Chickens have suddenly stopped eating?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by barred2rock, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. barred2rock

    barred2rock Overrun With Chickens

    All five of my 15 week old Barred Rocks have suddenly stopped eating for the past two days. Temps have been 10-15F warmer than previously. I though maybe their fermented feed went bad due to the temp increase, so I threw it out and made a new batch. In the meantime I gave them dry feed, but they haven't touched it either. What could be wrong?

    ETA: They appear to be still going after insects that make it into the run & what little vegetation that remains; but no feed.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2017
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs I Wanna Be A Cowboy Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Might be something wrong with the bag, maybe try a new bag and see if they eat it again.
  3. barred2rock

    barred2rock Overrun With Chickens

    The current bag is only a little over a week old, they were chowing it down up until yesterday.

    ETA: I'm wondering if the fermented feed went slightly bad and now they just don't trust the feed. Is that a thing?
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs I Wanna Be A Cowboy Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Sorry I don't ferment, so no idea about it.
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Possible the ferment went too long and got funky.
    They may not want the dry feed if they're used to fermented,
    tho if they get hungry enough they'll eat it.

    Increase in heat can make them go off eating.
    Do they have plenty of cool water and are they consuming it at an increased or normal rate?
    ChickNanny13 likes this.
  6. barred2rock

    barred2rock Overrun With Chickens

    Today they're still refusing to eat their new batch of fermented feed from the feed bowl (since washed with water & soap). They did eat a small amount via hand feeding. I even tried a different bowl, but they still won't eat it. I gave them a small amount of scratch on top of the feed in which they picked out without touching the feed. Their water is always clean & fresh, appears they may be drinking less than normal.

    ETA: Added ACV to their water and gave them some kefir which they would only eat via hand (spoon).
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
  7. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    I once had a bag of feed that the birds simply would not eat, no matter how I served it. They were starving to death. I spoke to the store manager, they had me bring the bag back, and they happily replaced it. I replaced it with a bag of multi flock since the birds had lost some condition during their fast.
  8. barred2rock

    barred2rock Overrun With Chickens

    Mine were loving it up until this heat spell. It's stored in a cool dry place inside the house. I see no reason the dry feed would have changed in less than a day.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
  9. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Chicken Obsessed

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    You might try just wetting feed, then stiring the scratch in it. Mine do not eat the same amount all the time.

    Instead of formenting the feed, try soaking the scratch, 24 hours and mine has a good yeasty smell (I even tried making bread with it once) use that to stir into your dry feed. My birds love it.
  10. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 True BYC Addict

    Jun 23, 2013
    Hilo, HI
    I ferment my feed, had the same "problem" with my 5 Wynadottes eating way less to the point of not eating. I panicked, thought the FF was bad so dumped it and started a new batch, still they weren't interested. Started giving them more MW & bought scratch for them, they ate but not that interested. It lasted for what seemed like forever but then they started eating again

    I now believe it's the increase in temps as in your case. Yours are getting bugs which are juicy & protein. Make sure they have fresh clean water, offer FF in smaller feedings & maybe some fresh cool veggies/fruits.

    Keep an eye on them but once they adjust to the weather change, I'm sure they'll be back to eating, maybe not as much as when it was cooler. They sure know how to throw us into a real panic :hmm
    barred2rock likes this.

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