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Out-of-lay hen

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Out-of-lay hen

Post  Yorky on Sat Feb 27, 2010 5:09 pm

I've got two out-of-lay hens, one very healthy looking and (hopefully) will be back in lay soon. The other is going through a moult, looks scrawny, thin, its pelvis is virtually closed and its feather shafts are black.

Can anyone offer any advice on this?

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Re: Out-of-lay hen

Post  cheekychook on Sun Feb 28, 2010 12:34 pm

Hi Yorky!

A lot of energy is required when hens moult and sometimes they can lose weight. The cold weather probably isn't helping either!

To help them along, put them on a higher fat and high protein diet temporarily. They require protein to produce the new feathers and fat for the extra energy. Include corn in their diet or if you feel they are dangerously underweight try a product called Nurish UM. It's designed for dogs (there's a cat version but it contains a chemical which can be harmful to chickens) and is given when they are overcoming illness or surgery. It's high calorie and packed full of nutrients. Just add a pea sized blob to the feed or smear on the inside of the hens beak. In the past I brought back to health a couple of my hens who were knocking at chicken heavens door using this product. It can be ordered online as I've not really seen it in any pet shops. For protein some people scramble eggs or if you don't feel comfortable with this then you can grind some peanuts (the ones for wild birds) and add it to the feed. Mealworms are also a good source of protein too and you can buy them live or dried online.

You can also but feather conditioners online which help hens through their moult.

Keep us posted on how your chook gets on. You could always buy something from this site to keep your chook warm: Clothing for Chickens lol!

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