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layers hating the food, what do I do?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

My buff rocks hate the layer food, they will not eat it at all. Now this food is the same company that made the chick and the grower feed that they ate.   Is all grower food pretty much the same?  Not sure if it is the size or shape of the pellets or what but they will not eat it and now their egg production is dropping. I have 4 hens who began laying about the end of August. I have been getting 3 to 4 eggs a day and now am down to one. I believe it is because they won't eat the food.  Has anyone else had this problem? Any suggestions on what to do?  Thanks for your help.

post #2 of 9

A few questions:

 

Was there a consistency change from crumbles to pellets?

 

Did you just make the switch or slowly mix the two together for the change?

 

Have you examined the feed to make sure it looks and smells fresh?

 

Are they pooping normal amounts?

 

Have you examined their crops in the evening to see if they are eating enough?

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post #3 of 9
Try the same layer feed in crumbles. If it's not available in crumbles then I would change to another brand of food.
post #4 of 9
Our chickens don't like pellets either. Maybe try crumbles? smile.png
post #5 of 9

i had the same problem. for me it was the size of the pellets. your feed store should have crumbled layer food too. if that doesn't work try switching food.

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

the change was pretty sudden, ran out of grower and since they were laying just changed over to pellets. They had been eating crumbles and now being served pellets as that is all they sell here.  The feed looks and smells fresh. They are pooping like before but not eating except what I supplement (cabbage, watermelon, cooked eggs) I don't know how to examine their crops. Explain please. I am a first time backyard chicken owner. I meant to say they were barred rocks, not buff.  The stores here don't sell layer crumble but am having one place order them, although a different brand so hoping that works.  I did try to pound the pellets into crumbles with no success of them eating it. Thanks for the help.​

post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lambertvmb View Post
 

the change was pretty sudden, ran out of grower and since they were laying just changed over to pellets. They had been eating crumbles and now being served pellets as that is all they sell here.  The feed looks and smells fresh. They are pooping like before but not eating except what I supplement (cabbage, watermelon, cooked eggs) I don't know how to examine their crops. Explain please. I am a first time backyard chicken owner. I meant to say they were barred rocks, not buff.  The stores here don't sell layer crumble but am having one place order them, although a different brand so hoping that works.  I did try to pound the pellets into crumbles with no success of them eating it. Thanks for the help.​

 

The crop is in front of the breasts, a little right of midline and should be full before they go to roost.   But with all the supplemental food you are giving them and normal volumes of poop, I'm sure their crops are quite full and they are getting calories.

 

Likely the abrupt change in feed is the problem.  It would be best to continue crumbles, get crumbles layer feed, if they refuse it.  Then get a bag of the starter crumbles and mix the two together.  Start with 25 % of the new feed, after a few days increase to 50%,  after a few more days 75 % and then to 100 %.  Mine transitioned quickly and after just a few days I just made the switch and they never noticed.   If you want to later go to pellets, make the same slow transition.   *** While doing the change, offer oyster shells so they get the extra calcium they need.

 

Assuming these are all pullets, you don't need grower feed.

 

And while doing the change, stop the human food supplements or at least limit it to small amounts, they will fill up  and not eat the feed they need.  If they are hungry, they will eat whatever you give them.  But for tasty treats, they will go after those and not have room for the feed.

 

Unless you watch them constantly, you may not notice whether they are eating the feed, so checking their crops late afternoon can tell you what you need to know.

 

Hope this helps.

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post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

It definitely helps. The store is ordering the crumbles in so have to wait a week so trying to smash the pellets for them to eat this week. I will check crops to make sure. I do give them grit and occasionally oyster shells just to help their digestion and provide the calcium. Just afraid when they stopped laying so soon after starting something had to be wrong. I try to let them out everyday for about 2 hours to free range in the yard so know they pick up stuff there and eat grass. So maybe if they don't like the pellets, they are getting enough other stuff. I did stop supplementing their diet for a day but they didn't eat much of the pellets. Looks like they are putting them in the water.  So will try what you suggest and see what happens. Thank you for your help. ​

post #9 of 9

Chickens don't like change but will adapt if given the chance. Stop all supplemental feed and they will eat the pellets. Once they get into the habit of eating pellets you can go back to giving them treats. Should take a week. The other thing to note is there is much less waste using pellets and being denser will visually look like less feed being eaten.

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