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My 1+ yr olds have become picky eaters

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I've had the girls (3 sisters) for 4 mths now. As of about 3 weeks ago and going forward, they don't like bread, tomatoes, watermelon, cantaloupe, dried meal worms, scrambled eggs... anymore. They are still eating their pellets (which I have to wet), rammen noddles, lettuce, cheese, yogurt, cucumbers, roast beef... though. Also, they prefer corn on the cob instead of out of the can now. What's up with that. Am I spoiling them too much? smile.png
post #2 of 9
Yes, you are spoiling them too much, you need to pull rank and let them know they are not the boss... They are like children if you give in and offer them the junk food they want they will ignore the good food...

I would stop all treats and focus on just feeding them dry pellets with a single weekly small treat for awhile... Once they figure out the treats are not coming they will eat the dry pellets like they should...
post #3 of 9

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I set fire to the rain! Watch it pour as I, touched your face. Well it burn while I cried, because I heard it screaming out your name. And I threw us into flames. I knew that was the last time, the last time...I set fire to the rain! -Adele

 

Look at my flock page! http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/bantamfan4lifes-flock

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post #4 of 9

Meep Beep speaks the truth.   This can affect their laying as well  - layers need layer feed and  a separate container for crushed oyster shell.  They will take it if they feel they need more calcium.  Chickens, like dogs do not have to eat from the various food groups like humans should.    Manufacturers spend a lot of time and money coming up with formulas to provide the essential nutrients,  all that goes out the window  when you over do it without table scraps and  treats.

 

For now I would cut out all treats, when they are dependably eating their chicken feed,   you may gives  treats that should never exceed more than 10% of their meal., and give that ONLY after they have eaten their proper food.

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post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thank you all.  I was worried that I needed to help them with their calcium (yogurt) and protein (meal worms, scrambled eggs, cheese) since one of the girls is molting.  I also give them crushed egg shells.  Is this as good as the crushed oyster shell or not?  With their dry, I leave dry and moist out for them all day.  They've been eating about 2 cups a day between the 3 of them lately.  How much should they be eating?  They are very fit, energetic, happy and their crops always look good.  I guess I have been fortunate with getting an egg a day from each of them since I been overloading them with treats.  :/

post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by ccalebaugh View Post
 

Thank you all.  I was worried that I needed to help them with their calcium (yogurt) and protein (meal worms, scrambled eggs, cheese) since one of the girls is molting.  I also give them crushed egg shells.  Is this as good as the crushed oyster shell or not?  With their dry, I leave dry and moist out for them all day.  They've been eating about 2 cups a day between the 3 of them lately.  How much should they be eating?  They are very fit, energetic, happy and their crops always look good.  I guess I have been fortunate with getting an egg a day from each of them since I been overloading them with treats.  :/

Well, from where I sit if they are fit, energetic, happy, with normal crops and they're giving you an egg a day, I'd say your concerns about them simply not liking certain treats is an unnecessary one.  

 

I do agree that it sounds like they are getting too much in the line of the treats, but you'd have more to worry about if you weren't seeing healthy, producing birds.  It's no big deal if there are some foods they don't eat, as long as they are eating their layer pellets.  Treats should be just that - treats, not part of their regular diet.  Calcium isn't as essential for molting as protein.  So to take care of both the calcium they need for eggs and the protein to help molting,  some hardboiled eggs crushed with the shell wouldn't hurt them.  But in moderation!!  I personally don't think there's enough calcium in the eggshells to make that much of a difference, but every little bit helps, and mine sure love them.  Keep that oyster shell around them all the time - that's a better form of calcium than the egg shells, I think. I like to do the chopped up whole hardboiled eggs because I don't always know if they are hitting the oyster shell that much.  But with the hardboiled eggs, I can see at a glance that they've cleaned those up - every teeny bit.  The other thing I like about doing the hardboiled eggs is I can boil up a mess of them and keep them in a bag in the fridge, always ready for some to be taken out, chopped up, and fed.  I like my chickens but the thought of standing at the stove scrambling yet another batch of eggs, then crushing egg shells separately is too much work for someone as lazy as I tend to be.  ;)

 

I have 28 chickens out there.  I don't have a single one who will eat dried mealworms, and I really don't give a rat's hiney if they would prefer their corn canned or from the cob.  Ultimately it's not up to them what goes into their pen, it's up to me.  The more abundant their choices, the more picky they become.  So if you'll back off on the treats, give them just small amounts when they don't expect it (the key, I think, to chickens who will clean up what's tossed in there) and keep the pellets and oyster shell going, it's all good.  Winter's coming on so you also might want to rethink the wet chicken food thing - not fun when it freezes.  Dry food and some treats are best.  Good luck!

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

Sorry for being naive (thank GOD you all are here to educate me), so everything (even lettuce) is considered a treat that's not pellets, egg shells or crushed oyster shell?  I hope you all didn't think I was giving the girls all those treats every day.  I have small plastic containers that I put the treats in.  They always get the pellets and treats (2 ea) in the early morning (ex: 1" slice of cantaloupe, and a 1/2 of cucumber), afternoon (ex: 4 oz yogurt and 1/3 of a romaine stalk) and late after noon (2 oz roast beef and 1/3 of a ramen noodle package without the packet).   If they don't eat the food right away and the ants get to it, they will not eat it; they don't like ants. So into the compost container it goes.  I get that I am feeding them way too much with the treats and have pulled back as of today with just giving them lettuce and a yogurt this morning and egg shells this afternoon.  Tomorrow I will only give them the lettuce in the am and nothing else after.  

post #8 of 9

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Sassafras Grove Farm

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Black Double Laced, Blue Double Laced and Splash Barnevelders

Silver Double Laced Bantam Barnevelders

Silver, Charcoal, and Birchen Iowa Blues

Swedish Flower Hens

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post #9 of 9

Glad we were able to help, and as @trailrider said, Welcome!  My girls get treats once, maybe twice a week. Others do it much differently.  When they see me coming out with the pail they are waddling as fast as their little legs can carry them.  But they don't run to me - they head right for the run where they know I'm going to toss the stuff.  I've found it the easiest way to get them rounded up after they've been playing in the yard.  The other days I put a little of their own pelleted food in the pail, they head for the run,and I toss that in.  You'd think it was sirloin and lobster!  Silly chickens.

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