hen losing weight but acting normal

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by mprivett, Oct 13, 2011.

  1. mprivett

    mprivett Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 29, 2010
    Chatham County, NC
    I've noticed that my hen, Rosemary, has lost weight over the last several months. She only weights 4.5 pounds when the Dominique standard for hens says they should weigh around 5-6 pounds. One of our pullets from the chicks that she hatched in April, Tansy, is already much bigger and truer to standard size than Rosemary. Additionally, her legs are very pale.

    She is acting like her normal self, eating good and foraging, laying regularly, and her comb is nice and bright red still. Any idea what could be causing this? Should I worm her or treat her for something specifically? She is a year and a half old. Thank you!!
     
  2. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    I guess I would worm her and check her for lice and mites. Sometimes they lose alot of weight during a heavy molt. Is she being bossed away from the feed?

    Had she or any of your chickens had exposure to other chickens outside your flock, like bought as anything other than a hatchery chick? Any recent chickens added in the last few months?

    How is the stool?

    Test her with offering a wet mash made from feed, and pieces of bread. See if she pigs out or just picks. Does she lay eggs?
     
  3. mprivett

    mprivett Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 29, 2010
    Chatham County, NC
    No, the funny thing is SHE is the alpha hen! Even all the roosters are scared to death of her!! I do not believe she has had exposure to any other chickens outside the flock and we haven't had any new additions lately (we had bought one hatchery chick from a feed store to "befriend" a chick of Rosemary's that she rejected, but that was back in April). She is laying eggs on a regular basis- sometimes once a day or every other day. None of the other chickens seem to have been affected- they are all gaining weight and growing just fine.

    I will have to check her stool......I'll do the testing out with the mash you suggested....but knowing her she LOVES treats and any form of bread, so she will probably pig out on the bread alone and leave the feed. But I'll see what happens and keep you posted. THANK YOU!!
     
  4. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    A few of mine had wasted away in the past 2 years. They looked happy and looked like they were eating, but I realized that they were picking and not really eatin-mush.
    Check her crop at night and see if it's full. Then check her crop early in the morning or before breakfast to see if it is still full from the night before. It should be full at night, and empty in the morning.
     
  5. Avalon1984

    Avalon1984 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 22, 2010
    Muskegon
    That is what I would suggest too. Could be a crop issue, pests or possibly cancer.
     
  6. Pele

    Pele Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 25, 2011
    Boise
    My first thought would be worms too. The hen can eat and eat and eat and the pounds will still melt off as the worms get the nutrients instead of her.

    Worm her and see if she improves. Good luck!
     

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