Fat Free Range Hens

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by what did I do, Apr 11, 2012.

  1. what did I do

    what did I do Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 10, 2012
    Montana
    My chickens are fat and they are free range. They weight more than my cats so around 10# or more. When you pick them up you can feel the fat in them. They are fed: yellow field peas (not split peas), wheat, corn, barley all mixed together, about a cup of layer feed for all 30 hens, oyster shells and mineral in a separate dish, and table scraps. We ranch and have been calving and the chickens eat all the placentas they can. When the placentas were numerous I didn't feed the chickens at all. My chickens shine.

    Out of 30 chickens we get 20 to 24 very large eggs a day with at least 3 being so big they don't fit in a carton. The eggs have dark yellow yokes and look good in general. People love my eggs.

    If they are too fat what could I do about all and why?
     
  2. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    They seem a little over weight. Being over weight can cause numerous problems in any animal. With chicken you can add a slow down of egg production, although you don't seem to have slowed much yet. Do you supplement the cattle with grain? If you do the chickens may be helping to clean that up. Their probably eating very well free ranging now. My guess is that when it dries in the summer they'll lose some weight.
     
  3. what did I do

    what did I do Chillin' With My Peeps

    928
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    Apr 10, 2012
    Montana
    Den in Penn, you may be right. They have always been nice birds but not this fat so I bet that in a few months they are back to just nice heavy birds. We have just moved them into a coop with high nesting boxes and they all seem to be able to make it to the nesting boxes. I'll worry more when they can't make it to the nesting boxes. Thanks for hour thoughts.
     
  4. mancina

    mancina Out Of The Brooder

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    May 1, 2011
    I lost a beautiful hen from a liver hemorrhage due to obesity. I had no idea she was fat. She was big and beautiful, but she actually weighed only 2.44 kilos (5.38 lbs.) She free-ranged along with her three companions, one of whom is equally big. They eat layer pellets and lots of clover and whatever bugs they can find. I only gave them a small handful of scratch to share per day, as well as occasional other treats like plain yogurt. If I were you, I would focus on reducing the amount of carbohydrates your flock gets, as apparently that is what makes them obese.
     

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