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How do you get your chickens to eat their pellets

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Hi,

I have had my two bantam Wyandottes for 10 months now. I have tried 3 different types of layers pellets in that time but they just aren't keen on any of them. I am putting out barely 2 tablespoons a day and they don't finish that! I do feed them veg and fruit, rice and pasta too, but only ever late afternoon and they are really fussy about those too. Pretty much all they will eat is plain rice, sweetcorn and lettuce- and even then they seem to turn their noses up if it isn't an iceberg:rolleyes:

I just don't know what I am doing wrong. I have given them some beautifully chopped grapes for the last few days, they won't go near them. They won't touch peeling of any kind. I made them a porridge form an online recipe and they didn't touch that either. They did eat some cabbage leaves once, and I thought 'hooray, some variety' but the next time they gave it a wide berth. Also, when you feed scraps like grapes, carrot peel, cucumber etc, do you chop them small? Do you cook the veg?

They go bonkers for millets, I get it on the stems and they run off excitedly with the whole thing, pecking madly once they get to a safe place! However I am not sure how much of this I can give them as I know I shouldn't give too much corn? They like craked maize too, but for the same reason I am unsure about feeding this.

They were both laying almost daily until a month ago, when it slowed right down, then stopped entirely two weeks ago. Around the time it slowed I changed their bedding from shavings to Aubiose. Totty is having a pretty severe moult so I got a couple of peck bars with the minerals etc in, but they haven't touched them. I also got some poultry spice, but they wouldn't even eat sweetcorn with that on!

So, summing up, fussy chickens or bad chicken mum? I really would like to know how to feed them better.
Thanks

post #2 of 18

i would cut out all the extra snacks for a while....they wont like it but they will live!..........pellets and water are really all they need.....
they wont like it, but they will start eating pellets.....(you could try switching to layer crumbles)....they wont starve themselves.....after a while i would start to give them treats
again.......but maybe cut back on how many you were giving them.....and they wont lay when in molt....good luck!


Edited by goldies99 - 10/11/11 at 5:37am
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks for answering, I was wondering that, they always stare at me so accusingly if I go outside (or past the window, they watch the window!) without something they like.

How much should they be eating? Should I try layers mash instead?

post #4 of 18

Sometimes the miniature birds simply struggle with a pellet that is a bit too large for them.  You could certainly moisten them, which turns them into a damp crumble type feed.  That said, 90% of their diet should be focus toward the feed you buy.  Unless you have careful, well thought additions, it is very easy for the chickens to prefer an unbalanced diet of "extras" rather than what they should eat for good nutrition.  Too much of the extras and chickens just hold out for their preferences because they know you'll be coming soon with something they do like.

The similarities to spoiled kids with an unhealthy diet are uncanny.

 

 

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post #5 of 18

SUREEEEEEEEEEEE they look at you for treats!!!!....thats what was happening with mine when i started to give them pasta!...they love that!
i only give that to them once in a while....but they still follow me around hoping!.....you might want to try the layer crumbles....mash is pretty dusty


Edited by goldies99 - 10/11/11 at 5:41am
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thanks again. I haven't seen layer crumbles, only chick crumbles?

I know I shouldn't feed them too many scraps, and I will try completely withholding them now, but they don't even eat the treats I am offering a lot of the time, some days it seems they have eaten nothing. They can't be picking much up from the garden at all, it really is a backyard in the english sense- a shed and some concrete, although I can see Sweetie now attacking the Jasmine growing up one wall:D

post #7 of 18

just ask at your feed store if they carry layer crumbles....if not i bet they will order them for you.....
the girls will get use to "not" eating so many treats!...good luck!!!

post #8 of 18

I agree with Goldie-too many tasty treats.  Layer crumbles are as common as pellets.  Mine won't eat pellets.  So crumbles it is.  Sometimes I add some water and make a wet mash, and they think it's a treat from heaven!

post #9 of 18

Wow, I must be super lucky. Mine just dig into what's there. The switch over went without a hitch.


Edited by Ole rooster - 10/11/11 at 9:33am
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cocohoney 

. Pretty much all they will eat is plain rice, sweetcorn and lettuce- and even then they seem to turn their noses up if it isn't an iceberg:rolleyes:


Sounds like they've got you trained fairly well.  big_smile

My kids will sometimes get snotty at dinner time just because they are kids (they are good kids and good eaters).  My response...."Nobody ever died from missing a meal.  You can eat it now, or you can eat it for breakfast.  Just know that you won't snack all evening, and the next meal you eat will be what's on that plate."

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