How to help my hens gain weight

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by krista74, Jan 18, 2015.

  1. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,576
    165
    158
    Jun 4, 2014
    Victoria, Australia.
    My hens are all around 14 months old, and are fed a free access diet of a top quality layer's crumble, water, crushed oyster shell and grit. Each morning they get a small bucket of vegies, and they get a small handful of wheat or scratch in cold weather, but since it's Summer here they don't get any wheat at the moment, just their crumble.

    There are multiple feeders and waterers both in the coop and the run. Occasionally they all free range, and they have a large run to exercise in, full of tree branches and roosting posts. There is plenty of shade, and they have access to their coop during the day too.

    All the girls seem light at the moment. Two have been seen by a vet recently (respiratory illness and impacted crop) and he commented that they were both underweight. This worries me as the girl with the impacted crop is the chunkiest one in the flock! Both have since recovered from their illnesses but all of the hens look like they are losing weight. Their keel bones are VERY prominent, but other than that (and their persistent broodiness!) they seem alert and active and otherwise well.

    How do I help them gain condition when they already have free access to as much food as they want? Should I put them all back on growers formula, and if so, is that sufficient for egg production? They have all been wormed regularly, we have treated for lice and mites (both the bids and the coop) as a preventative measure rather than because we suspect they are present.

    What else should I do?

    - Krista
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2015
  2. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    What did you use to worm them?
     
  3. krista74

    krista74 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,576
    165
    158
    Jun 4, 2014
    Victoria, Australia.
    I used a product called Syke's Big-L Wormer for Poultry, which is added to their sole source of drinking water for 12 hours.

    It is Levamisole based, which according to the label is a member of the clear family of drenches. It also says it "Treats for the most important intestinal worms in fowls."

    Specifically, it treats for Large Round Worm, Hair Worm, and Caecal Worm.

    I believe here in Australia we have different treatments available to what you guys have in the US, so you may not have heard of it?

    - Krista
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by