Are all my chickes too thin?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by junglebird, Oct 28, 2010.

  1. junglebird

    junglebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 29, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I've got 7 chickens:

    Australorp rooster, 22 weeks old, 6.4 lbs

    Buff Orp Rooster, 20 weeks, 4.6 lbs

    Marans Pullet 2, 22 weeks (?), 4.8 lbs

    Marans Pullet 1, 21 weeks (?), 4.2 lbs

    Barred Rock Pullet, 21 weeks, 3.8 lbs

    New Hampshire Red, 21 weeks, 3.8 lbs

    Easter Egg Pullet, 21 weeks (?), 3.2 lbs

    I took the Buff Orp to the vet yesterday to get a culture since both roosters have been sneezing, and 2 pullets started gaping. The vet thought the Buff Orp was too thin. So, I weighed them all today. Does his weight seems proportionate with the rest of the flock? Are all my chickens thin?
  2. junglebird

    junglebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 29, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I forgot to mention that they are very active, running around in the garden most of the day.
  3. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    They're all in that skinny, gangly, teenage phase. They will fatten up in the next year. The BO does seem a bit thinner than he should be, but I wouldn't worry too much about it. You will be amazed at how much weight they put on in their second year.
  4. The Chicken People

    The Chicken People Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2009
    Smithville, Mo
    Corn fattens them up and helps them stay warm in winter!
  5. Dixiedoodle

    Dixiedoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2007
    When I first got my flock, they were 16 weeks old.. I had dreamed of fat hens, waddling around in my yard! They were NOT even plump... Never having chickens before, I was worried.. Well, they are 18 months old and they are NOW the fat,happy and sassy hens I dreamed of! I added two 12 week old FBCM this summer and they are now starting to get a little weight on them... but NO where near what I think they should be...

    You didn't say what you were feeding them.. I feed flock raiser 24/7, they have premium birdseed for scratch, fresh greens every day and they get to free range a few hrs almost everyday.

    One question, did you vet check for worms?
  6. junglebird

    junglebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 29, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Thanks for the encouragement! [​IMG]

    I'm free feeding an organic layer crumble and grit. I scatter some cracked corn or birdseed for scratch first thing in the morning and again before bed. They also have almost all-day access to a garden area with mixed grasses and forbs and tree litter. I've also been giving them a little yogurt with garlic and have started putting ACV in the water. They were eating tomatoes and tomatillos before the weather turned. A few times a week they get greens like carrot tops, beet greens, lettuce, kale, etc.

    I find if I put too much crumble in the feeder, it turns to dust. I'm not giving any other supplements, like oyster shell, since no one's laying yet. Should I be giving vitamins like Avia Acharge 2000 ... or will that over vitaminize them since the crumble will already have stuff in it?

    Also, they gobble up an awful lot of grit for birds that spend their time pecking in gravelly loam soil. Why is that?

    Here's their food label:

    Dixiedoodle, you know, the vet did not check for worms, and the Buff Orpington offered him two samples when we were there. [​IMG]
    Because the respiratory thing was spreading, he focused on communicable respiratory disease. But now I wish he would have done a sample on the poop.
  7. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Their eating a lot of grit jumped out at me, especially since the vet did not check. I think worming makes sense, that or going back to the vet and having a fecal done.
  8. AinaWGSD

    AinaWGSD Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2010
    Sullivan, IL
    If you're free feeding and they have constant access to food all day long, then being on the thin side may simply be a result of being young, or worms. Whether or not a bird is thin has nothing to do with how much they weigh, it's dependent on their body condition. For birds, you want a gentle convex rounding from the keel bone. If there is a concave curve from the keel bone, then they are on the thin side and could stand to gain some weight and muscle. If there is too much convex rounding from the keel bone, forming cleavage, then they are too heavy.

    If you are concerned about worms and want to check a fecal sample, you should be able to just drop off a fecal sample at the vet next time you're near by. For a fecal float (to check for worms) it has to be within 12 hours, the fresher the better. Or you could just do a prophylactic worming for the most common worms.
  9. SmittenChicken

    SmittenChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 23, 2010
    NOTE: I'm no chicken expert, just passing on what I've read and noticed myself - take with a grain of salt [​IMG]

    It sounds like your girls get a lot of good veggies and are probably very healthy, but you might try giving them some supplemental protein along with their crumbles, since all of the protein in their food appears to be from plant sources. I've heard from some people that it's harder for chickens to digest/utilize soy protein, so it's better for them to get it from a variety of sources. You might try giving them some scrambled eggs, mealworms/crickets, fish meal, cat food, etc. a few times per week if you're not already. At the very least they'll enjoy it, but it might help them put on a little weight and start laying.

    Hope that your birds recover from the respiratory issues quickly and completely!
  10. Buttercup Chillin

    Buttercup Chillin Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 27, 2008
    SouthEast TX
    They are gobbling up a lot of grit.

    Because they are looking for calcium. Put out some oyster shell. Those girls should be laying soon and you want them on oyster shell a month before they start laying.

    Then they'll start eating more, too.

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