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Are my chickens thin???

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Blesser, Jun 27, 2010.

  1. Blesser

    Blesser In the Brooder

    Apr 1, 2010
    I bought these hens last year as pullets. Never again will I buy from the same hatchery. I bought them debeaked, I didn't know they were debeaked until I brought them home. I was planning on returning them the next day but decided to keep them. They eat well, purina layena layer pellets(yes, they can eat pellets), veggies, fruit, sunflower seeds, boiled eggs and boiled chicken(as long as they don't know, who cares). I also give them organic apple cider vinegar in their water and chopped garlic in the food. I feed them a can of corn a day(no salt). Alright they eat a lot of food, but I always make sure they eat their own food and enough of it before I give them extra stuff. They have oyster shell and grit available in the coop. They have about 3 acres of land to freerange. I have seven birds. The reason I am asking is because recently one of my birds was sick and I took her to the vet and they said she was very thin. They are red sex links which I read was suppose to be a lightweight bird. Give me your opinions.

    Here's a few pictures:


  2. Reinbeau

    Reinbeau The Teapot Underground Premium Member

    They look great to me! They're not supposed to be too fat, they don't lay as well if they are. Is that vet just unfamiliar with chickens in general? Most around here are.
  3. Finn's Mom

    Finn's Mom Songster

    They look really healthy and you clearly put a lot of effort into making sure they eat right. Maybe your bird is just blessed with a great metabolism. [​IMG]
  4. KatieH

    KatieH Songster

    Feb 17, 2010
    They look healthy to me! Sad about their beaks, though, I've never seen a full grown debeaked chicken!
  5. RM44

    RM44 Songster

    Jul 15, 2009
    Woodstock, Georgia
    They look perfectly fine. I sometimes wonder if mine are thin because they seem so light when I pick them up. Mine have 24/7 acess to layer pellets and a daily handful of some sort of treat (BOSS, cracked corn, veggie leftovers, etc.) However, as another poster said, if they are overweight they will have problems laying. I think you're doing great with them.
  6. newlyweds

    newlyweds Pearl of the Prairie

    Mar 12, 2010
    Southeast Texas
    I think they look great!! I have 5 debeaked ex-battery hens and they eat just fine as well, but I do chop up any treats just in case.

    I think maybe it's possible your sick hen might have lots weight if she were sick for any time, but I think the girls you have pictured look perfect.
  7. Jeeper1540

    Jeeper1540 Songster

    They look great! the vet just doesnt know sex links maybe? Im sorry about the debeaking, i hate that that happens. they are pretty girls though, just like my Chloe
  8. Heathercp

    Heathercp Songster

    Jul 23, 2008
    Durham, NC
    I agree. They look healthy and energetic to me.
  9. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

    May 11, 2008
    Howell Michigan
    I'd say you have some nice healthy looking birds.
  10. DTchickens

    DTchickens Crowing

    Mar 23, 2008
    Bailey, Mississippi.
    Basically, pick the bird up and feel. When you hold them, feel the breast bone and you should know right away what is too thin. Some people believe you shouldn't feel any breast bone, or very little- really I agree with that. You can also pick the bird up, feel around the breast bone and vent, if its fatty (assuming you know how fat feels?) then you need to take away some of the feed or let them out more during the day for exercise. That's really the only way I can think of explaining it right now. Looking at a bird cannot always determine how healthy they are, red face and shiny feathers are some signs but they can show these and still be a little underweight or overweight which you can only tell by checking them.

    Some chickens will never really "bulk up" though. My silver duckwing cock is an example of that, I have lowered their roost so he doesn't work as much flying up on it. Fed them extra, separated him by himself, given him things to do for muscle strength (Scratching, higher roost, etc), given him plenty of feed to make him fat... Doesn't work, I've wormed him and even tried other stuff suggested to me. Some birds are just "sharp breasted" and naturally skinny like some people I guess. The little hen though, she is a little piggy, I have to watch her all the time or she will get fat.

    Last edited: Jun 27, 2010

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