BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures › Chickens losing weight like crazy! Feather loss, mushy crops at night, diarrhea in some.
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Chickens losing weight like crazy! Feather loss, mushy crops at night, diarrhea in some.

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Our chickens are losing weight drastically.  They seem to be feeling fine, but breastbone is sticking out and they feel so skinny.  I wormed them 10 days ago with Valbazen and am about to start another round of wormer.  About a month ago I integrated my younger chicks and went to an all purpose feed rather than layer feed.  Some of them have had messy bottoms, but no blood in poop. I also went out last night and noticed feather loss on neck (doesn't look like picking, just like the feathers are gone) and mushy crops. I went out this morning and their crops were drained.  Any suggestions appreciated.  


Edited by Alagrace - 2/19/16 at 8:21am
post #2 of 9
Maybe they aren't eating the new feed as well. You might want to try some gamebird chick starter that is 24% protein. I think TSC sells some in their Dumor line. Some poultry vitamins with probiotics in the water would also be a good idea. Give some chopped egg, tuna, or some good dry cat food as well to boost protein. My chickens will eat every bite of their feed if I add water or a little buttermilk and water to their feed.
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thank you!  I'm going to go to our feed store tomorrow morning and buy the vitamins and higher protein feed (hopefully the game bird one) if they carry it.  

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

I bought %20 game bird feed, the highest they had.  I went out last night, checked their crops and most of them were mushy (12 hens).  I was concerned about sour crop, so I researched and planed on going out to get the monistat to treat today.  I went out this morning and it feels as though all the crops were empty.  Should I still treat with the monistat?  Could this be the beginning of a sour crop?  Other symptoms: Weight loss, feather loss a couple have diarhea and pasty bums (just on the feathers).  I thought it was because they were on a 16% all purpose feed, but now I am at a loss for what could be going on.  

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Will the crop by mushy if I am feeding them soaked food? 

post #6 of 9

Crops are supposed to be empty in the morning. It's normal and healthy. It's when the crop doesn't empty that there is a problem. And yes, wet feed is soft and mushy, so the crop will likewise feel soft and mushy when filled. Hard feed equals hard crop.

How old are they?

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

I have 4- 4 month olds, 1 6 month old, and 7- 10 month olds, the 10 months olds are the ones laying, losing feathers, ect. 

post #8 of 9

For a flock with birds of different ages, grower or flock raiser would be the best choice for feed. 16% protein isn't enough for the younger ones.

As for the feather loss, do you see any pin feathers coming in? They might be molting. 

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

No,it looks like there were never feathers to begin, just smooth skin with which makes me think nutrient deficiency since they are so thin.  I didn't notice the feather loss until they were soaked from the rain.  Some of them are ameraucanas so their beards covered it up until they were wet. 

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