Chickens have stopped eating foods they used to love

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by crazychick26201, Nov 18, 2014.

  1. crazychick26201

    crazychick26201 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My hens are molting. I have been feeding them Nutrena Feather Fixer pellets which is supposed to be higher protein, and also has something in it that protects against mites. They seem to like it pretty well. They stopped eating it for a while, and it ground it into crumbles in a blender. Now they so eat it pretty well. However, they have stopped eating anything else. They used to scarf down an evening handful of scratch, which I gave them to keep their body temp up in the cold nights. Also when it is really cold, I used to take them some warm oatmeal, which they loved. Now they ignore it. I don't know if it is the higher protein content of the Nutrena which makes them not hungry, if it is their molt making them not hungry, or if something is wrong. Does anyone else have experience with this type of Nutrena food? Any advice out there? They still go for grapes and mealworms.
     
  2. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    Ours seem to "burn out" on some of the treats they used to love. I doubt it's a problem with the feed. I would worry if dried mealy worms were ignored. I would try giving them some green veggies - lettuce,spinach, collards..Maybe they just want something different?
     
  3. crazychick26201

    crazychick26201 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, sunflower. They are a year and half old and rather jaded on treats, I think. :/
     
  4. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

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    About same as mine…born March 2013…6 Really spoiled hens. The love hot dogs…but won't eat the all beef or bargain brands…used to be not so picky.[​IMG]
     
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Scratch and oatmeal aren't very high protein. Sounds like they're concentrating their intake on what's best for themselves right now. I wouldn't worry too much, their appetite will probably resume once they regrow all those feathers.
     
  6. crazychick26201

    crazychick26201 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How many treats are too much? I receive so much conflicting information. Blog sources warn of liver and kidney problems if chickens are given too many treats. yet I hear that feeding high protein treats like black oil sunflower seeds or mealworms are good supplements during the molt. The bag information warns that treats should make up no more than 10% of a hens diet. That means nothing to me, since I only have 4 hens. So, for 4 hens, how much sunflower seeds, scratch and mealworms should they receive each day????? Also, is I feed them an egg, or cat food how much of that is too much? And how often??? Any an dive would be appreciated!
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Feed your chickens nothing but a good formulated chicken feed for a couple weeks.
    Put only as much as you think they will eat in 24 hours in the feeder, measure it...say 1 or 2 cups, fill feeder the same time of day each day.
    If there's some left over put less in the next day, if it's all gone, put more in.
    Within a week you should know how much regular feed they need per day.....10% of that amount is what you are looking for.
    It doesn't need to be exact, but pretty close.

    Just feed treats in moderation and pay attention to the protein and fat levels of the treats to balance out the nutrition levels of the their 'regular' feed.
    Layers need a minimum of 16% protein while laying, they don't lay while molting because they need the protein to grow feathers.
    Read labels so you know the protein levels of feeds and treats.

    It takes patience, consistency and observation is the best way to learn their habits and needs.
    Don't overreact to anything/everything you read on the net.....read it all and use some common sense to choose what makes the most sense.
    Nothing is carved in stone and observation/trial and error is the best way to learn what works best for you and your flock.


    I like to feed an 'all flock' 20% protein crumble to all ages and genders. Makes life much simpler to store and distribute one type of chow that everyone can eat and have calcium available at all times for the layers, oyster shell mixed with rinsed, dried, crushed chicken egg shells in a separate container.
    The higher protein crumble offsets the 8% protein scratch grains and other kitchen/garden scraps I like to offer.

    Hope some of that helps.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2014
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    Some day when you get the time try the following. Place their standard diet and several other feedstuffs like corn, BOSS, oats, millet, flax seed, dried mealworm and greens like spinach into different containers and spred those containers out a bit. Do this over time, then compare results to what you have seen with this recent diet shift.,
     
  9. crazychick26201

    crazychick26201 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Where do you get a 20% protein crumble?
     
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I use Purina 'Flock Raiser'....there are many other feeds that have higher protein, some are called starter or grower or game bird feed.....you have to read the labels and learn about other ingredients that may make a difference.
     

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