Have you heard the expression 'as rare as hens' teeth'? We have too, and because your girls don't have any teeth, they need a bit of a helping hand when it comes to digestion.
Hen grit is a vital part of your hens' diet and comes in two forms - soluble and insoluble. You can read more below and also see which products we advise to ensure they get enough of both.
Ideally your hens should be fed a mix of insoluble and soluble grit.
Fine or soluble grit dissolves in the hens’ digestive system. It is mostly calcium-based and is essential for egg shell formation.
Insoluble grit is comprised of things like small pea-sized gravel chips or small stones which do not dissolve, nor do they provide calcium, but they do provide a mechanical aid to break down food.
The good news for your hens is that they won’t need a routine visit to the dentist, nor will they need a set of choppers as they age, but it is important to give them the right grit to enable them to break down their food.
Natures Grub Hen Grit - £2.79
AgriVite Flint Poultry Grit - £2.99
AgriVite Oystershell Grit - £3.99
Chicken Licken' Amazin' Grit Block - £1.99
You don't need us to tell you how wonderful it is finding a freshly laid egg in your hens' nest box. And then cracking it open at breakfast and seeing those beautiful golden yolks pour out into your frying pan.
Sometimes the eggs might have a slightly imperfect or soft shell, and that's okay too because we all have off days and hens are no different. However there is a little pick (or peck!) me up to get their shells nice and strong again.
Zolcal is a vet-formulated liquid calcium supplement with added vitamins, meaning it's super simple to pop some into your hens' drinking water. After all, everyone needs a little pick-me-up from time-to-time!
Zolcal D 120ml - £8.75
Zolcal D 500ml - £23.79
Mums are wonderful, aren't they? So wonderful there's a whole day dedicated to celebrating them! We hope you've got some special plans for the mother hen in your life and, to help things along, we've put together some great gift ideas guaranteed to make your mum smile. Because, let's face it, she deserves it!
Henny Penny Tea Towel
Chicken & Egg Tea Towel
Chicken Draught Excluder
Henny Penny Mug
Hens Double Oven Glove
Twelve Poems About Chickens
A blog from our Head of Operations, Gaynor.
I know I am not the only hen keeper that has been struggling to cope with keeping my hens clean during the enforced Avian Influenza lock down. I was therefore delighted to be offered the opportunity to trial a different ground and bedding sanitizer to my usual brand.
As soon as I opened the tub I was impressed by the lovely clean fresh lemony smell. Agrisec 250 Plus (not the sexiest name I know) is a powder that can be scattered on bedding or areas of high hen traffic (outside pop holes, around feeders etc).
I don’t like putting chemicals down where my girls are walking so I was pleased to see that this product contains natural ingredients including Yucca and essential oils with anti-bacterial properties. The product absorbs liquid faeces and forms clumps which makes it easier to pick up faeces without losing half your bedding material each time. As a bonus it also has insect repellent properties.
We will soon be coming to an end of the restrictions in some areas but DEFRA have made it clear that we should all make efforts to sanitize range areas before letting hens outside. Wet and muddy areas should be dried out where possible and this is where Agrisec 250 Plus can help. For general range disinfectant DEFRA are suggesting washing down paths or hard standing and treating ground areas with an approved viruscidal product like Virkon S, which is now available in our shop.
If you are unfortunately in an area of higher risk and have to keep your hens restricted, Agrisec 250 Plus will help to keep your coop fresh and your hens happier.
We think it's acceptable to eat pancakes any day of the year, but for traditionalists Pancake Day takes place on Tuesday, 28 February and we've got some great gadgets AND a fabulous LAKELAND COMPETITION to help make it flipping fantastic…visit our website for more details.
We'd love to see your pancake pics, so send to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll share them! Our mouths are already watering...
All these gorgeous products are available from the BHWT's online shop. All profits from the shop help save more hens from slaughter.
Egg Skelter 24
Egg Box Labels
Henny Penny Tea Towel
Eton Rubber Nest Eggs
A well balanced diet will support your girls' wellbeing throughout the year, but especially in winter and taking a look at the feed label will tell you exactly what you are giving them.
The Smallholder Range includes crumble and pellets, both of which have added linseed for Omega 3 and prebiotics for healthy digestion, ideal nutrients for colder winter months.
