Thursday, 22 June 2017

Chickens & Summer Holidays - 5 Things to Think About

It's getting near prime Summer holiday season (the three fans I have pointed at me in the FSF office can attest to that) and with the excitement of a holiday comes a little simple planning on how your chickens are to fair, while you sun yourself in a foreign clime.

Fantasia Hen House

Here are five things to think about while preparing for your holiday.


VSB Automatic Chicken House Door OpenerWhile your away who is going to make sure your hens are locked up safe at night and let out each morning? A willing family friend or neighbour is all well and good but can be a terrible imposition. This is where Automatic Chicken House Door Openers really come into their own. Operating off either a light sensor or a timer option, they open and close your hen house door every morning and evening, keeping your girls safe and saving you having to ask a neighbour to "pop-round" at the break of dawn each day. 

Running off of AA batteries and coming with a manufacturer warranty, both the Chicken Guard and VSB Auto Door Opener Units are a real life saver for long weekends, holidays away and just having a lie in any day of the week.

Gaun Poultry Drinker from Flyte So Fancy
Poultry drinkers come in a range
of shapes and sizes


A good sized drinker set up in the corner of your run will make sure that your hens always have access to fresh water. Drinkers with legs, like the Gaun Tripod Drinkers, means that the water stays clean and fresh while you're away and you don't have to worry about your hens kicking mud and other muck into their water. A big drinker would do well over a long weekend and the kind asking of a neighbour to top it up on occasion over a week would see your hens hydrated and fresh.


When it comes to feeding your hens the rules are not dissimilar to giving them a supply of fresh water. A hen will eat roughly 200g of Layers Pellets feed a day  (dependent on what other food may be available) and so a feeder should take the number of hens you have to that ratio. A good quality feeder, raised up on legs, or with an anti-waste grid will prevent your hens from spilling or wasting feed. Again a kind person checking that the feeder is topped up, will keep your hens happy and well fed.


If you are going away for over a week you will need to ask someone to clean your hen house to make sure your chickens are living in hygienic conditions. This is important to avoid any infections in your hens from a dirty and mucky coop. With this in mind, you may want to make sure you have supplies for cleaning at the ready. We offer a next day delivery to most areas of the UK.


Perhaps one that isn't often thought of (but if you are away for a long time should be considered) who is going to collect your eggs. If you have six hens laying six eggs over six days, that is a total of thirty six eggs sitting in the nest box by the time you return. Not removing the eggs could result in them getting crushed leading to egg eating (a habit hard to break), your hens laying eggs all over the place in any clear spot and the possibility of a hen going broody and sitting on this great pile of eggs. As always, arranging a trusty person to come in and collect the eggs from the nestbox is the best thing to do and often a nice reward for checking on your chickens in your absence.

When going away and arranging looking after your hens some things are easy to organise. An Automatic Door and a larger feeder and drinker will take care of any long weekend you may have planned. Longer holidays require a little more planning, to make sure the hen house remains a hygienic place for your hens to live.

If you have any questions about the best way to look after your hens while on holiday, why not leave a comment below, or call us on 01300 345229 to speak to a member of the FSF Team.

Thanks for Reading

Monday, 12 June 2017

De-Pluming Mite (and how to spot them)

Firstly let me apologise that it has been so long since the Flyte so Fancy Blog has blogged. However, I noticed a trend over the last few months, after the DEFRA Avian Flu conditions were lifted, of people phoning with a problem that sounded like Depluming mite.

Usually very rare among poultry keepers, it isn't a subject that we have covered often before. However, we think that there may be a correlation between everyone having their hens confined over the winter months and the increased cases of possible Depluming mite.

First of all, How do you identify Depluming Mite on your hens:
  1. The mites cause great irritation to the hen's skin and so a bird pulling out their own feathers is a sure sign. 
  2. Depluming mite burrow into the feathers and skin around them so your hen's skin will appear red and sore,and around the base of the feathers scabs can form. 
  3. Feathers that look dishevelled or damaged are a good sign that mite may be attacking them. 
Depluming mite are very similar (and related to) Scaly Leg Mite and work in a similar way. Living on the bird only, they can go from baby to adult in just over two weeks. As the mite spends its whole life living on the bird, it is transferred from bird to bird by physical contact. 
Depluming Mites in Poultry
Ivermectin Drops

Mite powders tend not to have an effect on Depluming mite as they cannot reach the mite within their burrows. The best thing to use (again similar to treating scaly leg mite) is Ivermectin Drops 1%. A spot on anti-parasite treatment for mites, this will deal with the depluming mite on your birds. Applying a few drops to the area between the shoulder blades once a week for three weeks, should take care of the problem. Ivermectin isn't licensed for poultry specifically, but for small domestic pets/birds not intended for food use. There is also likely to be an egg withdrawal period also.

Depluming mite is a particularly nasty little mite that can leave your hens looking very sorry for themselves. If you have any questions regarding depluming mite, or any other mite that may be affecting your hens why not leave a comment below, or call us on 01300 345229 to speak to a member of the Flyte so Fancy team.

Thanks for Reading