30 and 36 inches, with optional accessories such as water bowls and beds.

  • It’s a nice idea to sometimes bring your dogs favourite blanket or toy to relax them and keep them calm.
  • Make sure your dog is microchipped before you set off, also carry a recent photo of them just in case you become separated.
  • Test the water with a few short drives prior to your big trip, get them used to the car and they should become less anxious.
  • Make a list of all your packing essentials such as the food/water bowl, wipes, waste bags, ID tags, collar, leash etc.
  • Feed them at least 3 hours before you intend on travelling to prevent them feeling sick, if it’s a very long journey feed them some light snacks when you stop for a break.

 

 

No comments yet - Leave a comment

This entry was posted in Pet Advice


Helpful tips to keep your hens safe from flu….

From 18 January 2018, an Avian Influenza Prevention Zone applies to everyone who keeps poultry or captive birds in England. From 25 January 2018 there’s a similar Prevention Zone in Wales.

 

Here’s some helpful tips:

 

    1. Place your birds’ food and water in fully enclosed areas that are protected from wild birds, and remove any spilled feed regularly.
    2. Keep your equipment clean and tidy and regularly disinfect hard surfaces. Use disinfectant such as Virkon.
    3. Clean footwear before and after visiting your birds
    4. Ensure clothing that you use when handling your chickens is washed after contact.
    5. Use Run Covers
    6. Keep moveable coops in the same place – If coops are moving to fresh ground there is more chance of coming into contact with wild bird faeces.
    7. Keep a close eye on your chickens. If you have any signs of illness, seek advice from a qualified vet.

 

For further information please read the Government Guidelines here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu#prevention-zone

 

No comments yet - Leave a comment

This entry was posted in Pet Advice


Vets Advice: How To Keep Your Hens Happy This Winter

We recently got the chance to speak with Frau Dr. Sewerin, a German Vet who specialises in poultry. We asked her what her top tips were for keeping your hens happy in colder conditions, here’s what she had to say:

“Make sure the water does not freeze. To do this, place a thick, well-insulated bowl of warm water in a sheltered place, change the water on regular basis or get a water heater.

You should also make sure that there is a dry, snow-free place in the run. You can regularly mix leaves with some wheat grains so that the animals have something to pick. A dry corner with sandbathing possibility must not be missing. Different perching options should always be available during the day anyway, but especially in winter: this helps keeping their feet warm!

Depending on the circumstances, a windcover should be installed at chicken height so that the animals are somewhat protected. You can easily turn the Eglu run into a sheltered, snow-free area. There is are a range of weather protection covers available at Omlet or you could use simple greenhouse film, combined with bubble wrap. This way the run will be a few degrees warmer and windproof on the inside.

In order to help the chickens saving energy and make it a little bit more comfortable for them, you can get an extreme weather jacket for Eglu coops or use tinfoil as it can be found in emergency blankets. The dropping tray can be additionally insulated with an extra thick layer of straw or newspaper. But after all the easiest way is to use the Omlet extreme weather jackets which makes sure that there’s still a good insulation on the inside of the coop.

Pay special attention to the inside of the coop, because the exhalations of the excretions will otherwise accumulate quickly in the interior and irritate the respiratory tract. Good ventilation is also important to remove the humidity, so that the animals do not catch a cold.

A few extra vitamins in the form of fruits, vegetables and herbs can help the immune system. Also onions, garlic and leeks shredded with vegetables or mixed with “flavor enhancers” such as oatmeal, grated carrots, yogurt and oil are very popular.

Once moulting has finished it is the ideal time to do a worming cure. If chickens are heavily infested with worms, it weakens them very much.”

