How to Get Overweight Rooster to Exercise More??

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by thailand, Sep 11, 2011.

  1. thailand

    thailand Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi,

    I have 2 LF Brahma roosters, 1 LF Brahma laying hen and 3 Brahma yet-to-be sexed three week old chicks. All three adult chickens are 7 months old. One of the roosters has recently developed a weakness in both legs which I feel sure may be caused by a nutritional deficiency. He is currently separated from the others and is yet to fully recover. All three have been raised on chick starter crumbles up until about 6 weeks ago when the hen started laying. From this point on they have been fed layer pellets. All three have been housed together and so this necessitated their feeding to be kept simple.

    As these are large fowl birds, should I instead be feeding the roosters gamebird mix with a higher protein level?

    The vet took xrays of my sick roosters legs and said that there were places in his leg bones that looked to be narrow in parts. He suggested I put him on a food for pheasants. Just wanted to check here on this forum what, if any, issues others may have found in feeding ordinary layer pellets to their Brahma chickens (roosters in particular).

    I would really appreciate knowing what other Brahma owners feed their birds please?

    Many thanks,
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2011
  2. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    Quote:Where did you get them from, Breeder, Hatchery, what type of feed are you feeding and what is the protein amount?
    Most Large, slow growing breeds like Brahmas, Asils, Reds, Rocks, Giant etc. will benefit better if put on a low protein feed (around 14 - 16 percent protein) at about 10 to 12 weeks of age.

    By putting the large slow growing breed on a high protein feed you are forcing them to grow faster than there body can fully develop and will have the tendency to develop week legs that are undeveloped. Once the breed is fully develop, mature, and laying eggs then you put them on a good feed that is around 20% protein.

    Chris
     
  3. thailand

    thailand Chillin' With My Peeps

    Chris09 - oh my goodness!! Thank you sooo much for your reply. Clearly I have made a huge mistake in raising my babies! [​IMG]

    I bought my birds from a chicken breeder here in Thailand who imported his stock from The Netherlands. He has about 50 Brahma hens and 60 Brahma roosters on his farm.

    I don't know what to tell you about the food I've been giving them, other than it is ordinary chick starter feed 21% protein. No idea if the Thai version of chick starter feed is the same as that in US. They have been free-fed this food with access 24/7. On top of this I've been giving them yoghurt, rolled oats, carrot occasionally, mashed pumpkin, occasional meal worms and black soldier fly larvae, and boiled egg almost daily. They have also been free-ranged from 8am- 6pm daily. In the last 6 weeks the chick starter feed has been changed to layer feed, 17% protein, as the sole hen has started laying eggs.

    So - I've been giving the poor things waaaaay too much protein!?

    Please tell me how I can correct this. At 7 months old, should I now change them to a 14-16% protein feed? Just the 2 roosters or the hen too? I'm very new to raising chickens, and in Thailand there are no experts here to advise me! The chick starter and layer feed is what the breeder advised me to feed them.

    Importantly - is there anything I can now do to help my lovely rooster recover from my stupidity?? [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Thanks again for your speedy reply!
     
  4. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    The first recommendation I would give you is talk to the breeder that you got the birds from. Find out what they are feeding.
    Second if it was me I would cut the protein down to 14-16% protein.
    If you have it around you get a good "Grower" Feed for poultry one that is around 14-16% protein or if you cant find that you could give them a 14-16% protein Hog feed.

    As far as the legs on the rooster, some time they will heal in time but you will have to cut the amount of protein in his feed.

    Chris
     
  5. thailand

    thailand Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks Chris,

    Really really appreciate your advice. It's 10:30pm here right now, but first thing in the morning I'm making it my priority to get this sorted out.

    Hopefully, with time my rooster will be ok. He has a wonderful nature and we would hate to lose him!!

    Should I continue with the vitamin B12 supplements in his water? Also I was advised here to give him a vitamin/calcium supplement too. I'll check the name of it tomorrow and post info about it here. I know it's specially for reptiles!

    Blessings!
     
  6. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    Quote:OK, If the hen are now laying eggs, keep them on a good layer feed one that is around 18 to 20% protein is OK if you are breeding them if not 18% is better.
    Chicks should be on a low protein feed (14-16%) from around 6 weeks till first egg.
    Chicks from hatch till 6 week can be on a 18% protein starter feed.
    As for the rooster he should be on the same feed as growing chicks and around 14-16% protein till he is better then he can go on a higher protein feed.

    You can give him a Vitamin/ electrolyte supplement in his water it will help some but I wouldn't give him to much Calcium. You can also give him some green's like Lambs Quarter, Bok Choy, Komatsuna, Mustard Greens etc.

    Chris
     
  7. thailand

    thailand Chillin' With My Peeps

    Hi again Chris,

    Today I went out and organised more suitable pellets for my chickens. [​IMG]

    However - the highest % protein for layer feed for the hen is 17%. I do definately want to breed from her and the other rooster is actively mating with her. What would you suggest for her? And, this rooster lives in the same coop as the hen - just the two of them. Should I feed him the same as the hen or the other, sick, rooster?

    The chick starter feed for the 3 week olds is only available as a combination of 14%, 16% and 19% blended together for the small bag size. This is what I have bought today. Will this be ok? If I wanted to buy a huge bag then I could buy the three different % of protein separately. But I really don't have enough chickens eating this yet to warrant purchasing a really big bag that would probably last me 6 months or more.

    The sick rooster, I've now put back onto this 14%, 16%, 19% blend. He has been on this same blend up until about 6 weeks ago when I changed to the 17% above, as the hen had started laying. As mentioned before though, I had been adding a lot of extra protein - eggs, yoghurt, meal worms, BSF larvae etc. So, I will cut these treats out until his weight gets down and he is able to walk more steadily. I have however, had him on 1-2 tablespoons a day of the "Rickets Diet for Chickens" for the last 3-4 days hoping this might help his legs. Should I keep him on this extra portion of his diet? The link for the diet is here: http://forum.backyardpoultry.com/viewtopic.php?t=3332&highlight=celery+seed

    Hopefully
    this will be ok for him? Once he's better then, what should I move him to since there appears to be no higher % protein food available (unless I maybe look for gamebird food?).

    Lastly (thanks for your patience) I have the name of the vitamin supplement for amphibians and reptiles that someone here in Thailand recommended to me for this particular rooster. It is called "Vital Dust", a vitamin, mineral, amino acid and fatty acid combination. The label also says chlorophyll, beta carotene from spirulina. Mostly all the writing in in Thai language, but their is a very long long list of all the vitamins etc. that this is composed of. Don't know if this will help any, but the website for the product is here:
    www.aqua-medical.com

    Thanks [​IMG]
     
  8. thailand

    thailand Chillin' With My Peeps

    Can someone please give me some advice on how I now get this rooster to exercise. I've cut the protein content down to 14-15%, and cut out all treats. Getting him to get up and about now seems to be the hardest part!

    All advice greatly appreciated.
     

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