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26 August 2011

Weighing In

I had to take a trip to my doctor this morning for a general checkup and to get some prescriptions renewed for my meds, so when I got home, I decided I would do a quick checkup of the chooks.

I had bought some Colloidal Silver while I was out, having heard this is a handy tonic for either bacterial or viral infection and with Rosie still a little bit lack lustre, and Bertha occasionally still coughing, I decided to give both girls a dose (just one or two drops from an eyedropper) of CS internally.

After that was done, I thought it might be a good idea to weigh them all as I hadn't got a baseline weight since getting them. Rosie has filled out a bit again since I've been treating her for her mysterious weightloss and lethargy, so I thought it would be good to know just what she does weigh.

Each of my hens are what's known as 'first years' so they're probably not at their full adult weight yet, particularly Bertha who is a Light Sussex, a late maturing breed.

So, how do you weigh a chook? It's not as simple as just asking her to step onto the scales, after all and I don't have a hanging scale like my dad used to use for his chickens. I decided I'd have to do it the old fashioned way and step onto the scales myself, holding each hen by turns.

That actually worked out very well, and their weights are as follows.

Rosie (ISA Brown): 2.2kg (4.8pds) About right for the lower end of the scale with her breed. Would like to see her put on a little more though.

Bertha (Light Sussex): 3.5kg (7.7pds) Within a healthy weight for her breed, but there is no upper limit on weight in the standard, so she could put on more without it being too worrisome.

Boss: (Australorp Utility): 2.6kg (5.7pds) Again, not too bad for her type.

Wynona (Gold Laced Wyandotte): 2.8kg (6.16pds) She is close to the right weight for an adult of her breed, needs just a little fattening. More canned tuna for her!

Of course, I am not too obsessive over the weight of the chickens really. It's only a part of the picture and health in chickens is judged more by their laying, feeding, and sociability than their weight. All of them are eating well, foraging happily when they get the chance to free range, and are happy to scratch around and gossip with each other in their coop.

As for interest in food? Well, if the way they chased me all the way to the henhouse when they saw me with a can of sardines this afternoon is anything to go by...

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