Are my chickens spoiled?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by sakana, Aug 16, 2007.

  1. sakana

    sakana In the Brooder

    Aug 6, 2007
    First, thanks to everyone who attempted to identify the genders of two new chickens. Also thanks to those who posted to my query about how best to build a pitched roof on my coop. In that post, it was suggested to me that my chickens shouldn't be eating a lot of hen scratch, that they should get layer pellets.

    Well, we bought some layer pellets, and mixed the last of the hen scratch in. My chickens diligently pick out the hen scratch (and there isn't much in there) and leave the pellets behind. Have we "spoiled" them to nutritious food? Are layer pellets really that unappetizing?

    They do also get a steady diet of greens (clover, radicchio, parsley, grass...) and occasionally fruit & veggies (watermelon, summer squash). I don't want to elimanet the greens because as I understand it they provide beta carotene for the yolks, but any ideas as to how to get them to eat their layer feed are appreciated!
  2. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    Jan 11, 2007
    dont mix the scratch in with the feed...use it as a "treat" in the afternoons to keep them human friendly and glad to see ya... if you mix a bit of cooked oatmeal in with their boring ole layer pellets this will usually be enough to make it more appetizing to them (add just enough to make it "clumpy")
  3. SandraChick

    SandraChick Songster

    Mine hardly eat any feed becasue they free range. If they're getting enough greens and bugs-- they'll hardly eat any feed.

  4. countrygirl4513

    countrygirl4513 Songster

    Apr 14, 2007
    Portland TN
    Quote:Mine too. And mine hated pellets!!!Wouldn't touch them! They prefered the mash/granules. I don't see how mine are getting any nutrition in this drought. I keep giving them table scraps etc. as treats and I keep cracked corn for them too.
  5. asher

    asher Chicken Enabler Extraordinaire

    Jan 26, 2007
    Mountains of NC
    Maybe try crumbles instead? My birds have never liked the pellets.

    Giving birds scratch mixed in with their feed is like giving a kid a plate of beets with chocolate chunks mixed in. Of course, they're gonna pick out the good stuff (to them) and leave the nutritious stuff! [​IMG]
  6. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    My chickens get tons of day old bread (I get it free from the bread man that stocks the local grocery). They get nearly all of our table scraps. They get their own bugs and spiders and grubs and anything else in their path. My girls even go about collecting slugs and bugs and other things for them to feast on, too. They have grower crumbles at all times in the feeders (and grit, oyster shells, grains and black oil sunflower seeds). They eat less of the crumbles and more of everything else. What they are eating is healthy. Very healthy. I don't think a feed is better nutrition than the fresh vegetables, meat, rice, boiled eggs, yogurt, etc that they are getting. I don't call those extras real treats. They are part of their normal diet. My birds are healthy, thriving and growing very well. They know how to balabce their own nutritional needs when they have a wide and vast variety to choose from.

    I don't give cracked corn until the cooler weather of fall and winter. It really raises their body temperature as it takes a lot of energy to digest it. If you are experiencing the heat the rest of us are I would suggest withholding most of the corn.

    When there is nothing else to eat they will eat what you give them when hunger strikes.

    Good luck with your flock. [​IMG]

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