If you’re thinking of upgrading your coop, now is the best time to do so.  Here are some of the top benefits of having an Eglu plastic chicken coop vs a wooden one, particularly in winter:

  • Eglu chicken coops and rabbit hutches do not absorb water so they don’t get heavy and remain easy to move.
  • They don’t rot and don’t require painting with varnish or wood stains (also means that you don’t have to move pets out whilst you are waiting for the fumes to go.)
  • They have insulation built in so remain warm.
  • They have draft free ventilation so your pets wont get a nasty chilly breeze coming in.
  • The door locks are made from heavy duty steel and wont break even in the freezing weather.
  • The door handles are all made from plastic so your fingers won’t freeze to them.
  • The door handles are nice and big so you can use them with gloves on.
  • The water container is really quick to lift out so you can take it in at night to prevent it from freezing.

Looking to upgrade your Chicken Coop? Click here to find out more about the different types of insulated Eglu coops, plus get FREE Delivery if you order before 21st December. Just quote SANTAPAWS at checkout. 

No comments yet - Leave a comment

This entry was posted in Pet Advice


All Chickens Need to Perch – Here’s Why…

Chickens love to hop onto a perch.  This fondness for perches is instinctive. Chickens are descended from the Asian Jungle Fowl, which roosts on the branches of trees. Perching is as natural to hens as scratching and egg-laying. This might lead you to assume that the ideal perch is in a tree, or at least high off the ground. But while some of the lighter breeds such as Bantams or Leghorns might be able to flap their way to the topmost branches, the average domestic hen is way too big to try.  A perch that a bird can hop onto from the ground is perfectly adequate.

During the day they’ll use the perch to relax, take a break and watch the world pass by.  If you are keeping your chickens in a run then adding a perch is an excellent way to enrich their enclosure.  Enrichment is one of those terms that does what it says on the tin.  By adding accessories to the bird’s run you are enriching their lives by providing activities, variation and interest for them.  Whilst it might not seem like an obvious activity, a static perch is actually one of the best additions you can make to your chickens environment, click here to see a video of how to attach a perch to your run.   And if you have a big flock of chickens, you can add several perches in different locations, which will help to avoid any pecking order problems where the chickens lower down are not allowed to join in the perching fun!  Top 4 tips when choosing a perch for your chickens

  1. Make sure that the perch is strong enough to take the weight of your chickens, an average egg laying chicken weighs about 2kg.  A bantam would be about 800g-1kg and a large breed could be up to 5kg.
  2. Make sure that the perch is long enough, you should allow about 20cm per average sized chicken.
  3. Don’t place the perch too high. When you first introduce the perch, place it quite low, maybe 10cm off the ground.  The chickens will quickly learn to trust it and then you can raise it so it’s just above their heads.
  4. When choosing a place to position your perch try to find a spot in the run that is covered so that the hens can still perch when it’s raining without getting wet.

Using a perch in the chicken house. 

When chickens “come home to roost”, they usually head straight for their favourite spot on the perch. It may not look like the most comfortable way to spend the night, but that perch is every bit as snug and inviting to a hen as your warm, cosy bed is to you.

Hens will roost on pretty much anything, from an old ladder to a flat plank of wood. But it’s best to give them something custom made – wide enough with rounded corners, and easily adjustable. As their well-being is at stake – and that impacts your egg supply – it makes sense to buy the best.  Omlet’s chicken perch is very easy to fit to every type of chicken run and wooden coops too, click here to find out more. 

If a chicken doesn’t have a perch, they are more likely to attract mites and lice, or to pick up bacteria from the soiled ground. The stress of having no perch will also lower their immune systems, maximising their chances of disease.

Perches help hens feel safe and secure. At night a chicken is totally blind, and a perch gives them somewhere to “sit tight” if they are disturbed. As far as they’re concerned, if their feet are gripping that reassuring perch, they’re safe from predators. This reduces stress, which in turn promotes good egg-laying.

Perches even help with coop hygiene, as the entire night’s load of droppings will be dumped in one convenient spot for you to clean out.

Click here to buy Omlet’s NEW Chicken Perch – available in two lengths

No comments yet - Leave a comment

This entry was posted in Keeping Chickens


Ten top tips to keep your pooch looking pawsome and healthy!

