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Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Clarebaxter, Dec 12, 2013.
I have been reading alot about backyard chickens being overfed & over weight. Not sure how to tell?
kill one and see how much fat they have? weigh them? 3 to 4 ounces of feed per bird a day is all they need. a cropfull.
I think that I may be overweight and I would ask you to please not tell my wife. I would not like her to use your method to see if this is true. lol.
As a rule, most chickens aren't going to overeat. I think corn and scratch grains are the main culprits for overeating, so limit those. But if all they have is commercial feed and some kitchen scraps, they're not really going to overeat.
If your birds are active, alert, glossy feathers, laying well, no behavioral issues I'd say you're good to go.
Feel their chest. If the keel bone is protruding, they are skinny. If it is not, then they are average in weight for their size. If it is recessed, they are fat. For reference, when you go to the grocery, look at the difference between broiler chickens and roasting chickens. Feel them through the package. Roasters are much fatter than broilers, and you can see/feel the difference.
This is so subjective, though, and freaks folks out as most layers have an easily felt keel bone, and it's normal. We have had so many folks on here over the years freaking out because they can feel the keel bone and the bird is a perfectly normal weight. If you're really, truly concerned, weigh the bird in question.
More curious than concerned. My girls run around during the day and get scratch every couple of days. They are big and fluffy right now and the more commericial breeds have larger breasts than the heritage breeds.
I mean killing the chicken is pretty pointless to find out its weight if you have a small flock. I'm really surprised that nobody has suggested the most logical solution...WEIGH THE BIRD! Come on BYC...
This very website along with most hatcheries usually given the typical weight for a healthy adult bird of every breed...Small hens are 4.5, Roosters are 6...Medium are 6 for hens and 9 for Roosters, and Large Fowl are 7.5-8 for hens and 11-13 for Roosters. Find an accurate scale, sit the bird down on it, and then compare your bird to the recommended weights given by BYC or Hatcheries. The APA may also have a list of all breeds which contains weight, egg color, hardiness, etc. You can also use this to determine if you have some chubby chickens.
There you go...no mess, no hassle, no dead bird.
not only was the killing part a little joke but the very next thing i said was weigh. by killing, though, you could see the amount of fat they were carrying. maybe you should have read the post .