Jump to content
Dandelion

My hens drink too much

Recommended Posts

I bought two POL Speckledys last August to keep my remaining Marigold company. The Marigold (Ginger) is quite feisty - she kept her place at the top of the pecking order, and after some initial bullying and unpleasantness from Ginger they all get on well. Because Ginger used to try to stop the others (Dot and Dash) from getting to the layers pellets, I think they both began to drink quite a lot. I have managed to stop the food issue (by letting Ginger out to free range and keeping the others in the run to eat) and the Speckledys are both happy, healthy and are laying. But they can empty the Eglu Classic water container in a short time and both have very watery dropping - more like a squirt than a dropping! I've tried putting Cider Vinegar in the water thinking it might make them limit their intake but it made matters worse. I've kept hens for years now and have never come across this problem before. Any ideas?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We had this problem with two new young hens with a single oldie; they were bullied off the feeder and drank instead. It became a habit which only stopped when the oldie died recently. Another possibility is they have a crop impaction which is going sour, so check their crops are completely empty in the morning. Could be worms as well. Perhaps just get a bigger drinker  as Summer is on the way and running out of water must be avoided. In Summer we give ours washing bowls for water as well. Perhaps you could double up on the feeders?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would double up on the food and water stations and have them at different ends of the run so the bully can't keep an eye on all of them.

When did you last worm them, and what with? They should be wormed with Flubenvet layers pellets, at least every 6 months, but every quarter is good. When worming, add Nettex's Herbal Gut Conditioner to their water and for a week after - to support the gut flora. I also use it once a week in between quarterly worming.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Put extra food stations around the place.  Enough so that the old hens can’t guard them all at once and space them so that it isn’t easy for a bully hen to move between them fast enough to keep the others away from them.   We used the little ground feeder tables you get for wild birds as a temporary measure

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, The Dogmother said:

They should be wormed with Flubenvet layers pellets, at least every 6 months, but every quarter is good.

*can be, not should ;)

I know I sound like a broken record but quarterly worming just helps increase resistance to wormers (which are already limited in poultry) so it's 'good' to get a fecal worm egg count done and only worm when necessary - usually cheaper too!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I understand that Lewis, but not everyone's vet will do them, and some folks aren't willing/happy to use an online service. I hear this time and again - if I recommend fecal counts, they just say that they're not doing that, or don't understand. Personally, I alternate between wormers, but it's all down to individual choice.... so many people still don't worm at al.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just sent an envelope of poo off to The Chicken Vet for worm analysis. First time I’ve done this - for the first couple of years chicken keeping I fed medicated (flubenvet) pellets every quarter but I’ve lapsed of late so thought I’d try this instead. Also I’m pretty sure they have tapeworm but would like to know for sure.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/4/2019 at 8:48 PM, mullethunter said:

Just sent an envelope of poo off to The Chicken Vet for worm analysis. First time I’ve done this - for the first couple of years chicken keeping I fed medicated (flubenvet) pellets every quarter but I’ve lapsed of late so thought I’d try this instead. Also I’m pretty sure they have tapeworm but would like to know for sure.

Mullethunter, if they have tapeworm flubenvert works- I had a nightmare finding out which wormer- but you have to get the vet to ring them for the dosage. I think it's a double dose BUT can't remember properly. Altho tbh as only one of mine has tapeworms, the vet said just to monitor as they don't cause massive issues in chickens apparently. (This vet is awesome on chooks.)

On 3/4/2019 at 4:20 PM, Lewis said:

*can be, not should ;)

I know I sound like a broken record but quarterly worming just helps increase resistance to wormers (which are already limited in poultry) so it's 'good' to get a fecal worm egg count done and only worm when necessary - usually cheaper too!

I did this! They were fab.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for your replies (sorry, just nipped in to hospital since I first posted the question, back now with a new knee!). My feeling is that it was bullying which started it. I'ver kept hens for some years and have never had any which drank water to this extent, and consequently made such a mess. The three of them were wormed in December with Flubenvet pellets, so I think this is unlikely as the problem existed before this and the worming made no difference to the water consumption. I do put extra feeding and water stations in the garden when the hens are free-ranging (this was one of the ways I tried to stop the dominant hen from hogging all the food),but to be honest I would like the job of cleaning the hens to be less messy than it has become, and I'l having to scrub out the inside of the eglu frequently because the hens squirt their dropping rather than leave them in a solid form.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.



×
×
  • Create New...