10wk old pullets not eating.

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by nrdigrrl, Dec 9, 2007.

  1. nrdigrrl

    nrdigrrl Hatching

    Oct 5, 2007
    Portland, OR
    I have two 10wk old SLW. This week I have noticed a sudden and significant decrease in the amount of food both hens are eating. They are eating some but not nearly as much as last week. I have made no significant changes to their diet. This is what I usually feed them each day.

    Free choice starter crumbles
    2-3 fist full of greens (spinach usually)
    1/4 large bunch broccoli
    1/4 -1/2 C Steamed pumpkin flesh
    1/3 C Oats or brown rice (cooked)
    Corn (a special treat on super cold nights, usually warmed up w/ soy beans)
    2 C 5 grain scratch w/ BO sunflower seeds
    Water w/ ACV

    The ladies no longer race to eat scratch out of my hand. The cup of scratch that is usually emptied before I even leave their pen, isn't this week. They don't want their favorite warm corn and soybeans treat either. Not even yogurt can tempt them to finish their veggies. They just 'peck' at their food try a bit and wander away. Not typical behavior for them. However, I got them some meal worms yesterday and they went NUTS. Stealing them out of each others beaks etc. So they are hungry and interested in eating something just not what i have out for them.

    I haven't noticed any physical changes in either hen. I can not see any discharge from their eyes, nose or ears. They smell fine. I don't hear any funny noise when they breathe and I can't hear any funny noises in their chest either. They are as active and as alert as ever.

    The only change to their routine or environment has been the removal of their rooster. We live in the city so the rooster had to go asap. We also removed their brooder lamp. We weren't really using the lamp anymore. The lamp was turned on to lure them in to the hen house at dusk and that is about it. They finally learned to go in on their own and it was in the way so we removed it.

    Any suggestions on how to get them to eat more or why they stopped eating are appreciated.

  2. picklespickles

    picklespickles Songster

    Oct 27, 2007
    first off, i want you to come make dinner for me. your chickens eat good.

    my cat will get like that and my dogs too if they have eaten a special treat recently. like mmmmmmmmm. i KNOW she's got better than this.

    i would just keep up your routine and they will get back to normal.

    also, "just" removing the rooster is actually a big change. (not a rooster fan, so not complaining here). you took away a third of their flock. think of it like that.

    so, there is going to be some settling in time.
  3. hcammack

    hcammack Crowing

    Oct 5, 2007
    could be lack a protien
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Well, taking out the rooster reduces food consumption by 1/3 so not to worry. It does seem like you give them a lot of treats for just two hens. I would cut back on the treats so their nutrition stays more balanced with the starter feed.
  5. peepkeeper

    peepkeeper Songster

    Jul 5, 2007
    upstate New York
    I agree that the issue is too many treats. Stick to their feed (and maybe just one handful of scratch if you truly cannot stop yourself). They're probably picking a little at this, a little at that, and filling up that way. When they get hungry they'll eat.
  6. pattycake

    pattycake Songster

    May 7, 2007
    fingerlakes, ny
    They're probably not growing as fast, either.

    Incidentally -- I have a flock of 13 layers and a rooster and mine don't eat anywhere near as much food -- they have free choice pellets and a bowl of oatmeal, yogurt, veg scraps, and a couple handfuls of corn each day. Before it snowed they free-ranged too... and mine are fine and produce big delicious eggs.

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