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Thin Pullets- How to Fatten Up

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hi there. I'm sorry I've been posting so much-- you all are so helpful!

 

I have 2 hens who I brought back from sickness a few months ago. When I bought them at 3 months old they had a bad case of depluming mite. They were missing a lot of feathers and lethargic.

 

Now, only one of them has reoccurring problems with depluming mite, though I applied Eprinex for the first time this week which I hope will get rid of the problem. It's been a long battle.

 

The birds are best friends, which is very cute to watch. They always want to be together and panic if you take one away. They seem healthy-- walking around, clucking, eating and drinking, pooping normally. The problem is that they are underweight. They are 5.5 months old, an Easter Egger and a Russian Orloff. One has had no health problems for about a month, and one has the depluming mite but is treated often so she doesn't struggle with it too much. Both birds are about 1 kg. I weighed one the other day and she has lost 8 grams since then, despite eating a lot. I hope it is just a scale variance. I would say they are at about a 2 on the chicken fatness scale, with thin legs and prominent keels.

 

My question is, how do I make sure the birds are eating enough? How do I get them to put on weight? I thought recovering from disease would make them gain weight quickly, but it has not. I am keeping them indoors for now and see that they eat plenty, and enthusiastically at that. Maybe they don't eat as much outside? They have food constantly available and the other chickens don't pick on them too badly.

 

I started Safeguard wormer on them the other day. I'm aiming for 5 days in a row and then one more treatment 5 days later. I've never seen any worms but I'm hoping the wormer will clear anything up. They've never been wormed before.

 

Inside they are in an 80 degree room with grower crumble and water . They have been filling their crops. I have been keeping them up from 7am till about 11pm to make sure they are eating as much as possible. 

 

How much should they weigh? How fast should they get there? Is it necessary to force feed when they eat so much on their own? When would it be safe to put them outside? Are there other treatments I should try? These 2 chickens have already been spoiled to death, so no use stopping here.

 

Thanks so much.


Edited by MissBokBok - 12/17/15 at 10:14pm
post #2 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissBokBok View Post
 

Hi there. I'm sorry I've been posting so much-- you all are so helpful!

 

I have 2 hens who I brought back from sickness a few months ago. When I bought them at 3 months old they had a bad case of depluming mite. They were missing a lot of feathers and lethargic.

 

Now, only one of them has reoccurring problems with depluming mite, though I applied Eprinex for the first time this week which I hope will get rid of the problem. It's been a long battle.

 

The birds are best friends, which is very cute to watch. They always want to be together and panic if you take one away. They seem healthy-- walking around, clucking, eating and drinking, pooping normally. The problem is that they are underweight. They are 5.5 months old, an Easter Egger and a Russian Orloff. One has had no health problems for about a month, and one has the depluming mite but is treated often so she doesn't struggle with it too much. Both birds are about 1 kg. I weighed one the other day and she has lost 8 grams since then, despite eating a lot. I hope it is just a scale variance. I would say they are at about a 2 on the chicken fatness scale, with thin legs and prominent keels.

 

My question is, how do I make sure the birds are eating enough? How do I get them to put on weight? I thought recovering from disease would make them gain weight quickly, but it has not. I am keeping them indoors for now and see that they eat plenty, and enthusiastically at that. Maybe they don't eat as much outside? They have food constantly available and the other chickens don't pick on them too badly.

 

I started Safeguard wormer on them the other day. I'm aiming for 5 days in a row and then one more treatment 5 days later. I've never seen any worms but I'm hoping the wormer will clear anything up. They've never been wormed before.

 

Inside they are in an 80 degree room with grower crumble and water . They have been filling their crops. I have been keeping them up from 7am till about 11pm to make sure they are eating as much as possible. 

 

How much should they weigh? How fast should they get there? Is it necessary to force feed when they eat so much on their own? When would it be safe to put them outside? Are there other treatments I should try? These 2 chickens have already been spoiled to death, so no use stopping here.

 

Thanks so much.


safe guard will finish off the mites if they are the biting kind.

 

It may take a while to put weight on them.    Your info below your avatar picture doesnt say what part of the country you live in.    But even nekkid chickens do quite well outside as long as they have a draft free place to roost.    Exercise and normal chickony activities will help.  Giving them a little yogurt mixed with their snacks of fresh greens and feed will help populate their Flora and Fauna in their gut.

 

Their digestion is comparable to that of horses in some ways.  They depend on food being broken down in their gut.    If you ever saw them turn around and eat one of their disgusting poos thats what they are doing.  Populating their gut.  Horses do it as well.

 

I am not a pro on Chicken digestion but I am a pro on horse digestion.  You kill off that gut flora and fawna and your horse will starve to death. 

 

Oh and look up Fermented Feed.  there are several threads here on the subject.  Its easy to do and your birds will get much more nutrition out of the very same feed you are giving them now.

