Why are Chickens Losing Weight? Skinny Chickens: 5 Reasons!

why are my chickens or poultry birds losing weight

Are your pet chickens wasting away (losing weight) suddenly? You can feel your poultry chicken’s breast bone? They eat all day but they are turning into skinny (slim) chickens and dying without any reason.

Now, you can’t understand what to do?

They may have problems but you don’t understand the actual reason. You are doing all the things to recover it. But you are upset because there is no improvement that you are not seeing.

If you face this type of problem, you need to justify some issues at first. So I think now you are the right place for finding the solution.

So keep reading if you want to solve this issue and keep the healthy weight of your pet birds.

Why are the Chickens Getting Skinny Gradually?

If you face this type of problem and domestic poultry birds are not healthy, you need to take some steps immediately. There may be some reasons that you should identify for solving this skinny problem of chickens or backyard flocks.

So here I am telling the basic reasons that you should check in the poultry birds. Some causes that you can check by proper investigation.

What Causes Weight Loss (Skinny) in Chickens

some causes (reasons) of weight loss in chickens

Cause One: Worms in Chickens

You can easily do this investigation. Check the stool (as a sample) of the poultry birds. If you see that poo (poop) is normal, you should find the other reasons.

But if you see that the chicken poo is not normal and there are visible roundworms in that poo, then it may be a reason for losing the weight of a bird. There are also other types of worms.

So you should also check the types of worms too. If you don’t understand this inspection, you can get help from experienced persons.

If you see that the stool is liquid, then it may be the symptom that your adult chickens are sick with diarrhea and this is why weight loss may happen.

Parasites may create an infection, intestine diseases, and loss of weight in young poultry birds. (source)

Cause Two: Mites or Lice in Chicken’s Body

There may be mites available and too many lice in the body of the skinny chicken. So check it properly and carefully because these types of mites are very small.

You can use light for finding these mites in the chicken’s feathers. You can do this inspection at night to find the availability of mites and lice.

Use a flashlight, and focus this light around the vent and tail feathers. Maximum time these types of bloodsuckers (mites/lice) are available in this area of poultry birds.

If you think that your chicken is losing weight gradually but eating enough, this contagious disease is also the main reason for it.

Note: Dust bath may help the chicken to remove these parasites.

Cause Three: Scratch Corn

You should not provide scratch corn regularly because it doesn’t contain all nutrition. Chickens especially need exact protein feed for developing the muscle.

Cause Four: Ammonia Toxicity

Check whether the eyes of the chickens are healthy or not. Ammonia toxicity may be responsible for bad diseases of poultry.

If you see goopy eyes, then some problems may arise in these birds. Wet litter may increase this type of disease. So you need to clean this wet and deep litter method to free your birds from bacteria and viruses.

Cause Five: Unhealthy Condition

An unhealthy body may affect the conversion of skinny chicken. This is the reason why you should take care of the poultry birds if you are serious in the poultry business or hobby.

Some More Warning Signs of Unhealthy Chickens

Most people don’t focus on the warning symptoms before getting sick of chickens. After getting sick, automatically they turn to skinny birds.

There are many common symptoms of sick chicken that you can investigate at the early stage of Infected birds.

One: Chicken Bald and Dull Feather

bald chicken may have low weight

Baldness is a common issue in chickens in shedding old (aged) feathers and filling up the body with a new one. This system is called the chicken molting of feathers.

During this chicken molts, pin feathers may be produced. Chickens may lose weight and feathers in molting time. At that time it may have ruffled feathers. But in a soft molt, any bird loses a few feathers.

If you see there remains a gap (looks bald) in the chicken’s body and not growing any new feathers, it may be an unhealthy condition of that bird.

On the other hand, dull feathers and feather loss are also a symptom of sick chicken at the early stage. You can identify this with a visual inspection.

Fighting between chickens and Henpecking may be a reason for this. You can set up different feed sources for stopping Henpecking. You can do it by collecting portable chicken feeders.

