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Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Jesusfreak101, Dec 10, 2015.

  1. Jesusfreak101

    Jesusfreak101 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok the more research i do the more confusing it is to tell if you have an underweight chicken or a fat chicken there no in between...[​IMG]... If its underweight you can feel the keel bone and its sticks out however if you pinch it and feel the breast meat its fat... If they underweight they are stressed and if the over they have laying and other health issues. And the recomendation is to have feed out all day long for them.. I feed mine 3quarts of food (20 hens) of flock raiser mixed with scratch and they get scraps and free range. They barely finish the 3 quarts by the time they go up for the night and normally there still some left... So its not like they dont have plenty off food right and but this whole bone thing has me confused if you feel it its bad and if you dont then its bad what should i feel then seriously...
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Runs With Chickens Premium Member

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    Every breed is going to feel different, some like leghorns that are just an egg breed will never have much meat and will always consume less food. Dual purpose breeds, australorps, Orpingtons, RIR, are always going to be heavier, you'll feel the keel bone but it's not as sharp as a leghorns and they eat more, meat breeds will be plump and the bone won't be easy to find, and they will eat and eat. You also have to factor in age as well, most heavier breeds can take two years to mature.

    I don't worry about such things, free ranging birds are getting more exercise than penned birds, so they won't get fat. I put out a predetermined amount of ration for my flock tweaking the amount as needed. Scratch shouldn't be mixed in, I toss it on the ground to get the birds scratching and pecking, and scraps are whenever I get some.

    So I don't worry about fat chickens, never had one, my flock is mostly healthy and robust. I lose birds here and there but most live good long happy lives. I haven't dealt with may health problems, and most I've never seen. My husbandry has always been to keep animals in as natural as an environment as possible and it works.
     
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Why do you mix scratch with their feed?
    Their feed is complete and needs nothing added.
    Scratch is intended to be a minor treat to be 'scratched' for.
     
  4. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

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    I don't give mine "all day access" to their feed. They get a specified amount, at 8 am. Then they free range and loiter for the day, and come back at 4 PM for a "snack" or whatever is left from the morning feeding, then off to bed.

    I have some very "fluffy" hens, but not "fat" lol :D

    That hurts their fluffy feelings ha-ha ;)

    I would say I probably feed 8 lbs off FF per day, plus some scratch-ish dry grains for 40 birds.. All in all about a quarter pound per bird per day. Egg laying slacked off a bit for winter, but I still feed the same amount, since its pretty cold over here and they need to be "fluffy" to stay warm :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2015
  5. Jesusfreak101

    Jesusfreak101 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well its not really scratch its mostly grains and seeds in such i just call it scratch.
     
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Grains and seeds is scratch.
    They're a lot lower in protein than the chicken feed.
     
  7. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

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    Well @ChickenCanoe, the only thing that ISN'T a seed or grain in my mix is the alfalfa pellets lol ;)

    So its scratchy scratch plus pellet scratch ha-ha :D

    Chicken feed in pellet form in bags that most people feed is made of mostly ground up...you guessed it, seeds and grains ;)

    Sorry lol, I'm feeling sarcastic this morning ;) But its true! :D
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. Jesusfreak101

    Jesusfreak101 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well they get meat as scraps along with veggies and considering that they all have glossy feathers and are extremely active i am pretty sure they are healthy and the lay like crazy and their yolks are good color as are the whites so i am going to say they good. I am just doing research on them in general i am not really worried about them being underweight or over weight. They have 100x130=13000sq foot area to be in to forage plus another area that i can switch them out in (2acres availble will be seven adventually) i am just curious how to tell whats healthy and whats not. I know how to tell on large animals and as i am interested in being a vet i interested in learning.
     
  9. OrganicFarmWife

    OrganicFarmWife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would say glossy feathers and good quality eggs are a good sign of what is healthy.
     

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