Appetite Reduction in Winter?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by kjfrogster41, Dec 17, 2011.

  1. kjfrogster41

    kjfrogster41 Out Of The Brooder

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    Being new to this chicken thing, my girls are just 18 weeks old, I am still learning. Is it typical for them to lose some appetite in the winter? They are eating but nothing like they were a few weeks ago. Could it be because they are not growing as much now? Or, is it due to winter weather and not getting as much exercise, more confined to their pen.[​IMG]
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    No...check for worms. Just my experience.
     
  3. NottinghamChicks

    NottinghamChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:X2
     
  4. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Overrun With Chickens

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    They are not growing as fast as they were. I don't think you can compare the amount of feed for a teenager & one for a nearly adult bird. If they are eating, they are fine.
     
  5. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Actually, I notice a reduction in food consumption in winter that coincides with the flock's reduced laying. That makes sense. If a hen's body isn't producing eggs, she just doesn't need to take in the amount of nutrients needed to produce that egg.

    We get regular fecal checks done on our flock by our vet and they have all come back negative. Plus, I would think that worms would make a chicken eat more to try to make up for the nutrients that are being siphoned away by the worms.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2011
  6. ScottyHOMEy

    ScottyHOMEy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'll be following this one with interest.

    My experience is that a wormy animal will keep up or increase its regular feed consumption but lose weight at the same time, the worms eating up the difference.

    Similar, but not exactly the same with laying. Without additional light, they will slow down their rate of lay as the length of daylight decreases, but that would be a matter of them consuming the same amount, converting more of their feed to staying warm rather than producing eggs. If, as I do, you do give them auxiliary light and they are keeping somewhat up to their usual producion of eggs, you should be seeing an increase in feed consumption. Mine will eat more on cold days.

    If yours persist in eating less and start not to thrive, it'd be time for a call at least to the vet.
     
  7. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

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    Quote:X2 If you suspect worms you can always take a poop sample to the vet to get it checked for worms.
     
  8. kjfrogster41

    kjfrogster41 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 30, 2011
    Belfast, ME
    Quote:Well, they are too young to be laying at least at this time of year. I don't want to force egg laying, figure that in more natural conditions they would not lay in the winter. They are more confined right now, due to snow cover, frozen ground, and the general crappy weather we have in Maine at this time of year. They seem bored, is that possible? I took advice, given here, and threw sunflower seeds around their run. We have covered the ground with a load of hay and they seemed to really "enjoy" searching for the seeds in the hay. They don't seem to be loosing weight. Just are not consuming as much. They spend much more time roosting and want to sit in my lap and on my back.
     
  9. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    They are eating but nothing like they were a few weeks ago

    A "few weeks ago", the days were nearly four hours longer.
    Since they don't eat when it's dark, it's only natural they are eating less with shorter days​
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2011
  10. kjfrogster41

    kjfrogster41 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 30, 2011
    Belfast, ME
    Quote:Well, they are too young to be laying at least at this time of year. I don't want to force egg laying, figure that in more natural conditions they would not lay in the winter. They are more confined right now, due to snow cover, frozen ground, and the general crappy weather we have in Maine at this time of year. They seem bored, is that possible? I took advice, given here, and threw sunflower seeds around their run. We have covered the ground with a load of hay and they seemed to really "enjoy" searching for the seeds in the hay. They don't seem to be loosing weight. Just are not consuming as much. They spend much more time roosting and want to sit in my lap and on my back.

    Have to add this latest update, for those who are following, that a friend who has been raising layer chickens for years, has reached a verdict regarding my hens more lethargic behavior, staying inside their hen house and making strange "purring" sounds, that they are getting ready to lay their first eggs! I do keep a light on in their run all day long and she thinks that is enough to prompt some winter laying. Wow![​IMG]
     

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