by Helen

My one hen is less than a year old but appears to be really overweight. Am I over feeding her? She always appears hungry. Her breast are huge and seem to sway from the weight she is caring. How much feed should you give a hen.

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by: Sharon

Do you just have one hen? What breed is she?

Chickens normally eat on and off all day long, and usually don't over eat. If you only have one chicken, you could certainly limit how much she eats.

When you say her breast area is swaying, I wonder if this is her crop. If she is over eating, her crop can get very stretched out. This can cause the bottom of the crop to be too extended and have trouble emptying completely every night. When a crop doesn't empty each night, yeasts can flourish and cause gasses to build in the crop. Too much yeast is counter productive to good digestion.

Is this hen or grass, or just a dirt yard? Adult chickens prefer to eat greens and vegetation much of the day. When a chicken lives on processed feed or grains all the time, this could lead to being over weight.

Does she like fruits and veggies? If she does, I would suggest maybe 1 cup of chicken feed a day for a few days, but a lot of dark leafy lettuces, kale, and mixed greens with a bit of fruit. See if this changes how her breast area looks.

You should examine her crop from the outside, gently feeling if the contents feel gassy, very liquid, mushy or hard. The bottom of the crop is just above the breast bone and the top a little way below the bottom of the neck.

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