Fat chickens can barely walk

Catbunnychick

Songster
Sep 13, 2019
196
274
142
Bloomsburg, PA
Two of my hens are extremely fat, about 13 - 14 pounds each. Walking is difficult and having bumblefoot didn’t help. The rooster isnt doing them any favors either. I’m going to isolate them in a nice coop and run area, maybe for the remainder of their lives. We don’t kill our chickens. They are at least 3 years old, but could be as much as 7. If I put them on a diet, how much feed should I give them? I don’t think they are laying anymore. Thanks!
 

NatJ

Free Ranging
Mar 20, 2017
8,120
16,871
706
USA
If I put them on a diet, how much feed should I give them?

Probably a little less than what they want to eat.

You could measure some feed into a feeder, let them eat as much as they want all day, then at the end of the day measure what is left. Doing that for a few days will tell you how much they want to eat each day.

Then you can serve them a bit less than that much each day.

It would also be good to weigh them and write down the weights, then weigh them again every week or two and see how they are doing.

You probably want them to lose weight slowly until they seem healthy, and then stay at whatever weight that is.
 

LaFleche

Meadow Devil
9 Years
Sep 22, 2012
7,258
26,553
932
Germany
Two of my hens are extremely fat, about 13 - 14 pounds each. Walking is difficult
If they already have difficulty walking, they might be suffering from ascites, a condition that can be caused by heart or liver problems and often occurs when hens suffer from reproductive issues like egg yolk peritonitis or cancer.

How do their abdomens feel like, hard or rather like a water filled balloon?

A picture would help.
They are at least 3 years old, but could be as much as 7.
I don’t think they are laying anymore.
Older hens are more prone to reproductive problems like the ones above mentioned.


If I put them on a diet, how much feed should I give them?
It would depend on what kind of feed you have been feeding them. But whatever you feed, don't change their feed abruptly but over a period of at least 10 days.

Firstly, I would only feed two times a day: once in the morning and another dose right before bed time. Offering them grated carrots and barley with some plain yoghurt or curd cheese in the morning.
 

Catbunnychick

Songster
Sep 13, 2019
196
274
142
Bloomsburg, PA
What are you feeding them?
Did you actually put them on a scale?
They are free range and given unlimited organic layer feed. Occasional treats as well. Recently with so many molting and getting a few babies, I’m making their fermented food out of starter feed. They have been this fat for months, but have probably gotten even fatter the past few months. My other girls seem the right weight.

I weighed every chicken a couple of months ago to give them the correct dose of ivermectin. My other girls were 3-9 pounds. The heaviest being Brahma. The fat girls were over 12 and 13. Bigger than the rooster. I wasn’t able to get pics or updated weights today but will try tomorrow!
 

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