How do I tell if my hens are thin??

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by new2chickens, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. new2chickens

    new2chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am sure this has been asked before, but I just can't find...I don't know if I just don't search right on this forum!!

    I was in the coop with my hens this morning, after letting the roos out. I picked up each hen and petted her for a moment (trying to get them used to me and friendly, I'll share treats tomorrow) I noticed their breast bone (I assume it might be similiar to a Macaw) is very prominent...not sure if this is normal or if they are under weight. I have pellets in their coop and they free range on 20 acres with scratch thrown out also. I don't think they are eating the pellets. How can I convince them the pellets are good??

    Thanks in advance
    Sarah
     
  2. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

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    I would stop giving them scratch until they start eating the pellets. Pellets are their meat and potatoes. Scratch is dessert.
     
  3. new2chickens

    new2chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thats what I figured...I think they may have only been fed scratch before I got them, but I don't know for sure.

    Sarah
     
  4. CUDA

    CUDA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you are concerned with thin chickens, worm them. They will eat right on their own. Any bird on the ground needs to be regularly wormed. Just make sure you don't eat the eggs for a week or so after you have wormed them. Good luck!
     
  5. new2chickens

    new2chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you. I plan to pick up wormer this morning when I go to the feed store.

    Sarah
     
  6. CUDA

    CUDA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have had the best luck with Ivomec. It kills ALL worms, and helps keep mites down too. It isn't cheap, but it lasts a long time. I only have to treat with it every 3 months or so. If you want to do this, buy the injectable ivomec, not ivomec plus, and a syringe. Treat adult birds with 6 or 7 drops orally. Bantam sized birds 3 or 4 drops. Definitely don't eat the eggs for a week or so after doing this though. Good luck!
     
  7. chickhamm

    chickhamm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    also as a preventitive you can add Food Grade DE to their pellets, just a bit and it will help with the worms. you can also dust them a bit with it and put it in their beddging on the floor and in their nests. That will help with mites and such*


    chickhamm
    Theressa
     
  8. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Are your birds actually thin? You should be able to feel a keel on them just like a macaw, but if the keel sticks out and the breast meat sinks in behind it, then it is thin. It is normal that their keels are pointyish if you have layer breed birds. What kind are they too? Some breeds are lighter than others. My leghorns as adults are 3-4 lbs, while my larger mix breed RIR/cochin/BR and so on are in the 5-6 lb range.
     
  9. new2chickens

    new2chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They feel similar to my macaw (who isn't thin). They are mixed breeds...not sure what! They can be seen in my blog link in siggy.

    Thanks for the responses guys!!

    Sarah
     
  10. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Pullets are active, Sarah, especially if they have 20 acres to range around.

    I'm curious how the Rhode Island Red compares to the other birds - none of which are really noted for much bulk.

    Steve
     

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