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Do chickens eat less while in molt? Mine are skinny and have diarrhea.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by crazy huhn, Nov 1, 2009.

  1. crazy huhn

    crazy huhn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My chickens are in a heavy molt. I noticed that they were eating less over the last month since they are molting. The feed has not been changed, smells and looks normal.
    Some of them are skinny and three of them have a watery diarrhea of normal color. They have been dewormed regularly, latest with Ivermectin pour-on almost 3 weeks ago and again on Thursday. None of them has any mites or lice.
    I have mixed in yogurt or apple sauce with the crumble and they finished it, but still diarrhea. I alternate ACV with Electrolyte/ Vitamin water from day to day.
    No improvement. I used to add a handful of cat food or calf manna to their diet, but stopped that, when I noticed the diarrhea.
    I do not know what else to do.
     
  2. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    What crumble are you using? What else do they receive? Free range or?

    Could they be getting into anything mildly toxic or moldy? Any problems with the feed you've been buying? Does it have enough protein?

    I agree, they should be eating more when molting, mine certainly do.

    Things that may help and will not harm your birds include wild bird suet for easy calories, oil or yogurt in the crumbles, and cooked eggs.

    I'd also be inclined to take some droppings to a vet for a fecal count. I'm suspicious your birds might have picked up cocci.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2009
  3. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    I would add oatmeal or cooked rice to their diet. Safflower, sunflower or flax seeds will help with feather regrowth. Seeds and grains tend to dry up the poop. I would also add some probiotics as a lack of good bacteria in their gut can affect the poop.
     
  4. crazy huhn

    crazy huhn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I feed the 16% protein layer crumble free feed, but also mix it now with some yogurt just to make them eat.
    As already mentioned, they have been dewormed recently twice with Ivermectin pour-on, but maybe that was very hard on them right there. Just noticed that the scratch I was feeding them yesterday, comes back out indigested. Wouldn't oil make the runs worse?
     
  5. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    If the grains are coming out undigested, they need grit. Depending on the number of birds you have you can purchase a bottle at the pet store or a bag at the feed store. Make sure you get grit, not oyster shells, which add calcium, but not grinding material. I prefer the grey pigeon grit; some prefer the red.

    Oily seeds should help, not hurt.
     
  6. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    I hope it is a grit problem, if you can't get any, buy washed play sand. Poor birdies sound very distressed and I know you want to get them back to normal! [​IMG]
     
  7. crazy huhn

    crazy huhn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They do have all that free choice.

    Antibiotics does not sound right at this point either as I do not know what I am up against.
     
  8. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    Are they actually eating the grit? What kind is it?
     
  9. crazy huhn

    crazy huhn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It is the grey grit you have mentioned, but with oyster shell added.
     

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