Chickens more interested in scratching for bugs than pellets?


In the Brooder
Oct 31, 2018
Hi! :frow

My ladies have been home for 2 days now! So far they seem very happy and are drinking good!

However I plan to feed them layer pellet twice daily but they really aren't that interested.
I feed them 1 cup of pellet and they peck at it for a few minutes then go back to scratching in the straw and eating bugs. There was still some left from the morning last night when I went to feed so I didn't add more, there was even some left this morning :eek: but I went ahead and added another cup.

When I went back to check on them they had started eating pellets again but does this mean they don't like the feed or maybe that they just like eating bugs better?


14 Years
Dec 8, 2007
yes, they will not starve to death. bugs is their ancestral diet though, and they will always prefer that. when I had a prairie of a back yard, in summer they would eat basically only grasshoppers.


Scarborough Fair
6 Years
Jul 3, 2016
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
Bugs probably taste like bacon to them.

As far as the pellets, I'm not a fan of the "toss on ground" method as you're more likely to attract rodents. Better to get a feeder that can hold several days worth and give them free access during daylight hours. This also takes away the need to rush home to make sure chickens are fed, and can be used to ensure the chickens are fed during daytrips, short vacations, etc.

Folly's place

11 Years
Sep 13, 2011
southern Michigan
Me too. I have four or five feeders in my coop in different locations (for 48 birds right now) so there's no problem with competition over food. Occasionally I throw some scratch feed on top of the bedding as a treat, and they work to turn over the shavings to get every morsel. If all the feed is in their bedding, you will have huge amounts of wasted feed, moldy feed, and mice.

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