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How to put weight on young birds?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by RockyToggRanch, Jan 20, 2009.

  1. RockyToggRanch

    RockyToggRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 22, 2008
    Upstate NY
    I've noticed that some of my birds are boney in the chest area. (sorry...flashback to jr. high) and was wondering if I should change something or add something to their feed. They get layer crumbles freechoice and scratch grain twice a day. They also get scraps and have acces to hay. I have 9, 7 and 5 month olds. All of them could use some weight IMO. It' cold here so they don't get much exercise. They come out of their coop into the barn and run around the barn all day. They won't go out in the snow.

    Should I feed the oats or beet pulp or something? All of that analysis stuff is confusing me.

    They are healthy acting and looking otherwise and the two older groups are laying.
     
  2. Indiana hens

    Indiana hens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 25, 2008
    Pendleton, Indiana
    I would have bought a meatier breed if you wanted meat. Protein and grow light could help. If you are raising layers they do not need the big breasts. It is easier to make them bigger as chicks when they are confined.
     
  3. spook

    spook Chillin' With My Peeps

    During cold and times of illness/ stress, I feed mine Fat and Finish, it is a grower feed that you use on meat birds. When your birds are molting or cold, when they need more cals to burn for their survival I feed mine this diet. Not completely, but like in cold weather, I'll give my 5 girls a cup and half of the fat and finish pellets with hot water (not boiling but by the time you get it to the hen house, it will have cooled just enough to be safe), some say they do not need wet food ever. I feel that is true, yet it gives them something to look forward to. In the feeder they have layer crumbles.
    Like I say, it gives them energy and maintains thier weight. I am most certain that others have different ideas that would help in your climate. But here in the cold, its good for variety and energy.
    Good luck.
     
  4. RockyToggRanch

    RockyToggRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 22, 2008
    Upstate NY
    Thanks for your input. I'm more worried about their well being than what I think they should look like. IMO they are thin. However they act healthy and haven't had any issues. I've not lost a single bird and I get eggs daily. Perhaps it's the mama in me that want's to insulate her girls a bit more. How boney should they feel in winter?
    Would it hurt them to give them oats or beet pulp? Would it benefit them?
     
  5. Smoky73

    Smoky73 Lyon Master

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    Feb 8, 2007
    Colorado
    I started feeding seeds along with their normal crumbles. High Protein and fat seeds like sunflower, safflower and flax. If you want to increase muscle mass, its the same as beefing up a body builder, you want more protein.
    I have been doing this for the last month and have noticed a nice difference in my birds weight.[​IMG]
     
  6. RockyToggRanch

    RockyToggRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 22, 2008
    Upstate NY
    Can they eat whole sunflower seeds? or should they be shelled?
     
  7. sussexgal

    sussexgal Chillin' With My Peeps

    I feed my guys (and gals) whole sunflower seeds with some cracked corn mixed in. They love it and there has been no problems with them from the sunflower hulls..... on really cold mornings they get cooked oatmeal with raisins.... I have to hold the dish at shoulder level and set it down quick! I swear the sweeties are on pogo sticks when they get a whiff of that!
     
  8. Smoky73

    Smoky73 Lyon Master

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    Mine are just the hearts, no shells, but I have fed shelled in the past with no problems.
     
  9. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    16,198
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    Nov 18, 2007
    Florida
    My Coop
    The older they get the more they will fill out. Also, mine have feed and water available 24/7.
     
  10. RockyToggRanch

    RockyToggRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 22, 2008
    Upstate NY
    Mine have feed and water always. I think they may be using all their calories for heat. It's been crazy cold this month. I'm going to get a bag of oats and a bag of beet pulp and experiment.
     

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