Easy & Adorable DIY Holiday Herb & Berry Coop Wreath!

Easy & Adorable DIY Holiday Herb & Berry Coop Wreath!

We all know herbs are healthy to feed your hens, so making a holiday herb wreath with berries is the perfect way to give your flock herbal goodness while making a cute & stylish coop decoration!

 

Making an herb wreath is really easy – in fact, the hardest thing you’ll do is decide WHICH herbs to use!

 

And yes, it’s meant to be beautiful AND your hens should eat it. Once it’s spent and doesn’t look great anymore, you can compost it.

 

For this wreath, we used rosemary (because it’s healthy AND looks visually similar to pine) and cranberries.

 

And I’ll tell you, hens LOVE the red berries. Cranberries are perfectly fine to feed your hens (especially fresh cranberries), but you can also use any other red berry – strawberries are another good option.

 

(In fact, if you doubt whether chickens will actually go for this wreath, here’s an image from our photo shoot where I turned my back for a moment and Mario, our Blue Copper Marans rooster, decided to try to steal the wreath):

 

Make an easy DIY holiday wreath with herbs and berries for your backyard chicken coop!

 

What herbs should you use?

For herbs, you can stick to the rosemary I used in this article, or you can add other herbs. Oregano, sage, and thyme are good options – each is great for overall health.

 

If you’re feeling extra crafty, you can also use flowers such as calendula or lavender, or add pinecones (your hens might try to sample the pinecones but quickly desert them in favor of the herbs and berries).

 

So why a wreath? Well, it’s fun, seasonal, and looks great in your coop. As far as the health benefits go, its an easy way to give your hens a healthy in a way that they can easy access the herbs without mashing them into the ground (it’s all about the benefits, right?)

 

Want to know how to make your own? Well, here’s directions you can repeat at home.

 

Make an easy DIY holiday wreath with herbs and berries for your backyard chicken coop!

 

Making Your Own Herbal Holiday Wreath for Your Chicken Coop

 

What you’ll need:

A wood or plastic ring

Beading wire or string (more on this in a minute)

About several bunches of long stemmed rosemary

4 – 7 cranberries or other berries

 

How to put your wreath together:

Make or buy a wreath ring

The ring is necessary to give your wreath some structure. It’ll look better and last longer in the coop, and make the rest of this project easier.

 

You can buy these here on Amazon or make one yourself with an old container top. We used an old container top we had laying around because, well, recycling is a good idea.

 

If you do use a plastic top, use an Exacto type knife (like this one here) to transform it into a ring. This is probably the easiest and most budget-friendly way to make this wreath.

 

You can also use it again and again, instead of replacing it every time you want to make a coop wreath.

 

Add the Herbs

Once you’ve made or purchased the ring, it’s time to add your herbs. Again, you can use any herbs you like, and for this project  I used rosemary.

 

Try your best to use only long stems of the herb – it’ll look better and be easier to tie to the ring. I was able to find fresh rosemary in the vegetable section of the supermarket.

 

If you can’t find any, don’t worry – you can still do this project. If you can find long stemmed herbs that AREN’T rosemary, then those herbs might be a better choice.

 

Tie bunches of the herbs (for the pictured wreath, the bunches were 2 – 3 stems of the rosemary) to the wreath. I tied them every inch or so, leaving the last 2-3 inches of the rosemary free.

 

The ends of the herbs will hide the wire or string, and complete the overall look.

 

Continue to do this, layering the bunches as you work your way around the wreath. This will also hide the tie points and add bulk to the wreath, making it look fuller.

 

Now, before we continue….

 

A note about the wire or string

Make an easy DIY holiday wreath with herbs and berries for your backyard chicken coop!

For this project, I used beading wire (not chicken wire). It’s sturdy and also flexible, and easy to twist.

 

You CAN use string, but there’s a couple caveats. Your hens are more likely to pick and eat at the string and it’s also harder to thread the berries with string.

 

You’ll hear a song and dance about how your hens will eat the wire and it could puncture or injure their digestive system.

 

Well, there’s also a chance aliens will puncture your hen’s digestive systems, but the chance of either happening is fairly small.

 

Obviously, you should proceed at your own risk and only do what you feel is best for your flock.

 

But understand if you do use either wire or string, your hens will likely be fine, and the health benefits of the herbs and fun you’ll have watching your hens go wild over the berries FAR outweighs any potential risks.

