Changing feeds

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Krs Yng Chicks, Jul 9, 2016.

  1. Krs Yng Chicks

    Krs Yng Chicks Just Hatched

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    I have decided to change feeds of my recently inherited flock of 13 cocks, hens, pullets and cockerels (thanks to good advice I have read here) from layer to grower/broiler and make available plenty of oyster shell and crumbled egg shells for the laying hens.

    My question is, should I introduce the new SunCountry Organic feed slowly over a period of time along with the old pellet feed or can I just change it out once the old feed is finished. I know with my cat (finicky Leo) I have to be careful and change food through about a 7 day period.... Wondering if it could be the same for chickens.

    Thank you in advance for insight.

    Kris

    P.S. Also bought them a bag of mealworms for a treat! I can't wait for morning so I can spoil them!
     
  2. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    I would mix the new feed in with the current one - start with 25% new + 75 % old and work your way up to 100% new over several days.

    But, you may find they accept the new feed quicker - especially if both feeds are pellets. But if changing feed textures you may have to go slower.

    They are gonna love those mealie worms:)
     
  3. Krs Yng Chicks

    Krs Yng Chicks Just Hatched

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    Thanks SunFlower!

    First, my mistake, the new feed is COUNTRYSIDE ORGANICS and NOT Sun Country.... I don't know how I made that mistake, lol... Can I blame it on auto-correct? [​IMG]

    I will do that as the feed they are on now is pellet and the new feed you can actually see the different grains, pulses and stuff.

    I hope they don't kick up a fuss.

    Waiting till hubby gets home to feed them their treats, I want him to enjoy it, too. [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    Good luck with the switch. I tried changing my flock to pellets after on crumbles a year - they never accepted the new shape and had to go back to crumbles.

    But they are unpredictable and may even prefer the new feed. You can also try hand feeding them some of the new brand - trick them into thinking it's a treat [​IMG]
     
  5. carlf

    carlf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mix it and gradually switch.
     
  6. Krs Yng Chicks

    Krs Yng Chicks Just Hatched

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    Thanks for the advice everyone. I just went over and added some to their current pellet feed. I also tossed some as a treat on the ground for them.... They were already all out foraging around and came running. They seemed to enjoy it immensely so think that is a good sign.

    I am beginning to see a pattern, who hangs with whom. Am trying to identify the males from females... Awfully difficult, but that is a post for a different thread. Got some good pictures I think.

    Kris
     
  7. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    Glad they see the new feed as a special item :)

    We hung a small dog bowl in our run to allow 2 feeding stations - it has the same feed as in the larger hanging feeder - but they all eat out of that bowl - guess they think it is the more special feed.[​IMG]
     
  8. RobertPlamondon

    RobertPlamondon Out Of The Brooder

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    My advice is to always feed any Mystery Feed in a separate feeder, as follows:

    • Try to find a second feeder identical to the one you're already using.
    • Put equal amounts of feed in each feeder: your current feed in its current feeder, and your new feed in the other feeder.
    • Watch and wait. Keep your hands in your pockets until one feeder is nearly empty.
    • If one feeder is practically empty and the other is practically full, you have a winner and a loser. Don't buy any more of the loser.
    • If the rates of consumption are more even, you can do what you like.

    I've heard that "chickens are set in their ways and don't like novelty, and it takes them a while to get used to a new feed" and "chickens love novelty and will consider anything new to be a treat." Go figure. My attitude is that if your feeders are big enough to hold several days' worth of feed, you don't have to care which one is right (or whether either is right, or if it all depends). By the time one feeder goes empty, enough time will have passed that these short-term effects will have passed.

    Robert
     
  9. Krs Yng Chicks

    Krs Yng Chicks Just Hatched

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    Jul 7, 2016
    South West Florida

    Thank you, Robert. I have already started the mixing with the old feed, but your idea sounds great. I will file it away for future use when/if I change feeds again. Also they will be in a bigger accommodation where two separate feeders will be feasible.

    Kris
     
  10. cstronks

    cstronks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I switched from pellets to mash and my birds acted like they didn't know the difference. Only went back to pellets because my birds knocked so much mash onto the ground. I tried to switch so that I could buy locally sourced feed, but unfortunately it was way too inefficient. My birds, however, were very easy to transition.
     

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