Question Regarding Breast Bone of hens & To worm or not?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by HennysMom, Apr 6, 2009.

  1. HennysMom

    HennysMom Keeper of the Tiara

    Okay - so I inspect my hens all the time for mites, lice, diseases in general. Yesterday we had a roofer over who was power washing the roof and it scared the living daylights out of the girls, so we had to move them to another location. When I picked them up, I got to noticing that SOME of them (probably 3 out of 6) had a bonier breast bone than the others. [​IMG] My question is... is that normal? Should I actually FEEL their breast bone like that?

    I guess I'm so used to seeing what a "cooked store bought" chicken looks like (think oven stuffer roaster) - than what an actual live chicken looks like, so I dont know. [​IMG] Even the other 3 that arent as bony in the breast area, I can feel their breast bone, but its not as prominent. They always act like they're hungry, but they have access to their feed 24/7, they also get treats as well and veggies (but not daily - like every other day) because I dont want them to become dependent upon treats and not eat their feed. Scratch is available as well and gets mixed into their feed (1/4 scratch to 3/4 thier feed portion).

    So - ...normal or not? How much should a hen weigh? They were a year old last month and I think they're pretty healthy, havent seen any worms or anything, but now that I've been reading about worms on here and everything [​IMG] now I want to treat them since they always act hungry all the time. Never have I seen a worm in their stools though and I look all the time.

    I dont think I'll ever eat an egg again after looking through posts with worms now... OMG... *trying not to gag here*. Took me FOREVER to eat a farm fresh egg as it was - now I looked through those and ewwwwwwwwww....

    Okay -Should I worm them just in case and if so - WHAT wormer? I use DE and ACV but..... I'm so conflicted now. And OTC dewormers, there are SO many out there. My girls lay daily - so how long before you can eat eggs after worming- whats the effects? So many people say different things and say "use this product over that one" some say you can never eat the eggs again if you use a commercial wormer - others say "yes you can.." then again... if you COULD eat them, why would it state on the bottle "not for use in chickens?" OMG... [​IMG]

    Pumpkin seeds - I see "use raw" "use dried" - then for both - its "grind them up"... ARGH!!

    No wonder I'm confused. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2009
  2. Mesa

    Mesa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'll be watching this thread to see what everyone says. I have the exact same questions as you, and I've been searching these forums all stinkin day.
     
  3. HennysMom

    HennysMom Keeper of the Tiara

    I've searched too before I posted this.. and I didnt get a difinitive answer so... post away LOL


    [​IMG] anyone?? *tap tap* this thing on? [​IMG]
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Yup, you can normally feel the breastbone. If you ever eat one of them you will see that the carcass is really not at all like a supermarket CornishX chicken -- more like a Groucho Marx style rubber chicken, you know?

    As for some being more prominent than others, it depends by how much; could be a sign of some being thin (or others fat) but could just be variation in individual build.

    How much should a hen weigh?

    I'd suggest looking up what the Standard weights for their breed is, subtract a little for their being still a bit young, and subtract a bit more if they're a heavy breed because when the Standard emphasizes big size the actual chickens may not all be quite that big especially if they're hatchery stock.

    If you're worried about worms, find a vet who'll do a fecal float on them. As long as you mix a representative selection of poo's, it will provide you with a fairly realistic picture of the chickens' likely worm load. I wouldn't personally worm without either a) recognizeable symptoms or b) other strong reason to expect worm infestation, e.g. having had problems with chickens in that run before.

    Good luck, have fun, take a deep breath [​IMG],

    Pat​
     
  5. Mesa

    Mesa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    bumping for more info...
     
  6. HennysMom

    HennysMom Keeper of the Tiara

    Quote:Yup, you can normally feel the breastbone. If you ever eat one of them you will see that the carcass is really not at all like a supermarket CornishX chicken -- more like a Groucho Marx style rubber chicken, you know?

    As for some being more prominent than others, it depends by how much; could be a sign of some being thin (or others fat) but could just be variation in individual build.

    How much should a hen weigh?

    I'd suggest looking up what the Standard weights for their breed is, subtract a little for their being still a bit young, and subtract a bit more if they're a heavy breed because when the Standard emphasizes big size the actual chickens may not all be quite that big especially if they're hatchery stock.

