how to feed up a skinny hen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Bossom-hen, Jan 11, 2014.

  1. Bossom-hen

    Bossom-hen Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a pekin (cochin) bantam hen who used to weight 750g. She suffered a long period of extreme broodiness,stopped eating almost completely and went down to 600g. She saw the avian vet who crop fed her for a day which started her eating again and helped improve the broodiness. She seems largely over her broodiness now but she still has to be shut out of the nest box or it's obvious she'd start sitting again. However so long as I do this she mostly acts like a normal chicken, on her feet hanging out with her buddies in the yard (although she does still ruffle her feathers occasionally so I think the hormones are still playing her up a bit). It is two weeks since she saw the vet and she has now been at about 650g for the past week but despite treats like warm mash and scrambled egg I can't seem to get her to gain weight. She has been wormed recently with flubenvet so I don't think it is that. She is interested in food but just isn't eating quite as much volume as she normally would. I am particulary concerned as it is quite cold at the moment so she needs some fat on her. Any suggestions on how to fatten her up.
     
  2. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

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    Buy some turkey or gamebird crumbles that are 30% protein for her and see if she'll eat that. Or, you could crop/tube feed her yourself, it's really very easy and your vet should be willing to show you how.

    -Kathy
     
  3. Bossom-hen

    Bossom-hen Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you I will try the crumbles first. I'm sure my vet would show me how to crop feed, she's very good, and it would be a handy skill to have.
     
  4. Bossom-hen

    Bossom-hen Out Of The Brooder

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    I can't find any turkey/gamebird feed to buy online in the UK. Would suet pellets for wild birds be beneficial?
     
  5. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    Significant weight gain with superior proteins of animal origin would help. They must be digestible. Most poultry feeds are comprised of plant proteins. Mix up some buttermilk in the feed.
    http://ps.fass.org/content/11/2/69.full.pdf+html?sid=c0535ec4-d2c3-4fa0-b034-4ac1b61df474

    Or you could offer some well strained, no salt tuna mixed in enough feed that it is consumed in a short period of time so it doesn't get rancid, just as you would fresh buttermilk.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2014
  6. Bossom-hen

    Bossom-hen Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you. Today I gave her some suet pellets with insects, she ate a little (18% protein) but prefers the scrambled egg, especially when it's warm. I think I will try some tuna tomorrow. Can you buy buttermilk in a supermarket in the UK do you know? it is something I have never seen but then I haven't been looking for it. Her weight remains stable but no gain, if she loses any I'll take her back to the vets for a crop feeding demo.
     
  7. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

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    If she'll eat the egg, feed her all she wants. I'll ask my roommate about buttermilk, he's from the UK. [​IMG]

    -Kathy
     
  8. SpeckledHills

    SpeckledHills Chillin' With My Peeps

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    There are instructions on how to feed small amounts of food via syringe on the Baytril for Birds page on the website linked in my sig below.

    There are also a few tips on foods on the Fungal Infections page. Also, black oil sunflower seeds are very nutritious for chickens & have lots of fat & protein---and chickens love them! I've heard it's best to buy ones that are unhulled (still in the shell) because they are less likely to have mold. Info so it doesn't worry you: the chickens usually don't bother to crack the shells off before eating those, but that's fine. I think if you buy sunflower seeds from a high-quality source, unhulled would be ok, especially if they have been stored in a refrigerated cooler.

    Nutritional yeast (NOT baking yeast), which is often sold in health food sections of stores, is another great food.
     
  9. Bossom-hen

    Bossom-hen Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you so much, I have some of the sunflower seeds, I will try her with some. She is loving the scrambled egg. She also really likes the suet pellets if I chop them into bits and mix them into her warm layers mash (apparently they are better slightly softened [​IMG] ). The tuna and buttermilk are on my shopping list for tomorrow. She has gained another 10g today [​IMG] .
     
  10. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

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    Meal worm and crickets are also very high in protein.

    -Kathy
     

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