Chickens not eating their Layer feed

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by SouthofEden, Apr 4, 2018.

  1. SouthofEden

    SouthofEden Chirping

    Oct 3, 2017
    Sebastian Florida
    Someone had suggested I add scratch grain to my layer feed to add extra source of grain. So I noticed that my hens were eating just the grains and not eating their feed. I've taken away the scratch grain to get them to eat their grain again, but they are protesting! Not eating any of it. How long should I hold out? Can they live on scratch grain alone? They are all laying almost daily or at least every other day. Will this halt everything? They have a run and pick bugs and such, but have eaten all greenery. We live in Florida, near the ocean so I assume they are still getting some calcium naturally present in the sand (as we really have no real dirt) and there are a plethora of insects as you can imagine. Should I just give in and give them back their scratch as they seemed to being doing fine on just that? Or should I continue to pursue the layer feed only tactic (if they go hungry long enough will they eventually eat it?)
  2. SueT

    SueT Free Ranging

    May 27, 2015
    SW MO
    Hold out as long as it takes, they can't live on scratch. They will eat when they get hungry enuf, but yes, they may stop laying if they aren't eating enuf.
    Please check your layer feed to make sure it is not out of date, moldy, or funky.
    You can moisten the feed into a mash and often chickens like it better. Even delve into fermented feed by adding a few drops of apple cider vinegar and letting the mash sit overnight. You may be pleasantly surprised at their reaction.
    Dayrel and Ol Grey Mare like this.
  3. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Crowing

    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    My Coop
    I would take away the scratch completely until they start eating their regular feed normally. They will not starve themselves to death! After that, if you still want to give some scratch as a treat, just give a small amount and toss it on the ground. Don't mix it in with their regular feed as that will cause them to start digging through it again for scratch.
    aart likes this.
  4. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Crossing the Road

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    Scratch does not provide the proper nutrition. They won't starve. Could be they're not eating as much feed because they're filling up on bugs and such.

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