Better to get a sick chicken eating seeds or not eating much at all?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by JPHens, Feb 12, 2015.

  1. JPHens

    JPHens Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 30, 2013
    OK the answer seems obvious but I want some feedback. My girl is very pecked, I think b/c she is not well. She does the backwards walking thing some people call moonwalking and she is missing lots of feathers. I am keeping her separate from the pecker and I am keeping her inside in the basement at night (Massachusetts).

    A vet told me that more important than vitamins is getting her to have most of her food as real layer food, not foraging and treats even though the foraging is very good for her in other ways. So I am hand feeding her layer feed. She is eating more but I can get her to take in more food if I give her black sunflower seeds. How hard to push the real food? Not around most of the day so on work days this is only 2 hand feedings.

    Thanks,
    JP Hens
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Sun. seeds are very good for her but if her diet is mainly BOSS she may end up with fatty liver disease long term. If you are doing this short term I'd do whatever it took to get her to eat, myself. This is life or death for her, it sounds like.

    I would not feed too many of the BOSS though if possible, and she may like scrambled eggs if you have some on hand. Eggs are very good for chickens, as they are the chicks' food while developing and have all vitamins except vit C, I have read.

    You may find the "let's talk wry neck" thread useful, even though the neuro symptom you are seeing is the walking backwards and not the twisted neck.

    Is she a silkie?
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2015
  3. JPHens

    JPHens Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 30, 2013
    Thank you. She's not a silky, she's a "Cherry Egger", like a New Hampshire Red I believe. Thanks, I will try some eggs too. I am pushing her feed and then the BOSS when she is not wanting to eat more feed, sometimes.
     
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    It sounds like you are trying your best and hopefully she will come around soon. Also nice that you are under the care of a vet! Many folks don't have that since a lot of vets won't care for chickens.

    If the vet approves of vitamin therapy they do sell poultry vits and some people even give baby vitamins (no iron) Poly vi sol. You can search for these on BYC but I'd ask your vet if you are already under his/her care.
     
  5. Sonya9

    Sonya9 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jones County, Georgia
    It depends on how one defines "real food". When my birds don't feel well, or for a sitting hen, I usually take some of their regular food and add an egg (scrambled or raw) along with a bit of yogurt, maybe some ground dry cat food and a pinch of avian vitamins. I grind up any larger chunks of the dry ingredients and add enough water to make it a soft, easy to eat mash so they can take big mouthfuls without much effort.

    I believe that it has more nutrition in it than just their "real layer food" which is mostly corn.
     
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2015
  6. JPHens

    JPHens Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 30, 2013
    Thanks both of you for your input.
    (The vet is 2,000 miles from me but did a free phone consult! Very nice.)
     
  7. JPHens

    JPHens Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 30, 2013
    Just an update: Sadly my two healthy girls got killed by an escaped neighborhood dog. Very traumatic. But now my sick girl has had an easier time getting better and better, and she's pretty much back to normal, happy and exploring, laying eggs.

    I took your advice (Sonya9) about eggs (strange!) and yogurt, and she loves both. The vet recommended Sunshine Factor which she loves and who knows, maybe it's been a huge help. It is basically red palm oil, which I have now seen for sale much cheaper in Trader Joe's.

    Now to get some new girls....
     

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