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Layer pellets or crumbles which do chickens prefer?

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 

I'm a bit at my wits end here trying to get my two hens to eat better! They are on the skinny side and I can feel the keel bone which not much flesh around it. They are currently getting layer pellets but don;t seem to want to eat them. They just want to eat sunflower chips and greens! I make them a mash in the morning with the layer pellets adding some warm water and they will eat a bit of that. Would they eat crumbles? I hate to waste the pellets I stll have a 1/2 50LB bag. I have tried mixing in cat food, peanut butter birs suet, and peanut butter to make it more appertising - what else can I do????????

I don't want to eat them they are layers - BRs.

I own a Rock Group; 2 Barred Rocks and 2 Buff Rocks (now sadly only 1 Buff Rock, my sweet Angelika died on Memorial day) .
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I own a Rock Group; 2 Barred Rocks and 2 Buff Rocks (now sadly only 1 Buff Rock, my sweet Angelika died on Memorial day) .
Reply
post #2 of 42

Try cutting out the treats first.  It's oftentimes surprising to see how much they LOVE their layer pellets when there's nothing else around. 
Have you wormed them?

If there ever comes a day when we can't be together keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever - Winnie the Pooh
I'll never develop a thick skin.  Thick skin leads to a hard heart and I never want to be one of those people.
A slave to LF brahmas, seramas, cochins, sebrights, bredas and call ducks.  R.I.P. Dragon, the crossbeak.  Thank you for teaching me so much about life.

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If there ever comes a day when we can't be together keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever - Winnie the Pooh
I'll never develop a thick skin.  Thick skin leads to a hard heart and I never want to be one of those people.
A slave to LF brahmas, seramas, cochins, sebrights, bredas and call ducks.  R.I.P. Dragon, the crossbeak.  Thank you for teaching me so much about life.

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post #3 of 42

Is there another brand available where you are at? We have found that ours do not care for certain brands of feed. A heavy breed chicken should eat pellets fine. The small bantam breeds seem to do better on crumble. Our heavies love crumble but they make a huge mess of it so we throw out a few handfulls of layer crumble and they think they are getting a real treat but the rest of the time they get pellet.

Spring has sprung here in the south. Lots of new chicks running all around.  Check out our website for great prices on poultry and livestock products as well as lots of helpful information. Cheep-est prices around and always growing. NPIP #58-1589-E

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Spring has sprung here in the south. Lots of new chicks running all around.  Check out our website for great prices on poultry and livestock products as well as lots of helpful information. Cheep-est prices around and always growing. NPIP #58-1589-E

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post #4 of 42

I recently read that given a preference chickens like crumbles best then pellets and mash is their least favorite. Maybe treats aren't such a good idea until they develop better healthy eating habits.


Edited by LaurelRidgeDreams - 2/2/10 at 3:32pm
Relationships, the key to about everything:)
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Relationships, the key to about everything:)
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post #5 of 42
Thread Starter 

Do you think I should eliminate the treats altogether? My one hen (I only have two is molting, a mini molt).

No, they haven't been wormed. Would they eat less if they have worms? How do I know if they need to be wormed?

They used to eat their layer pellets just fine and then seemed to go off them. I keep them in the house so I don't think they can be bad, and I only put small amounts in the feeding station at a time and it's under cover.

I own a Rock Group; 2 Barred Rocks and 2 Buff Rocks (now sadly only 1 Buff Rock, my sweet Angelika died on Memorial day) .
Reply
I own a Rock Group; 2 Barred Rocks and 2 Buff Rocks (now sadly only 1 Buff Rock, my sweet Angelika died on Memorial day) .
Reply
post #6 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurelRidgeDreams 

I recently read that given a preference chickens like crumbles best then pellets and mash is their least favorite. Maybe treats aren't such a good idea until they develop better healthy eating habits.


It's true that alot of chickens prefer crumbles, but I don't give mine the choice.  Pellets are easier to store, easier to scoop and there's much less waste.
If my birds don't want their pellets, all those little finches that try to get into their coop will gladly eat them.  wink

If there ever comes a day when we can't be together keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever - Winnie the Pooh
I'll never develop a thick skin.  Thick skin leads to a hard heart and I never want to be one of those people.
A slave to LF brahmas, seramas, cochins, sebrights, bredas and call ducks.  R.I.P. Dragon, the crossbeak.  Thank you for teaching me so much about life.

