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ItemDescription
PC Pea Comb
PEMS Poult Enteritis Mortality Syndrome is a relatively new condition in the UK but has caused major losses in the USA turkey business.
PEMS leads to depression (huddling, fluffed, non-responsive), loss of appetite and wet droppings.
POL Point Of Lay
PQ Pet Quality
PR Pair
PTS Put to sleep
Parasites There is quite a variety of unsavoury little creatures that can get stuck into your hens. These include lice, fleas, mites and other bugs.
Signs may include feather pecking, frequently darting the beak into the feathers, scratching, increased occurrence of dustbaths, reluctance to enter hut, anaemic looking wattles and comb, lethargy and awkward stance.
Wash out your hen house periodically with a disinfectant or use an insecticide.
Pellets Small kernels of compressed mash, causing birds to eat the whole blend, not pick and choose.
Perches Perches can be used providing they are of suitable size. Ideally two inches square, slightly rounded and removable to prevent young birds roosting too early so causing crooked breastbones.
They should be positioned at an appropriate height to allow birds to get onto them easily, but high enough to prevent roosting on their nest box.
A dropping board under the perches which can be removed easily for cleaning will help keep the floor of the pens cleaner.
Hens do two thirds of their droppings at night. You can also check the droppings for colour and consistency (as a guide to health) more easily.
Check birds regulary after they have perched for lice and mite, at the same time keeping a close eye out for scaly leg and any signs of respiratory noises.
Pigeon toe This condition is recognised by inwardly-facing feet. This can be a genetic problem.
Pip To break through or peck holes in the shell by the chick.
Pituitary gland A small kidney-shaped gland located at the base of the brain that produces hormones involved in sexual maturity, the maturation and release of yolks, and egg laying.
Plumage Condition of plumage should be good, with tight-fitting and clean sleek feathers (unless the bird is moulting). Bird should appear active and alert.
Plymouth Rocks Barred_Plymouth_Rocks Buff_Plymouth_Rocks
Polish White-crested_Black_Polish
Potato If you want to feed chickens a lot of potatoes or potato peelings cook them first.
Poultry Chickens, Bantams, Turkeys, Ducks, Geese, Partridge, Quail, Pheasants, Pigeons, Guinea Fowl, Ostrich, Ema and Rhea.
Protein Any food high in amino acids, used to build tissues.
Protein quality is determined by the amino acid varieties in the food source.
Meats, nuts, seed germs, and soy concentrates are protein sources.
Amino acid is a molecule that is one building block of protein; there are many different amino acids.
Pullet A male chicken is a cock or a cockerel, depending on its age. Similarly, a female chicken is called a pullet or a hen.
The age at which a pullet becomes a hen and a cockerel becomes a cock depends on what type of chicken is being raised. Purebred poultry producers have very age-specific definitions.
A chicken is a cockerel or pullet if it is less than one year of age. After one year of age, the chicken is referred to as a hen or cock.
In the commercial chicken industry a female chicken is called a hen after it begins egg production (around five months of age).
A sexually mature male chicken (again, around five months of age) is referred to as a rooster.
Pure Breed A pure breed is one which has been bred by a reputable breeder who puts together a pen of pure bred birds to produce offspring which conform to the British Poultry Standards.
The breed has to be recognisable from just a cursory inspection.
It is a group of birds with the same characteristics of body, shape, colour and size, which bred with like birds will produce identical progeny.
If their progeny differs in one or more characteristics, then the parents are not pure, having been crossed with one or more other breeds in the past five - six generations.
This actually happens sometimes when buying birds, which are claimed to be pure, but the resultant progeny are not true to type.

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