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Greedy Hen

 
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I got three hens in November, two Black Australorps and a Golden Wyandotte. I noticed at the time that the GW always had a really big crop--it flattens during the night, no problem, but I think she probably eats double what the other birds do. Not usually a problem, as they free range, so the others don't seem to be at a disadvantage. They're laying normally and very active.

Last week I moved their feed out of the coop. I can now see what happens. I feed them in the morning and the others will eat a little, then move out. The GW finishes everything left in the pan and then goes out to forage.

She will eat all treats as well, if given a chance. I'm trying to figure out how to solve this problem. A friend of mine says he lets his free range and then gives them feed when they come back to the coop.

I'm wondering about weaning them off morning feed and providing food later in the day, or feeding twice a day and smaller amounts?

Are there other possibilities?
 
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I had a white leghorn who was like that;  she was constantly on the lookout for food, almost like a dog.  She laid an egg almost every day of the year, even in winter so I figured she was just hungry all the time to keep up the production.  
 
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I use multiple feeding points. Space them far enough apart that the greedy bird can't block them with her body.

If it gets really bad, you might need to figure out a way to separate her from the flock at feeding time. Or look into adapting one of those electric pet dishes that use tags on the animal so they only open for specific individuals.

I had Columbian Wyandottes that ate like that. Both ate themselves to death. Literally. If I had know they could do that, I would have added it to my list of traits to cull, and harvested them as meat birds a month before.
 
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Sounds like what I was going to say .. it is a breed thing.

Maybe it has to do with how the original breed came about.

If it were my chicken I wouldn't worry about this unless the hen is especially too fat.

Then feedings would need to be withheld somehow.
 
Lauren Ritz
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Thanks.

She doesn't appear to be any fatter than the others, and she doesn't push them out of the way. That was one thing I was concerned about, but one of the Australorps is most definitely top of the pecking order. The GW just stays longer and finishes the food the others leave. Her crop is always at least twice the size of the others' by the end of the day.
 
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Hi, have you checked her poop. Wonder, since the birds are new...she may possibly have worms.
Could be a breed thing too. Some breeds are heavier than others.

We don't deworm our chickens, but I have heard of worms being an issue, overeating and animals not gaining weight.

We provide herbs and garlic throughout the warm months. Hoping we don't get into a parasite situation.
 
Lauren Ritz
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Sena Kassim wrote:Hi, have you checked her poop. Wonder, since the birds are new...she may possibly have worms.
Could be a breed thing too. Some breeds are heavier than others.

We don't deworm our chickens, but I have heard of worms being an issue, overeating and animals not gaining weight.

We provide herbs and garlic throughout the warm months. Hoping we don't get into a parasite situation.

Poop appears normal as far as I can tell (I'm not very experienced) but certainly doesn't appear to have any visible parasites. The friend I got them from said they were wormed about a month before, and treated for external parasites as well.
 
Sena Kassim
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The poop would look runny or not normal bloobs haha.

Maybe it's just a breed thing. I think the GWs are considered a dual purpose too
 
Lauren Ritz
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Sena Kassim wrote:Maybe it's just a breed thing. I think the GWs are considered a dual purpose too

Yes, they are a dual purpose breed.
 
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