are my chickens too skinny...?...I think they might be...

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Gillian S, Mar 13, 2015.

  1. Gillian S

    Gillian S Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi Fellow Chicken People!
    I'm a little worries about my chickens body condition score. Their keel seems to be fairly pronounced, with little muscle mass on the breast. I am hoping I could pick some of your brains to see if I could find out what a healthy chicken feels like and what I need to feed them if they are underweight.
    thanks in advance [​IMG]
     
  2. DylansMom

    DylansMom RIP 1969-2017

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    Seems like you should be able to feel that keel bone, but there should be muscle on either side so it doesn't really stick out like a blade. If your birds are thin I would be more concerned about worms or cocci than about what you are feeding. Both of these will interfere with their appetite and ability to utilize the food they do eat. How old are they, what is the current feed you are giving them, and have they been wormed or treated with corid/amprollium at all?
     
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  3. Gillian S

    Gillian S Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for getting back to me. I wormed them a few weeks ago. I think I'll do a fecal float to check for worms, will the cocci show there or should I get sample from the crop?
    they are certainly hungry!!! I feed them a layer grain mix - i'll be changing to a pellet i think...they also free range for a few hours a day and get treats - leafy greens, cooked potato, corn etc.
     
  4. DylansMom

    DylansMom RIP 1969-2017

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    Cocci attacks the intestines and it will show up in a fecal float, just make sure you know what to look for. I've had my Peas test positive using floats. Corid in the water is the best treatment if they come up positive. If they are eating well it may not be cocci, a bad case of cocci will almost stop them eating completely. How old are they, my Barnevelders went thru a phase where they seemed really thin,even though they were wormed and treated for cocci preventatively, I think they were just going thru an awkward teenage phase. [​IMG] What did you worm with and did you repeat after 10 days?

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/818879/updated-corid-and-amprol-amprolium-dosing
     
  5. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    How old are they and what breed?
    What all are you feeding them, (feed type, protein amount, what treats).

    What did you worm with and did you re-worm 10 or 14 days later?
     
  6. Free Feather

    Free Feather Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would not be worried about disease just yet. What breeds are they? Some breeds always seem skinny, like production types. My chickens always seem thin to me, even with food out typically 24/7. They just do not eat as much as what the numbers say. Mine also free-range. Do you have pictures?
     
  7. Gillian S

    Gillian S Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for everyones input, it's great that the feedback comes so quickly. I'm sorry I didn't get on the site quicker myself! It's been crazy week - my little girl just turned 2 :)
    The darker 2 chickens (Bow and Cross) are only about 6 months old and I don't know how old the other chicken (Cersie) is. She was given to us by a family member. They are definately a production breed. I think they are called a Rhode Island Red...don't hold me to that though! The worming stuff I used is called Wormout Gel Vetafarm (praziquantel and oxfendazole). I didn't reworm them after though, reason being - I was talking to the Vets (who I work with) and they and I recommend doing fecal floats for three days in a row (worms shed eggs every three days generally) and worm them if needed. This helps to prevent the resistance that worms seems to be getting these days. I'm heading to work for the next three days so that will allow me to get the floats done this week. what worming solutions do you find works the best? I've heard that there seems to be more resistance to the Oxfendazole these days and I think the praziquantel drug is just as old...?
    I'm not sure what the brand of food I am using is but it is a layer grain mix - it seems to have a coating of molasses or something. what do you think about layer pellets instead?
    The treats I feed are generally dark leafy greens, carrot peelings, oven baked chips (no salt) when we have them. banana, a small amount of wholemeal bread (one side of the bread crust broken into three) - not sure how good it is for them. Peas and corn too.
    Looking forward to everyones feedback :)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  8. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That sounds like sweet feed for goats & cows.
    My hens get skinny on layer pellets so I use layer crumble.
     
  9. Gillian S

    Gillian S Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG] - sounds like it, definately a layer mix though. I'll have a look into the crumble availability. Can you please tell me what makes the crumble better? is it that they seem to eat more of it or is the nutritional content?
     
  10. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm not sure. My hens would only eat enough pellets to survive, not thrive. They thrive on crumbles.
     

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