Why do all my birds seem thin?

Chickenkeepr

Chirping
May 5, 2015
206
12
86
Watertown, NY
Hi everyone, I'm new here
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I currently have two 1 year old Ameracauna hens, a 1 year old Red Sex Link Hen, 2 Buff Oprington pullets, 6 Golden Comet pullets, 2 Cornish X's, 3 Silkie Bantams, 1 Ameracauna pullet, and 5 Ameracauna cockerels (young roosters? lol) The Buffs, Cornish X's, Silkies and Golden Comets are around 8 weeks old, the Ameracaunas are around 6. All of them (minus the meat birds) seem thin and have for quite some time now. All except the young Ameracaunas are free range on 5 acres of mowed lawn, longer grass and brush (and the stone driveway that they like to pick grit out of it seems) during the day, and in the coop at night. They seem to like to graze on the shorter grass since there aren't too many bugs out yet. They are all getting fed Purina flock raiser with oyster shell separate for the big girls. I feed them in the evening when they go in and they always have some in the morning. The big girls did start to seem a little thin late last summer and I wormed them over the winter with a pack of Strike III from TSC and it made no difference. They were being fed free choice layer feed and fresh fruits and veggies when I could through the winter. They all laid almost daily throughout the winter (even when it was WELL below 0) and are still currently laying daily. I can feel the keel bone on all of them very prominently. Am I doing something wrong? This is only my 2nd year with chickens and I don't want to keel like a bad chicken keeper anymore! I did have a mild bout with some sort of bronchitis when they older chicks were about 3 weeks old which was cleared up with 7 days of oxytetracycline per the avian vet at Cornell University. They had probiotics and electrolytes available through the first 6 weeks. Would pictures help? If someone can tell me how to post them from my phone I will gladly get them. Any help is appreciated!
 

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
31,453
4,056
581
Southern Oregon
I can always feel the keel on my layers. They're not supposed to have big thick breasts like a meat bird. If you're concerned about adult birds, I always advise to actually weigh the bird. I'm betting they're nicely in range for their breed, especially if they're healthy appearing, active and productive.
 

Chickenkeepr

Chirping
May 5, 2015
206
12
86
Watertown, NY
They are very healthy looking and extremely active (you should see them haul butt to me when they see me outside lol). I guess I'm really more concerned about the young'ns. Maybe they just aren't as plump because they are growing so much? I expect to feel the keel bone (I'd be very concerned if they felt like my meat birds haha!) but it feels very...sharp I guess is the best way to describe it.
 

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
31,453
4,056
581
Southern Oregon
For your young birds, think of a teenage boy. My 13 year old is all angles and joints right now, no padding anywhere. He's perfectly fine, and eating a TON.
 

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