- Aug 23, 2015
So I’ve been doing this hen thing for about 3 years now.. learning new things all the time (thanks to BYC and you guys) but, I’m having a new issue and one I just can’t figure out- even with all the reading I’ve done. So I have 8 laying hens of various breeds. They’re usually very healthy and the right weight- not overweight/not too thin- even through the winter months. This year they’re not. They’re all too thin- I can feel their breast bones sharply, and they just look skinny and underweight. So, for the past 6-8 weeks I’ve been trying various things that I’ve either read here, or that was advised by the “chicken expert” at our local feed store/supplier, and none of it seems to be working- putting any weight on them. (Bumped up the protein in their food, added cracked corn, they get plenty of treats-every day- that seems enough to have at least fattened them up a bit (and hasn’t), have tried all of the home remedy deworming techniques, used ACV, they get yogurt a couple times a week, bottomless food, treat blocks to peck at etc.). I’ve never SEEN anything in their droppings that leads me to believe they have worms- but why so thin all of the sudden? And why all 8 of them (the part that haunts me and makes me wonder what I’m doing wrong)? They’re all laying normally, and otherwise appear healthy and happy.. feathers look great, appetites great, no other symptoms at all- it’s only the weight issue. And it’s driving me NUTS! Don’t particularly want to feed them a chemical dewormer, both because we use/share the eggs and none seem to be labeled for laying hen use- and because I just don’t want to put that stuff in my au natch granola girls if it isn’t 100% necessary- especially since weight is the only thing making me think worms. ??? Also, the natural deworming things I’ve tried produced nothing- no signs of worms in their droppings and no weight gain either. Am I missing something here?!? Is it likely something that’s going to remedy itself when the weather gets nicer and they have all the bugs, and green grass, (and my veggie garden to sneak into) that they can possibly eat again (they “free range” year round btw)? Lost- and feel like I’m neglecting my favorite ladies. :-( Anyone have any ideas or advice? Thanks!