 

Chickens aren’t dumb, and will go for the herbs and berries long before they taste test wire.

 

If you use string, try to use a thicker string like baling twine. Your hens might be able to slurp up thread, but they’ll have to be pretty determined to swallow baling twine.

 

Adding the Berries

Finally, add your berries. Its easiest and most visually attractive to place them where you’ve wired the herbs to the ring. The berries will completely cover the wire.

 

Make an easy DIY holiday wreath with herbs and berries for your backyard chicken coop!

 

I found it was easiest to pierce the cranberries with a toothpick and then push the beading wire through. If you plan to use string, then use a needle to thread the string through.

 

Wire them on tight so your hens can pick at the berries. This also makes it more difficult for your hens to accidentally swallow the wire or string.

 

And that’s it!

You’ve now created a cute holiday herbal wreath for your coop! You can either place it high and enjoy it as a decoration or you can place it low and allow your hens to eat it. When it’s past it’s prime, and they’re no longer interested, take it down and compost the remaining herbs and berries. Because it’s easy to make, you can spend a couple minutes a week creating a new wreath and letting your flock enjoy it again and again!

 

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12 Genius Eco-Friendly Gift Wrap Hacks

12 Genius Eco-Friendly Gift Wrap Hacks

Today I wanted to share some of my favorite eco-friendly gift wrap ideas with you.

I love Christmas, but unfortunately there are some negative environmental impacts of the holiday season. The EPA estimates that during the holidays Americans produce 25% more waste. Which is about 1 million tons of trash!!!! (source)

That’s a huge environmental impact! One way to reduce your environmental impact this holiday season is to use eco-friendly gift wrap. Obviously the most eco-friendly idea would be to not wrap your gifts, but for most of us that’s probably not going to happen. Opening gifts is a huge part of the fun of Christmas right?

I used to think that gift wrap could just be recycled, it’s just paper right? However many types of gift wrap have dyes and plastics that make them difficult or impossible to recycle. So today I decided to share some of my favorite gift wrap ideas that are eco-friendly and pretty too!

[This page might contain affiliate links, which means for any item you purchase using our links, we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for supporting our website and being a part of the Pampered Chicken Mama family!]

Buy Eco-friendly Gift Wrap

This is one of the easiest options. There are many brands that sell eco-friendly wrapping paper. One of my favorite brands is Wrappily. They’re wrapping paper is 100% recyclable and they have tons of really cute prints! You can find their wrapping paper here: Wrappily Wrapping Paper

One of my favorite ways to wrap gifts is to buy basic brown kraft paper. It’s really inexpensive and it’s recyclable. There’s also the added benefit that kraft paper doesn’t slip as much and is easier to fold, so you won’t have to use as much tape (or even any tape at all) when your wrap gifts with it.

You can find brown kraft paper here: 100% Recyclable Kraft Paper Roll

Reuse, Reuse, Reuse

I know some people think it’s tacky, but I reuse old gift bags and tissue paper from gifts that I receive. Maybe I’m just cheap, but I think it’s better than purchasing new gift bags and tissue paper because I’m not creating new waste. I would rather reuse an old gift bag than throw it away and having to buy a new one later on.

Skip The Tape

One way to reduce the environmental impact of your gifts is to not use tape. You can secure the edges of your packages by tying twine around it (obviously this trick will only work if you are wrapping a square/rectangular gift, it’s a little bit trickier with odd shaped packages).

You can also wrap your gifts without any tape! I love this video (see below) that shows you how you can wrap gifts without using any tape!

Make Your Own Gift Bags

It’s fairly easy to make your own gift bags. One of the great things about making your own is you can use whatever type of paper that you have handy. You could use leftover scrapbook paper, brown paper, or even some of the eco-friendly wrapping paper we talked about earlier!

Here’s a simple tutorial for how to make your own gift bags: Make DIY Gift Bags

Use Leftover Paper

If you have scraps of scrapbook paper or printer paper you can use that to wrap smaller gifts! Scrapbook paper would look so cute as wrapping paper and if you tie it with some twine it will look fantastic!

Brown Paper Bags

One of my favorite eco-friendly (and budget friendly) gift wrap ideas is to use brown paper bags. I always try to get paper bags from the grocery store if I forget my reusable bags (which I do a lot) so I always tend to have a couple extra paper bags hanging around.

