heavy buff orpington hen

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by cuteychickens15, Oct 30, 2016.

  1. cuteychickens15

    cuteychickens15 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 7, 2015
    For a week or so now, me and my brother have noticed that there is a hen bigger than the others, she is also fluffier with more feathers but she is also heavier. I was worried a few weeks ago that my parents had swapped one of the chickens because this hen was fluffy and just seemed different, especially as we have 1 cockerel to 5 hens.

    I just wanted to know why this hen could be bigger and heavier, I don't know if she's a new hen and has been replaced but I couldn't ask my parents because they would just deny it like last time. My mother gives them multiple pieces of bread, cheese and all sorts and i'm worried that it could be causing them harm, they always think i'm over reacting and my dad seems to have the attitude of "if one dies, it dies, they're all the same', to me my chickens are like my family and I couldn't imagine living without them.

    My mother says she will stop feeding them the bread and everything but will this hen lose weight ? I felt her crop and it's quite squishy, a lot of them have squishy crops, the last time I felt the cockerels crop, he had a nice hard tennis ball shaped one with lumps of food pellets in it. I've also noticed that some of them have saggy crops, it's hanging down and I don't know what to do.

    Please give me some advice, I can take pictures of her in comparison to the others if needed.
  2. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Chicken Obsessed

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    I think you are fretting needlessly. Some birds are bigger than others. Even in the same breed, there is a lot of variance between individual birds.

    If your birds are actively walking around, eating and drinking, and laying eggs, if they have bright eyes, and red combs and wattles they are pretty darn healthy.

    As the year goes along, the feathers change, they get old. I am wondering if this bird might be in a beginning of a molt. It is the right time of year for that. If so, she will really look bad in a few weeks, and will lose a lot of feathers, then the new ones will grow back and she will look pretty again.

    Mrs K
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    How old are your birds?

    Are they all Orpingtons?

    If they're 6ish months old, this is the prime time you're seeing differences in maturity. Some hens will zoom into adult hood, getting larger and fluffy and ready to lay. Some hens might be slower to develop, still looking more like little girls than adult ladies.

    Post pics if you can, that would help.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Cut out the junk food for sure.
    Any treats should be less than 10% of the daily volume of a good, balanced chicken ration.

    You'd need to feel the chickens bodies all over regularly, thru and under the feathers, to detect ongoing body condition.
    Google chicken body condition for some examples.

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