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Seems like my chickens aren't eating their feed

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Hoping you guys can help me, I'm very new to chickens. I have been feeding my chickens chick starter/grower food. I believe it's 20percent protien in a gravity feeder which is in the coop. I was filling it pretty regularly. Recently I started having issues with feather picking and the advise here was to add protien, and lots of activity in the run. So I added meal worms scattered around, scratch, a flock block, an a layer of grass clippings oevery time we mow. They're finding it very interesting, but now they don't go in the coop to get feed. So how do I balance all this out
post #2 of 5

Cut back on their treats - just like kids they are preferring their 'candy' to their 'vegetables'.  A general rule of thumb is that treats should not make up more than 10 % of their diet.

Friends are the family you make for yourself.
There are no coincidences- only providences.
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Friends are the family you make for yourself.
There are no coincidences- only providences.
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post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Yes. That's what I figured too. It's also what I had been doing until the feather picking began I tried some limited free ranging to stop the feather picking and lost two immediately to Hawks. That's in a different post. This whole thing has become much more difficult than I imagined😕
post #4 of 5

You'll get it worked out.  They are not going to 'starve' under your present feeding husbandry.  Growth may be somewhat slower or they may be 'balancing' their own rations with the variety of feeds you are offering.  Predators are always a problem.

Friends are the family you make for yourself.
There are no coincidences- only providences.
Reply
Friends are the family you make for yourself.
There are no coincidences- only providences.
Reply
post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by julianna47 View Post

Hoping you guys can help me, I'm very new to chickens. I have been feeding my chickens chick starter/grower food. I believe it's 20percent protien in a gravity feeder which is in the coop. I was filling it pretty regularly. Recently I started having issues with feather picking and the advise here was to add protien, and lots of activity in the run. So I added meal worms scattered around, scratch, a flock block, an a layer of grass clippings oevery time we mow. They're finding it very interesting, but now they don't go in the coop to get feed. So how do I balance all this out

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by sourland View Post
 

Cut back on their treats - just like kids they are preferring their 'candy' to their 'vegetables'.  A general rule of thumb is that treats should not make up more than 10 % of their diet.

 

Sourland is right.  Another way to do the same think is to put a deep layer of dry bedding down, feed a good 16 to 18% laying pellet or mash (as much as they will clean up twice daily) and then give your hens a little scratch feed scattered widely in their bedding or dry litter.  This makes them perform manual labor by scratching and turning over ever scrap of litter in search of the scratch feed candy that you broadcast.  

Keep your chickens safe from predators, buy and wear fur. 
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Keep your chickens safe from predators, buy and wear fur. 
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