I just cut the bags open on one side, turn them inside out, and then wrap my gifts! It’s a simple and easy way to wrap gifts with something you already have!

You can also throw on some pine cones, or sprigs from a pine tree to add a beautiful touch to your gift!

Draw Your Own Patterns

Another great way to make plain brown paper look fantastic is to draw your own patterns on it. You can use a white colored pencil, chalk, or a chalkboard marker to create beautiful, custom designs for your gifts!

Christmas Tree Map Gift Tags 

Don’t you love these homemade gift tags? I love that the Christmas tree is made from an old map! I also love how simple and easy these eco-friendly gift tags are to make!

Lunch sack 

I love this idea for wrapping your gifts. I love the beautiful Christmas sayings and the added bonus of eucalyptus stems!

Winter Scarf

I love the idea of wrapping your gifts with a winter scarf! Not only is the wrapping super cute, but it can be used and it part of the gift! You can learn how to wrap gifts in a scarf here: Wrapping gifts in a scarf tutorial

Use Newspaper

If you still get the newspaper you can use newspaper to wrap your next Christmas gift! It looks absolutely stunning and it’s recyclable!

Homemade Bows


I had no idea you could make your own bows until I found this tutorial. Aren’t they so cute? You can use leftover scrapbook paper or kraft paper to make these bows to add the perfect touch to your eco-friendly wrapping. Tutorial here: Homemade Bows

Which of these gift wrap ideas is your favorite?

 

 



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Make Your Own Makeup With These Simple Recipes!

Make Your Own Makeup With These Simple Recipes!

Today we’re going to talk about how to make your own makeup at home! 

On a normal day, I typically don’t wear any makeup, but it’s nice sometimes to get a little bit dressed up. I love using natural products and I think it’s great to make your own makeup at home!

Natural products are better for your skin and when you make your own makeup you get to control exactly what ingredients are in the products you use.

Now obviously I’m not a dermatologist, so I can’t guarantee that a switch to natural products will work for your skin. But it worked for me, so I’m sharing my experience with you.

A couple of months ago I talked about my favorite natural makeup products and brands (you can find that article here) However, I know a lot of you are interested in making your own makeup from home, so I decided that I would share some of my favorite homemade makeup product recipes.

Something to keep in mind is that making your own makeup is a very personal process.

Different products will work best for different people, so use this article as a stepping stone for experimenting with making your own makeup products. You’ll have to adjust these “recipes” for your own skin tone and for your skin!

Also remember that if you’re making the switch to natural makeup, be patient. I’m not going to claim that natural makeup “does the job” exactly the same as conventional makeup products. Because honestly in my experience it doesn’t. But it’s an adjustment that you have to be willing to make and it all depends on how willing you are to adjust your expectations for makeup. So keep that in mind:)

Also please remember that just because something is natural doesn’t mean that you skin will love it! None of these ingredients are harmful, but that doesn’t mean you should slather it on without testing it first.

I recommend that you start by making small batches of makeup and then try it in a small area of your skin like the inside of your wrist or a small area of your face to make sure you don’t have any allergies to any of the ingredients.

So let’s get started! Here are some of my favorite homemade makeup recipes!

Foundation

Personally I typically only wear a face powder, unless it’s a special occasion. If you’re interested in learning how to make your own liquid/cream foundation you can head over to this article here: Natural Liquid Foundation

Here’s how I make my own powdered foundation. Keep in mind that I can’t give you an exact measurement because this recipe will be different for every skin tone.

Ingredients

Base: Arrow root powder

Color: Cocoa powder

If you have light skin, use more arrow root powder. If you have dark skin use more cocoa powder. Slowly adjust the color (add arrow root to make it lighter and cocoa powder to make it darker) until the mixture is right for your skin tone!

You can then place the mixture in a small mason jar to store!

Bronzer

My bronzer recipe is exactly the same as above! Use arrow root powder and cocoa, but add more cocoa to make the mixture slightly darker! I like doing it this way because it makes it simpler and I don’t have to go and buy different ingredients (because I’m cheap LOL!)

Mascara

I’ll be honest with y’all. I have not attempted to make my own mascara yet…I love my favorite mascara brand and I’m holding on to it for now…But I found an amazing tutorial for homemade mascara that you can use if you want to start making your own! You can find it here: Homemade Mascara

Blush

Homemade blush is fun to make because you can easily adjust the color depending on your preference!

