Fat hens can't roost

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by freerange freaks, Sep 21, 2007.

  1. freerange freaks

    freerange freaks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 21, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I just brought home 7 new Shaver RSLs. They are approx. 45 weeks old. They looked healthy and happy and were very well handled so I brought them home. They couldn't get up on my roosts and they were going to just sleep on the floor on the coop! I picked each one up and placed them on the first rung and they all tried to clammer up to the top but were flapping and falling off. I picked them back up and placed them closer to the top were they settled in for the night.

    I think they are really over weight. They have never seen sunshine and don't get much excersize. How can I get them more fit and agile (they didn't even know how to use the chicken door to get outside)? Should I limit their feed?
     
  2. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    I dont think I would limit thier feed...they just need to get out more. In a few weeks, they will have it all figured out, I am sure...be carefull tho...if they are overweight....they MIGHT hurt themselves trying to get down from the roosts!
    Never seen sunshine? Are they batter cage hens?? Glad you have them now...they will be a lot better off.
     
  3. freerange freaks

    freerange freaks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 21, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Oh my goodness, I never really thought of them getting down again. I will set my alarm and so I can get them up. Poor chubby girls.

    This man advertised them in the local classifieds and I knew of him 'cause he raises good quality meat rabbits. After talking with him today, he told me that he gets 20 week olds every spring just for his grandkids and then gets rid of them. He just has a defferent way of thinking of animals. They were in a closed up coop without a window. It was very clean and they had fresh water but they were there for eggs. I could tell that they had seen some pretty hot days this summer because their combs are nearly white and huge (falling over huge). I'm so glad to have them! I hope they are happy in their new home.
     
  4. FrankBlissett

    FrankBlissett Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 30, 2007
    You could jury-rig a roost lower down. Get a couple concrete blocks, and set a 2X4 across them. That way they can at least get off the floor and can get used to roosting. I wouldn't worry much if they stay down there though - many of the silkies and cochins we've had over the years have roosted down below with no troubles.

    -Frank
     
  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Yeah, just give them pure layer pellets and free ranging. They drop weight fast when given the chance. I adopted some fat hens and they lost all their fat in like a month. As with all heavier breeds and older birds, their roosts are about 2 feet from the ground so nobody can hurt their legs. They need them out here.
     
  6. Shrader

    Shrader Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 7, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    I have no advice, I just want a "Fat Hens Can't Roost" t-shirt! I thought your subject line was hilarious. (Though I mean no offense to your darling little fat hens!)
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2007

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