Why are they so small?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Burton Wyandotte 601, Nov 3, 2009.

  1. Burton Wyandotte 601

    Burton Wyandotte 601 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 24, 2009
    Georgia
    I have some silky- cochin cross chicks about 7weeks reall pretty birds. But they're not verY big at all, I've been raising chickens for about 6 years and it always seems that the chicks with the mother that live outside ,grow alot faster than my chicks with the mother inside the coop, I feed the ones inside Chick-starter first for a while, then cracked corn, oats and scratch and the occasional greens and any leftover vegies and fruits. The outside chickens eat what they find after I give them something in the morning, when I feed everyone else. I had two hatches at almost the exact same time one outside in the yard and the other my silky- cochins in their pen. And right now at about 7weeks the outside babbies are twice the size of my inside babbies and I don't know why, I've been trying to raise the breed for about 3years but I always, always end up with one or two, thin reall light birds that get sick and die. It is so frustrating! I feed them twice a day, de-wormed them and they are still sick little tiny birds, when the outside babbies are fat and extremly healthy. The inside babbies are in a huge pen with 3 different runs and three different pens about 30 feet long and 5 feet wide, they are not in anyway in unhealthy conditions, they live on hardwood floors, fresh shavings every 3-5weeks and spoiled rotten. I have other breeds too, my prized golden laced wyandottes in the other runs who cant keep babbies but lose them, while the outside chickens are having babbies and keeping them it seems like every month, While my inside chickens are still on the same tiny hatch. Any ideas???? anything would be extremly helpful Thanks!
     
  2. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    So the ones inside only get fed twice a day? Chickens, especially chicks need chick food at all times. The other thing I see is that they are being offered oats, scratch and some greens/fruit to eat? No commercial diet? From this info- my guess would be that the chicks are starving to death, or at least suffering from serious vitamin/mineral/protein deficiency. In confined raising: chicks should have access to chick start at all times, and adult should be offered flock raiser or layer feed at all times + oyster shell +/- grit. In the outside birds- they are supplementing their twice a day (what ever you are feeding them) with high protein bugs and fresh weeds/grass- and doing ok. The ones inside are likely having problems with protein deficiency, rickets, vitamin issues. They are basically on a french-fry (carbohydrate) diet. Fix the diet and likely most of your problems will disappear. Also if the inside birds get any grains- they need access to grit to grind it up with in their gizzards.
     
  3. Burton Wyandotte 601

    Burton Wyandotte 601 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 24, 2009
    Georgia
    I'm sorry I didn't add the chicks are getting, medicated chick starter any time they want it, I have it in a long tin or metal dish with holes in the lid and water all the time. The hens get layer pellets, oats, scratch, cracked corn and some greens/fruit. I thought they got oyster shell and grit when they're laying eggs, Do they need it all the time? What do you recomednd I give them as a diet? I'm sorry but what would be considered a commerical diet. I thought giving them grains, scratch, fruit and veggies was covering most of their diet.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2009
  4. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    Quote:I am guessing that the babies are eating what the mother eats rather than the starter. I would remove all other feed for the moment and feed only starter to all the birds you are concerned about. Make sure there is plenty for all of them; use two feeders if possible. Also give them vitamins to help make up for what they have not been getting. Aviacharge 2000 is very good, and they will love it. Added to their drinking water it makes it kind of chocolate coloured.

    Grit is required for birds to process anything that will not dissolve on its own in the digestive system. Most commercial feeds do not need grit, but any grains or grass definitely require it for digestion. Oyster shell is an entirely different thing as it dissolves in the digestive system, and provides calcium. Oyster shell while laying is appropriate, but grit should be available at all times to birds eating anything other than commercial food.

    Okay, you asked what commercial food is; layer rations, flock rations, gamebird feed. There are also starter, grower and starter/grower rations. Any of these come in mash (powder), crumbles (like grape nuts) and pellets. Scratch and cracked corn are like candy, taste good, but not very nutritious. Oats are better, but are still not close to a complete feed.

