Chickens losing weight

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by jdywntr, Oct 26, 2011.

  1. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 31, 2009
    Somerville, AL
    The situation:
    I don't often pick them up though they don't object to it when I do. I picked one of them up today and it seems like she has lost alot of weight. Her breastbone is prominent. They all look good visually except my silkie who is molting but when I feel them they all seem to have lost weight.

    A few weeks back, my feed store was out of my regular feed (Naturewise All Flock) so I got a layer crumble (same brand but with calcium and lower protein). The girls didn't seem to like it but did eat it. I was able to get my regular feed about 2 weeks later. Now they don't seem to be eating it either.

    Any idea why they lost weight, other than not eating as much? I did start adding cracked corn to the feed recently to cut down on the protein. The last feed that I had had bugs in it (why I ran out). Could they have worms or something from that? They are all acting normal, active, coloring is good, they have cut back to laying every other day (at least) but I figure that is time of year.

    Any ideas? Should I worm them? I never have but I would like to put more weight on them. If I give them scratch or veggies they scarf it down. Have they gotten too used to treat that they don't want their feed? Help!
  2. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 6, 2011
    Pacific North West
    How old is the group?
    How Many have worms in the stool?
    Are they not eating or drinking?
    Are they acting differently?
    How often do you handle this 1 bird that's feeling thin?
    Did you check every one of them?
  3. welasharon

    welasharon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 28, 2010
    North Florida
    When mine do this I worm them. If you can take a fecal sample to a vet to be tested it would be great. I don't have that luxury here but I do know that you can't always see the worms in the poop. Would be a good idea to also check them well for mites and lice while you're at it. You can feed them higher protein foods like scrambled eggs, cottage cheese, mine like string cheese, etc to help put some weight back on but if they are wormy it can be a losing battle.
  4. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    If there were bugs in the feed, as you indicated, that may have reduced the nutritional impact.

    You also stated that you were feeding cracked corn to cut down on the protein? Corn is definitely a treat, like candy, and should thus be limited. If they are molting, extra protein would be a good idea. It takes a lot of protein to produce feathers.
  5. jdywntr

    jdywntr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 31, 2009
    Somerville, AL
    Quote:They are just over 1 year.
    I have seen no evidence of worms. Their poop looks normal.
    They are eating and drinking, just doesn't seem as much.
    They are acting normal.
    I only pick them up every once in a while.
    I did check all of them and they all seem thin when I pick them up, they LOOK fine visually.

    Yay Chicks!, the feed that I buy is 18% which is kind of high for grown birds. I found an online calculator that figured how much corn to add to decrease the protein to 16%. My BO has already molted, it was very easy for her she still laid eggs. The silkie is going through a harder molt and stopped laying about 2 weeks ago. I will get something to increase protein for them, I'll have to find something they like.

    I had already checked them for lice/mites and did not see any.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2011
  6. Lucysmom002

    Lucysmom002 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 6, 2011
    hopefully she's not being bullied out of the food

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