Eating like Pigs

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Callous, Dec 10, 2013.

  1. Callous

    Callous Out Of The Brooder

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    My ladies seem to have endless guts when it comes to eating. With the recent cold snap here I have had to give them fresh water twice a day outside in the run, in doing so I have noticed that they have increased their appetite almost double.

    I started giving them an 18% protein mix along with several helpings of cracked corn along with bread and yogurt mix.

    Two of them have started lying again and they are all healthy with no sign of worms or other parasites. They are all between 12 and 16 months old.

    But every time i go out to them they act like they haven't eaten all week, Whats up??
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2013
  2. Bullitt

    Bullitt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Laying again? Did they stop laying while they were molting? Is that the reason for the high protein feed?

    What breed or breeds do you have?
     
  3. Callous

    Callous Out Of The Brooder

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    I had 13 to begin with but lost three to a respiratory infection. I have 7 Ameraucana’s, 2 Egyptian Fayoumis and a Buff Orpington. All except the Egyptians went into molt about a 6 to 8 weeks ago but are coming around very well.
     
  4. Bullitt

    Bullitt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Usually a chicken molts in its second fall, but that is not always true. Since you said some are 18 months old, that would mean they are going through their second fall. (It's almost winter.)

    They may be eating a lot to finish growing feathers and to stay warm in the cold weather.

    The Buff Orpington should do well in cold weather.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2013
  5. Callous

    Callous Out Of The Brooder

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    My wife corrected me, most of our birds are 18 months to 2 years only two of them are 12 months. We purchased all of them so I’m using that as an excuse for not keeping up with their age. Actually they all seem to be doing well and are not troubled with the cold we have had. I was just a little curious about their increased appetite.
    I just let them out this morning and found two more blue eggs in the nesting boxes. Between the 18% feed and the light in the coop I hope I have them back to laying again.
     
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    All animals increase their intake in the winter, to generate extra body heat to offset the cold. My horses, dog, chickens all eat more, and don't get me started on how much I spend on cat food in the winter! Humans often subconsciously follow this cycle, even though we don't need the extra heat, but I think it's wired into us. We blame it on the holidays and such, but we're just programmed to eat more when it's cold outside, put on a little extra insulation and cushion against the cold. Problem is, most of us don't take it off again in the spring like the animals do!

    Plus, your birds are the right age to have been molting recently--growing feathers takes a not of nutrition, plus the extra feed needed to keep the less protected skin warm.
     
  7. farmchickutah

    farmchickutah Out Of The Brooder

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    My girls are eating more too, the temps have been below 0 here. Feeding more scratch and layer pellets too. Eating creates heat within their bodies. My horses are eating more too.
     
  8. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Increased fuel intake to compensate for the cold and factor in the lessened amount they could find in the pasture in winter and you will notice a increase. My feeding has increased since the frost slowed what they could find outside. Now with the snow here it will go up even more.
     

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