Fattening up my chickens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by DianeB, Oct 23, 2009.

  1. DianeB

    DianeB Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 12, 2009
    Hi

    I have tried to post this before. My hens were somewhat thin this Summer. They did fatten up when it cooled down and rained. Now, we are warming up again and they have lost weight. I took them to the vet 2 weeks ago. They have no mites, worms or any health problems. They just seem to be running around and burning more calories than consuming. I give them unlimited access to layer pellets and a mix of grains and seeds (as scratch). They do have an apetite and eat liberally. They also seem to prefer to eat grass and bugs more than feed. Also, one has stopped and the others have slowed down laying this winter.

    Should I be worried? Do you have any tricks or methods to make them gain weight - without hurting their livers. I do not want to corral them. They do have the run of a small urban backyard.
     
  2. DianeB

    DianeB Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Bump
     
  3. CityChook

    CityChook Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    Diane, where are you located? Do you live where it gets really cold?

    If you have already eliminated the possibility of worms or other health problems, then I think you should not worry.

    Over the last several weeks, it has begun snowing here in MN and I have noticed that my girls really plumped up quickly. Nature has a way of taking care of that. I think that if you have free choice food, they will eat what they need. Animal protein (bugs in the yard - perfect!) will hasten that as well. I don't think you should worry - if they need to put on some weight, they will.

    BTW, my girls have slowed considerably in their laying since the warmer weather. I'm giving them a break so that they can focus on putting on new feathers and fat to keep them warm in the MN winter. The eggs will return.

    JMO. Hope it helps.
     
  4. DianeB

    DianeB Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No, I live in sunny CA. It was about 78 today and around 76 yesterday. It will probably dip down into the low 60s next month. Usually it is no lower than the 50s during the day and upper 30s at night during deep winter.

    They are about 9 months, now. Will they fatten up as they get older?
     
  5. 17roses

    17roses Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I freerange and my chickens have over 3 acres to run on. They get tall and slim but as long as the breastbones arent super pokey and their color is good - I dont worry. Hope that helps.
     
  6. DianeB

    DianeB Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Thanks That makes me feel better.
    I was accused a few months ago that they were unhealthy because they are lean. It made me nervous.

    Everytime they go to the vet they do get a clean bill of health. No, extreme illnesses or cronic problems. Guess they are like children. Run around so much that fat can't catch up to them.
     
  7. 17roses

    17roses Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There is a difference between slim and skinny. The breastbone is the key to telling but since you have a vet telling you they are healthy - you can tell the concerned person that they are just fine. [​IMG] Perhaps you should add a few of the "fatter" breeds like Buff Orpingtons or Austrolopes. Some of mine are egg production line Buffs and look fluffy no matter how much exercise they get. It's the feathers.

    Glad you feel better and dont worry so much - there will always be busybodies and people who believe that you should raise your animals their way. Perhaps the person who accused was doing so out of honest concern but you have an expert on your side so let people worry if they want. You know they are in good condition. [​IMG]
     

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