Fat Hen


11 Years
Sep 26, 2008
Hi, I have a small flock of 8 free range (well, in my backyard) hens and have recently become concerned about my Buff Orpington's weight. She's HUGE! She has a soft, squishy handful of FAT? on her abdomen between her legs and I'm not sure if shes laying eggs at this point. I feed the girls Countryside Natural Soy Free Layer feed and throw out some scratch (Wheat, Oats, Cracked Corn) most days. They pretty much ignor the layer feed in favor of the scratch and free ranging but I'll see one eating it occasionally.

I know being this overweight is not good for her and my question is how do I put just one chicken in a flock on a diet? If I need to isolate her to put her on a diet, what and how much should I feed her and how fast can she safely loose the weight? How is it that she's so fat while everyone elses weight is OK - could it be a disease?

Thanks for your insight :eek:)
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I don't know about your hen, but when my chunky BO's run across the yard, it looks like one of scenes from Chicken Run. And, mine free range across the 1/2 acre all day. Maybe someone else can give you some advice. The biggest question will be if she is acting normal - laying, feeding, water and dustbathing.
Shes definitely eating, drinking, and sun/dustbathing. I'm not sure about egg laying - I've seen her in the nest box once or twice, but have never caught her red handed.
BO's are one of the largest heavy layer chickens. I have 3 and they far outrank my BA's and RiR's in size and weight but yet are very docile.
OK, I weighed her this morning and she turns out to be 8 lbs (I was sure she'd weigh more - she looks like a little turkey!). Should I be concerned about the squishy belly hanging down between her legs and her lumbering walk? All the rest of the girls (med and heavy breeds - SL Wyandotte, Australorp, Maran, Welsummer, Americana) have a MUCH more modest belly and are all actively laying.

If this is normal for a Buff Orpington, I think I'll change her name to Butters

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