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Just obtained 30 pullets that are malnourished and severly underweight.....NEED SOME HELP PLEASE!!!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by k2chickens, Jan 25, 2012.

  1. k2chickens

    k2chickens Songster

    Apr 22, 2009
    New Castle, Indiana
    Well i got out of the chicken game a while back but it seems i have been sucked back in lol! To make a long story short i was able to save a small flock of layer pullets around 15 barred rocks and 15 RIR's from an owner who obviously did not have them on full feed and water through the beggining part of their lives. All he told me was he bought them from a hatchery as chicks and they were vaccinated for merricks. Just didn't have the time for them. They are approaching 7 months old and have yet to lay an egg. There are obvious size differences...some look as small as 4 months old and others look the part of 7 months but they all have one thing in common, they all have extremley sharp brest bones. Where the breast muscles should be are littleraly next to nothing other than skin and bone.

    As of now they are on full medicated Layena sunfresh chick food mixed with cracked corn, as well as full water. I litterally have no experiance if trying to save or bring back laying pullets back to their full potential via another persons neglect. So...what are some tips you guys can give me? I mean are they doomed to never lay eggs because of their obvious stunted growth?? Or can they be fed back to life, gaining muscle mass, and just getting to a nice fat, fluffy, happy hen status? Im open to buying special foods, oils, oats, anything that will help put some weight on these girls. Eventually i would love to get them laying solid eggs so i can give them to my family and friends every week.

    I have check for sighs of disease and lice and other things that would indicate any type of illness, but i can't find anything other than they are skinny and about twice as small as they should be at 7 months, and of corse no egg production yet. Any type of tips or info you guys could give me would be greatly appreciated. I hope i can save these girls and start seeing and tasteing thoes delicious farm fresh brown eggs i was acustom to eating a while back. Thanks for your time and i hope you guys can help me out!

  2. peahen46

    peahen46 In the Brooder

    Jan 20, 2010
    They will be just fine if you start feeding them a normal diet not chick food, regular Layena and cracked corn is fine. Try giving them a bowl of Purina cat food everyday and watch them get really healthy and there feathers will improve. Fresh water everyday and a full crop at night if it's cold where you live will shape them up. I would get ahold of Dr. Peter Brown of First State vet supply and order a few items for them ask Peter and he will help you. Hope this info helps and good luck and I hope you get lots of eggs.
  3. k2chickens

    k2chickens Songster

    Apr 22, 2009
    New Castle, Indiana
    thanks for your post! Never heard of cat food b4!! Very interesting.
  4. klmclain1

    klmclain1 Songster

    Mar 14, 2011
    My girls LOVE canned cat food. I give it periodically as a treat mixed with oats. It's a wonderful protein boost! Good for you for doing the rescue. That's huge bunch (compared to my 7 girls). You're a good "egg"!!
  5. Bullitt

    Bullitt Songster

    Jan 16, 2012
    k2chickens, can you let the chickens free range sometimes? Chickens know what they need, and they will eat grass, bugs, worms, and all sorts of things to get their needed nutrients. Of course you should also give them regular chicken feed and fresh water every day.

    Those hens will soon be fat and happy. Of course they aren't laying eggs if they were almost starved to death. If they are eating well, I would bet they will be laying eggs in a few weeks.
  6. k2chickens

    k2chickens Songster

    Apr 22, 2009
    New Castle, Indiana
    thanks for the votes of confadence guys! Im just worried about their brest areas, they are just sooo skinny through there, is it even possible for a chicken regain muscle mass back??
  7. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Crowing

    Apr 11, 2011
    I would feed them a high protein gamebird feed. My chickens love it, it keeps them plump and happy and they have beautiful feathers. They just need some TLC, good for you for taking them in!

  8. groundpecker

    groundpecker Songster

    Jun 26, 2011
    Rison, Arkansas
    To fatten them up, i suggest a couple things that might seem inhumane. First decrease the space allowed for movement, but not to the point of fighting. This will decrease their activity and increase weight gain (much like a commercial chicken farm does). Second give them some high protein food and plenty of water. Third you can add vitamins to their water and last you can keep a light on in the run/coup for at least 16 hours a day. The birds will eat more and gain weight faster with the added feeding time.

    I hope this helps.

    Also, i don't need anyone PMing me about my suggestions being inhumane.
  9. MrsCountryChick

    MrsCountryChick Songster

    Apr 15, 2008
    I think what groundpecker said is a Good idea! [​IMG] ....just like confining an animal for injury healing is smart. It would only be for a short duration while they gain some weight. No one would suggest smaller accomodations for a lifelong chicken living. I hope they gain weight & lay Well for you! [​IMG] Although I have had chickens hold out for Months past the laying age to lay their 1st egg...even on layer feed with a nice coup, nestbox, etc. I must just have a few Stubborn chickens, lol. I wouldn't worry, you just may have to be patient. I have also sometime glue plastic colored easter eggs together to act as a 'dummy egg' to let them know "where to lay"...so I get eggs "in" the nestbox. Otherwise I end up finding a few laid elsewhere.

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