Does anyone know how to tube feed a chicken? Update!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by True Grit, Nov 30, 2010.

  1. True Grit

    True Grit Chillin' With My Peeps

    My little cross beak seems to be going to roost with an empty crop and I know she feels the cold more than the other chickens. They will stay out all day and I have caught her hanging around in the coop sometimes. She isn't laying and I don't expect she will but I hate to see her roost on an empty crop. I was thinking I could perhaps give her a supplemental feeding at roost time. I've seen the vet do it once but I'm afraid to try it based on seeing it done once. I bring them oatmeal and yogurt with boss and mealworms sprinkled on it in the morning and she eats that first thing. I'm not sure why she doesn't fill up on layer crumbles before bed. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2010
  2. Luvroos

    Luvroos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 12, 2010
    When I were hand feeding birds I occassionally had to tube feed them. What you do is have the bird facing you, take the tube insert it into her left side of her beak so it is angled into her crop to the right side of her body and push it in. You can feel the tube while in the crop and if it's a nice rubber one you will not need to be concerned about damage to her inner crop, you'll know when it's in and then feed at your descretion. I've read that hens eat up to 2 cups of food a day. Good luck with this and if she eats on her own then I'd just squirt it on her tongue and allow her to do the rest in which can get messy as well as time consuming until she's full. Hope this helps and others might have suggestions also.
  3. True Grit

    True Grit Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks very much. I'll check at Petco and see if they have a tube feeder and see if Zip will co-operate. I sure hope so.
  4. johny

    johny Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 22, 2010
    Tube feed!!!!!

    Sounds stressful on the bird.
    Is it sick?
    If not, why bother.

    It eats what it eats and if it doesn't want more then fine, that's what it wants.
    If food is available and it was hungry, surely it would eat.

    Unless there is an acute issue of ill health, I can't see what the problem is.
  5. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Personally, I wouldn't tube the bird. I know you're not asking for advice on doing it or not, but do you know how traumatic it is? If the bird can eat, let it eat! If you're worried about an empty crop at night, try offering her some tempting treats at bedtime, maybe seperate her from the others if you don't want to provide goodies to everyone. Maybe I'm over-reacting, but I think tubing is too traumatic and the risk of injury or aspiration would be too high, esp is you're planning on doing this every night. If you're set on doing it, please disregard my unsolicited advice and sorry, I don't know how to do it so can't help you.
  7. Cluckn Crazy

    Cluckn Crazy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 25, 2010
    Peterborough, Ontario
    Quote:Agreed [​IMG]
  8. easttxchick

    easttxchick Lone Star Call Ducks

    Aug 3, 2009
    Quote:I know it's a lot of trouble, but would it be feasible for you to fix her the oatmeal/yogurt combo with layer crumble mixed in before she goes to roost? Maybe feed her off by herself so you make sure she gets plenty of food to keep her warm through the night?
    Good luck with her!
  9. True Grit

    True Grit Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks for the advice, both kinds. [​IMG] Someone else also wrote me about soaking some dog food and hand feeding her which I may try too. She is quite underweight and can't handle the cold well and I'm afraid she might not make it through the winter. I do try to feed her at bedtime when I get home from work but she doesn't seem too interested in eating, more interested in roosting. I'll try some of the other suggestions before resorting to tube feeding.
  10. True Grit

    True Grit Chillin' With My Peeps

    I took easttxchick's advice and started doing the supplemental yogurt and oatmeal sprinkled with meal worms and sunflower hearts but I noticed she still wouldn't eat much. Then I realized - she can't pick up grit - she's too cross beaked. I felt terrible, what a rookie.[​IMG] That's Zippy smacking me. I also noticed the chickens weren't really eating the oatmeal and yogurt before it froze so I just started taking them a bowl of scratch sprinkled with mealworms, sunflower hearts and GRIT and Zippy attacks it morning and night. I noticed she was getting bigger and today - she squatted for me! I don't really want her to expend her energy laying but I'm so happy she got to the point where she is well nourished enough to mature - two months later than her sisters but now I feel pretty confident she'll make it through the winter. YAY ZIPPY! Thanks y'all.[​IMG]

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