Skinny Hens

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by PuffyChick, Oct 1, 2015.

  1. PuffyChick

    PuffyChick Chirping

    Jun 7, 2012
    Hello all,

    So I have had to move to a whole new area and start my flock all over. I am in Texas now and the conditions are much hotter and drier.

    My girls in Missouri were plump..and I cannot recall ever having felt their breast bones when I held them. They felt "solid" and were happy and healthy and eggcellent layers (hehe)

    Cue Texas...I finally managed to raise up a new flock (8 girls with 1 roo) But they seem really really skinny! They are laying like crazy. Even my neighbor said they look really nice and he is amazed I am able to get them to lay at all in this heat. So I "think" I am doing all good with a 5 gallon bucket auto feeder kept full of layer crumble, a 5 gallon waterer kept full. I set out the salad left overs from making lunches or dinners daily or every other day so they get romain lettuce, cuke peelings, watermelon, apple, pear, various melons, greens, (I did a juice diet and they LOVED the pulp.

    So what gives? I did a panic worming with wazine, afraid I was about to loose them even tho NONE of them are showing ANY signs of sickness or anything. Then I read that wazine wasn't enough so I ordered and used corid. Yet they are still all SKINNY.

    I use DE and have no signs of Mites. There is a bit of bumblefoot going on but I have burs in the lower half of their "free range" coop/run area. so I do watch out for those so far so good.

    Any ideas? Help

    Thanks guys

  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Crowing

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    Perhaps you had dual purpose birds before and now have a layer bird flock. A Mediterranean type bird like Leghornnwill be very skinny compared to a Wyandotte or Plymouth Rock.
  3. PuffyChick

    PuffyChick Chirping

    Jun 7, 2012
    I knew I was forgetting to add something to my post [​IMG]

    I got the same type of birds I had had in MO.

    I Have 2 buff orpingtons
    a barred Plymouth rock
    a silver laced wyandott
    a partridge feathered americauna
    2 black Orpingtons
    a white americauna mix.
  4. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Songster

    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    Younger birds? More space to run around in? The hotter and drier strikes me as a possible factor as well. In a healthy bird you should be able to feel the keel bone. Truthfully if they are laying, running around and looking healthy other wise, I wouldn't overly worry.
  5. lovemy6hens

    lovemy6hens Songster

    Nov 4, 2013
    Central Texas
    I am curious about this too. We are also in Texas and I think our girls feel skinny. I've never held anyone else's chickens, so I don't know how the keel bone should feel.

    P.S.- Add another barred rock and two sex-links and we have exactly the same flock!
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I think heat may be a contributing factor as well and I wouldn't worry either unless they exhibit some issue other than feeling the keel bone.

    Heavier birds aren't necessarily healthy but possibly overweight. Overweight birds don't lay as well.
    Corid is only for the protozoa coccidia so if there were no symptoms of coccidiosis, then that was likely an exercise in futility.
    I'm not suggesting your chickens don't have worms because they are probably a bigger issue in TX than they are in MO just because it doesn't get that cold.
    Wazine is only for large roundworms in chickens. Chickens can have other types of worms and each has a medication that is most effective for them.
    The general symptoms of a worm infestation are a pale head, reduced laying, droopiness and depression along with weight loss and sometimes foamy diarrhea.

    The best bet before medicating is to have a fecal sample read to find out what types of worms - if any - are present and then medicate accordingly.

    Those are all cold hardy breeds. Not necessarily great in heat. A heat stressed bird will eat less.
  7. Jackschicks

    Jackschicks Chirping

    Jan 21, 2015
    Pearland, Tx
    PuffyChick, I am in Texas as well (Gulf Coast area) and I have been keeping chickens for about 5 years. I currently have a mixed flock of 20 seven month olds I raised from baby chicks. Many of the breeds I have are also cold hardy but they seem to do quite well in the heat as long as I take adequate precautions. I always feel that my chickens are "skinny" as well because I can feel their keelbones but they eat well, forage well, lay well and are active & happy. I have not been able to find a vet in my area that treats chickens but my regular vet can do fecal test for me to determine if/when they have worms and I can treat accordingly. There is some great information on BYC about deworming if you do a search. casportpony has a lot of very good info.

    My mixed hen flock is:
    2 Dominiques
    2 Buff Orpingtons
    2 Jersey Giants
    3 Langshans
    3 Americanas
    2 Welsummers
    2 Silver Grey Dorkings

    4 Roos-1 each Jersey Giant, Langshan, Welsummer, SG Dorking

    Good luck with your flock and Welcome to Texas!!

  8. PuffyChick

    PuffyChick Chirping

    Jun 7, 2012
    You all are wonderful ;) ;)

    I have read about worming quite a good bit.
    I must have misunderstood about what corid killed. I thought it was for basically EVERYTHING.
    I don't really think they have worms as their poo's are quiet solid, no noticeable works in it. no pale, droopy..loss in laying ..I have excellent layers! these girls lay amazing!

    I didn't think about the whole "cold hardy" I just went with what I love but them eating less makes total sense.

    I have one girl that stands in the sprinkler!! and another that likes to stand in their water trough. LOL

    Like I said ..spoiled rotten. Now if I could just get rid of the dang burs for bumble foot EASIER...that would be supurb!
  9. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    During hot weather (95+F) I always provide foot baths. They do wonders.

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