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Chickens not eating Layer food

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Carlislemom, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. Carlislemom

    Carlislemom In the Brooder

    Aug 10, 2011
    Can someone help? My girls (4 black jerseys) are about 8-9 months old. We had been getting 3 or 4 eggs a day. They had been eating their pellet food and when free ranging going after the neighbors bird feeder dropping (what ever was laying on the ground, mainly sunflower seeds). To keep them out of the neighbors yards ( 1 filed a complaint with the township) we started mixing Sunflower seeds into the pellets.

    Lately all they seem to eat is the sunflower seeds and the crushed oyster shells. We only get 1 or 2 eggs with very hard shells. A light inside the coop comes on around 5am. My DD open the coop door around 8am. No noticeable feather loss.

    We have tried pellets, crumbles and mash. Food and water is only currently available in the outdoor run. We are trying to think of some way to give them food and water inside but are worried about mice.

    Could all of this have to do with the weather getting colder and shorter days?

    Thanks to anyone who can give suggestions. This forum has help us alot this summer as we learn.

  2. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Crowing

    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    I think a lot of people put feed in the coop. It is worth a try. Pellets make less of a mess, if you are worried about rodents.

    Also, could they be molting. Even a mini molt could cut down on egg production.
  3. superchemicalgirl

    superchemicalgirl HEN PECKED

    Jan 10, 2010
    Vacationland, Maine
    I'd advise not adding the seeds to the pellets. They will pick out what they want to eat and avoid the pellets like the plague when possible. I'd give them the seeds as a little bit thrown on the ground or in the coop morning and night. Not having a balanced enough diet could be throwing the eggs off, so could the decreased amount of light.

    I have food in my coop, suspended via a chain and the coop is locked up tight each night. I have had the occasional bold chipmunk in there, but the girls usually protect their food.
  4. OregonChickenGal

    OregonChickenGal Songster

    Jul 26, 2010
    Central Oregon
    I agree, hold of on the BOSS. Only give as a treat morning and evening, and never mix in with layer feed. Eventually they'll start eating it again.
  5. AlienChick

    AlienChick Songster

    Apr 9, 2010
    Glasgow, KY

    I also keep my food inside the coop (but I have no mice problem).

    I do not add treats to their food since they will obviously go after the treats and avoid eating the food.

    It's that time of year when the hens are just not laying like they do during the Spring and Summer.

    I was getting 10-12 eggs per day during the Summer and now I'm down to 1 or 2. It's sad to say the least! [​IMG]

    But I understand chickens benefit from a rest from the egg laying, so I'm giving them two months rest; then I'm adding lights to the coop to see if that helps.


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