Foods for emaciated chicken?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Kitty Cat, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. Kitty Cat

    Kitty Cat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My chicken is emaciated, she's about 4 months old and has never been all that healthy but she is def emaciated. No breast meat at all just bones, even her eye sockets are sunken in. I've been trying to fatten her up but nothing really seems to be working. I've wormed her as well. What are some foods that are rich and could help fatten her up quickly? Stuff that I can find around the house, like fruits veggies, junk food, w/e.
     
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    What is her current diet? Are you sure she's getting access to the food? (Occasionally a chicken who is low on the pecking order will be bullied to the point she doesn't get enough to eat/drink). The first thing I would do is observe long enough to ensure she is actually getting a chance to eat. The next thing I would try is getting a higher protein feed. If she's on layer feed, try switching to a grower formula. If she's already on grower, you might try a turkey/broiler/gamebird starter or grower that has an even higher protein level.

    Right now I spend some time every morning in my vegie garden picking caterpillars off the leaves and when I'm done, feeding them to the girls on a first come/first serve basis. But if I had one that needed weight, I'd probably save the whole cupful for her every morning. You could also try separating her once a day and giving her some mealworms or crickets.

    Good luck and keep us posted.
     
  3. Kitty Cat

    Kitty Cat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She is currently separated and not really eating much of her food, I'm bringing her raw egg mixed with mayo and rice. (Mayo is fattening at least for us). She didn't seem to be low on the pecking order she just seems to have stopped eating. I do have Mareks in my flock right now and am treating for it. She isn't showing any paralysis or anything typical of Mareks right now but I am going to continue to treat her. She ate a fresh cherry with enthusiasm but everything else she just seems to be picking at. She isn't even really scratching in the dirt for food. I make sure her crop is full most of the time by hand feeding or some other method. I think the scratching she is just very weak, and that's why she isn't doing it. However, I can't afford another feed right now. So that's why I asked for foods around the house. Anyone have any ideas of what would be high in fat or maybe something else that would help her gain weight?

    Oh, and she is currently on a 16% layer pellet, that I am making into a mash to help make it appealing. I give crickets when I can and egg every day, as well as water.
     
  4. classicsredone

    classicsredone Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What about adding some whole-milk yogurt to her mash? Plain yogurt will get some probiotics in her, and help with digestion. BOSS is a good source of fats, and you can get shelled BOSS at most stores that carry pet or wild bird supplies. Shelled might be easier for her to digest.
     
  5. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Keep in mind that you are really not looking for foods that are "fattening" like mayo and junk food. You aren't looking to increase her body fat but to build up her condition and for that you need protein, not fat. Think of it like a skinny person. You wouldn't want to take a skinny person and "fatten" them up so that all of the gain was blubber. You'd want them to build up their muscle so that they retained their health while gaining weight. It is the same with animals.

    Feeding back eggs sounds like a good idea. The yogurt idea is also a good one. My main concern though would be how she got this way in the first place. It is not common for a healthy bird with free access to food to become emaciated so bottom line is there must be some underlying health issue causing this. I am not a vet and wouldn't presume to know what medical conditions could cause this, but it does sound like something is not right. I hope someone else has some ideas for you on that.
     
  6. Yvonne37894

    Yvonne37894 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How about trying some live mealwoms, mine go nuts for them. Great sorce of natural protein.
    Also some vitamin b12 for appetite.
     
  7. ginormous chicken

    ginormous chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would go with high protein feed like meat bird feed 22% mixed with a bit of warm water. Boiled eggs and yogurt. Also, a little flax seed in the yogurt might help also.
     
  8. greenkjb

    greenkjb Out Of The Brooder

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    If you are trying to use some foods from around the house then meat scraps leftover from dinner might be a good choice [​IMG]
     
  9. Gypsy07

    Gypsy07 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    if you're looking for something cheap, tinned cat food is something they usually like. Lots of protein in that!
     
  10. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:While I have fed cat food, I'd be leery of doing it too often. It contains high levels of things that might be good for cats but are not necessarily good for chickens. If you do decide to try this, I would do it sparingly. When I have fed cat food in the past it was for a treat in the winter, and I mixed one small can with layer pellets and hot water to turn it into a hot mash on an especially cold day. The mash was fed to the whole flock so no individual hen was getting a large amount of the cat food.
     

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