    If you're worried about worms, find a vet who'll do a fecal float on them. As long as you mix a representative selection of poo's, it will provide you with a fairly realistic picture of the chickens' likely worm load. I wouldn't personally worm without either a) recognizeable symptoms or b) other strong reason to expect worm infestation, e.g. having had problems with chickens in that run before.

    Good luck, have fun, take a deep breath [​IMG],

    Pat​

    *deep breath* [​IMG]

    Thanks Pat... *whew & an exhale*

    They are Red Stars (so a heavier breed) - and they all look healthy to me - from head to toe and everywhere in between *snickering* (yes I peek at places I probably shouldnt [​IMG] and my DH thinks I'm strange for doing so) - no signs of anything that I can see, so thats good. I'd say they all weigh in at a few pounds, but they definately vary from one bird to the next, some are the same, others not so much and one in particular (the "queen of the flock") weighs the most. Oddly enough, she was the smallest of the flock and we named her Runt - go figure eh? [​IMG]

    I'll double check the breast bone thing today, was raining yesterday so I couldnt really sit out and inspect each one as carefully as I needed to.

    Fecal float - normal vet can do that or does it need to be an avian vet?
     
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:I believe a red sexlink hen should be in the 4-5 lb range (?) if you have an (accurate) scale you could weigh them on.

    from head to toe and everywhere in between *snickering* (yes I peek at places I probably shouldnt [​IMG] and my DH thinks I'm strange for doing so)

    I dunno, I check vents anytime I catch them on the roost with sufficient light available, and take a look down there any time I'm holding a chicken for any other reason, because "there" is where some of the most common significant problems will manifest themselves -- prolapse (present or recent), mites, weird looking poo smeared around vent.

    Tell your DH that for a critter that uses That Region as much as a hen does, you *gotta* keep an eye on it [​IMG]

    Fecal float - normal vet can do that or does it need to be an avian vet?

    A normal vet can do it; however, it seems like a lot of vets won't do it without examining the animal in the office (ka-ching) unless you have an ongoing client relationship with them, so hopefully you have dogs or cats or horses or something and can try *that* vet. All you gotta do, once you find someone to agree, is bring in some fresh poo in a baggie.

    Good luck, have fun (er, not necessarily with the poo-in-a-baggie part [​IMG]),

    Pat​
     
  8. HennysMom

    HennysMom Keeper of the Tiara

    patandchickens:I believe a red sexlink hen should be in the 4-5 lb range (?) if you have an (accurate) scale you could weigh them on

    I tried that once by myself and.. [​IMG] NOT! So will try to weigh them once DH gets home and can help me. [​IMG]


    "Tell your DH that for a critter that uses That Region as much as a hen does, you *gotta* keep an eye on it "

    I feel so perverted [​IMG] and some regions just should not be looked at this often Pat... [​IMG] (thank god I'm not a chicken) LMAO!!!!


    "...unless you have an ongoing client relationship with them, so hopefully you have dogs or cats or horses or something and can try *that* vet. All you gotta do, once you find someone to agree, is bring in some fresh poo in a baggie."

    will have to find one - as our dog died last May and we really didnt develop a relationship with the vet out here. She was kinda nasty [​IMG] Will call around this afternoon..

    thanks for the tips and advice [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2009
  9. ChickenerMan

    ChickenerMan Out Of The Brooder

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    Just wondering what happened the same thing is happening to me at the moment.[​IMG]
     
  10. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    I agree about having a fecal sample run; call around to find a veterinarian who will help you. Worms happen unless the birds never hit the ground or eat out there. I didn't bother with worming for years, but then had a neighbor who lost birds to a heavy parasite load. Not good! I've had chickens here for over twenty years, and now they get Ivermectin once a year. I also had a disaster with fowl mites, so I use a product that kills them also. The only approved chicken wormer in the US is piprazine. which kills some roundworms only. Poultry dust (permethryn?) kills external parasites and is also approved for use. I hate dusting chickens, myself; once was enough! I don't use eggs for a week after using Ivermectin; seems good to me, there's no official withholding time. Mary
     

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