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help ! How can I get my hens to put on weight

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

My hens ( I have 5) are about 1 year old.  They are good layers, but I cannot put weight on them.  I give them good grains that was recommented by the feed store.  I also feed corn scratch and have been adding shelled sunflower seeds.  I often make them oatmeal, rice and barley cooked with cream (their favorite).  I know it is hard on their body, laying eggs so regularly.  Does anyone have any ideas or have been successful putting weight on your hens .  I would so appreciate any helpD.gif   Thank you, KKKCC

post #2 of 14

by feed store grains i'm assuming something like layer pellets or something similar. Is it always available? Plus i don't know what breed you have but some are just skinnier then others. Maybe somebody else will chime in soon.

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

thanks for your reply.   I do feed a laying mesh, that has extra omega 3

post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeepguy982001 View Post

by feed store grains i'm assuming something like layer pellets or something similar. Is it always available? Plus i don't know what breed you have but some are just skinnier then others. Maybe somebody else will chime in soon.


Yes some are skinnier. I have one that is healthy, active, eats like crazy and just seems to be on the smaller side than the other couple I have that are the same breed.

 

Maybe some yogurt or cottage cheese?

 

Live Simply, Give More, Expect Less!
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Live Simply, Give More, Expect Less!
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post #5 of 14

i wouldn't worry because if they were sick or starving you wouldn't be getting any eggs at all. So if they lay regularly maybe their at their "ideal" weight for their breed.

post #6 of 14

I had that problem.  I use 20% protein  in the feeders.  Every morning I started mixing scratch grains with black oil sunflower seeds, fish chow for animal protein (because chickens are not vegetarians), and a few handfuls of Triple Crown Senior horse feed (has all the ingredients of poultry conditioner but much cheaper), sprinkle a multi-vitamin powder, probiotics, and flax meal on top, add a half cup of vegetable oil, mix it all up and toss it around the pens.  I also put avian 2000 in the water, and apple cider vinegar one week a month.  They look pretty good, and have layed well all winter.  I will scale this back when they can free range again in the spring. 

post #7 of 14

First, what breeds do you have??  I have a dozen hens, of different varieties.  Some are quite slim built, while others are very fluffy and appear to be a bit fat (although they're not, as evidenced by moltings).

If they are breeds that typically should look "fat" and they aren't, or if they are breeds that typically weigh about 6 or 7lbs and they only weigh 4lbs, then I would worm them.  I always think of possible worms when an animal can't keep weight on.

Caretaker of a lovely mixed flock including: australorp, plymouth rocks, wyandotte, d'uccles, silkies, EEs, andalusian, and a few seramas, plus a golden retriever, great dane, and three cats.  I always swore that I wouldn't succumb to chicken math.  I lied.
 

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Caretaker of a lovely mixed flock including: australorp, plymouth rocks, wyandotte, d'uccles, silkies, EEs, andalusian, and a few seramas, plus a golden retriever, great dane, and three cats.  I always swore that I wouldn't succumb to chicken math.  I lied.
 

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post #8 of 14

Have you ever wormed your flock?    Losing weight and being unthrifty is a sign of a parasite load.

Please check out the link in my signature line regarding worming.

Living the good life with husband of 33 years, three grown, married children, 4 grandchildren.  And about 550 hostas.
Raising heritage  LF RC RIR's,  a couple of Marans and a few olive and easter eggers for a pretty egg basket.

Member of the APA and Rhode Island Red Club of  America.
See why worming is so important:
http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=7474233

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Living the good life with husband of 33 years, three grown, married children, 4 grandchildren.  And about 550 hostas.
Raising heritage  LF RC RIR's,  a couple of Marans and a few olive and easter eggers for a pretty egg basket.

Member of the APA and Rhode Island Red Club of  America.
See why worming is so important:
http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=7474233

Reply
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the ideas, I will surely try a few of these  ideas,  

post #10 of 14

Like has been said, some breeds are just skinny chickens. Especially mediterranean, and egg laying breeds tend to be less heavy then dual purpose or meat birds. You can try a higher protine intake, but as long as your chickens are active, eating and drinking and laying, I don't think you have much to worry about. Obeisity does effect animals same as humans, so, you should check out what the ideal weight for your breed(s) is before trying to beef them up.

Politicans do all the talking, soldiers pay the dues. ~Merle Haggard

 

There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is...supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace. ~Aldo Leopold

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Politicans do all the talking, soldiers pay the dues. ~Merle Haggard

 

There are two spiritual dangers in not owning a farm. One is...supposing that breakfast comes from the grocery, and the other that heat comes from the furnace. ~Aldo Leopold

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