Underweight chicken

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rick
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Underweight chicken

Post by rick » Mon Nov 06, 2017 10:54 pm

I wondered if you all had any thoughts on this problem that I've been having with Bonnie the Orpington:

At the end of June Bonnie was 3.4kg. I can't remember exactly when it started but it was some time after we returned from holiday in August that she started leaving rather wet dropping on the poop mat overnight. It coincided with them all starting their moult.
I was shocked to find that she was 2.3kg before last weekend. I thought she had lost some weight but not that much. It came around 4 months since the last worming and the pullets have passed 17 weeks so I wormed them all but through that there was no change in the looseness of the poops.
Went to the vet on Sunday and she ruled out Marek's (which obviously she wouldn't have survived for all this time)
Possibly kidneys but seemed unlikely, again ongoing for too long
Possibly diet - they have been on growers and then 50/50 growers and layers pellets as the pullets have got older. I've ordered a new sack of layers as the pullets are not at POL but are 20 weeks now.
Have looked at poop under the microscope - nothing.
The vet said that it may be an excess of protein - but they have been moulting and only Bonnie has had this ongoing thing. She seems well in all other regards. Has been very apposed to being picked up but I put that down to the moult. Her keel is way too sharp for an Orpington.
She is eating and drinking but it does appear that the food is going through without being digested.
Linden is his absolutely reliable 1kg (you could use that bird as a standard measure!) (sablepoot bantam cock)
Aerial is a very comfortable 2.4kg (blacktail)
It's just Bonnie.
Can't catch the CLBs to weigh them in the daylight but they are as big as Aerial now.
... her crop isn't full - i fact she never seems to have much in it although she is second in the pecking order and gets stuck in. This all coincided also with stopping laying but then it's Autumn and she moulted so I put it down to that and being a pure bred though young at roughly just under a year old I think - maybe 9 months?
There does seem to have been a lot of feather cases in the poop and the pullets have been shedding them like snow. I'm exhausting the evidence now!
Unfortunately she did undergo some stress before I introduced two main perches - Aerial was not a good perch mate but is now queen of the top perch and Bonnie seems to be boss of the lower one with the CLBs and Linden (who would happily share the top with Aerial in the general scheme but isn't very nimble for the jump with his feathered feet.) Bonnie's pecked patches, mostly the fault of Aerial) have gone now.
valeriebutterley
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Re: Underweight chicken

Post by valeriebutterley » Tue Nov 07, 2017 8:33 am

Hello Rick, sorry to hear abut Bonnie.

My Croad girls are all v. large but do differ in size and weight, but not to feeling a prominent keel bone. For lack of any other suggestion have you considered changing their make of pellets you give them? Also, mine tear greens to pieces as if their life depended on it, their pellets are Allen & Page. They seem to do very well on them overall. I also give them not PC Hovis Granary a couple of times a week, which they seem to positively whimper for, as soon as I appear at the back door with the plastic bag, they nearly bring the run down!!!!

Hope she gets better very soon.
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Re: Underweight chicken

Post by rick » Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:43 pm

Thanks Val,
They usually have Smallholder layers pellets and that is what I'm going back to as soon as it arrives. The growers pellets are Dodson and Horrell (I nearly said Russell and Dorrel then!) which seem fine generally.
They have about 1/2 a small cabbage a day which they are all mad for.
Before I caged over the whole run my neighbour used to throw in the odd round of bread through the gap at the top. A couple of rounds between them never seemed to do any harm - bit of a waste-line booster but somehow I have to get to the bottom of this runny poop thing that's going on as i don't think she is digestivly making the most of anything she eats at the moment.
Maybe some granary with a sprinkle of Avipro will get her going again - I'll give it a try.
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Re: Underweight chicken

Post by dinosaw » Tue Nov 07, 2017 7:57 pm

You bet me to it but I was going to say Rick, have a go at improving the gut flora with Avipro/Beryls/Flightpath, not sure there is really a lot more you can do. My brother in law told me about flightpath, which is the same product as Avipro avian but bundled up for pigeons at half the price of what they charge for Beryls. Apparently a 50 pigeon sachet is equivalent to 12 chickens worth.
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Re: Underweight chicken

Post by Minorcafan » Tue Nov 07, 2017 8:44 pm

dinosaw wrote:You bet me to it but I was going to say Rick, have a go at improving the gut flora with Avipro/Beryls/Flightpath, not sure there is really a lot more you can do. My brother in law told me about flightpath, which is the same product as Avipro avian but bundled up for pigeons at half the price of what they charge for Beryls. Apparently a 50 pigeon sachet is equivalent to 12 chickens worth.
That is good to know :-)17
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rick
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Re: Underweight chicken

Post by rick » Tue Nov 07, 2017 11:54 pm

It always puzzled me why there seemed to be a factor of 10 between the amount of Avipro to use in water and on food (roughly 10 times more in water.) I thought it was a decimal place typo. Making a bit more sense now, thinking about it, as I suppose that on food it is much more directly associated with digestion of the food it is on. Maybe.
To mix 2 litres of drinking water was getting on for a third of a pot (10 scoops) so I was cheap skating with a single scoop (much nearer the pinch per kg of bird for the day) and it clearly hasn't been working for Bonnie - if that is the problem.
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Re: Underweight chicken

Post by rick » Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:13 pm

Bonnie appears to be regaining weight a little since going back on a deep layer of Auboise. Poop is firmer though still quite porridge like. Does 2.7 to 3.6kg seem a normal weight range for an Orpington? Bonnie is currently 2.3, up from 2.1.

They all seem happier and more active now the Aubiose is back.

Next up on the stating the blooming obvious show... The AMAZING egg laying chicken!!!
(last call Lulu - on in 5)
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Re: Underweight chicken

Post by valeriebutterley » Sun Nov 19, 2017 5:57 pm

I agree and think they have to be overall happy with everything to thrive.

None of mine are really laying at the moment, but I did have three Croad eggs, today though.

Every one else is having a quiet moult, the Croads are playing up because they hate the new roomy and uber expensive hut. The run division/extension is built, but they still want the tiny hut that ideally houses 4 girls, that they loved and used. It is still in the extension bit and this morning 5 Croads and 4 very fast growing Rhode Islands poured out of it all chattering excitedly that they had manaed to get away with it for yet an other night!!!!!

The heat they generate must also be attractive for them.
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Re: Underweight chicken

Post by rick » Mon Nov 20, 2017 10:37 am

They are probably gossiping about the posh new house that has sprung up over the way and how the owners don't seem bothered to actually live in it!
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Re: Underweight chicken

Post by rick » Wed Nov 22, 2017 4:42 pm

Bonnie has peritonitis! The vet extracted a very small amount of gritty fluid (there wasn't much to extract) from her body cavity (there shouldn't be any at all) and measured a very high temperature (off his thermometer scale!) I'm glad to know what it is but surprised that she seems to have had the same problem for at least 2 months and has soldered on with it.
She has antibiotic pills to take which she gobbled down even when they fell out of the bit of cheese.
Whether it is related to eggs (i.e. egg peritonitis) is unclear. Apparently it can also be related to a growth (though nothing obvious) or a stomach rupture (though that would have killed her very quickly.)
Very proud of her for keeping on going with little to show for it but a steady loss in weight. Fingers crossed

Just realised that medical thermometers go out of range at 43 deg C which is exactly the upper daytime body temp for a chicken (40.6 to 43.0) so she somewhere above 43.
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