But abnormal mold growth creates the chicken bald that creates an unhealthy condition of the chicken.

Two: Dull Wattle and Comb

dull or pale chicken comb and wattle are the sign of unhealthy chickens

If you see that the color of the wattle and comb of any chicken is not bright, you should be aware of the chicken’s health.

The wattle and comb help the blood circulation of any chicken. If these two elements are weak, any chicken gets sick quickly.

Three: Poor Diet

Most people aren’t concerned about nutritious food for chicken. They just feed corn to the poultry birds or other game birds.

This is the reason why they don’t get exact vitamins and protein for their body. As a result, they have no interest in the same type of food that you provide.

So try to change the food types and also maintain daily nutritious food (healthy and balanced diet) to recover the nutritional deficiency.

For the perfect weight of chicken, you can provide carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, fats, extra protein, clean water, maize, oats, sorghum, and other vegetables and green leaves.

Four: Coughing

If you see that sometimes, your birds are coughing, you should check the living place obviously. Lack of airflow in the chicken coop or the poultry living place can cause respiratory (chronic) diseases/infections in Chickens.

This is the reason why you should provide the elevated chicken coop or living place which has enough air movement. You should keep that area clean all the time.

Remember, Chickens will drop in egg production if the coop is very dirty.

Five: Hunched Chicken

Hunched-up poultry is the initial stage of getting critical sickness. So you should regularly inspect all the backyard chickens.

During egg-laying time, hunched-up activity is seen in the chicken and this is not a problem. But without egg-laying and hatching time, hunched hens may have some problems.

Six: the Problem of Mouth and Crossed Beak Chicken

scissor (crossed) beak is the sign of unhealthy chickens

Sometimes the beak is broken and for this, chickens can’t eat properly. As a result, they are wasting away without any reason.

You can check the beak and mouth area (mucous membranes) of the birds easily. If you find some problem, you should take a step to solve it.

In this situation, these birds need syringe feed until total heals.

Seven: Stress

The high stress of a chicken may impact a negative result on its body. Predator attacking, high crowed, unclean areas, and more other issues are the main reasons for this stress.

Besides, the sudden introduction of a lot of birds may cause the high stress of current birds. In this situation, you can introduce new birds slowly. You should also set the protection of the living area for poultry birds.

Eight: Kidney Problem

kidney stones and visceral gout in chicken may cause the sickness of chicken.

Toxic chemicals, excess protein, water deprivation, use of antibiotics, excess phosphorus, and calcium may cause this type of disease.

So you should be careful and focus on this issue. Kidney problems may affect the decrease of laying.

Besides, there may have other problems for not laying. If your chicken has no issue in sickness and still not laying. You can use the nesting box for them

Nine: Traumatic Ventriculitis

This is one type of hardware disease of chickens. When any chickens eat metal, wood, plastic, or any other hard material accidentally, most of these materials are stored in the chicken gizzard (stomach) and create an infection (bacterial diseases/infections) in the digestive tract.

As a result, birds can’t eat properly and there is a loss of appetite (hunger) of some birds in poultry farms.

Finally, they turn into skinny chickens and die. Sometimes

You can stop the source of infection/disease by cleaning the small metal parts from the ground of the living place of poultry birds.

If your poultry yard is clean, birds can’t eat metal-type small materials.

Ten: Coccidiosis

Coccidia and protozoa are the main reason for this type of disease. When any chickens eat dirty food, water, coccidiosis may attack them.

So you should keep the feeder (for balanced feed) and chicken waterer clean all the time.

Eleven: Marek’s Diseases

Birds also lose weight when they get infected with this type of disease. You should give a vaccine before affecting Marek’s diseases.

If you don’t know about it, no problem, you can take help from your local poultry vet. This local vet may give you information by finding the clinical signs of poultry diseases.

If any chicken gets infected with any disease, they are losing weight and they are not laying eggs in that situation.

