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More research

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Ok the more research i do the more confusing it is to tell if you have an underweight chicken or a fat chicken there no in between...😳... If its underweight you can feel the keel bone and its sticks out however if you pinch it and feel the breast meat its fat... If they underweight they are stressed and if the over they have laying and other health issues. And the recomendation is to have feed out all day long for them.. I feed mine 3quarts of food (20 hens) of flock raiser mixed with scratch and they get scraps and free range. They barely finish the 3 quarts by the time they go up for the night and normally there still some left... So its not like they dont have plenty off food right and but this whole bone thing has me confused if you feel it its bad and if you dont then its bad what should i feel then seriously...
post #2 of 9
Every breed is going to feel different, some like leghorns that are just an egg breed will never have much meat and will always consume less food. Dual purpose breeds, australorps, Orpingtons, RIR, are always going to be heavier, you'll feel the keel bone but it's not as sharp as a leghorns and they eat more, meat breeds will be plump and the bone won't be easy to find, and they will eat and eat. You also have to factor in age as well, most heavier breeds can take two years to mature.

I don't worry about such things, free ranging birds are getting more exercise than penned birds, so they won't get fat. I put out a predetermined amount of ration for my flock tweaking the amount as needed. Scratch shouldn't be mixed in, I toss it on the ground to get the birds scratching and pecking, and scraps are whenever I get some.

So I don't worry about fat chickens, never had one, my flock is mostly healthy and robust. I lose birds here and there but most live good long happy lives. I haven't dealt with may health problems, and most I've never seen. My husbandry has always been to keep animals in as natural as an environment as possible and it works.
Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
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Chickens, muscovy ducks, turkeys, donkeys , goats, dogs, fish, parakeets, a parrot, and a cat.

Chickens and dogs are healing to the soul.

I brake for squirrels.

Some of my birds.
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/my-wisconsin-flock
Reply
post #3 of 9

Why do you mix scratch with their feed?

Their feed is complete and needs nothing added.

Scratch is intended to be a minor treat to be 'scratched' for.

NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

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NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

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post #4 of 9
I don't give mine "all day access" to their feed. They get a specified amount, at 8 am. Then they free range and loiter for the day, and come back at 4 PM for a "snack" or whatever is left from the morning feeding, then off to bed.

I have some very "fluffy" hens, but not "fat" lol big_smile.png

That hurts their fluffy feelings ha-ha wink.png

I would say I probably feed 8 lbs off FF per day, plus some scratch-ish dry grains for 40 birds.. All in all about a quarter pound per bird per day. Egg laying slacked off a bit for winter, but I still feed the same amount, since its pretty cold over here and they need to be "fluffy" to stay warm smile.png
Edited by shortgrass - 12/11/15 at 6:04am
http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/990759/chickens-in-permaculture

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1008185/lets-talk-relocation

3rd generation of Colorado ranchers, raising organic alfalfa, corn, Red Angus cattle, Suffolk sheep and of course, chickens! Comitted to a lifetime of health without chemicals, I am entirely dependent on what God has given me to nurture soil, plant, and animal. Sharing...
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http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/990759/chickens-in-permaculture

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1008185/lets-talk-relocation

3rd generation of Colorado ranchers, raising organic alfalfa, corn, Red Angus cattle, Suffolk sheep and of course, chickens! Comitted to a lifetime of health without chemicals, I am entirely dependent on what God has given me to nurture soil, plant, and animal. Sharing...
Reply
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Well its not really scratch its mostly grains and seeds in such i just call it scratch.
post #6 of 9

Grains and seeds is scratch.

They're a lot lower in protein than the chicken feed.

NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

Reply

NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

Reply
post #7 of 9
Well @ChickenCanoe, the only thing that ISN'T a seed or grain in my mix is the alfalfa pellets lol wink.png

So its scratchy scratch plus pellet scratch ha-ha big_smile.png

Chicken feed in pellet form in bags that most people feed is made of mostly ground up...you guessed it, seeds and grains wink.png

Sorry lol, I'm feeling sarcastic this morning wink.png But its true! big_smile.png
http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/990759/chickens-in-permaculture

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1008185/lets-talk-relocation

3rd generation of Colorado ranchers, raising organic alfalfa, corn, Red Angus cattle, Suffolk sheep and of course, chickens! Comitted to a lifetime of health without chemicals, I am entirely dependent on what God has given me to nurture soil, plant, and animal. Sharing...
Reply
http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/990759/chickens-in-permaculture

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1008185/lets-talk-relocation

3rd generation of Colorado ranchers, raising organic alfalfa, corn, Red Angus cattle, Suffolk sheep and of course, chickens! Comitted to a lifetime of health without chemicals, I am entirely dependent on what God has given me to nurture soil, plant, and animal. Sharing...
Reply
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Well they get meat as scraps along with veggies and considering that they all have glossy feathers and are extremely active i am pretty sure they are healthy and the lay like crazy and their yolks are good color as are the whites so i am going to say they good. I am just doing research on them in general i am not really worried about them being underweight or over weight. They have 100x130=13000sq foot area to be in to forage plus another area that i can switch them out in (2acres availble will be seven adventually) i am just curious how to tell whats healthy and whats not. I know how to tell on large animals and as i am interested in being a vet i interested in learning.
post #9 of 9
I would say glossy feathers and good quality eggs are a good sign of what is healthy.
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