How to fatten a thin chicken? Update!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by notsooldmcdonald, Dec 11, 2008.

  1. notsooldmcdonald

    notsooldmcdonald Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What do you feed to a chicken who is thin (due to illness from which she is now recovered), but is not a big eater?

    She doesn't want oatmeal. Will eat some yogurt, but grudgingly. Tried scrambled eggs, but ate only a few bites. My biggest success was damp layer mash by hand.

    Has she got it figured out, or what?

    She loves scratch, but I really limit it due to it not being a nutritionally balanced feed.

    Since it's winter, would electrolytes be a good way to help her feel like she wants to eat?

    Thanks!
    -Christian
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2008
  2. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Christian, I haven't much experience as a chicken nurse but I would go with high protein, low fiber foods. And, she will need to get enuf calories in whatever she eats.

    Breakfast cereals are higher in calories than her mash but those calories would normally determine how much she eats. In other words, a chicken usually eats enuf to get the calories, then stops. If she doesn't want to eat much - - breakfast cereal may be a better choice than mash for awhile. And, it may be the answer especially if you stir in some high protein "stuff."

    Regular Cream-of-Wheat has about 300 calories in one-half cup. It is only about 10.5% protein, however. Skim milk yogurt is only about 5.5% protein but it is nearly 90% water. The water hardly counts. I think that mixing yogurt with dry Cream-of-Wheat may be a good choice.

    Also, beef liver is over 20% protein, high in water content and with plenty of calories.

    Just some ideas . . .

    Best of luck,

    Steve
     
  3. fowl weathered friend

    fowl weathered friend Out Of The Brooder

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    I think electrolytes are a wonderful way to get your chicken on the right track back to fat, happy henhood. My RIR was sick earlier this year and lost quite a bit of weight, and she was already a finicky eater. After she recovered it was the same deal. The only thing she would eat was coern and a few layer crumbles. I supplemented with electrolytes and vitamins in her water for about a week and about that point she started to get an appetite again. She's still very finicky and not as overstuffed as my other hens, but she's filled out a lot and finally laid her first egg!
     
  4. notsooldmcdonald

    notsooldmcdonald Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the suggestions! I have the leftover turkey neck/liver/gizzard that I did not cook yet, would that be a good substitute?

    I'll look for beef liver, really I'll try anything that makes sense.

    Fowl w friend- As for electrolytes/vitamins, do you recommend a particular kind/brand?

    -Christian
     
  5. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Poultry protein would probably be the best balanced for her, yep. The gizzard may be a little too tough, tho'. Pouring hot broth on her mash may encourage her to eat also but it would be better if it didn't have so much fiber in it. Really, almost anything goes in chicken feed. Even the fishmeal, probably has all the bones and offal in it.

    I know you said that you tried eggs but that may be something good to mix in cereal.

    After washing some of the salt out of it - - tuna fish . . .

    Steve
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2008
  6. corydonald

    corydonald Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG] get commercial chicken treats and feed feed feed feed feed [​IMG]
     
  7. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

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    I have fed skinny hens Purina Start'n Grow chick starter. I figure if it is balanced and nutritious enough to build healthy young chick bodies into full grown hens, it ought to build skinny grown up hens into fat ones. When they begin to lay I switch them over to Layena pellets.
     
  8. notsooldmcdonald

    notsooldmcdonald Chillin' With My Peeps

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    First, thank you so much to everyone who replied. The help was not only appreciated, it's working so far!

    I bought some beef liver and cooked it up with olive oil. At first she picked at it, I sighed and left it in her crate over night. I just went to check in on her (now that our power is back on!), and she had eaten ALL of it!.

    I'm hoping this will be the start of an upward trend for her.

    corydonald- what kind of commercial treats do you recommend?

    Thanks again, all!

    -Christian
    [​IMG]
     
  9. cherig22

    cherig22 Green Fields Farm

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    I love mixed foods for my girls. How about the cream of wheat with the liver mixed in with it? Everything I cook I give them. Except for onions, garlic, and the dreaded celery which they hate.

    I make them oatmeal with raisins and powdered milk, and grits with eggs. All kind of odd stuff, find high protein stuff and mix it what they like.

    Cheri [​IMG]
     
  10. ella

    ella Chillin' With My Peeps

    Gamebird or food for meat birds would work too. Can you put a mellow chicken in with her as a companion?

    In my experience birds left by themselves don't tend to eat as well as when they have competition. It's a chicken thing. [​IMG]
     

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