We like the Smallholder Range, too, because it uses natural, GM-free ingredients as well as marigold petals for eggs with beautiful, rich sunny yellow yolks!
But don't take our word for it! Here's what one of our happy customers had to say: "My girls love these pellets and for me, it's great to know that they are getting a good quality food with all the nutrients they need. Super fast, easy delivery service makes my life easier and it's lovely to know that each sale helps the great work of BHWT too."
Another excellent feed comes from The Organic Feed Company; the range uses healthy, sustainable ingredients with added Omega 3 oils for good sized eggs and gorgeous, natural golden yolks. It comes in a small pellet size, making it ideal for ex-bats.
The Organic Feed Company carries full Soil Association approval and was one of the first companies to use 100% organic agricultural ingredients in its feed.
The Smallholder Range is available from the BHWT's online shop. All profits from the shop helps save more hens from slaughter.
Our advice line sometimes receives calls from anxious re-homers who report that their hen has fluffed up her feathers.
Hens hunch down and fluff their feathers out to trap air and retain warmth – rather like trying to create their own 15 Tog duvet.
Hens that are under the weather benefit from extra warmth but this needs to be delivered in a safe method and hens should never be overheated. Hot water bottles are a no no – they can puncture easily with a hen’s sharp claws and microwave heat pads tend to cool down too quickly.
Here at BHWT we use heat lamps in our hen hospital. A heat lamp gives a safe and regular amount of warmth mimicking a warm sunny day and allowing the patient to conserve the energy they waste by fluffing themselves up.
If you have the space to set up a heat lamp your hens will feel the benefit. It can also be used during extreme cold spells to make the ambient temperature warmer.
There's an icy blast currently hitting the UK, making it even more important to ensure your girls are nice and cosy. And Dengie Fresh Bed definitely offers cosiness for coops.
It's lovely and soft, and the added pine oil helps to keep their coop smelling as fresh as a daisy, and is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal.
Just in case you need some more cosiness coaxing, here are some gorgeous girls snuggling down in their Fresh Bed-filled coops!
Your girls deserve the best, especially while they're being confined due to avian flu, so treat them to some Dengie Fresh Bed today.
Dengie Fresh Bed for Chickens is available in two sizes and is delivered direct to your door within days of ordering online. The price includes post and packing.
On the second day of Christmas my true love sent to me - two chicken plaques and a chicken in a pear tree!
Pick up one of our great plaques for the hen lover in your life this Christmas - they'll love it!
Each sign measures approx 13 x 9cm and are easily fixed to a gate or fence.
My true love gave to me...a chicken in a pear tree!
We're aware that's not quite how the song goes, but bear with us! Yesterday we kicked off our 12 days of Christmas in the lead up to our final Christmas delivery date - 16 December.
You can still order after this time, of course, but we won't be able to guarantee delivery in time for the big day!
In the lead up to December 16 we will be letting you know about a different product every day, and each one will make a fab Christmas present, so keep an eye out if you're stuck for ideas!
First up is our Sponsor a Hen scheme! We have three beautiful girls for you to choose from - and don't they look Christmassy?! Sponsoring a hen is a fab gift for someone (or even for yourself!) plus ALL the money goes towards helping save more hens.
Just visit our website (click the link above) to find out what it's all about!
We're not sure about you, but all this Black Friday talk has left us (and Frieda here) scratching our heads wondering if these bargains are in fact too good to be true? So why not get your feel good factor in a different way this Black Friday by shopping with us and raising money to save more hens?!
Yes, everything will still be full price but that's because if we slash prices we also slash the amount of money being put back into the charity to help continue our work! And that's not a good thing, wouldn't you agree?
So take a look at some of our lovely products below and shop safe in the knowledge that you're doing something wonderful (and avoiding a fight over that flat screen TV in the supermarket!).
Gifts for her
Gifts for him
Gifts for hens
The weather's getting chilly, the scarves and hats are out and it's beginning to feel distinctively festive! All of which gets us very excited thinking of log fires, mulled wine, mince pies and of course - presents!
With that in mind we've pulled together some of our most beautiful products which your family and friends (and your hens!) are guaranteed to enjoy. We hope you love them as much as we do! And remember, all profits help save more hens.
Click here to get shopping!