Help me figure out what to do for Lil' Bit

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by gritsar, Sep 8, 2009.

  1. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Lil'Bit is 17 months old, is the runt and is half blind. LF brahma.
    She had to have one-on-one feedings when she was little and she put on weight, but has remained small in overall body size.
    For awhile, she got very heavy even though she's small. Now she is starting to lose weight again. Her crop is full in the evenings, empty in the mornings.
    The last couple evenings when I've gone out to the coop to do evening chores I've found her scratching thru the shavings on the floor around the feeder to eat the "powder" from feed being spilled and ground underfoot. I take her and put her in front of the feeder and she pecks a few times, but then goes back to eating off the floor. She's also started hanging out around the house more, always ready for a handout when I go out the door.
    Tonight I brought her in and offered her a slice of bread, which she ate like she was starving.
    Her stool tonight looked like that of a bird that is not getting enough to eat?
    Should I try grinding up some of the layer pellets and offer her that? If the co-op has crumbles in smaller amounts than 50# bags, I'll buy her some; but I don't think they do.
    Is it possible that she is not able to find grit on her own (while free-ranging) anymore and is resorting to eating only foods that don't need grinding?
    I'm stumped! [​IMG]
    Oh and she's molting.
  2. faykokoWV

    faykokoWV Mrs Fancy Plants

    Nov 4, 2008
    Cross Lanes, WV
    That's so sad [​IMG]

    Could you try mixing grit in with the feed?

    Maybe she's learned that the handouts taste better and she's filling up on treats and not eating enough good food?
  3. goldielocks

    goldielocks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 2, 2009
    I use to put the crumble in the food processor and feed the baby chicks with it...i put i on a dinner plate so they could get right in it. I would grind it just enough to make it smaller crumbles. I tried not to make it into powder but some always did powder. They seem to be able to eat it better. I would also feed her any table scraps that you have. You will just have to baby her to keep her going.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2009
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Yeah, I figure a trip to the feed store and more one-on-one feedings are in my near future.
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    If you get some game bird breeder crumble or grower and mix it with some buttermilk, yogurt or water to make a mash, would she eat that? And add 3 or 4 drops of polyvisol into that mash, too. She may be thin due to her molt, partially, but is she laying?
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:Cyn, no she was laying until she started molting. I couldn't believe the huge eggs that came out of her little body. The weight loss has become more noticable since she's molting. I planned on switching everyone to the gamebird this week anyhow, since all but two are molting. Still gonna offer the oyster shell. I'm getting one to three eggs a day and one girl that is definitely molting is still laying.
    I'll pick up some polyvisol when we go grocery shopping. Yogurt I've been buying alot of since all the animals love it.
    Thanks! [​IMG]
  7. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    Aww poor Lil Bit. If you are worried about her getting grit, you could put a box of sand in the corner of the run and show it to her a few times. Maybe she could have a special dish in the house with good food that only she gets to eat out of. I have a routine for Cleopatra now, I throw food out for the rest, then whisper her name, and she comes running to be hand fed.
  8. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:Yeah, I added grit to my shopping list. I haven't bought it since they were babies. They free range and this farm is 90% rock and 10% soil. There's a 1/4 mile long gravel driveway at their disposal. She's a trooper though. I'm sure she'll be okay if I can just get some weight back on her.
    Hey, what do y'all think of me feeding her some of Jax's homemade dog biscuits? The ingredients are: cooked chicken livers, cornmeal, flour, eggs, and veggie oil?
  9. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Best to get the polyvisol without iron, Kat. If you can order some online, AviaCharge 2000 is a very complete vitamin/mineral supplement for birds. It turns water the color of strong tea and smells good to some folks, fishy to others. The birds do drink it, though.
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Any chance she has worms? (I assume you've checked for mites).

    I know one doesn't normally worm during a molt -- well, I suppose maybe some people do -- but I wonder if in this case it might be worth making an exception. By having less access to the feeder for social reasons, and/or by having less ability to see what she's eating, she may be more at risk for worms than your other chickens. You'd want to use something pretty broad-spectrum, like ivermectin.

    Scrambled eggs would probably be a better thing to hand-feed her than bread (I know it's probably just what you happened to have within reach at the time [​IMG]), possibly also sunflower seeds, that sort of thing, something with good caloric content. Not long-term, of course, just to get her back on her feet so to speak.

    Good luck,


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