Chickens not eating their feed!!!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by kla37, Oct 27, 2011.

  1. kla37

    kla37 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 18, 2010
    Hillsborough, NC USA
    My flock of 8 chickens is on strike! They are not eating their chicken feed at all. They pick at it, but that's it. They have free range of our yard all day, but I don't think they can find enough to sustain them out there. I've tried 3 different brands of feed in the last 3 weeks, and they won't touch it. They're molting too, and it looks like they've lost weight. They were never picky eaters before, but they don't even dig into the scratch I put out for them. They are all alert and running around and pecking at the ground and the grass constantly as ususal. I'm thinking about keeping them locked in their run for a couple days so they have no other option for food, but I have left them locked up until around noon the past few days, and the feed still looks only picked at. Any ideas? Is this normal? Maybe the change in ingredients in the feed because of the change in seasons or something?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    When my chickens haved good forage they eat very little of the feed I have out for them. They still lay very nice eggs.

    When chickens quit laying and molt, they use the nutrients that used to go into egg production to make feathers. They don't really need additional food because they are molting. They take care of that by quitting laying.

    For thousands of years, chickens have done quite well by foraging for most if not all of their food. Many people worldwide throughout history have not fed their chickens much if anything. It does depend on the quality of forage available. Frozen ground or snow can make a huge difference too. I do highly recommend you keep feed available for them so they have a choice, but unless you see them acting sick, I really don't think you have a problem.
     

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