Change in Feed - Chickens not eating?!?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Oktober, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. Oktober

    Oktober Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 6, 2011
    Rhode Island

    Recently we changed our feeder in the coop to a 7" rabbit feeder (below) in order to get the feeder off the ground. We have a small flock (3 hens) and therefore a small coop, so I'm trying to minimize the footprint the feeding/watering systems take up. After installing the new feeder, I quickly realized that a lot of the crumble feed we were giving was falling through the screen at the bottom of the feeder and therefore a lot was going to waste. So we switched to pellet food to minimize the lose. And this is where the potential problem arose.


    Both my wife and I have noticed that do not seem to eat nearly as much or voraciously go after the pellet feed as they did the crumble. They used to go to town on the crumble when we filled the feeders, but now they give a few pecks and then just look at us without gobbling up the pellets. A lot of the pellets get kicked around the coop floor and they have been there for days (even when I've left the feeder empty to force them to scratch around for the excess food. Is it out imagination, or are they just not eating/liking the pellet feed we switched too? Should we say heck with the efficiency and switch back to the crumble for them? Do the chickens really care about one feed format or the other, or for that matter, one brand vs another?

    Any thoughts or suggestions other folks have a greatly appreciated.

    Best Regards,

  2. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    A lot of fowl rebel when something different shows up. Many birds just don't like pellets, maybe because they aren't used to them. They will adapt. They won't like it, but they will get used to it. Ain't chickens fun?.......Pop
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Pop is right. They turn up their beaks, so to speak, but chickens will never starve themselves. They've been around for many centuries by adapting. Give it a week or two. They'll be just fine. However, don't be surprised if a few of the birds decides it is really run stuff to beak out the pellets and empty the feeder. There is always one or two who sense the need to "get to the bottom of things". [​IMG]
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2012
  4. soctippy

    soctippy Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 22, 2007
    If you want to go back to crumble feed, use duck tape to cover the screen on the bottom of the feeder. I have found that covering both sides works well for at least a few years.
  5. Oktober

    Oktober Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 6, 2011
    Rhode Island

    Ain't that the truth, hence the reason we have so much on the ground to start with ;)

  6. ECBW

    ECBW Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2011
    When there is excessive spillage, I just remove the feeder and the birds would clean up the spill. An trick from local chicken farmers.

    Pellets also help you see the spillage.
  7. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    x2. Had to remove the feeder last night in fact. They all complained loudly about the fact their feeder was missing but I told them "tough love".
  8. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens


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