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.