Skinny chickens

carolthom

Chirping
5 Years
Mar 3, 2014
50
3
79
I posted a thread today about a hen of ours acting drunk. When I was checking her over I noticed that her crop was empty and that alarmed me. So I got her some eggs and feed, she ate 4 1/2 eggs and some feed through the day today. It was the beginning of the day so she may not have had time to eat much when I got to her. That got me to checking everyone's crop this evening. All of them had full crops, as they always do when I check, but they are all really boney. They were hatched at the beginning of March, so they are right at 6 months old. They are all dual purpose breeds so I would think they should have some meat on them. Their breastbones are sticking out and I can't really feel much meat on them at all. They are free range and have access to 2 acres plus I keep a feeder full of feed at all times. We killed 2 buff roosters when they were right at 5 months old. When they were fully dressed with no bones they gave us about 2 pounds of meat. Would that be underweight? What should I be doing extra?
 

seminolewind

Flock Mistress
Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Sep 6, 2007
18,684
4,107
762
Corydon, Indiana
They may need to be wormed. You could check them for lice and mites. I know someone told me once that free range birds will always be thinner than those kept in a pen. Mine are like that, and they have feed available all the time. I also think they make feed for chickens that will be processed. It may put more weight on it (if they are not on it now).
 

carolthom

Chirping
5 Years
Mar 3, 2014
50
3
79
I've checked them for mites and lice and they don't have any. I don't feed them regular feed, I feed them a mixture I make for my goats, plus I add peas for a little extra protein. It has oats, barley, BOSS and wheat bran in it. They mostly eat the BOSS out of it but they will eat it all.
 

carolthom

Chirping
5 Years
Mar 3, 2014
50
3
79
They eat more than the BOSS, they just favor it. I gave her some of our goat's milk last night and by morning she had drank about a cup. She doesn't seem that hungry this morning but I figure since she ate so good yesterday and drank all that milk she may not be hungry. She feels like she has a fever, her legs and feet are hot. I was going to give her antibiotics, but I read that you couldn't use their eggs ever again if you give it to them. So, I started her on colloidal silver. I know some people don't like that but it's what I'm most comfortable with giving her right now.
 

cafarmgirl

Crowing
10 Years
Mar 24, 2009
5,521
610
327
California, central valley
They eat more than the BOSS, they just favor it. I gave her some of our goat's milk last night and by morning she had drank about a cup. She doesn't seem that hungry this morning but I figure since she ate so good yesterday and drank all that milk she may not be hungry. She feels like she has a fever, her legs and feet are hot. I was going to give her antibiotics, but I read that you couldn't use their eggs ever again if you give it to them. So, I started her on colloidal silver. I know some people don't like that but it's what I'm most comfortable with giving her right now.

The withdrawal time on eggs depends on what antibiotic you give them. As far as I know it is only Baytril that it is recommended not to use eggs or meat from a treated bird, ever, due to the possibility of Cipro resistent camphylobactor. Other antibiotic's have a specific withdrawal period after which it's safe to eat the eggs/meat.

It would be a very good idea to deworm them and they would likely benefit from a good commercial layer feed as well to make sure they are getting balanced nutrition as well as the right amounts of vitamins and minerals.
 

carolthom

Chirping
5 Years
Mar 3, 2014
50
3
79
Thanks for the info. I found some organic chicken food that I am going to put them on. She is still alert and eating well. Whatever it is, she's not getting any worse. I gave her 3 doses of CS yesterday, so hopefully she will be improved today.
 

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