My 9-week olds are so thin!

Oldenburg Mom

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Why? Of course the don’t look it... they are covered with feathers!!

When I pick them up, they feel so thin. Is it because they are growing? Pictures coming very shortly...
 

Sonya9

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Feb 7, 2014
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Thin as in their breast bone is sharply jutting out? Or thin as in wispy/skinny builds. Adolescents of all types (teenage boys, year old pups etc...) are often thin due to their growth spurts.

Are they in a pen with older birds that may be guarding the feed dish? Do you free feed them?
 

Oldenburg Mom

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I took pictures, but they’re pointless. All you can see is feathers. But they have a sharp breastbone. I mean you can clearly feel it when you pick them up underneath their legs.

In the days when I used to buy a chicken, to eat, there was muscle on either side of the breast bone. Now these were chickens raised for slaughter, so maybe they were different, genetically.

They have feed available to them at all times, and I am feeding scratch and peck grower. I have just started feeding them scrambled eggs, which they are ignoring. The only thing they really going nuts for is when I feed them fresh corn. They have plenty of grit, plenty of water. They are currently outside in their playpen.
 
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humblehillsfarm

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Mar 27, 2020
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I took pictures, but they’re pointless. All you can see is feathers. But they have a sharp breastbone. I mean you can clearly feel it when you pick them up underneath their legs.

In the days when I used to buy a chicken, to eat, there was muscle on either side of the breast bone. Now these were chickens raised for slaughter, so maybe they were different, genetically.

They have feed available to them at all times, and I am feeding scratch and peck grower. I have just started feeding them scrambled eggs, which they are ignoring. The only thing they really going nuts for is when I feed them fresh corn. They have plenty of grit, plenty of water. They are currently outside in their playpen.
What breeds do you have? Are they for meat or eggs?
 

Sonya9

Crowing
6 Years
Feb 7, 2014
1,875
1,090
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Georgia
In the days when I used to buy a chicken, to eat, there was muscle on either side of the breast bone. Now these were chickens raised for slaughter, so maybe they were different, genetically.
You really can't compare them to grocery store broiler chicken -- those birds are genetically different, specially bred for huge breasts, and actually reach maturity in 6 weeks.

Based on what you said (free feeding good quality food, no other birds guarding the dish) I suspect your chicks are just typical gangly young birds.

You said they won't eat scrambled egg, are they eating plenty of their regular chick feed? Seems they are awfully picky food wise and if they are only eating fresh corn that likely isn't good. Have you tried wetting down their chicken feed?
 

humblehillsfarm

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Mar 27, 2020
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Southwestern Pennsylvania
Pictures are up; I’m not feeding them just corn, LOL, but it’s the only thing they go wild for.

They are English silver laced Orpingtons... and I am expecting them to be twice their current size. Eggs and company only.
They don't look unhealthy. However it is recommended that growing chicks ages 1-8 weeks intended for egg laying need at least 20-22% protein. Any treats, especially corn, will dilute that amount. Pullets 9-18 weeks need 17-18% protein. Laying hens do tend to have thinner breasts though.
 

Oldenburg Mom

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Jun 4, 2009
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Fredericksb'g/Culpeper VA
I was feeding fermented scratch and peck chick feed, but as soon as they hit 8 weeks or so, they started to get less interested. I put them on grower (all of these are organic), have searched which they ARE eating.

Their bedding is changed every day, their poop is normal, they just seem to be very very picky. They will eat blueberries, ONLY if I hand feed them.
 

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