We often get asked to give advice for keeping your four legged friends pawfectly groomed and healthy and have therefore put together some tips with help from our friends at Penelope’s Dog Grooming and Therapies.

  • Daily Skin Check – by keeping up a regular grooming regime at home for your dog this also gives you the opportunity to check over your dogs skin and notice any potential health risks such as: rashes, bald patches, fleas & ticks, lumps & bumps etc.
  • Fur maintenance – brushing is important for both long and smooth coated dogs – a slicker brush should be used for long coated dogs on a daily basis to remove excess fur and prevent matting. For a smooth coated dog a rubber brush is great for removing excess hair whilst helping to lessen shedding.
  • Ear Cleaning – Ear infections are common for all breeds of dogs but proper ear care for your dog will reduce the chance of infection. We recommend using a herbal ear cleaner.  After flushing with an ear cleaner, gently massage the base of the ears to distribute the solution around the ear folds before using a cotton pad/bud to remove excess dirt. A good rule of thumb is to do this once a week.
  • Pawdicure – To trim your dogs nails you will need a good quality nail clipper and some styptic powder is also handy incase the nail is cut too short. You will want to be careful not to cut the quick (vein running down the nail) when doing this – if you are unsure on where the quick ends you may want to seek help from a vet or qualified groomer. Short nails are important as nails that are too long can splinter and cause unnecessary pain.
  • Teeth Cleaning – Brushing your dogs teeth with a toothbrush and toothpaste designed especially for dogs will help to prevent decay and disease. If you’re uncomfortable or unsure on brushing your dogs teeth then a breath spray or water additive for dogs is also a great option for keeping teeth clean.
  • Tear Staining & Wrinkles – dogs are prone to getting what is known as tear staining around their eyes if they are not cleaned regularly. There are a number of products on the market to help get rid of these but daily cleaning can prevent them from happening in the first place. For wrinkly dogs (e.g. Bulldogs, pugs, etc) the folds on their faces should also be cleaned daily to prevent infection as well as keeping them clean.
  • Healing balms – healing balms are great for relieving dry, cracked paw pads and noses. As well as this these balms will help to protect against every day wear and tear. It is a must for using in extreme weather conditions as it gives protection against; hot pavements, ice, salt and road grit.
  • Inverted tail pockets – dogs with screw tails are open to a number of potential infections, wrinkles provide a dark and moist space where bacteria, yeast and other infections thrive and so daily cleaning is essential. The tail pocket should be cleaned to remove dirt and then dried completely to help stop moisture from growing into bacteria.
  • Diet – a dogs coat is often a reflection of what they eat: feeding high quality food with good, digestible protein sources can be the difference in a dull, coarse, lifeless coat and a shiny, silky, healthy coat. We recommend a raw diet with added fruit and vegetables as this is associated with improved over all health. A few benefits of a raw food diet include; healthy coat and skin, cleaner teeth and fresher breath, higher energy levels, a stronger immune system and improved digestion.
  • Bonding – the emotional bond between an owner and their dog is something that money just can’t buy and daily grooming is a way to make that bond even stronger! Grooming your dog regularly from an early age helps them get used to being handled, which will make it easier to look after them properly in later life. We recommend setting aside a set amount of time each day to groom your dog – no matter what breed you have.

dog-5-smalldog-4-smalldog-6-smalldog-1-small-cropped-3

Click here to view the Omlet range of dog products and information guides

 

Lauren from Penelope’s Dog Grooming and Therapies has provided some more information about their salon:

At Penelope’s we pride ourselves on the well-being and care of pets. No animal is ever forced into unnatural or uncomfortable positions and they are free to take breaks when they need. We have worked to create a calm, safe and stress free environment where dogs can be groomed, pampered and spoiled. We offer lots of different treatments and use a variety of techniques as we know that each individual dog is one of a kind and so deserves a unique experience with us at Penelope’s.  For more information visit their website here

 

 

No comments yet - Leave a comment

This entry was posted in Pet Advice