Maturing question


9 Years
Jun 4, 2010
N. Ontario CANADA
back in june my friend and I ordered 21 chicks each, same breed, same hatchery, hatch date, well you get the idea.

Mine started laying Sept 23. and she told me her weren't. Going by what I read I told her that all hens mature at different times. But then today I went to go help her with something and I went into her coop and I was baffled when I saw her chickens they look small as if they were still about 8 to 10 weeks old, they are also skinny and have super small wattles and combs, their feathers don't look very good either but they are not molting. My chickens are big and their wattles and combs are pretty large and super red. Their feathers are shiny and overall my chickens are quite beautiful birds. So I told her how my chickens differed from hers and she came back to my house with me and saw for herself.

We are kind of baffled by this?? I went through a list with her of the things we did from day 1 to now, I fed mine starter, grower and now layer for the specified amount of weeks. Provided them with heat accordingly etc... she fed hers grower for 30 days and then when she got 6 layers put them all on layer pellets, she put her babies form day one in the barn with no heat. She feeds her chickens, 26 in all 2 cups in the morning and 2 cups at night.

Could her chickens not be getting enough food and that is why they are not growing like they should? or did feeding them layer pellets at 1 month of age mess them up? I am asking these questions for her, as she doe snot have internet way out where she lives.
She is not feeding them nearly enough food! Or the right kind. Layer pellets should not be started until they are ready to lay or even after they have started. Tell her to switch them over to a grower formula until they put on some size.

ETA- No heat when they were young probably didn't help them get off to a good start. Feeding them the wrong feed definitely didn't help. And slowly starving them is just adding to their list of woes. Get your friend a book on poultry keeping. She needs it.
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Any animal that is skinny and underweight is usually a pretty good indication of being underfed or wormy. 4 cups of feed between 26 chickens says underfed to me. I keep feed in front of my girls all the time, plus kitchen scraps, vegetable trimmings and treats. I think switching the chicks feed so soon could also be a factor why they didn't grow out. perhaps you could print out some info for her on chick care.
well after putting my daughter on the school bus this morning I went and drove to the library, I looked up books on raising chickens and I was surprised to find the raising chickens for dummies book..I hoped she didn't take offense to it and then drove to her house and, not wanting to make it sound like I went there just to get her a book I said hey, I just took a book out of the library and showed her the book. I told her I needed to know a few things and had already taken a gander at it. I asked her if she wanted to borrow it and she said nah I don't need it.

So I told her that maybe she should switch them to grower since they are not laying anyhow, only her 6 she got from the hatchery ready to lay are laying, but they too look underfed and skinny. Well she said she wasn't goign to switch them cause her other chickens needed the layer pellet.

She asked for advice I gave it to her and she in the end didn't want any of it. Oh well nothing I can do. But yes her chickens are very skinny. I took one yesterday and gave it a good looking over top to bottom, the only thing I see wrong is how skinny they are.

so I said to her, with my chickens I fill their feeder ( a really big one) half way and it lasts me 4 days before I have to refill it, I could give you the other big feeder I have if you want. Well she didn't go for that either, she says that if she leaves feed out all they do is eat and eat and eat and then she has to constantly buy feed. I asked her how often she buys feed and she says she goes once a month to get a 25 kg bad of layer and a 25kg bag of scratch, but that usually she has lots left when she goes to buy more anyhow. She was super proud of it because she thinks she is saving money.

I told her I go through 1, 25kg bag of feed every week and half and the only thing she said was wow that is expensive!!!! and that is on top of the vegetables, scratch and boss I give them. I don't give them a whole whack load of boss/ scratch just a few handfuls at night to make them come in for the night before closing the run door. So now I know how its possible that they look so different. Kinda sad if you ask me. But that is my Opinion
Stunning in her ignorance.

You tried. And that's the best you can do sometimes. It's too bad she didn't want to actually take any of the advice you offered.

Glad to hear your babies are doing well.
Not enough food! My 7 pullets scarf down at least 4 cups a day, plus scratch, plus treats. They are hatchery birds, but they look great.

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