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Chickens not eating much

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by TransplantedTexan, Jul 12, 2007.

  1. TransplantedTexan

    TransplantedTexan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 9, 2007
    Bear Creek, Wi
    My chickens are free ranging during the day. When I fed starter /grower feeds they would eat all of what I put out in the am before I got home from work. Now they are about 19 weeks, and I have switched to Layer ration. They hardly eat.
    I put the same amount out in the am, and only one of three troughs are eaten when I get home from work. I did see one of the kids feeding scratch last night. Maybe thaey are throwing out to much just to see them pick around. I am gonna make sure they stop that, cause I suspect maybe they are getting to much scratch. Would this cause them not to eat thier layer ration? Or have any of you experienced a lessening of ration gone through when you switch over to layer ration?
     
  2. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    My first question would be did you go from one feed to the other or mix them together for a few weeks so they would get used to the new feed? And are you using pellets or crumbles? If you suddenly switched to pellets from starter or grower it does not even look like feed to them. But also, at this age their growth has slowed down as they reach maturity so they don't need as much feed as they did. And, now that it's summer, there's a lot for them to feed on while free ranging. And, yes, they could be getting fed from other sources, like kids, while you are gone.
     
  3. TransplantedTexan

    TransplantedTexan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 9, 2007
    Bear Creek, Wi
    I did switch from grower crumbles to layer crumbles. I did not mix it up. I did not mix when I swithed from starter to grower either, and they did not seem to mind.
     
  4. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 18, 2007
    If the birds are gorging on scratch, they are going to eat less layer. Just like you, a full tummy is a full tummy.

    It's also quite probable that as free ranging birds they are finding enough food stuffs out ranging, and don't need as much commercial feed.

    Building on that second point, if they were loving their previous feed, they may not have been particularly inspired to go out foraging.

    As long as they are healthy and productive, having them consume less commercial feed is a good thing!
     
  5. justusnak

    justusnak Flock Mistress

    Yup...I agree...when free ranging they will eat less feed....and thats not a bad thing. Thats what helps with the feed bills in the summer. I would stop the kids from giving scratch completely....just because of the corn in it, and with the heat..its just not a good idea.
     
  6. TransplantedTexan

    TransplantedTexan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 9, 2007
    Bear Creek, Wi
    I had a talk with the kids. It seems the boys girl friend thought the scratch was the main feed, and thought she was doing me a favor by feeding them during the day while I was gone.
    On the comment that was made by justusnak ,"just because of the corn in it, and with the heat..its just not a good idea."
    Can you further explain that? Is corn bad for them?
    Do they need to eat less in heat times? I am kinda new to this. Also I live in Wisconsin, so heat is usually only an issue for a few days in a row even in the summer. Above 90* days are a rarity here even during summer months.
     
  7. bayouchica

    bayouchica Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2007
    N.E. Louisiana
  8. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Yeah, I don't give scratch in the summers or if the weather is above 35-40 deg at night. I also don't mix feed when I switch the birds. They seem to do fine. They do eat ALOT less though when they free range.
     
  9. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    It sounds to me like the girlfriend is the culprit. [​IMG] When I mentioned the change in feed I thought perhaps you went from crumbles to pellets and the birds just didn't recognize it as feed because it was unfamiliar. I've had this happen to me but found if I mixed the pellets with the crumbles for a week or so they would get the idea.
     
  10. TransplantedTexan

    TransplantedTexan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 9, 2007
    Bear Creek, Wi
    Bayouchica,
    That link didn't take. When I put my mouse over it it says
    "http://yourlinkgoeshere/

    There are alot of things I miss about Texas, the heat happens not to be one of them. It was over 90 and humid a few days last week. Now it's gone back to mid to high seventies. You can sit and fish and not break a sweat.
    Thanks for all the responses by the way.
     

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