Skinny chicken. What do I do?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by UkuleleLady, Oct 5, 2014.

  1. UkuleleLady

    UkuleleLady Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok so my new chicken took an extended dust bath yesterday and I posted about it, was advised to check her for lice or mites. I managed to round her up and put her on her back and lo and behold she did calm down. Magic! I couldn't see anything but I'm new at this so I dusted her with permethrin anyway, but I noticed that she is really skinny. I can feel her breastbone. I don't think I'm supposed to feel that. I've never felt that on Precious. Now I'm worried. I didn't think she was eating very much. It turns out I'm feeding her the same thing that her prior owner was feeding her so I'm not sure why she doesn't seem to like it. Any tried-and-true chicken foods besides corn that'll put some weight on her fast?
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2014
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    You don't want fat, you want muscle. Corn will put fat on her. It takes protein for muscle. There is however, probably something else going on. It could be worms. If you can find a vet to read a fecal sample, that would be the way to go.
    You said you are feeding the same thing she was fed before but you didn't say what that was.
     
  3. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

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    Can you isolate her in sick bay til you can determine if there is illness?

    Try hand feeding mealy worms, cooked eggs.

    You stated this is your new Chicken? How long have you had her? How old is she? Can you question the folks you got her from about her past behavior and if they have had any problems in the source flock? Are combs/wattles pale? Are you sure she has been able to access food without pecking order interference? Can you observe her poops? Agree with rec: to try get poop evaluated.
     
  4. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    I simply deworm all new birds while they are still in quarantine so I know that base is covered. Unless I know the person I got them from very well and can trust them in regards to their worming program. Better then having a new bird that's full of worms shedding ton's of parasite eggs for your other birds to pick up. There are certainly many other things that can cause loss of weight but start with the most common problems first and go from there.
     
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  5. UkuleleLady

    UkuleleLady Out Of The Brooder

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    I had almost forgotten that I bought mealworms at the pet store yesterday. I fed her some of those and she loves them. Yay! I also made her scrambled egg which she devoured promptly. I don't know how you worm A chicken, but I would be happy to do that. It sounds like a good idea. She is in quarantine and I do have a small area of the yard fenced off on the other side of the yard from where my other chicken lives so that she can run around a little bit. My other chicken will not have access to this area until the quarantine is over.
    i'm not sure how old the new chicken is. She doesn't really have much of a comb yet. She is getting layena Feed mixed with scratch, but she just hasn't been eating very much. I have only had her for three days.
     
  6. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

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    She may have nothing medically wrong. She may have had poor nutrition or been bumped off feeding by pecking order where she came from. Since she is devouring good healthy treats that's a great sign. I would just continue what you are doing, TLC goes a long way. Change her feed to just the regular feed without the scratch. Feeds are meant to be complete and you don't want to dilute the vitamins. Could you post a picture of her…to get estimate of her age? If under 18 weeks she should still be on a grower higher protein feed with less calcium.
     
  7. UkuleleLady

    UkuleleLady Out Of The Brooder

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    oh and re her poop. there has not been much but i didn't see anything wormy looking in it. here are some pics of her.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  8. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    You can deworm her with Valbazen or liquid Safeguard for goats. GIve 1/2 cc with a small, needless syringe and repeat the dose in 10 days.

    I would stop mixing the scratch with the layer feed. She's going to only pick out the scratch and leave the pellets and you really want her eating the most nutritious food right now. I'd only toss out a little scratch as a treat once a day, a handful is plenty. The scrambled egg and meal worms are great treats as well to boost her protein a bit. Does she have grit as well?

    Something else to keep in mind when she moves out with your other chicken is coccidiosis. She may be exposed to strains of cocci at your place that are new to her and put her at risk. Good idea to keep Corid on hand just in case. Same for your other hen, this new bird can bring along strains of cocci that are new to her as well. Just need to keep an eye on them both the first few weeks when you put them out together.

    Edited to add: She looks pretty good in those pic's! Nice bird. She looks nice and bright eyed and alert. Sometimes the stress of moving to a new home can put them off their feed a bit. She may just need time to settle in and get some good food into her.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2014
  9. UkuleleLady

    UkuleleLady Out Of The Brooder

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    i have a feeling she was getting picked on in her previous home. she is missing a lot of tail feathers and some of them look raggedy at the ends. the woman i got her from bought a dozen chicks because she was told that half wouldn't make it. all made it and she is only allowed to have 6 she already sold 4 before his one. at least thats why she said she was selling her.
     
  10. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

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    Beautiful chicken. My guess would be 15-16 weeks old if that's a single comb (and not pea, but looks single with tiny spikes starting). She is nearing maturity. You could post pic on Breed/Gender forum and ask what breed and age to get more input. But does look like a pullet to me.

    Consider a small bag of starter feed for a couple of weeks. Won't hurt even if she is older than my guess.

    Few poops 'cause wasn't eating. Just keep inspecting them. Seems that most flock owners often advise worming instead of investigation, but I personally would not unless you find proof, but thats my opinion. Especially in view of her apparent good appetite. Your original concern was dust bathing too long and glad her action led you to discover she needed more nutrition. Maybe all is just "nerves" and she'll turn out to be your favorite new buddy.

    Nice sick bay. I bought a cage like that to try to break a broody, but have not had the heart to confine her. Put it in storage in case I do need to isolate one.
     

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