Chickens Not Eating


In the Brooder
May 1, 2016
We have 8 chickens who are about 14 wks old (bought them at about 1 - 2 wks), and they are barely eating their food. I still have them on start & grow feed because of their age and put about 4 lbs (I use a 2 lb Folgers coffee can) in their feeder every afternoon after I get home from work. The next day I dump back about 3 lbs, mix it with fresh feed, and fill it again. We live in central North Carolina and right now our temperature has been running in the mid to upper 90's with a high heat index. Could the high heat be causing them not to eat as much? Or should I start them on laying feed and just mix it in with the rest of their starter feed? I am making sure they have plenty of cool water to drink.

You don't need to keep dumping the feed. And yes, heat will make them eat less. They need lots of shade and COLD water. Do not feed layer until they all start laying. And since you have a cockerel, you probably shouldn't offer layer at all. You don't need it to get eggs. Most find that their flocks lay better when kept on a grower-type feed. Be sure that when they do start laying, you have some crushed oyster shell set out for them.
To expound on junebugs comments... You may not want to use layer feed because your cockerel doesn't need the extra calcium. The calcium your pullets need will be supplemented by the oyster shells. The extra protein coupled with the oyster shell are enough for your girls. If you want to supplement, a scratch or corn with extra fat would be a good plac to start.
They have plenty of shade, and my wife put bottles of ice in their water in the mornings before she leaves for work and I put new ice in when I get home. Their water is also shaded.
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Then you are doing about as much as can be done. Just keep it up. And stick with the higher protein feed, they really do need it more than layer. Layer feed has a lower protein content, and with as little as they are taking in, they would be seriously protein deficient if you were to start feeding it.

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