Ingredients:

Arrow root powder

cocoa (optional)

beet root powder

You can make your own beet root powder if you want to save some money. Here’s a recipe for how to make your own beet root powder at home: Homemade Beet Root Powder

All you have to do is mix the arrow root powder with the beet root powder until you reach the desired color! Simple! Store in a small mason jar!

Eyeshadow

Eyeshadow is fun to make at home because you can experiment with making different colors and shades! You can use arrow root powder as the base and then combine it with different combinations of nutmeg, cocoa, beet root powder, and turmeric to create your own shades! If you want specific recipes for different color shades head on over to this article! It has different recipes for different shades of homemade eyeshadow: Homemade Eyeshadow

Eyeliner

I have yet to attempt making my own eyeliner, so I don’t have a personal recipe to share with you. But I love this recipe from the Coconut Momma! There are only 3 simple ingredients! I’m also excited to try out this recipe: Homemade Eyeliner

Homemade Lip Balm

I love homemade lip balm and my favorite recipe is for lemon balm lip goo.

For this recipe you will need:

You can use any brand of essential oils, but I’ve done a lot of research and recommend  Young Living oils.

Directions

First off you’ll need to infuse your lemon balm in oil if you haven’t already (Follow this link here to learn how to infuse oils with herbs).

In a mason jar combine all of your ingredients.

If you want to add a little bit of color to your lip balm you could try adding some beet root powder to the mixture. I’ve never tried this since I’m not a huge fan of lipstick or colored lip gloss, but just experiment with how much beet root powder you need to create your desired color!

Make a double boiler by placing the mason jar in a pot of water. Heat until the beeswax is melted, stirring occasionally so the ingredients mix well.

Once melted, use a funnel to pour the mixture into tubes or other lip balm containers. Allow to cool undisturbed. The lip balm should be somewhat soft and easy to apply to your skin.

You can also try my pumpkin spice lip balm recipe here!

Have you made your own makeup before? What is your favorite makeup product to make at home?

 

Sneaky Peak Behind The Scenes #26

Sneaky Peak Behind The Scenes #26

Hey y’all! Here’s this week’s sneaky peek photos of life on our farm!

These images also appear on my Instagram account where I share MANY more photos and stories from the farm!

If you aren’t yet following me there, you can right here.

Enjoy the photos & be sure to share some of yours with me!

View this post on Instagram

Chicken: Hmmm… is this organic?  Hint: Yes, it is. ➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖➖ Alright y'all, this week's sale is SUUUUPER! When you treat your hens to a 20 ounce, 4 pound, or 8 pound bucket of Scent of Spring, you'll get 25% more FREE! . It works like this: . 🐣 20 ounce bag = 5 ounces FREE 🐣 4 pound bag = 1 pound FREE (5 pounds total) 🐣 8 pound bucket = 2 pounds FREE! (10 pounds total) . Every time we do a sale like this, it's SUPER popular, so it's always fun to bring it back! . Scent of Spring is a mix of sweet smelling nesting herbs – lots of customers report that it helps their hens lay better AND use the nesting box (instead of laying on the ground or some other weird location). . It's also gotten a TON of 5 star reviews – so I know your hens will LOVE it! Head on over to the store right now! Link in bio

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Having A Sick Chicken Can Be Scary…Here’s What You Can Do

Having A Sick Chicken Can Be Scary…Here’s What You Can Do

While there are many chicken illnesses out there, there’s a few whose symptoms you should know.

Although there are many diseases your chicken can develop or contract, in this article I’m going to cover the most common illnesses you need to know about, their symptoms and how to treat them. Some are obviously more common than others, but in this article we are going to look at common chicken illnesses you might come across. I will also touch on an illness or two that are less common, but still important to know about.

Now before we get started, I need to make a legal disclaimer, which is that the information in this article is for educational purposes only.

I am not a licensed vet, and the information in this podcast is reflective of my experience only. As always, use your best judgement and seek a qualified vet’s advice if you are concerned your chicken might be sick.

Now, let’s get on with common chicken illnesses and symptoms you should know about.

