Chicken feed crisis - please offer opinions

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by gritsar, Nov 3, 2010.

  1. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Okay, it's not really a crisis, but it is driving me crazy!

    We have two local sources for feed - our farmer's co-op and another feed store (southwest feeds) that is kinda hit and miss on carrying chicken feed. On more than one occasion I have gotten chicken feed from the co-op that was bug-y (mealy worms/bugs). Also, the pellets from the co-op tend to be very long. DH says they need to adjust something at the mill, I forget what it's called.

    My adult chickens are on layer pellets, have been since they started laying more than two years ago. They took to the pellets just fine. My juvenile flock (21 weeks old) started on layer crumbles three weeks ago, when I got my first egg and they were 18 weeks old.

    Although I'm the one that's always preaching that a chicken will eat pellets when they get hungry enough, I worry about the juvenile flock because I have two silkies and some meat birds (raised as layers). So far, the meaties are staring at the pellets, but not eating it. I've seen the silkies eat pellets, but they were shorter pellets from a different source.

    We can't always drive an hour away to get their feed from a good, consistent source.

    I would prefer to get their feed from the other feed store, knowing that the feed will be fresher and of consistent quality, but they only carry the pellets.

    Should I just get the pellets from southwest feeds and hope that the meaties figure it out? They are not the brightest of chickens.
     
  2. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

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    Well if they can not eat the pellets, can you moisten them up for the day's feed and feed it to them? They should take it on without too much of an issue.
     
  3. sonew123

    sonew123 Poultry Snuggie

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    Quote:If they are hungry they will eat it! I switched my meaties to layer pellets for a week because I could not get their regular food and if it was in thier food bowl they eventually ate it-I had to hand feed a bunch of them first so they thought it was treats..LOL
     
  4. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

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    Quote:I've always had good luck mixing pellets and crumbles when I wanted to switch over. They see it all as food after a few days of picking out whatever they're used to. You can motivate them to explore it by mixing in a bit of scratch, too.

    This transition has always worked for me!
     
  5. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    Quote:My birds LOVE their food to be wet. While they will eat pellets or crumbles dry, they go crazy when I add water and make it "soup".



    I feed them soup twice a day. Even my bantam cochins - their chicks eat pellet soup.
     
  6. BlackBrookPoultry

    BlackBrookPoultry Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have you asked the other feed store to start carrying crumble? I've done that to one of our feed stores for my ducks and they ordered special food for me.
     
  7. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

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    I'd mix the crumbles witht eh pellets ..the meaties will catch on. [​IMG]
     
  8. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:I have thrown out handfuls of pellets before, as a treat, and everyone eats them right up, including the meaties.
    Right now I have crumbles in two feeders and a mix of crumbles and pellets in another (I ran out of crumbles, we need to shop today). When I went out there, I "spun down" the feeders. When I spin them down, the meaties always come running. Once they saw that it was pellets, most of them walked away. One meatie picked around the pellets to get to the crumbles. The others waited until I spun down the feeder with crumbles in it and ate that.
    In my mind I know that they should be able to eat the pellets just fine, but I can't get my heart used to the idea. I don't want them to go hungry for even an hour. [​IMG]
     
  9. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:I was just discussing this with DH. The farmer's co-op is a purina dealer, but they don't keep any purina stuff in stock; except for horse feed. Backyard chickens are a rarity around here in the land of commercial chicken houses. The commercial houses get their feed directly from Tyson or Pilgrims Pride, so 50# bags of chicken feed are hard to come by.
    In the past I have asked the manager of the co-op to special order me Layena (by Purina). He'd order it once and then forget to order it again, which meant that I had to take whatever they had.
    The southwest feed store is a branch of their store in Oklahoma and that's where they get their feed from. So, it may be possible for them to get me crumbles. I'll ask today. We have to go out there for pine shavings anyhow, regardless of whether we buy feed there or not.
     
  10. sonew123

    sonew123 Poultry Snuggie

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    Quote:I have thrown out handfuls of pellets before, as a treat, and everyone eats them right up, including the meaties.
    Right now I have crumbles in two feeders and a mix of crumbles and pellets in another (I ran out of crumbles, we need to shop today). When I went out there, I "spun down" the feeders. When I spin them down, the meaties always come running. Once they saw that it was pellets, most of them walked away. One meatie picked around the pellets to get to the crumbles. The others waited until I spun down the feeder with crumbles in it and ate that.
    In my mind I know that they should be able to eat the pellets just fine, but I can't get my heart used to the idea. I don't want them to go hungry for even an hour. [​IMG]

    YAH thats why I hand fed them. Usually in the am's when I let them out and poured their crumbles they were FIGHTING over every morsel-everyday. When it was just pellets they wouldnt touch it-all day I watched this and they wouldnt touch them! I thougth hmm Ill be danged if My MEAT brids aren't going to be meaty....SO I got a chair and made sure I hand fed a ton of them-then they smartened up for the week.
     

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