Question about previously neglected hens...

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by cherndon712, Jan 10, 2008.

  1. cherndon712

    cherndon712 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 1, 2008
    WY
    I had a lady call me, asking if I'd take her chickens last night. She didn't want to take care of them. I (of course) said yes. I do it all the time with dogs and stuff!
    Anyway, I set up a pen for them to keep them separate from my chickens for a while. Set up feeders and waterers, etc.
    When she showed up and I started picking the chickens up out of the crate, I could have knocked her out! They are SOOOOO skinny, no meat at all. She said she couldn't afford feed...
    My question is, how long does it usually take to get them back to a normal weight. They're all under a year old, all hens, mostly NH...
    I was SO mad at her... [​IMG]
     
  2. bigzio

    bigzio Overrun With Chickens

    4,626
    125
    291
    Jan 20, 2007
    Wisconsin
    It depends how much additional fat you add to the diet. Treats like whole corn and sunflower seeds would speed things up. With just plenty of good layer mash or crumbles, you will notice a huge difference in just 2 to 4 weeks. Providing all they care to consume of course would be the right thing to do. Good Luck.

    bigzio
     
  3. ksacres

    ksacres At Your Service

    4,230
    10
    231
    Nov 16, 2007
    San Antonio TX
    I would put them on a grower for the higher protein and fat content. You need to be sure you provide a calcium supplement, but often layer feed doesn't contain enough fat and protein to build up what's been lost.
     
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I agree with ks, treat them like broodies who have just come off hatching eggs and not eating much for a month. Feed them grower or even unmedicated starter feed for awhile, plus maybe even chopped hardboiled eggs in addition to that. Add some plain active culture yogurt for their gut flora, organic unfiltered Apple Cider Vineger in their water, maybe 3-4 TBSP per gallon. Those girls need to boost their systems and also offer oystershell free choice since they may also be trying to lay as well. One way to get them more that they need is make a thin oatmeal, add some finely chopped fresh garlic and chopped raw pumpkin seeds, then cool it down with some buttermilk and yogurt. Mine adore that mixture and the pumpkin and buttermilk is a natural worm preventative. If they don't like garlic or yogurt, that gets them to eat it, especially if you sprinkle the chopped egg on top. Quite the concoction, I know. You could even put the grower crumble into the wet oatmeal. That oatmeal concoction could be given once every other day or so at first.
     
  5. fallenweeble

    fallenweeble Chillin' With My Peeps

    865
    3
    151
    Dec 4, 2007
    chernodon,
    thank you SO MUCH for helping these chickens!
    i would have been mad too.[​IMG]
    thank goodness they have found their way to you.
    yea![​IMG]
     
  6. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

    4,617
    20
    264
    Jan 17, 2007
    New Jersey
    Thank you ever so much for helping these poor hens. We need the angel wings emoticon from the other BYC!

    GRRRRRRR to the people that had them - chicken feed costs, well, chicken feed - I don't know how it's possible to not be able to feed them enough! And if somehow they really were beyond destitute they should have given them a good home before they were skin and bones. Okay, vent over. Sorry.

    Thank you for being so good and kind and for helping them.
    JJ
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2008
  7. mdbucks

    mdbucks Cooped Up

    1,881
    10
    171
    Jul 14, 2007
    EXIT 109 on 95
    Quote:You should have them where air exchange between the new and existing hens doesnt happen, in case there is something wrong other than not being feed enough.
    And keeep them apart for 30 days. I know its probably too late for that now since you already have them.

    Never had NH's but I assume they are about the same size as a RIR, so go ahead and hit her, but at least she admitted that she could no longer care for them and got them to someone who could(THANK YOU(from the hens)). They may not be that malnurished though, my leghorns are skinny and they eat like pigs, so part of the skinny may be due to genetics.
     
  8. cherndon712

    cherndon712 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 1, 2008
    WY
    They're eating non medicated starter with scratch. I did give them oatmeal w/ buttermilk, eggs, and scratch. They're eating constantly, drinking a ton, and seem to be loving it!
    I have NH hens, and these ladies are about 1/3 their weight on the same frame...It's scary!
    They're also on the opposite side of my property, about an acre away. They seem to be in better spirits!
     
  9. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Sounds great! They'll be fat and sassy in no time, then. Keep us posted on their progress!
     
  10. SpottedCrow

    SpottedCrow Flock Goddess

    So glad that you did a good deed. They be fat and sassy soon with all that TLC.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by