Egg binding

So, first on our list is egg binding. So what is this chicken illness? Egg binding is when your chicken, for a variety of reasons, can’t pass the egg she’s trying to lay, and it gets stuck in her oviduct.

One thing to keep in mind is that egg binding can be a serious problem, and it should be treated like an emergency. It does have the capability to be fatal to your chicken.

Reasons egg binding happen can be related to infections, some sort of trauma to the reproductive tract, excessive egg laying, for example, with birds bred for a high rate of egg production, as well as nutritional problems, such as if a chicken isn’t getting enough calcium.

Other reasons for egg binding are obesity and an egg that is too soft, which is another calcium issue, as well as just an internal structure that is prone to egg binding, such as a cloaca that is too small to pass the egg.

So, what are some symptoms of egg binding?

One of the first symptoms you might notice is your chicken squatting a lot, with her wings dropped towards the ground. Other signs are a fluffed appearance, straining, labored breathing, a chicken that’s not pooping or doesn’t want to eat.

If you palpate your chicken, and feel an egg shaped lump near her vent, that’s a good sign and probably a clear symptom that your hen is egg bound.

If you want to know for sure, or if you suspect egg binding but don’t have definitive proof, then you can take your hen to a qualified vet for an xray.

If the egg has formed correctly and is fully calcified, then you will likely be able to see the egg.

So how do we treat this chicken illness?

You will want to soak your chicken in a tub of warm water with Epsom salts in it.

Soak the lower part of her body, including her vent, in the Epsom salt bath for about 20 minutes, massaging her abdomen to stimulate the egg to move.

After soaking her, place her in a warm, quiet area to give her time to try to lay the egg.

Repeat this every hour until the chicken lays the egg. Be sure to offer her electrolytes in water to keep her hydrated.

If you prefer, you can take your chicken to a vet to see if the egg can be crushed and removed. This can result in infection, so my recommendation is to let a qualified vet do it.

If you can see the egg, you can attempt it yourself, but consult with a vet first and see what antibiotics you should put your chicken on after in order to prevent infection. If you cannot see the egg, do not attempt this.

Bumblefoot

Next on our list of chicken illnesses is bumblefoot. So what is this? Well, it’s actually a bacterial infection of your chicken’s foot.

You’ll know if your chicken has bumblefoot if you look at the bottom of the feet and you see a large lump.

Bumblefoot, also called ulcerative pododermatitis, is a bacterial infection that is caused by the Staphylococcus bacteria. So, it’s a staph infection.

It happens when your chicken gets a cut, even a microscopic cut, on its foot from walking on hard or sharp surfaces.

Some symptoms include swelling in the feet and limping.

Chickens with bumblefoot might have swellings on the pad of the foot, or the entire foot can look swollen and enlarged. It might look as simple as a slight redness to a bulbous-looking growth on the bottom of the chicken’s foot. The swellings, called “bumbles” give the infection it’s colloquial name.

If you take your chicken to the vet, he or she might also prescribe oral antibiotics, but that’s really up to your vet to decide if the situation merits it.

Treatment

There are some natural options for bumblefoot, if you want to avoid pharmaceuticals, such as essential oils, honey, or green clay. I like using Young Living’s Animal Scents ointment, which promotes healthy skin.

If you use oils, you should always dilute it with a carrier oil such as almond or coconut oil. For more detail about using essential oils on your chickens, it’s best to email me.

If you want more info on natural bumblefoot treatments you can read my article all about Bumblefoot here: Bumblefoot in Chickens. I go into more detail about Bumblefoot specifically and some treatment options you can use.

Should you do surgery to get rid of bumblefoot?

Bumblefoot is easily treated, and it includes opening the infected area to allow the pus to drain, then soaking it in a water and epsom salt bath. After, you can then apply your favorite topical antibacterial ointment and dress it with clean bandages.

Now, I’ve seen some online recommendations to perform surgery to treat bumblefoot yourself, and I would encourage you, if possible to have the vet perform the surgery instead.

Even if your vet is not a poultry vet, they are in a better position than either you or I to properly provide a local anesthetic to the effected area, and then remove the infection.

Personally, unless the situation is absolutely dire, I prefer to not perform surgeries myself at home largely because I don’t have the proper tools to anesthetize the area, and I’m not comfortable causing more pain in my chickens.

