One FAT Barred Rock!

Amelia Egghart

Songster
Jul 8, 2015
684
287
196
Fallbrook, CA
Ok I know BRs can be a bit over zealous when it comes to food but my Fatty Ophelia (Oafie for short) .... takes the cake.

It's gotten to the point where you can hear her running to you before you can see her. Running to you, because she thinks you have treats. Her feet pounding and heavy breathing is funny but dangerous. Her poop is the volume of two eggs and she's tail bobbing when still. She sounds like an old man wheezing. It's bad.

They get ZERO treats, free range on a large property and have feed stations with 16% layer. No one else is overweight.

She's active, runs a lot, is a dependable layer, but obviously eats more than her output.

I can't put feed stations away, that's just not how this property is set up. Is there a supplement or something I can give her to make her not feel hungry all the time? Do chickens get thyroid problems? Any other ideas?

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azygous

Enabler
11 Years
Dec 11, 2009
24,910
37,094
1,122
Colorado Rockies
I have a Silver Cuckoo Marans hen that is very much as you've described your BR. She's big, hefty, chunky, a pig. But, not really overweight as such.

One way to try to determine if a hen has a fat issue or is simply "big-boned" is to feel under her vent for a large fatty deposit. If your BR is streamlined down there rather than sporting an extra blob of fat, she is just a big girl.
 

townchicks

Free Ranging
Dec 1, 2016
1,999
6,517
676
Contra Costa county, Ca.
She may have a respiratory problem, or maybe ascites is restricting her breathing and making her look fat. I would check her out more throughly, feel her abdomen, check eyes and nostrils, look in her mouth. If all that checks out, maybe you could confine her for part of the day, so she can't overeat.
 

Amelia Egghart

Songster
Jul 8, 2015
684
287
196
Fallbrook, CA
She's both. She's been Big Boned since hatch (was convinced she was a cockerel because of her monstrously thick legs) but the wheezing and tail bobbing are new and what concerns me. She's pretty wide and squishy at the back which could be from the reliable egg production but once again, I suspect Fatty Liver going on in there as well. I've seen FL kill seemingly healthy hens in friend's flocks.
 

AltonaAcres

Crowing
Jan 13, 2019
3,276
5,728
436
I had a Speckled Sussex who was pretty chubby. She ate a lot, laid a little, and waddled around. We loved her so much though. She was everyone's favorite. Full of personality. Would follow you around and hop on your lap if you were sitting. She was really pretty, and healthy. We rehomed her to a family who had just lost a chicken just like her. I hope she is happy! I miss her! She doesn't look too big in this pic, but trust me, she was!!
 

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Amelia Egghart

Songster
Jul 8, 2015
684
287
196
Fallbrook, CA
She may have a respiratory problem, or maybe ascites is restricting her breathing and making her look fat. I would check her out more throughly, feel her abdomen, check eyes and nostrils, look in her mouth. If all that checks out, maybe you could confine her for part of the day, so she can't overeat.


I just drained a hen with ascites so I know it's not that. I was hoping there might be something I could give her to make her feel full but have fewer calories. Maybe styrofoam! No.... just kidding. Although she'd probably love it. Hah.
 

Amelia Egghart

Songster
Jul 8, 2015
684
287
196
Fallbrook, CA
Oh i've tried confining her for part of the day. She zooms out and straight to feed and then eats so much she can't run straight because she crashes into her massive, overfilled crop. Uuuuugh! :barnie
 

GC-Raptor

Free Ranging
5 Years
Jul 26, 2016
5,636
11,477
671
Connecticut, USA
I have 5 Barred Rocks, 13 months old. All are heavy weights. Their hips are as wide as a Camaros quarter panels. They have a healthy appetite, their crops are huge by midmorning.
I don't restrict their feed. Dry feed and water is available in their coop 24/7.
I get a good workout when I pick them up.
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They are so embarrassed that when at the feeder they hide in the shadows.:oops:
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Seriously though Rocks are a heavy duel purpose breed.
Your Rocks Comb and wattles are are a healthy bright red. I would be concerned about the wheezing though. None of my girls wheeze. GC
 

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