I've spoiled my chickens!!! Advice please???

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by KayC2016, Dec 12, 2016.

  1. KayC2016

    KayC2016 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 16, 2016
    Remlap, Alabama
    ok, I'm new to chickens...this is my first "year", actually only since July. As a newbie, I'm afraid that I have spoiled them with treats. I've noticed that they look thinner so I've backed off on all the scratch and corn and such. So, now they haven't been eating their real food, so I have gotten to the point that I have to moisten their food for them, which they love and eat up. At least they are now getting real food.....any suggestions and is this okay to do and slowly back off on the liquid till its dry again? Also, I think they may have gone through a soft mount as there have been feathers everywhere and also, some are eating the feathers.
     
  2. Chicken Girl1

    Chicken Girl1 Loving the Autumn Weather Premium Member

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    How old are they? What feed are you giving them? Scratch and corn should only be given on rare occasions and sparingly.
     
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  3. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    I hope you're feeding either a chick starter, or an all-flock feed like Flock Raiser. Either comes as crumble, easy to eat by the babies. Moistening the feed is fine, as long as it's changed out ofter to keep it fresh. I'd change over to dry as soon as possible too. With two feeders out there, one can have normal dry crumble, and then another dish of moistened, offered once or twice daily, and decreased as they eat more dry feed. Only offer treats after they are totally on normal food! Mary
     
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  4. KayC2016

    KayC2016 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 16, 2016
    Remlap, Alabama
    They are about about 6 months old or so with some maybe being a few weeks older or younger. Out of 10 hens, I get anywhere from 2 to 5 eggs a day right now....it has cooled off considerably here. Well, for Alabama anyway. I am feeding laying pellets to all of them. I'm guilty of giving grapes, apples and such. But I have backed off of all of that. I just want to get them back on regular feed now and keep them as healthy as possible for the upcoming winter. I have a Jubilee and Blue Orpington, two New Hampshire Reds, a Splashed Wyandotte, A Golden Comet, Black Orpington, and two Rhodebars and a Black Sex Link.
     
  5. dekel18042

    dekel18042 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If they are laying, you might want to feed them an 18-20% protein flock raiser and offer oyster shells (for calcium)in a bowl on the side. If they're thin I would stay away from layer feed which is only 16% protein for a while.
     
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  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    When chickens molt, they lose feathers. A lot of a chicken’s apparent size is not body, it’s feathers. If you ever butcher your hens you’ll really get to appreciate how much body size is just feathers. I have some older hens molting right now and man, they look tiny compared to normal.

    Mine eat those small feathers floating around all the time, especially the downy looking ones. It’s free protein. That’s not feather picking, a nutritional problem, anything bad. It’s them taking advantage of free food, a good free food. If they start pecking feathers off of each other to eat then I’d get concerned.

    It’s pretty common for some pullets in their first year to skip the molt and continue laying throughout the winter. It’s also pretty common for some pullets to molt their first fall and not lay throughout the winter. Each chicken is an individual and will do their own thing. It sounds like you may have some that will lay throughout the winter and some that are molting.

    If the ones that are molting are the ones that look skinny, I don’t see anything at all to concern me. All this sounds normal.
     
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