chickens not eating layer!!!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by scooby, Jan 12, 2009.

  1. scooby

    scooby Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 29, 2008
    sevier valley,utah
    i recently switched to layer mash after they had finished off their last bag of chick feed. but when they use to eat 1 lb of chick feed a day and i would have to refill the feeder every day, with the layer i give them 1lb. of feed and it takes them like 3 days to eat it all,before i have to fill the feeder. so why arn't they eating as much? is it the protein in it or do they eat less in winter? can someone give me some help with this issue? i just want to make sure they are getting what they need to get,especially through the cold winter. i also give them a handful of cracked corn most days and they also get yogurt or left overs occasionally. thanks for the help!!!
     
  2. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    I think I'd be encouraging them to eat the layer feed by mixing some of that yogurt with it.

    Lots of folks report how warm water mixed in a pan with feed seems to make the birds think they are getting a treat.

    The last few years, I've gone from a locally milled starter to FlockRaiser. (Actually, it was MeatBuilder a few years ago but Purina went to a different formula and name.) The birds really like the FlockRaiser - it was a little difficult to get them to finish eating the last of the starter.

    Steve

    edited to ask: How old are these chickens? They are old enuf for layer feed, right? Started laying?
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2009
  3. basicliving

    basicliving Keepin' the sunny side up

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    Mar 20, 2008
    Shenandoah Valley, VA
    digitS' :

    Lots of folks report how warm water mixed in a pan with feed seems to make the birds think they are getting a treat.

    This is what I've started doing. I kept finding a soft egg every now and again noticed they rarely ate the layer feed, or oyster shell, even though both of them are available 24X7. They free range, but I was worried the pullets weren't getting enough calcium. I started mixing their feed with oyster shell and whatever meat scraps/veggies I might have and then turning it into a mash with warm water. They LOVE it! But I only feed it once a day now because when they were getting twice a day they got less excited over it.

    Penny​
     
  4. scooby

    scooby Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 29, 2008
    sevier valley,utah
    they hatched in august, so they are about 20 weeks old, and no they have not started laying yet, also the ifa feed store i have to get there food from is pretty limited to what they sell, so far all i'v seen is chick feed, layer, and wild bird feed and turkey so i dont think there is much of a option of switching feed, but i'm not sure. o ya and they are not free range so they dont have the opprotunity to munch all day on shrubs, bugs and stuff. so what should i do, if i mix it with water or yogurt, i wouldnt want to forever be doing that, is there another option or reason behind them not eating? i mean they are eating it just not as much.
     
  5. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    I think that the feed is new and they don't like it.

    Once you've got them eating it by "improvement" with additions, maybe they will decide that the feed is okay. It is unlikely that they will starve themselves but it probably wouldn't take much deprivation for the birds to fail to lay eggs. That would be the unfortunate part of the problem.

    Mixing the layer feed with the chick feed is a good idea for the change one to the other. They don't need the extra calcium in the layer feed until they begin producing eggshells.

    If anything, cold weather should increase their appetites and need for food.

    Steve
     
  6. needmorechickens!

    needmorechickens! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 2, 2008
    West TN
    I would just mix some cracked corn in with the layer mash and see if that gets them more interested. They just don't like the change, but I bet they will get used to it.
    ~Rebecca
     
  7. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    If you introduce them to it more gradually by mixing it with their chick feed they will get used to it. I'd also cut out the snacks for a few days so they'll be hungry enough to go ahead and eat it.
     

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