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Is it possible for a growing chicken to be fat?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I'm probably worrying about nothing, and this is probably perfectly normal. But still.

I have a couple of birds hatched about the beginning of June, making them 16 to 18 weeks old. Today I finally got them standing on the scales without much drama. They both came out at about 1500g (3.3lb), which seems pretty hefty for a breed whose standard hen weight is 2000 to 2500g (4.4 to 5.5lb). Are they supposed to have this much of their weight at this age?

They feel a lot heavier than their soft and fluffy appearance would suggest, and they're pretty good at wriggling and levering themselves out of my grasp if I don't get their wings held down right, but I can't really tell if they feel substantial or not. What have I got to compare them to? I've never had chickens before.

They're bright-eyed and active and they have good appetites. I feed them fermented organic pellets, with wild bird seed as a motivator for scratching a particular area up without my intervention, going where I want them to, or doing what I want. They got a lot more seed than usual today, probably enough for most of the week (it took me a while to figure out how to direct them onto the scales). Sometimes they have access to the compost pile with fresh fruit and vegetable kitchen waste, though I haven't been doing that lately. Most days they get greens, either from cropping the lawn or from being given assorted leaves to munch on.
post #2 of 4


I would not worry at all! I have one hen that eats for Kenya! - she's got the flying abilities of a brick but she's a great layer and a top bird. 

Nairobi, Kenya
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Nairobi, Kenya
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post #3 of 4

Sounds like your birds are right on track to me. At 18 weeks, they're basically full grown for height, they're just going to fill out a touch over the next few months. Your girls now have their "bone", the next few months will give them their "brawn".

 

It's quite likely their feed consumption will taper off in the next few months, as they quit growing so much and settle into a maintenance type eating.

Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

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Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

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post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Ah, that's good to hear. A while back I was worried that they weren't getting enough food (they were eating little enough to throw my fermented feed 'conveyer belt' out of whack), but between my dad and I we determined that the difference was being made up by dry pellets and bird seed. Now they have fewer extras.

We've had them for almost three months and they've been no trouble at all. Maybe I'll go find a new part of the run to fiddle about with.
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