my hens are thin

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by carolinasculpture, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. carolinasculpture

    carolinasculpture Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi! Please give me any advise you have. In handling my hens, they all seem to be pretty thin. They have access to feed 24/7, one feeder in the coop and 2 in the run. They have plenty of grass and bugs and get scratch every day as well as quite a bit of treats from the kitchen and garden. After researching here, I have decided to worm them. I am hoping to be able to get Valbazen. Is there something else I am missing? Here are the flock stats:

    chickens: 11 total, 2 young roos (one going to freezer camp around Thanksgiving) hatched in April and a leghorn hen, 2 buff orps from 2011, 2 production reds, 2 leghorns, 1 BR, 1 EE from 2110.
    coop: 6'x9', 2 9' rounded 2x4 roosts, 6 nest boxes, 1 feeder, pop door always open.
    run: 50x50 surrounded by electric fence, netting over top, two small shelters with feeders, 2 main waterers (5 gallon buckets with nipples) and 3 others scattered around because I had some young ones and wanted to make sure they could get water when ever they wanted it over the summer, shade area in the center with gourd plants growing to provide summer shade.

    Hope I didn't miss anything. Look forward to your advise! Thanks!
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  2. lilchick

    lilchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dust them with sevin for lice and mites.

    A dose of ivermectin horse wormer paste will take care of both external and internal critters all at once.

    Or liquid ivermectin can be used with a few drops on back of neck.
     
  3. KnobbyOaks

    KnobbyOaks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Very attractive run. What is the vining greenery you have growing in there?
     
  4. carolinasculpture

    carolinasculpture Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi! Thanks! It is luffa gourds and birdhouse gourds. Since that pic I have painted the "prop-up" camper coop white.. :) Trying for a better breed of trailer chickens. :)
     
  5. KnobbyOaks

    KnobbyOaks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Trailer chicken, LOL. Thanks. I can imagine the chickens like to rest under that gourd vine.
     
  6. carolinasculpture

    carolinasculpture Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi! :) It has been the bast shade I have been able to come up with so far, and very easy to grow! When the luffas and birdhouse gourds are dry, I make birdhouses and luffa soaps. Talk about 2 birds with one stone! :)
     
  7. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

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    Did you time travel, and bring them there birds back? Got any pics of them?
     
  8. coffeenutdesign

    coffeenutdesign Chillin' With My Peeps

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    "trailer chickens" lol [​IMG]
     
  9. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    First, weigh your birds. Laying hens are supposed to be light, not chunky like a meat bird. You're supposed to feel the keel bone on the chest. Especially your leghorn, production birds and easter egger. These are bred to lay eggs on not so much food. Orps are often all feathers. If your birds weigh 4-5 pounds for the leghorns/ee and 5-6 lbs for the others they should be good.

    Are they laying? Are they alert, active, eating well? Sounds like from your post. Before you give them chemicals, just make sure there is actually a problem, and not just that your expectations are off. They could be perfectly healthy, just not what you think they should be.
     
  10. carolinasculpture

    carolinasculpture Chillin' With My Peeps

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    mstricer: Yeah...man are they some wild birds! lay 3 eggs a day! Don't you wish you could time travel, too! ? :) I am a notoriously bad speller, but now I am a bad number-er, too!!!

    donrae: They have always been kinda svelte, but now they are down right thin, not skinny really, yet...but I am afraid we aren't too far off. I wormed each batch about a week after I got them as day olds, but have not wormed since. They are active and alert and generally seemed fine until I picked one up and noticed she was definitely lighter than before. A quick check found that all of them seemed to be lighter (and not just because they are molting...which a good 1/2 of them are). The ones that are not molting or just coming off of being broody (2) are still laying.

    Do you think worming is a good start? Anything else I can/should do? Having trouble finding the Valbazen around here, may try the invermectin this time and order some of the valbazen for next year.
     

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