Why are Some Chickens Losing Weight and Dying Quickly?

If some of your poultry birds start to lose weight suddenly and die within a few days, then you should take this issue seriously. Sometimes they may get liver problems too.

This problem may happen for toxic soil. So you need to test the sample of soil from a specialist. This soil may include mycobacterium that causes avian tuberculosis.

There may also be another issue, some dangerous plants may be available around the area of the chicken place. Probably your chicken may eat those plants, lose weight and finally die.

In this case, you should also inspect this type of newly grown plant that was not before. You should send the sample of these plants for testing.

Besides, other issues are also responsible for losing weight. I have also tried to tell those reasons in the top section of this post.

How to Make Skinny Chickens Gain (Fatten Up) Weight

First, you should kill the worms and parasites with the help of a local vet. Clean poultry dust and spray the living area of birds with water and bleach.

Then, you should feed healthy food to fatten up underweight chickens. Of course, healthy vitamins are needed for the skinny chicken to fatten up fast.

Now you may have a question about slim chicken.

What to feed an underweight or thin chicken?

You can provide game food, cheese, buttermilk, lay pellets, plenty of water, green leaves, oats, corn, etc. After becoming normal you can avoid cheese and game food.

You should include oyster shell grit in the chicken feed. If you add calf manna in a small amount, it will help to fatten up the skinny birds quickly.

You can try commercial feed (including all types of vitamins) for good results.

Next, try to give the vaccine with the advice of a local vet. Don’t mix new birds with current underweight chickens. After healing, you can mix the new one with the old one.

Test the ground soil and unknown plants of the bird’s living place. The local vet will help you with this testing.

Overweight chicken is also a bad sign of illness. So don’t provide excess feed. Normal or skinny chicken can get fat if you don’t control the feed. You should also know the symptoms of overweight chicken for your good learning.

Finally, I want to say that there are also other basic tips (some ideas are given above in this post) that you can follow for keeping the poultry birds healthy.

Should You Examine Your Chicken from a Vet?

If you feel something wrong with your birds at the beginning level of the sickness of chicken, you should go to the vet for examining and diagnosing properly.

After doing this, you can also get the right information about the health condition of your birds. After that, you will be able to treat them and reduce the mortality rate of chicks and chickens.

Only the local vet can’t maintain the good health of your birds. You should also take the responsibility to follow up with the birds and take the necessary steps with the situation.

My Viewpoint

Overall I want to tell you that you don’t need to be upset about skinny birds. Because sickness of chickens is a common term.

This is the reason why you need to take care of the baby chicks and adult birds in depth.

Note: A breast blister is seen in some broiler chickens. As a result, they also lose weight from these diseases. Poultry farmers also have the knowledge to recover from this problem.

After facing all these problems, you will also learn how to solve this bad situation.

Just your birds need technical follow up which is not hard work.

You should also be aware of the causes of stunted growth and other common injuries and negative symptoms of the chickens. If you can do it regularly, of course, this activity will not be hard for you.

You also have a good feeling for your chickens. You should also be familiar with the different species of birds to know better about them.

FAQ: Why are Chickens Getting Skinny

Do All Chickens Lose Weight in the Winter Season?

Provide warmth to the chicken coop, if there is excess cold. Chickens or wild birds may lose some weight in the condition of extreme cold weather.

But at the same time, you should provide nutritious feed to your birds. At the end of the cold season, chickens may contract air sac disease. So check the coop wall so that cold air can’t pass through the coop. You can use a reliable heater for the chicken coop.

Is the Weight Loss of Chickens Gradual or Rapid?

There are two types of weight loss. They are rapid and gradual weight loss. When some chickens are affected by toxic soil and plants, they lose weight rapidly.

On the other hand, when the specific birds suffer from chicken diseases, they lose weight slowly. Besides, the transformation time of skinny chicken also depends on the current bad weather.

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