New to chicken keeping.

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by the little zoo, Oct 21, 2014.

  1. the little zoo

    the little zoo In the Brooder

    Sep 21, 2014
    Alnwick, Northumberland.
    Hello, I have 2 silkie bantam hens Fluffy & Agnes. I have had them since they were about 2 months old & they are now about 7-8 months old.
    They recently started laying, one lays on average 5-6 a week & the other about 4-5 a week.
    I can feel there breast bone slightly & wondered if this is normal of the breed?
    A neighbour used to keep them & said they are only slender/slight birds under all there fluff & there okay.
    The vet said they are slightly under weight but nothing to worry about & it maybe because they are laying slightly more than average & are putting all there energy into laying.
    I feed the layer pellets for bantams & the usual scraps, plus late afternoon I have been giving them a handful of mixed corn, handful of meal worms & a handful of sunflower hearts, with poultry spice on it all.
    So, my question is Is it normal to feel a silkies breast bone?

    Hope you can help [​IMG]
  2. RooJi

    RooJi Chirping

    Oct 21, 2014
    Hi there and welcome to BYC i also just joined. I would like to know the answer to the breastbone question too...
    I didnt know silkie layed that many eggs!thats great to know because ive read that they are really broody and I was debating whether or not to get one If non of mine went broody(i want to do natural incubating) but my concern was that they wouldnt lay enough eggs so they would pretty much only be able to be used for brooding.
    Any input would be great! Thanks
  3. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    [​IMG] Glad you joined us!

    Do they act fine otherwise? It is normal to feel a chicken's breastbone, at least a little. They are probably somewhat slimmer than usual because they are putting energy into laying, too.

    However, if the breastbone is really obvious and jutting out, there is something wrong. One possibility would be worms. Fortunately, worms are usually easily treated by worming with a good, broad spectrum wormer. Two excellent wormer choices are SafeGuard and Valbazen. The wormers won't hurt them if they don't have a worm overload, so if you're worried about your Silkies' weight, I would go ahead and worm them.

    It sounds like you're feeding them the right things. Just make sure the scraps don't make up much more than 10% of their total diet, or they may not get the nutrition they need.

    For now, I would consider worming your Silkies, and would watch them for further symptoms. Good luck!
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  4. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]We're glad to have you.

    X2 on Bantamlover21.
  5. Michael OShay

    Michael OShay Crowing

    May 14, 2014
    Welcome to BYC. Glad you decided to join our flock. BantamLover21 has given you some good advice. I used to raise Black Silkies, and it is normal to feel their breast bones. Your neighbor is correct; underneath all that fluff, there isn't much body. Silkies are my favorite bantam breed; sweet, friendly, funny, little birds. My children made lap pets of ours. Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. We are here to help in any way we can. Good luck with your Silkies.
  6. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC!
  7. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Bird is the Word

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    You should be able to feel the breast bone on all birds. But there should be some meat on either side of the breast bone. If it is really sunken in on the sides, then there is an issue. Worms are likely with a lot of weight loss in spite of a lot of eating. Young birds are usually a bit lighter than older hens. Better to be a bit thin that to be over weight. If they are healthy in every other way, then there is nothing to worry about.

    Welcome to our flock!
  8. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    I've never touched a silkies' breastbone but, I know when I've held one they feel lighter than air. When they are bathed it seems like most of bird went down the sink with the rinse water. Then you blow them dry and they look inflated. If you let them go broody please be sure they eat enough. Some take it so seriously they can starve themselves to death.
    1 person likes this.
  9. the little zoo

    the little zoo In the Brooder

    Sep 21, 2014
    Alnwick, Northumberland.
    Hello & thank you for your advice. They have been wormed & I took a poo sample to the vets to be checked for worms & it came back all clear.
    There main diet is the layer pellets, I don't give them any scraps till the afternoon & I don't give a lot & they don't get there treat bowl till about an hour to an hour & a half before they take themselves off to bed.
  10. the little zoo

    the little zoo In the Brooder

    Sep 21, 2014
    Alnwick, Northumberland.
    Hi, I have to say I am surprised as to how many they are laying & no broodyness yet, they are only 8 months'ish so I am hoping they won't go broody till next year but I don't really know when there first bout off brooding will be?

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