Reply

If there ever comes a day when we can't be together keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever - Winnie the Pooh
I'll never develop a thick skin.  Thick skin leads to a hard heart and I never want to be one of those people.
A slave to LF brahmas, seramas, cochins, sebrights, bredas and call ducks.  R.I.P. Dragon, the crossbeak.  Thank you for teaching me so much about life.

Reply
post #7 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by chuckzoo 

Do you think I should eliminate the treats altogether? My one hen (I only have two is molting, a mini molt).

No, they haven't been wormed. Would they eat less if they have worms? How do I know if they need to be wormed?

They used to eat their layer pellets just fine and then seemed to go off them. I keep them in the house so I don't think they can be bad, and I only put small amounts in the feeding station at a time and it's under cover.


My vet told me this about dogs, but I can't see why it wouldn't apply to chickens.  It's a myth that dogs will eat more when they have worms.  At first yeah they'll eat more as they try to satisfy both their own needs and the worms, but as the worms take a good hold the dog will actually eat less. 
Can you take a stool sample to the vet to be tested for worms?  It's usually inexpensive, around $5 here and it would give you a good starting point.  It doesn't have to be a poultry vet; any vet with a microscope can do one.  Sometimes you'll notice worms in their droppings, but the worm load has to be pretty heavy for that.
And yes, no treats at all.  Tough love.

If there ever comes a day when we can't be together keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever - Winnie the Pooh
I'll never develop a thick skin.  Thick skin leads to a hard heart and I never want to be one of those people.
A slave to LF brahmas, seramas, cochins, sebrights, bredas and call ducks.  R.I.P. Dragon, the crossbeak.  Thank you for teaching me so much about life.

Reply

If there ever comes a day when we can't be together keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever - Winnie the Pooh
I'll never develop a thick skin.  Thick skin leads to a hard heart and I never want to be one of those people.
A slave to LF brahmas, seramas, cochins, sebrights, bredas and call ducks.  R.I.P. Dragon, the crossbeak.  Thank you for teaching me so much about life.

Reply
post #8 of 42
Thread Starter 

I tried to create crumble out of my layer pellets by putting them in my cuisart - do you have any idea how hard those things are - it's like trying to grind nuts, just worse. What do they use to make them stick into pellets, glue?

I own a Rock Group; 2 Barred Rocks and 2 Buff Rocks (now sadly only 1 Buff Rock, my sweet Angelika died on Memorial day) .
Reply
I own a Rock Group; 2 Barred Rocks and 2 Buff Rocks (now sadly only 1 Buff Rock, my sweet Angelika died on Memorial day) .
Reply
post #9 of 42
Thread Starter 

I'll get a drppings sample to the vet, I didn't realize it was so cheap.

I will do the tough love - pellets only- starting tomorrow. We are going to Altanta for 4 days to the South Eastern flower Show, so won't be tempted to run out there with treats.

I own a Rock Group; 2 Barred Rocks and 2 Buff Rocks (now sadly only 1 Buff Rock, my sweet Angelika died on Memorial day) .
Reply
I own a Rock Group; 2 Barred Rocks and 2 Buff Rocks (now sadly only 1 Buff Rock, my sweet Angelika died on Memorial day) .
Reply
post #10 of 42

I feed pellets to both my large fowl and my bantams and they are all doing fine.  Using a Kohl range feeder was one of the best investments I've made as it completely eliminated the wasted feed problem.

When having problems with chickens stop and think, what would Harlan do?
I've dealt with many thorns in my life and the flower is always worth the effort.

6 Nest rollout nest box plans  http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/287684/new-rollout-nest-design-picture-heavy-edited-1-21

Smoker plans http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/721017/opas-recirculating-smoker

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When having problems with chickens stop and think, what would Harlan do?
I've dealt with many thorns in my life and the flower is always worth the effort.

6 Nest rollout nest box plans  http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/287684/new-rollout-nest-design-picture-heavy-edited-1-21

Smoker plans http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/721017/opas-recirculating-smoker

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