    Chicks should be on starter, grower or starter/grower until they lay; with that cross you are looking at about 6 months.

    The birds outside are growing better because they have had access to bugs and worms and all sorts of vegetation and seeds and maybe even dog or cat food and perhaps a tasty mouse of two and .....

    One other question. Are the outside chicks also silkieXcochin? And for both are the cochin bantams or large fowl? Bantam chicks are considerably smaller than large fowl chicks. Crosses would be in between.
     
  5. Burton Wyandotte 601

    Burton Wyandotte 601 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 24, 2009
    Georgia
    Thank You so much for the help!!! I have two different mothers outside one is also cochin-silkie-cross and the others are Buff orpington and buckeye cross. And your right about the babies eating what the mother eats, how long should I give them the Aviacharge 2000? and where can I get the grit, I've been getting all their feed at the feed store, the oats, scratch, cracked corn, and the laying pellets, is'nt that commercial feed? And thanks for answering all my questions!!

    What do you reccomend I feed them as a complete diet? And the chickens are blue splash and black cochin Bantams and the silkies are white and blue splash all feather footed . They make very pretty birds!
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2009
  6. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    As to the oats and scratch etc being commercial feed, no. Well, it's sold commercially, but it's not all processed, crushed, ground, get vitamins and minerals added to it, then dried and formed into pelets or crumbles. THATs the stuff we mean when we talk about commercial feed.

    The rest is whole grains, or slightly cracked corn sometimes. They need grit if they are eating whole grains, but the pellets or crumbles just sort of dissolve and get digested without needing grit. Also, if they get outside to eat grass, bugs, seeds and such, then yes, the need grit for that too!

    It won't hurt for the mamas to eat the chick starter, what I do is make either a low box with holes that the hens cannot get into and put the chick feed in that, they figure out that if they go in there the big hens don't chase them away and they can get to it more. make it with slatted boards so there's light etc, or you can make an A frame too that the big girls can't get into... You don't want the other layers to eat the chick starter if it's medicated. Moms probably aren't laying much yet so you can just dispose of those eggs.

    Hope that helps.
     
  7. Burton Wyandotte 601

    Burton Wyandotte 601 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 24, 2009
    Georgia
    Thanks for the explanation on the commercial feed I understand what it is now!! That helped alot! I'll have to make that box for the chicks I think it will help alot, so when I go to the feed store just ask for commercial feed? laying pellets and laying mash is all that I know of that would be commercial feed, what else is there, that I can get for them thats commercial and full of vitamins and all the good stuff?

    And with the grit do I just add it to the feed or have it in a separate pan?
    And again thanks for all the help to everyone!
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2009
  8. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Starter crumbles - for chicks
    Grower crumbles or pellets - for teenagers
    Layer crumbles or pellets - for laying hens
    Flock raiser for - mixed flocks that have ducks and geese and chickens all mixed together.

    If you are feeding flock raiser, it's extra important to provide extra calcium in the form of free choice oyster shell.

    For now the starter crumbles will be good, and you can usually get it in small quantities too.

    You can feed grit either way, but usually best to just provide a pan or container somewhere so they can eat when they need it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2009
  9. ROEBUCKS

    ROEBUCKS New Egg

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    Feb 19, 2009
    Tyler, Texas
    Quote:Why not feed the medicated to layers? I have 12 BO hens and 9 are laying now, they are 26 weeks old. I am still feeding them 20% protien starter/grower that's medicated! Am I screwing them up? I have them just to get eggs to eat, not hatching any at this time.
    Thanx, Gary G
     
  10. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    The only reason not to feed medicated is if the medicated contains sulmet or a sulfa based drug that some people are allergic to, as it can be passed into the eggs. If you are not allergic, or if it contains amprolium based medication, don't worry about it. Just switch over on the next bag since they don't need it and should have their immunities by now.

    To the OP, probably need to give a chick starter and nothing else to them so they can get a balanced diet and grow. Too much treats and plain grains won't give them all they need for fast growth. The outside mom is probably finding the things to supplement their diet, which inside mom can't do.
     

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