I need help and I'm new

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by HolyHens, Aug 16, 2014.

  1. HolyHens

    HolyHens In the Brooder

    Aug 16, 2014

    I am new to this website and so happy to be a part of it! I have 2 buff orpingtons, beautiful girls, that are spring babies. We bought them from a farmer in March not knowing their age, they were pitiful looking (honestly I didn't think they were going to survive). However, we nursed them back to health and they have became more friendly. One is still skidish and seems to not trust us as well as the other, she even waits for the other to eat first before she will try it! (It's like she thinks it's poison or something)
    Anyway, I am concerned for the winter.... They are still a little smaller. They look big but when I hold them I can tell it's their feathers making them look big, their bodies are actually quite small. How can I fatten them up?? I need help! They love whole corn on the cob, sunflower seeds, meal worms.. They don't eat their food too much. Is there a way I can get them to eat their food?? I really need to fatten them up for winter.

    Also, I can not for the life of me figure out how to create a new thread on here (besides in the new member part - I only was able to do this because they sent me the link) if someone could explain that too that would be great!

    Thanks so much!

    25 years old- engaged - chicken mom -PA
  2. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    [​IMG] Glad you joined us! Your chickens may always be smaller, but if you are concerned about them gaining weight, there are a fw things you can do. First, I'd get a good dewormer, like Valbazen or Safeguard from a livestock supply store and worm them. You don't want any parasites interfering with their nutrient intake. Then, get them to start eating more.

    It is good that they eat corn, sunflower seeds, and mealworms, since those contain protein and fat. Keep giving them seeds/mealworms daily in moderation. As for getting them to eat more regular food, one way is to moisten the feed. Pour some layer feed into a pan and then pour water onto the feed to create a kind of mash. Most chickens love moistened feed like this, and will stuff themselves.
  3. boskelli1571

    boskelli1571 Crowing

    Mar 7, 2011
    Finger Lakes, NY
    Hello & welcome!! [​IMG] Do you have the ability to weigh your chickens? If you can weight the tamer one that will suffice, should weigh around 5-7 lb grown I believe. Towards winter I think they will naturally put weight on. Do you free feed or have set meal times? Are they pastured? Continue with your treats, corn on the cob, mealworms, sunflower seeds and such. Try adding in some greens - kale, cabbage etc. You can put electrolyte/vitamin supplement in their water to ensure healthy chickens. Once the weather turns colder you can give them a handful of scratch before bedtime to help keep their metabolism ticking over. As long as the coop is draught free and not too big for the 2 of them, they should be just fine.
    Not sure about the link thing - someone else will have to help with that!! Good luck![​IMG]
  4. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons

    Apr 23, 2014
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    Buff orps are such a great breed!! I love them so much and I'm glad you do too!

    Many chicken breeds, including the buff orp, are rated as "heavy." They are heavier than some breeds but their feathers make them look huge! My girls are the same way; they look big but their bodies are really not very large.

    X2 on what Bantam Lover suggested. Worming them is a good idea just so you know they aren't sick.

    All those foods you mentioned are filled with fats and protein so stock up on those. Always have water, calcium and layer feed availble. Treats are supposed to take up 10% of their daily diet so, although you may want to, don't overfed them. Try as hard as you can to fatten them on their layer feed before using treats. Yes, treats will fatten them up but they will also make them unhealthy just like it is does humans.

    X2 on Bantam Lovers idea of moistening the layer feed.

    In the winter, make sure they have warm and dry bedding. Ventilation is also important. Scratch is a good treat for winter too.

    Good luck with your flock![​IMG]
  5. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Bird is the Word

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    I wouldn't try to get them to eat other fattening foods. Too much oily things can lead to fatty liver disease and hypertension. So I would just stick with their chicken feed. They will eat what they need to put on enough weight before winter. Moistening the feed definitely helps them eat more. But they know what to eat. I doubt they have worms, at least enough to be low in weight, but if you feel they may need a worming, you can use valbazen, liquid goat wormer or even just wazine. Chickens eat less in hot weather. Come fall they will be eating more and should be gaining weight.

    Good luck with your flock and welcome to ours!
  6. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    Welcome to BYC! Glad you decided to join our flock. You've received some good advice from the other BYC members. To create a new thread, choose the category you want to start it in from the "Forum" icon at the very top of this page and click on it. When that catagory comes up on the screen, just click on the white "Start a New Thread" box in the upper left hand corner, just to the right of the blue "Post a Reply" box. Please feel free to ask any other questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Good luck with your BOs.
  7. HolyHens

    HolyHens In the Brooder

    Aug 16, 2014
    Thanks! For the wormer, is there a time frame to not eat the eggs (or will it say that on the wormer?)?

    Their food is out all day, they are in the backyard in about a 600 square foot fenced in ares. The "coop" is a little stone house about 150 square feet that has a nesting box, that is where the food and water are out all the time and the nesting box.

    **also does anyone know how I can get them to stop pooping in the nesting box?! - the box is about 4 foot long so they lay their eggs in one corner and at night sleep in the other corner and poop in that corner! Is that something I'll just have to live with??**

    Does anyone else chickens poop grow mold btw?! I am not kidding if I do not clean the nesting box every day the poop in the nesting box is turning fuzzy growing mold! Am I just an idiot? I try to clean it every day but sometimes it has to wait a day and sure enough there is mold.

    I will defiantly try adding vitamins/electrolytes in the water! And I will try to moisten their food! The food I have for them is a purena brand with omega 3 (it said it was good and healthy for egg production and it certainly is!) thank you for the tips!

    They aren't big on spinach or green things.. Lettuce, not really fans.. Water melon and apples yes... Also what is scratch???? Is this something at a Tractor Supply Co would have? That is where I buy all of my things.

    I may not know the lingo.. What is scratch??? What is layer feed??

    Thanks everyone so much!!
    Applewood likes this.
  8. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    I have never heard of chicken poo getting moldy - that could be an important clue in figuring out why they are thin. I KNOW moldy food can make them very ill /or die. In fact that is one reservation I have about moistening their feed. If they don't finish all of it quickly, it will stay out and get moldy over time.

    So many people on here recommend probiotics for chickens - it may be a very good idea since their digestive tracts may be amiss. That would also explain not benefitting from what they eat.

    On one hand the goodies, corn etc. are like candy to them and they fill up so they , aren't happy with their nutritional chicken feed. I lean toward giving them just the chicken feed during the day, and maybe the treats at night.

    You said they were in poor condition when you got them - that would make me suspect they have never been wormed, never been treated for lice/mites or anything else that would diminish their health.

    On another note your nest box is way too large, that is why they can poop at one end and sleep at the other. Most animals try NOT to soil their home.

    For two hens one nest box is plenty. Hens usually like to share the same box even if you have several identical ones. You need a smaller nest box, just big enough for the hen to lay down and turn around.I f they aren't laying yet - block the entrance till they are.

    A nest box should only be for laying eggs or for hens trying to hatch them. You want them to sleep on a roost instead.

    Hope this makes sense to you, once I start writing I just go on and on. Sorry for rambling.
  9. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    PS Your skittish hen may not think you are going to poison her - rather she is a subordinate player. She waits for the dominant hen to eat first. There is always a pecking order among chickens, sometimes just a subtle one that people may not notice.

    Hope this helps.
  10. welasharon

    welasharon Songster

    Jun 28, 2010
    North Florida
    Is there enough ventilation in the coop? It is odd for poop to mold that fast although it will get moldy after a bit. I live in Florida...if I don't keep moving I start to mold!

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