 

Good luck.  Take it slow as long as they are not lethargic you are good to go.

 

deb

Past poultry: Buff Brhama, EE, Barred rock, Wellsummer,

Bantam mixes, Araucana, Turkeys, & Guinea Fowl.

Future poultry:  Guinea Fowl, Sumatra, Wellsummer, Muscovy

"A dream without a plan is just a wish" Katherine Paterson

Regarding the horses in our lives

 

Reply

Past poultry: Buff Brhama, EE, Barred rock, Wellsummer,

Bantam mixes, Araucana, Turkeys, & Guinea Fowl.

Future poultry:  Guinea Fowl, Sumatra, Wellsummer, Muscovy

"A dream without a plan is just a wish" Katherine Paterson

Regarding the horses in our lives

 

Reply
post #3 of 8

By the way Welcome to BYC :welcome  and dont worry about asking questions.  The whole reason BYC was formed was people sharing info and helping out others.

 

deb

Past poultry: Buff Brhama, EE, Barred rock, Wellsummer,

Bantam mixes, Araucana, Turkeys, & Guinea Fowl.

Future poultry:  Guinea Fowl, Sumatra, Wellsummer, Muscovy

"A dream without a plan is just a wish" Katherine Paterson

Regarding the horses in our lives

 

Reply

Past poultry: Buff Brhama, EE, Barred rock, Wellsummer,

Bantam mixes, Araucana, Turkeys, & Guinea Fowl.

Future poultry:  Guinea Fowl, Sumatra, Wellsummer, Muscovy

"A dream without a plan is just a wish" Katherine Paterson

Regarding the horses in our lives

 

Reply
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thank you, perchie.girl. I wonder if anyone has experience with pullets gaining weight? I had a bird die last week who was severely underweight, so I'm extra cautious. I'm wondering how much my birds are supposed to weigh given their frames, and how long it has taken other people to put weight on after sickness.

post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissBokBok View Post
 

Thank you, perchie.girl. I wonder if anyone has experience with pullets gaining weight? I had a bird die last week who was severely underweight, so I'm extra cautious. I'm wondering how much my birds are supposed to weigh given their frames, and how long it has taken other people to put weight on after sickness.


Are their crops full?  Id have food  infront of them 24/7  at least till they are.

 

And what are you feeding them?  there are various opinions on the sbject I wont go into discussions over feed merit.  but Its important to know what kind.

 

deb

Past poultry: Buff Brhama, EE, Barred rock, Wellsummer,

Bantam mixes, Araucana, Turkeys, & Guinea Fowl.

Future poultry:  Guinea Fowl, Sumatra, Wellsummer, Muscovy

"A dream without a plan is just a wish" Katherine Paterson

Regarding the horses in our lives

 

Reply

Past poultry: Buff Brhama, EE, Barred rock, Wellsummer,

Bantam mixes, Araucana, Turkeys, & Guinea Fowl.

Future poultry:  Guinea Fowl, Sumatra, Wellsummer, Muscovy

"A dream without a plan is just a wish" Katherine Paterson

Regarding the horses in our lives

 

Reply
post #6 of 8
Making them stay up untill 11 is only going to stress them out. Not make them eat more.
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

Yes, these two birds are filling their crops and eating a lot. They're eating grower crumble. Previously they were on a higher protein grower crumble because of the missing feathers and some birds molting.  The bird who died was sick, these girls are recovering and I'm wondering what sort of timeline they should be on.

 

I'm having them stay up 14-16 hours a day because they do eat more then. As long as the light is on, they are peppy, and those are normal hours for many places in summer. The goal is to get them to fill up as many times a day as possible.

post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissBokBok View Post
 

Yes, these two birds are filling their crops and eating a lot. They're eating grower crumble. Previously they were on a higher protein grower crumble because of the missing feathers and some birds molting.  The bird who died was sick, these girls are recovering and I'm wondering what sort of timeline they should be on.

 

I'm having them stay up 14-16 hours a day because they do eat more then. As long as the light is on, they are peppy, and those are normal hours for many places in summer. The goal is to get them to fill up as many times a day as possible.


sounds like you are doing good...  Hang in there make sure they have grit if you have them inside.

 

deb

Past poultry: Buff Brhama, EE, Barred rock, Wellsummer,

Bantam mixes, Araucana, Turkeys, & Guinea Fowl.

Future poultry:  Guinea Fowl, Sumatra, Wellsummer, Muscovy

"A dream without a plan is just a wish" Katherine Paterson

Regarding the horses in our lives

 

Reply

Past poultry: Buff Brhama, EE, Barred rock, Wellsummer,

Bantam mixes, Araucana, Turkeys, & Guinea Fowl.

Future poultry:  Guinea Fowl, Sumatra, Wellsummer, Muscovy

"A dream without a plan is just a wish" Katherine Paterson

Regarding the horses in our lives

 

Reply
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