What do fat hens look like?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by suzettex5, Jun 27, 2010.

  1. suzettex5

    suzettex5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,327
    12
    163
    May 26, 2009
    California
    I was wondering, what do I look for physically in my hens for signs of being overweight? Is there a place to feel around for fat deposits, and what do they feel like on a overweight hen?

    I feed fresh fruits and veggies everyday, on top of free range and free feed in the coop. I want to be careful and not have any issues with them getting too much food.
    Does free ranging help them burn off the extra food?
     
  2. noahsgeese

    noahsgeese Border Collie

    927
    0
    129
    Nov 30, 2009
    Virginia
    I think that if you feel right under the neck than that is what they are eating or drinking and if it is big than I believe that that could be a sign of it!
     
  3. mamabigbird

    mamabigbird Chillin' With My Peeps

    760
    21
    143
    Feb 11, 2010
    Vancouver Island, B.C.,
    It sounds like you are doing all the right things for a balanced body weight. Some hens are quite fat looking while some breeds are more streamlined (racing chickens maybe?) LOL.
    I think chicken scratch can make them fat if they get more than a sprinkle a day. Fruits and veggies and exercise are as beneficial to them as it is for us. I think scratch and corn are like potato chips for us.
    "Everything in moderation ....including moderation" In other words ... clean living should be rewarded with yummy treats occassionally.
     
  4. mamabigbird

    mamabigbird Chillin' With My Peeps

    760
    21
    143
    Feb 11, 2010
    Vancouver Island, B.C.,
    Quote:Isn't that their crop? It is full when they have just eaten but would be smaller as it's digested. I don't think that would be an indication of body mass. I'm no authority though, so I could be wrong. There, how confusing is that, eh?
     
  5. Colored Egg Farmer

    Colored Egg Farmer Chicken overload

    They should be fine Everythign should be feed in moderation. I had chickens get fat on me and lost a few due to them getting egg bound. And yes free rangeing would burn off a lot more energy. Most chicken foods are balanced enough that they can be put out so they chickens can eat much as they want but still not get fat. In my case the feed company messed up on my custom feed and they gained to much weight. That problem has been fixed so far. My chickens actually had 700 pounds of food available for them at all times and they were able to eat and still not get overweight.
     
  6. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,642
    20
    229
    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    The area right under the neck is the crop. It can tell you how much they've eaten lately but is no indication of whether they are fat.

    I was given this guide by a poultry veteran months ago:

    Feel the keel bone, you know like the keel of a ship, but on your chicken, right in the middle of the breast.

    If you can pinch it with full fingers and not feel meat, your chicken is very skinny and probably sick.
    If you find cleavage there, your chicken is fat.

    Fat chickens are unlikely for free rangers.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by