Helping a hen gain weight.

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by ChookBook, Jan 17, 2014.

  1. ChookBook

    ChookBook Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 14, 2014
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    Hi. [​IMG]

    One of my little girls- Audrey hasn't been very well lately (see https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/848814/help-diagnose-our-mystery-illness for more info).
    Because of her new lack in appetite; she's lost heaps and heaps of weight, and it's worrying all of us here. At the moment she's only really interesting in her favourite, corn, and occasionally comes over for a feed of her layer pellets. We've tried feeding her some bread and pastas but she didn't eat very much of them.

    Is there anything she would [​IMG] LOVE [​IMG] that would be easy to get a hold of (typical home foods or common to find) that I could feed her?

    [​IMG]Molly x
    [​IMG]Peggy x
    [​IMG]Audrey xx
     
  2. ChookBook

    ChookBook Out Of The Brooder

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    Chicken land.
    Sorry!! I meant interested*
     
  3. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Chickens prefer their feed damp and will eat more of it if you dampen it. I have gotten weak or sick birds to eat more than they normally would by misting the feed and get it a bit wet. Keep it damp all day if you can and she will eat more of it. You will be surprised how quick they gain weight when they eat a lot of layer feed. And because she has lost not only weight but muscle and is probably drained, you need to get her to eat more of a balanced diet.

    You might also try some cooked ground beef or cooked ground turkey every day or every other day. About a 1/16 of an ounce is enough. It will not only add some weight but give her more protein to put on muscle.

    These are the things I have tried on my birds to get their weights back up. Hope this helps. [​IMG]

    Edited to add: I am going to change the 1/16 of an ounce to 1/16th of a pound. Sorry I wrote that wrong. [​IMG]

    Cook up 1/16th of an pound, or 1 ounce. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2014
  4. ChookBook

    ChookBook Out Of The Brooder

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    Chicken land.
    Thanks a heap! [​IMG][​IMG]
    We've got heaps of meat over here (we're a bunch of carnivores - I swear) so I'll try cook that up and feed it to her.
    xxxx
     
  5. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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  6. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    If none of the previous suggestions work, I've had luck with crumbling up tofu sprinkled with Poultry Nutridrench. Also, she may be having trouble absorbing nutrients. You might try a pre-biotic in addition to everything. I had a hen who was underweight actually grow after she was two years old using a prebiotic called Forco.
     
  7. Brookliner

    Brookliner Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You might try addi baby polyvisol liquid vitamins to a mash made with layer feed soaked in warm water. Make it the constituency of yougert. Feed it warm you can even sprinkle some scratch on it. :D
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2014
  8. ChookBook

    ChookBook Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the responses!:)
    I'll try them all out right away. She's looking a lot better in the face but she still is struggling to walk around straight. I've noticed that right before she goes to bed , she pigs out on everything. Is there anything super super fatty that I coukd put in her feeder for her (none of the other girls usually eat at this time, so it wont be for them) to eat?
     
  9. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Beware of fatty foods for chickens. It can go right to their liver, causing long term liver disease. Your best best is to give her a balanced chicken diet : Mostly layer or flock grower feed, but moisten it with warm water, some yogurt, some tofu, some boiled eggs, a variety, but mostly grains. Chickens are built for cereals and bugs. Get her some meal worms. They're half protein. A prebiotic will help her absorb the food nutrients better. A chicken multi vitamin like Poultry Nutridrench has what sick chickens need to recover their health. It's like Poly-vi-sol on steroids.

    Will she eat if she's all alone? I have never had any luck getting a sick chicken to eat unless I feed her along with one of her best friends. That works every time. If you make a mistake and choose a chicken higher in the pecking order, she won't eat. It needs to be someone her age that she's equal to.

    I hope she pulls through and is back to normal in short time!
     

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