Chickens not going back in coop to eat all day???

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Scifisarah, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. Scifisarah

    Scifisarah Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just got these bantam cochins about a month ago, and they are leaving the coop during the day, and going to bed at night, but all day long I never see them go back into the coop to eat. They are in spacious run with a sand floor, but I do not have food outside unless I give them a treat. They seem to get up the ladder fine when they go in for the night. Today when picking them up, they feel like they have lost a lot of weight and I am starting to get worried. They are about 6-8 months old and on about 50% chick starter and 50% Layena since I an switching them over. Should I have to give them food outside, or if they are really hungry, should they know to go in to eat? If I go in with their regular food in a scoop, they are crowding all around to get to me. Several of them are very expensive SQ birds, so I especially don't want their health to go downhill. I think I am going to switch them to Kent Finish which has a higher fat content for the winter, and since they are not laying right now anyway. Advice?
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
  2. Chloe77

    Chloe77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My birds are eating less too. My guess is that you've fattened them up a lot, and now they're just not hungry. It's ok. When they're hungry, they'll eat. I don't think you have to worry about it, unless they start looking ill.
     
  3. Scifisarah

    Scifisarah Chillin' With My Peeps

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    One pullet was very hefty feeling when I purchased her, I certainly haven't fattened them any. Maybe this is actually their correct weight, but her keel/sternum seems so pronounced and pointed now and she seems to be dropping quite a few feathers. It seems like they would have the sense to go get food if they are hungry, but I just never see them go into the coop and I am home all day long.
     
  4. Chloe77

    Chloe77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, besides losing weight, how do they look? Are they losing feathers or sleeping a lot? Are they in a cold enviro? Are they rained on? Tell me anything that might pertain to their health.
     
  5. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is the food level going down? Or does it look completely untouched?

    What kind of a feeder are you using and how you are storing the feed? If something is wrong, like it is moldy or bad, they will know and will not eat it. Could there be something different about the food in the feeder vs a fresh scoop?
     
  6. Scifisarah

    Scifisarah Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Look fine other than her cushion and feathers not being as thick since a lot are coming out. She has a lot of new ones growing in though but don't think she would be molting at only 8 months? No wheezing, sneezing or anything else to look ill so far. Temps have been in the 40s day and 30s at night but they have an insulated coop with good air. Not been rained on at all. The other two have not lost feathers, but feel on the skinny side as well.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
  7. LeslieDJoyce

    LeslieDJoyce Overrun With Chickens

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    Could you set up a feed and water station in their run?
     
  8. Scifisarah

    Scifisarah Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That is a good thought. Going down but more more slowly than I thought it would with 9 birds. It is in a large galvanized feeder that holds several gallons and I don't have to refill it often. I think I am just going to dump it all and put fresh food in to see if that helps. Thanks for the idea!
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
  9. Scifisarah

    Scifisarah Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have water outside already, and have my husband coming home with a flock block to try for outside. That on top of 100 lbs of food and lots of bedding. I guess I better make the man a nice dinner tonight. [​IMG] Oh, and I also hung a cabbage in the run today, but they are avoiding that like the plague so far...
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
  10. Chloe77

    Chloe77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know why she's losing feathers. She is, I think, growing in her adult feathers. Maybe she's eating stuff on the ground, and is less interested in the food now.

    But bantams are small and delicate, so I would keep a close eye on your flock. The hen could have eaten a poison plant, or been been bitten by a snake. Watch your birds and take care of them. If things get worse, you might as well give up on the flock. Sometimes, you just need to start over.

    You could maybe post a pic of your hen, so ppl could look at her. It might be helpful.
     

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