Marek’s Disease

According to the Merck Veterinary Manual, Marek’s disease is a type of avian cancer. Marek’s largely effects chickens between 12 to 25 weeks of age, although chickens outside that age range might also be effected.

The easiest symptoms of Marek’s to recognize include paralysis, such as flopping around, being unable to stand, odd shaped pupils in their eyes, and blindness.

Tumors in nerves are what actually cause the paralysis, while tumors in your chicken’s eyes are what cause the cause irregularly shaped pupils and blindness.

The tumors can also be in the liver, kidneys, pancreas, stomach, lungs, and pretty much anywhere else you can imagine. They can cause the lack of coordination that you see with Marek’s.

Other symptoms of Marek’s disease are weak labored breathing, and enlarged feather follicles. Later as the disease progresses, some symptoms include pale, scaly combs as well as greenish diarrhea.

So how do chickens get Marek’s disease?

It’s transmitted by air between chickens, and it shows up in dander, dust, feces, and saliva. Infected birds that live will also have the virus in their blood for life, and can infect other chickens.

There is no treatment for Marek’s, although chicks can be vaccinated at the hatchery. However, it’s important to note that the vaccination will prevent tumors from forming, but it does not prevent infections nor does it prevent other birds from getting the disease.

Coccidiosis

Coccidiosis is a parasitic disease of the intestinal tract of animals caused by coccidian protozoa.

There are a few difference parasites that can cause a problem in your birds, but the bottom line is the disease spreads from chicken to chicken through infected feces or ingestion of infected tissue.

Your chicken might have coccidiosis and you may never know it, but the most easily recognized sign of coccidiosis is bloody droppings.

Treatment

So, to treat coccidiosis, you can provide an anticoccidial medication, rid the coop of any droppings and sanitize it, and offering your flock vitamins and a probiotic to re-establish good gut flora as they recover.

Just remember that you might have a withdrawal period with any medication you give them.

One way to prevent coccidiosis is to offer chicks a medicated chick starter which will help them build up a resistance to these parasites.

So next, we’ll look at a few diseases of the crop.

First, if you don’t know what that is, it is an organ, part of the esophagus, in your hen’s body that collects food that your hen eats during the day.

It’s like a pocket that stretches as your hen eats. So, if you pick up a hen and feel a lump on the right side of her body, that’s the crop, assuming she has been eating all day.

A healthy crop will be full at night and empty in the morning, and that’s a good indicator your hen’s digestive system is working well. If it’s empty all the time, then she’s not eating. If it’s full all the time, then you might have a problem.

Sour Crop

So first, let’s talk about sour crop. What is it? This happens when a fungus infects your hen’s crop and causes the natural environment of the organ to go askew. Usually, your hen has a good immune system that will help her fight off infections.

But that doesn’t mean she’s immune, obviously. So, as your hen’s crop becomes infected, the lining thickens, which prevents the muscles from doing their job and moving food into your chickens’ stomach.

The most telling symptom of sour crop is a horrible smell, which is the fungus taking over everything, coming from your hens mouth. Other symptoms include  lethargy or weight loss.

Treatment

To treat sour crop, you have a few options. If you want to go with conventional medicine, then you can take her to a vet, and see if they can prescribe nystatin or fluconazole, which are two antifungal medications the Merck Veterinary Manual recommends using for sour crop.

If you want to treat it naturally, then you can try massaging the crop to help it pass any accumulated food into your chickens’ stomach.

Try providing apple cider vinegar in a ratio of 1 tablespoon per gallon of water. The apple cider vinegar will give your chicken beneficial bacteria, which will hopefully combat the fungus.

If the case is bad enough, however, you might want to speak with a vet regarding conventional medicine.

To prevent this disease, only give your hens fresh, healthy food and ensure that your flock’s living area is clean, since one way chickens can become infected with the fungus that causes sour crop is by being exposed to chicken manure.

If you want to learn more about sour crop specifically you can read my article all about sour crop here: Sour Crop

Impacted crop

Similar to sour crop, an impacted crop is where for whatever reason, the organ has failed to move food into the stomach.

Impacted crop happens when either there’s something blocking the food from moving from the crop into the stomach, such as plastic or long, fibrous grasses, or it can happen if the normal muscular contractions of the organ don’t work properly and food ends up sitting in it.

Treatment

It can be treated by burping your chicken to try to remove the material. Another option is to have a vet perform surgery on the organ to remove the material clogging it.

