1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

How do you know if chickens are too skinny?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by SarahFair, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. SarahFair

    SarahFair Songster

    Sep 23, 2008
    Monroe, Ga
    I have about 13 chickens. A few of them are black sex links that were mixed with a Jersey Giant Rooster and my Barred Rock hen
    Since winter has come Ive doubled their feed since winter but they still look thin plus they get any and all left overs (which is an every day deal). My barred Rock hen looks like a nice fat hen but the rest of them look tall and skinny.

    I dont know if its the JG in them that gets tall then fat or if they are just not eating enough. I hatched them out May 25, 2009.
    Usually their crop is nice and full and you can visibly see it.
    How do you tell if a chicken is not eating enough?

    Another thing is I have 5 maybe 6 roosters and 6 hens. All the roosters get along. I hatched all but one out and that one I bought from a lady and hes 10 weeks older than the others.
    Hes the only one to crow. Ive never ever heard any of the ones I hatched out crow...
    Anyone know why?

  2. gsim

    gsim Songster

    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    Regards the roos, I am not sure because I do not have any. Could be their youth? Regards skinny chooks, my guess would be intestinal parasites. Do they free-range?
  3. SarahFair

    SarahFair Songster

    Sep 23, 2008
    Monroe, Ga
    Yes they free range but my head hen and the rooster that crows look normal size..
    I read that Jersey Giants first grow tall then they grow fat and that is why they were taking off the industry line for meat birds.

    Is there an honest way to feel a too skinny bird? I mean they dont look like walking skeletons or anything but they are slinder.
    How do you tell if they have parasites?
  4. possumqueen

    possumqueen Songster

    Aug 17, 2009
    Monroe, North Carolina
    I don't know about the barred rock or sex links, but I've read that the jersey giants take time to mature, and they look lanky and scrawny for quite a while before they plump up.

    Another way to check if your birds are underweight is to pick them up. If they're in good shape you'll notice that they feel heavier than they look. give it a try.[​IMG]
  5. thedoors5to1

    thedoors5to1 Songster

    Jun 12, 2009
    to feel if any avian is underwieght or overweight you feel the keel bone in thier front chest, for a normal bird you can just feel it, but in those underwieght you will feel its much sharper, in an overwieght bird you may not even find it... start by running your fingers down the top of the chest as far as you can, to feel for the keel bone.
    1 person likes this.
  6. Spinster_Sister

    Spinster_Sister Songster

    Nov 9, 2009
    Hawthorne, CA
    My Jersey Giant, Parsley, seems a little lanky but I know what you're going through. I believe Parsley is a hen, and boy is she growing tall but still quite angular. I also have a Barred Rock hen, Rosemary, who is a rounder and a bit plump in appearance. Now Parsley's legs are getting thick and long, in fact she is long and tall all over compared to Rosemary.
    I would say if your JG is really boney feeling all over then perhaps she may have parasites, but with the breed...they're suppose to be lanky and gangly when the are young.
    Maybe a question to the National Jersey Giant club will help.


BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by