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Category Archives: 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

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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.

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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

 

 

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This entry was posted in Pet Advice