18 month old layers

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by juliawitt, Sep 9, 2009.

  1. juliawitt

    juliawitt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 9, 2009
    Quick question....been given 2 18 month old hens. Each laying one egg a day. Yes, I give a little cracked corn in the late evening and a little yougurt with tiny pieces of egg shell in it every other day. They are in the big chicken yard which still has lots of grass. They are not eating their layer ration that I can tell at all!! I have their feeding tray set just a little below their shoulder and it is full and clean. They seem happy, but I am worried that they are not eating! I do not know how the lady fed them before.....but I do know they were kept in a very small place with no yard....[​IMG] So, ...is this normal, or are they starving?
     
  2. goldielocks

    goldielocks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 2, 2009
    I picked up 2 new 20 week old girls also...when they found the layena they ate and ate and ate. I felt so bad for them. Its sad to know that people have animals and barely feed them if at all. Hopefully your girls will start eating soon. Try feeding them some scraps...i even throw oatmeal to mine. I give scratch sometimes 4 and 5 times a day. My feeders are never empty. Maybe they havent even had crumbles before. Do you have any pictures of them?
     
  3. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    Can you ask the person you got them from what the feeding routine was?

    If they aren't used to feed in a feeder, they may not recognize it. You could put the birds in front of the feeder and peck at it with your finger (like you would with new chicks).

    But, if they are foraging the grass for clovers, plantain, dandelions, bugs, worms, and other juicy tidbits, they may not need the feed. Our flock always ate more feed in winter than during warmer weather, as they foraged all day. Keep the oyster shell and grit available.
     
  4. jenjscott

    jenjscott Mosquito Beach Poultry

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    May 24, 2008
    Southeast Arkansas
    I go with the idea that they're so busy with their new foraging that they don't care for that pellet stuff. I would lay off the corn at least for now to encourange them to eat the pellets. Try throwing some of the pellets around where they are foraging. I know mine come running when I go out and "treat" them with exactly the same thing that's in their feeder, acting like its something special, I guess because they get to scratch for it.
     
  5. BarkerChickens

    BarkerChickens Microbrewing Chickenologist

    Nov 25, 2007
    High Desert, CA
    Quote:We did the same thing when we switched our over from grower feed to lay pellets. If they still don't peck at it, mix their "treat" with a little scratch...then over the next few days decrease the amount of scratch until it is just pellets. Ours were fine with pellets from the very beginning. The size/shape took a few pecks before they realized it was edible, but were fine afterwards. If yours were given mash or crumbles instead of pellets, they may not realize that the pellets are food. If this is the case, throwing them a treat with it will teach them quickly (though you may still need to show them where their feed bowl is).
     
  6. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    If they are laying and seem content I wouldn't worry about them. They're finding lots of stuff to eat when they're foraging in their run.
     
  7. juliawitt

    juliawitt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    :DThanks for all the information. I took the top off the feeder and dropped some of their grated cheese on top of the pellets. It was very rainy today so they stayed cozy in the house and....yes, success they ate their laying crumbles. Both are laying beautiful eggs and seem still somewhat standoffish but more calm and content. Do they really need grit? There are lots of little pebbles laying all around in their yard...I have some grit, but my husband said the women who had them gave them nothing but regular chicken food and scraps. Nothing about any grit. My little babies are still on their crumbles (they are in their segregated brooder) but do get mealworms and a little cheese. The chicken grit seems somewhat big....isn't there grit in the crumbles?Thanks for all the information. My only concern now is....to grit or not to grit?
     
  8. Whirlwind

    Whirlwind Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2007
    Tuttle, Oklahoma
    I don't give mine grit. They have a dirt run. They will get enough if they are on the ground. I bet your chickens are really happy to have some ground to scratch in. [​IMG]

    You can give them some if you already have it, it won't hurt anything.
     
  9. juliawitt

    juliawitt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 9, 2009
    [​IMG][/img]For some pics of my happy chicks go to my page....juliawitt. Downloaded pics of the babies and the 2 "girls". Sprinkled a little grit on the girls food, just in case...but all seems to be well!
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2009
  10. keljonma

    keljonma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    Our flock foraged our fenced 2 acres. We still provided grit. It is inexpensive, and the birds will only eat it if they need it.
     

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