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Chickens not eating food?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by KDOGG331, Feb 15, 2016.

  1. junebuggena

    junebuggena Overrun With Chickens

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    Flock raiser, all flock, or grower feed are all pretty much the same thing.
     
  2. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Overrun With Chickens

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    Ahh okay. So then is it pretty much just a marketing thing then? Think I might switch back to their old food but might switch to an adult one, not sure. But we just bought a 50 pound bag of the layer pellets because that's what i assumed they needed so now i kinda wish i hadnt aha i might switch back to grower until they actually lay maybe?
     
  3. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Overrun With Chickens

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    So I found out through looking at the site that TSC carries the crumble form of a few different layer feeds, not sure if our local store does, I'll check, but TSC isn't much further, and i think they also carry all flock and flock raisee and starter/grower and feather fixer and grower/developers, all sorts of stuff, so i think i may make a trip down and get some starter/grower or all flock or something. I figure the 16 week thing is probably for commercial birds that really do lay that fast. May see if the other store (an Agway but local one, called Morrisons) carries it though but we know someone that works there and while he's not always there, I get nervous about asking about different stuff and usually go with what they say lol i gotta go in and look around sometime. I have before but Agway I think is phasing out Agway brand food for Nutrena, which I prefer anyway, so gotta see if they have another kind. I dont know
     
  4. GreenMountainEric

    GreenMountainEric Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry, a little late to the party. Just saw this thread.

    Your birds are not eating the food because they are only 16 weeks old, and their bodies are not yet prepared for layer feed. They do not yet have the capability to process the high levels of calcium in the layer feed (5x the amount in a grower feed). Their bodies are only wanting a roughly 2:1 ratio of calcium/phosphorus (available phos), in order to properly form their growing bone structure.

    Feeding layer feeds too early can actually kill young chickens (gives them bone diseases, such as Rickets). At 16 weeks, I am sure your chickens are just fine. However, believe it or not, a 16 week old pullet does know that she shouldn't be eating that feed. Her body tells her so. They will absolutely go off of layer feed within a couple days if they are too young to process it.

    Keep them on a grower feed until a minimum of 18-19 weeks of age, or at onset of lay.
     
  5. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    I find it amusing that the debate regarding layer vs grower or multi flock rages on. Give them grower or multi flock with free choice calcium, or put them on layer. It matters not. Chickens revolt against layer, because the higher protein feed that they have been getting is higher protein! If the calcium in layer were going to cause damage to non laying birds, the wise flock owner would never allow his flock to free range. Ever looked at the calcium content of kale? Or other leafy greens? https://www.healthaliciousness.com/articles/high-calcium-vegetables.php Free range chickens eat lots of greens, and they also eat lots of insects. I've not researched the amount of calcium in the average june bug, but I bet it's pretty high with that exoskeleton.
     
  6. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Overrun With Chickens

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    Thank you both for the info! They did finally start eating it the other day but that may have been because it was raining and they were under the coop all day with the food.

    I never even thought about the calcium content from other sources though, that's a good point.

    Although i don't know, now everyone has me scared they're gonna be damaged haha

    i may switch back, i don't know. I know it doesn't technically matter but everyone has me scared they're going to have problems. Plus I experienced problems with my dog when we neutered him way too early therefore not allowing his bones to develop properly (he's a very large mixed breed) and he's had a few leg problems and other stuff which I read can be from that. I know dogs aren't the same as chickens but it terrifies me hahah

    But now that they're eating it maybe I'll leave them alone.

    But honestly, I'm not convinced it's their bodies telling them not to eat it. Even if it is bad for them, I'm much more convinced that A. Treats are more compelling and B. It's in pellet form not crumbles. I bet if I had gotten layer crumbles they maybe would have eaten it.

    But who knows.

    I might switch back idk
     
  7. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    You can try wetting it, making it thick like oatmeal. I have never met a chicken that didn't like chicken feed "mush".

    I fed all of my chickens layer mash for 30 years and it never killed any of mine....... just saying
     
  8. KDOGG331

    KDOGG331 Overrun With Chickens

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    I might try that! They seem to be eating it more now but not exactly liking it haha

    And really? Well that's good to know then! Maybe they're fine :)
     
  9. GreenMountainEric

    GreenMountainEric Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You may find the argument amusing, but I have never found the farmer to be amused when they have killed all of their birds. I have seen this happen on countless occasions with customers...... It isn't the level of calcium that is the problem. It is the ratio of cal/phos, and it will absolutely cause skeletal development problems in younger birds, as well as kidney issues, if you feed them layer feed. The calcium/phosphorus ratio in layer feed is severely unbalanced for young birds.


    Feeding a flock grower with free choice calcium is fine for all. The adult layers will go after the calcium on their own. Feeding layer feed to birds under 18 weeks of age, is absolutely not ok.
     
  10. ryanhodapp

    ryanhodapp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Another consideration is that there is less waste with pellets. The crumbles get spilled. So they may be eating close to the same in volume.
     

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