How to increase size of pullets?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Sunny Side Up, Nov 22, 2010.

  1. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    I have some 18-week-old pullets who seem to be much smaller than they should be at this age. How can I get some size & weight on them? Or is it too late?

    They are from good stock, from McMurray Hatchery. They've been fed Country Acres chick starter since I got them as day-old chicks in July. But when they were around 2-3 months old there was an upper-respiratory infection going through my flocks. It started with these chicks, spread to the other layers & meat birds, and back again. They've been treated for 7-10 days each time with 3 different antibiotics.

    Now they're free from all symptoms, sounding & acting well. But just smaller than I think they should be. They are almost adults, should begin laying in the next month. But although they are shaped & feathered like adults, they are too small.

    Is this the size they will stay for their adult lives? Or is there still time to get them to grow larger? Please advise.
     
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Apr 15, 2009
    They may get a bit bigger, but not much. They are about full-sized at 18 weeks. But they will get much heavier. They are kind of like gangly teens right now. With a little time they will fill out their skinny frames. By this time next year they should be fat and sassy.

    ETA- I would be giving them some probiotics (yogurt) and a higher protein grower food to help them bulk up a little faster. Also some scratch (corn) may help to put on some weight.

    Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2010
  3. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Isn't it time to switch from starter to growth ration? What does the label on your feed say? Do it gradually, mixing the present feed with the new.
     
  4. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    The fact that they've had illness may have stunted their growth plus the fact that they're from a hatchery means they haven't been bred for size.
     
  5. Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay

    Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Any stress during the growth phase of an animal will likely stunt their growth whether a nutritional stress or a disease/immunological stress. I agree with Katy that the disease outbreak hurt their growth and ultimate mature body size.

    Jim
     

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