Suggestions ANYONE!!


8 Years
Apr 22, 2011
Just a chickens wont eat just anything. They seem to be a little sluggish lately. I have 3 sets. One set is 4 hens that range from 3 to 2 years old. The second set is probably 2 months or so. The third set are like a month or so. The middle set is fine wild and crazy. My first set is fine except of Petunia. I recently lost our sweet rooster which was her man. She loved him very much. She is loosing feathers so I am assuming that she is molting a little or could she be depressed? She is a little sluggish. My 3 set I noticed to day one of them is acting a little sluggish. They free range 90% of the time. I feed them scratch. They do like grapes, shredded cheese, dry oats. My rooster had a respritory infection. Then I had one of the middles set pass away also im not sure what was wrong with her. I noticed she had been moving real slow for about 3 weeks maybe. I didn't really know she was sick I guess I thought she was just a little slower than the rest. My question is this. Is there certain foods that I need to be feeding them? I have electrolytes in the water. Could it be the change of the weather that they are a little sluggish. I am really worried since I have had 2 deaths recently.
If you've got something going through your flock, it can incubate for 2 weeks before any of the chickens come down with it. It could be they are coming down with something. it could be the crazy heat. Chickens prefer a nice crisp day. I would cut out any scratch this time of year. The high CHO generates heat in the digestion process. Gives them fruits and vegetables to help get more water into them and keep them cool. Make sure your electrolyte blend has minimal added salt. On the surface the diet looks very unbalanced. Heavy on the treats. About how much food do you provide a day (weight wise or measurement)?
The 2 & 1 months olds need some sort of starter/grower feed for sure. If all you are feeding is fruits & scratch, they are probably not getting what they need. Are the oldest ones laying at all? How big of an area do they free range on? Sounds like you may have a disease problem & a lack of proper feed. Free ranging in a yard might not cut it for a bunch of chickens, they need feed.
I kinda thought they needed more of a balanced diet but, they wont eat just anything. So, I didn't really know what kind of diet to put together for them. They have a HUGE area to free range. They have our big yard woods and a pasture to. The 4 oldest ones there is one that is laying. The other 3 haven't even layed this summer that I know of maybe once or twice.
I hate to say it but it sounds like a disease. That sluggishness doesn’t sound right at all (real big red flag), you’ve lost some, and they may not be laying. You might look through this for symptoms to try to figure it out.

Disease by Symptoms
http://www.apa-abayouthpoultryclub.... SYMPTOMS FOR DIAGNOSING POULTRY DISEASES.pdf

I also suggest you find out about getting one autopsied if another one dies. Contact your county extension agent now to see what is involved, cost, how to go about it, and how the body needs to be handled. The county extension office should be in the phone book under county government. In some states the cost is very cheap. In some it can get expensive. It’s something some states do real cheap to protect the poultry industry.

If they are free ranging with the quality of forage you described, woods and pasture, I very much doubt diet is a problem. That sounds like chicken heaven. That’s pretty much how small farmers have raised chickens for thousands of years. If they were foraging on a manicured urban yard, yeah, the variety they need is not there. But they are not on a manicured urban lawn.

Are you sure those older hens are not hiding a nest n you?
no Rosey my Buff Orpington goes to the nest and sits a little while but, hasn't laid yet. Petunia is the sluggish acting one not real bad. I have noticed she is losing some feathers so I just thought she was molting a little. That's how mine do they molt a little but haven't lost all their feathers before. I thought she may be sluggish cause the molting.
maybe I should tell what kind my littlest ones are. they are easter eggers. one of them is acting sluggish still drinks a lot and eats just not as peppy as usual. also, runny poop. he acts like his head is bothering him. by saying that I mean it looks like he kinda wants to hold it down a little and he is letting me hold him to which he usually is hard to catch. he still tried to get away but I can catch him a whole lot easier. I didn't know if them being such a big breed that it could effect their brain growth.

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