I would recommend only a vet perform the surgery, and refrain from doing it at home unless you really know what you’re doing.

Unlike sour crop, because a crop impaction is literally just a blockage, no antifungal medication should be needed, although you should confirm that with your vet.

 Pendulous crop

Pendulous crops are next on our list of common chicken illnesses. So what is it? A pendulous crop is when the organ gets blocked for whatever reason and food can’t pass. It then begins to stretch so much that it bulges and starts to hang.

You can remember what this disease is by remembering that pendulous means hanging – the crop is hanging.

Pendulous crop is similar to an impacted crop, and is actually pretty serious, since a major organ has been damaged and can’t work in the same way that a healthy one would, and it has a harder time sending food down into the stomach.

Treatment

Now, whether you can treat pendulous crop depends on the severity of the case. You can first empty the crop by “burping” the chickens.

To burp a chicken, you hold it so it’s head is at a 60 degree angle to the ground, and massage the crop until the contents spill to the floor.

Once relieved of its contents, you can then keep the bird in a warm, quiet location and offer water for 24 to 48 hours to see if the organ returns to the proper size. Then you can gradually reintroduce food if it seems all is well.

Now in serious cases, and at the end of the day, only a qualified vet can tell you how serious your case of pendulous crop is, but in serious cases, if there’s too much damage, you might have to put the bird down, lest it keeps having problems with its digestive system.

Now, the three crop issues we’ve discussed all have burping the chicken in common, and at this point I want to say something about burping a bird.

This is not really something to be done lightly; quite frequently, chickens will aspirate on their own vomit, so to speak, which can lead to issues such as pneumonia.

So, if you’re going to burp your chicken, make sure you allow her to breathe between burps.

If you’re not sure how to burp your chicken or are concerned you might not do it right, then you can try bringing her to a qualified avian vet for their help.

Vent Gleet

Vent Gleet is the lay term for Cloacitis, which basically means non-specific inflammation of the cloaca. ← Veterinary Definition.

In reality, what I’ve experienced is that vent gleet is usually a bacterial or fungal infection that causes irritation to the vent, and usually is accompanied by white/yellowish discharge.

Symptoms

  • Feathers getting stuck or pasted to the vent
  • Mild to thick discharge from the vent (there ideally should be NO discharge at all in a healthy chicken)
  • A bad odor
  • A decrease in egg production
  • And/or a dull appearance

Now you can treat vent gleet, but I’m not going to go over it in this article because I have an entire article specifically about vent gleet and how you can treat it. So if you would like to learn how to treat vent gleet you can head over to that article. You can find the article here: Vent Gleet Identifying & Treating

Vent Prolapse

Essentially, a vent prolapse is a chickens insides coming out. While it is totally normal for the vent to temporarily prolapse when laying – it’s definitely NOT normal for it to stay that way!

Basically what happens is, the internal reproductive tract becomes loose and begins to protrude from the vent which makes passing poop and eggs painful for your hen, and potentially deadly.

There are a variety of different causes of vent prolapse and some different treatments you can try as well. If you want to learn more about it head on over to my article specifically about vent prolapse here: Vent Prolapse: How to Recognize & Treat Your Hen

Avian Influenza

Now the last of the chicken illnesses is Avian influenza because it’s been getting a lot of press and I know some of you are concerned about it. Yes, chickens can catch avian influenza.

I have no experience with avian influenza, so the information below is from the CDC.

Symptoms

You can recognize it by certain symptoms. Your chicken might become listless, not want to eat, have respiratory distress, diarrhea, and loss of egg production.

In severe cases, you might see symptoms like facial swelling, blue comb and wattles, and dehydration along with respiratory distress. You might also see dark red and or white spots on their legs and combs. Other symptoms include nasal discharge tinged with blood as well as an increase in production of soft-shelled eggs.

Avian influenza is spread to a backyard chicken typically by wild birds, or if you’ve been exposed to an infected flock, you might bring it home to your chicken. Good biosecurity measures will help prevent it.

There is no effective treatment for avian influenza. If your chicken does come down with it, things like proper nutrition and possibly broad spectrum antibiotics are your flock’s best shot at beating it.

More about avian flu from the Center for Disease Control

Hopefully this article helped you understand the signs and symptoms of common illnesses in your hens. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below!

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