How can you help a greedy alpha hen lose weight?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by BantyChooks, Sep 23, 2015.

  1. BantyChooks

    BantyChooks Sing Brightly Premium Member Project Manager

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    I have a 7 year old EE that is the alpha hen of the flock. She does not lay eggs. The problem is, she is very overweight. I haven't weighed her with a scale, but she is the same height as all my other chickens and much heavier. I got her to lose a little weight, but since she is the alpha hen all the others voluntarily leave her the best and the most delicious treats, like rice, bread, milk, etc. Some of the other chickens are a little skinny so I dump treats in there for them. I have considered separating her but she will go bonkers (ex. running back and forth, rubbing her comb until it bleeds) if separated even just by a fence.
    So my question is: have you ever had a chicken that needed to lose weight? Did she eventually get back to normal weight? Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2017
  2. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    Cut the treats out for a while! She's eating the yummies, not good. Is she still laying eggs? You might consider feeding the flock a Flock Raiser type diet, with oyster shell on the side, to balance everything out. She may just be larger anyway. When I feed treats, it's small quantities, very spread out, so everyone has a chance to get at least one piece. No piles of stuff! Mary
     
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I agree to cut out the treats. If you want to treat the rest of the flock, confine her to a smaller dog carrier or even a cardboard box, maybe in the garage where she can't hear/smell what's going on and get worked up. A chicken confined in a small dark space will usually go to sleep, or some semblance thereof, and not get upset.
     
  4. BantyChooks

    BantyChooks Sing Brightly Premium Member Project Manager

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    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2017
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    She might be nutritionally 'starved' and is gorging to try and fill those needs......
    .......your other birds might be underweight for the same reason.

    Are you giving them a balanced chicken ration always available?
    Those other foods should only be given in small amounts,10% volume of daily balanced chicken ration.
     
  6. BantyChooks

    BantyChooks Sing Brightly Premium Member Project Manager

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    Yes, they have a complete feed avalible all the time. The others are so skinny because I just finished treating for worms and they have poultry lice, which I am trying to treat.
    Any natural suggestions for that? Wood ash doesn't do much. Am I using it wrong? I tried making a new thread but no one helped.
    The treats are given in small amounts, mostly broccoli stems and corn rinds. They get some bread from leftover sandwiches and old tomatoes too. Most of their treats are old\slightly wilted fruits and veggies and only a small percentage is stuff like that, she mostly got fat from her previous owner.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2017
  7. Free Feather

    Free Feather Chillin' With My Peeps

    How old was she when you got her?
     
  8. BantyChooks

    BantyChooks Sing Brightly Premium Member Project Manager

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    6 years old.
     
  9. BantyChooks

    BantyChooks Sing Brightly Premium Member Project Manager

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    I've only had her for a year.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2017
  10. Amina

    Amina Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Check out this site for info on mites and lice and how to treat them:
    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/08/poultry-lice-and-mites-identification.html

    I haven't dealt with mites before, but I have treated mine for lice, using Garden and Poultry Dust with permethrin. My husband and I would take each chicken out of the coop one by one, and with gloves on, sprinkle the dust all over their bodies and fluff it deep into their feathers. You should wear a face mask when you do that too, so that you don't breathe in the dust. A couple treatments like that and the lice were gone.

    I have heard that mites are harder to deal with than lice, though. Part of the problem is that mites don't stay on your chickens full time, so you will need to clean your coop frequently and get the poultry dust into the cracks and crevices of your coop where the mites like to hide.

    I can't find any reputable info on whether wood ash is effective for controlling mites, but I think it is generally recommended more as a preventative measure. It sounds like you've already got a severe infestation, so it's time to bring out the "big guns," so to speak, to get this under control and get your chickens back to good health.
     

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