Poor Birds.... ***UPDATED WITH PICTURES***

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by bobbi-j, Aug 14, 2010.

  1. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Free Ranging Premium Member 8 Years

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    I posted the other day about the Brahma roosters I was getting from my neighbor. I took them off his hands because I plan on butchering all but one of them. When I first fed them, they ATTACKED the food. They still do. They don't just peck at it, they eat with a vengeance! Today I picked up the biggest looking one, and there is no weight on him. His breast bone was sharp and prominent! I don't know if they were being starved, or what. I was under the impression that they had been free ranging because they were getting into the guy's garden. (He said that that's why they had to go) I've been feeding them grain and garden stuff. I plan on letting them out to roam on Monday. It's not an option this weekend - busy both days. There are a few of them that look smaller than the rest. I hope they can put on some weight. Not just so I can butcher them, I do feel sorry for them. Hopefully they'll be full and happy for their last days.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2010
  2. justbugged

    justbugged Head of the Night Crew for WA State

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    I am glad that they can have a chance to put a little weight on them. I find it interesting that after reading some previous posts that there are a number of members that don't feed theirs during the summers. They just let them free range, and only supplement with feed during the winter months. So it could be what was happening with these roos. Even if you are going to need to do the deed with all but one of them, it's still good to have them be as happy as you can make them till it's time.
     
  3. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Free Ranging Premium Member 8 Years

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    Justbugged - I'll have to admit, I'm one who gives little to no feed in the summer [​IMG] but I also know that my birds are in good condition. The coop is by our grain bins, so there is always some spilled grain for them to eat, I bring the garden junk (overgrown squash and cucumbers, tomatoes, etc) for them, there are bugs and plenty of grass. I think that's why I'm puzzled over thse guys. If they were free ranging where I got them from, there should be at least SOME meat on them because they have access to all that there, too. So, I just don't know what's going on. Oh well. Hopefully they'll gain some weight. Right now my little bantam cochin is sitting outside the pen where I have them, havng a cockadoodling contest with them. It's petty funny. He'd love to get in there and show them all who he thinks is boss. Most of them are 3x bigger than he is!
     
  4. zazouse

    zazouse Crowing

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    Brahmas are a large breed and take longer to mature and fill out, so if they are young they may appear to be under weight.

    I free range my flocks and they have access to gran at all times, i processed some young roos yesterday all the same age but different breeds, some were very meaty others were on the thin side.

    There can be feed in the feeders and when i add more they act like they have not eaten in days, so acting like they are starving is pretty normal here.

    Good thing about them being free ranged before you got them is they are probably pretty savvy about predators and will fair well.

    Do you have any photos of them to share ?
     
  5. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Free Ranging Premium Member 8 Years

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    Quote:Just this one - it's not very good:

    [​IMG]

    I was told that they're approximately a year old. I guess what concerned me the most was the jutting out breast bone. Hopefully you're right and they just need to fill out more. My other chickens pretty much ignore the feed in the feeders when they're out free ranging. They prefer whatever they can find while they're out and about. These guys will be let out on Monday - they should be used to their shed by then so they'll go back in at night.
     
  6. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Free Ranging Premium Member 8 Years

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    I took these today. Where my fingers are, it's all bone underneath. No meat whatsoever. The other picture is also his breastbone - I know they're hard to tell what's what. I'm holding the bird upside down. As far as how they eat, they aren't going at it as aggressively as they did at first.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. They do look skinny..

    Maybe they have worms. Worm them and feed them good. They should be fine.
     
  8. spoggy

    spoggy d'Anver d'Nut

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    Pretty rough looking Brahmas. A little TLC and they should fatten right up [​IMG]
     
  9. mangled

    mangled Songster

    Wow, he does look thin. We got some hens for free off Craigslist that were thin like this. Once we got them home, and we penned them, they literally attacked the food. It went on for about a week, then they started slowing down. I think it's kind of a starvation reaction. The weight will come back quick.

    We free range our flock over 13 acres. I'll toss down pellets and scratch in the morning when I let them out, and I toss it down in the evening to bring them in, but other than that we don't feed them much in the summer. They do get scraps throughout the day from meals, but that's about it. My free range girls are nice and plump. Maybe there were just too many birds and not enough area to range?

    Hope he plumps up soon.

    Em
     
  10. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Free Ranging Premium Member 8 Years

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    Sunny - thanks for the suggestion. I have no idea where to find wormer for chickens, but maybe can check our local farm stores.

    Mangled - They had plenty of room to roam - if they were actually free ranging... Not sure if they were, or if they had been locked up somewhere to keep them out of the garden. We're in farm country here - down to about one house per section of land. All my chickens get tablescraps and garden leftovers. They really like the cucumbers! These guys will be let out tomorrow to freerange. I think one of the roosters is actually a hen. It has a bad leg and is smaller than others (I thought maybe it was stunted) but seemed to be getting along OK. Then today when I went out to feed them, I saw several of them trying to mount it. Would they do that to a runty rooster? I have no idea. Anyway, I took it and put it in the dog crate with feed and water. This one was in the worst shape of all. You know what it's like when you cook (or butcher) a chicken and take the breast meat off the bone? That's what there was. NO meat anywhere on the breast. I felt bone all the way down its front. It has no tail feathers for me to be able to tell that way, but the comb and wattles aren't as big or as red as the rest of them. I don't have any pics of that one. I'll just wait and see. If it's a rooster, we'll butcher it. If it's a hen I'll see if that leg heals or not and take it from there.
     

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