Chickens refusing to eat feed

Matejka

Crowing
Mar 12, 2020
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1) ok I have been feeding scrambled egg in evening the past week
2) no. Different stores different towns, different brand feed.
3)no I don't, but the kitten loves the chicken feed
4)yes
5)chick starter was crumble. Grower feeds were pellets. Now gone back to chick starter.

If I feed my chickens too much scrap food they will stop eating the layer pellets. And my chickens don't like certain brands of chicken food. They will eat Dumor only after starving for a day or so. If you are feeding your chickens another source of food (scrambled eggs and so forth) they may not eat layer pellets.
I was feeding scraps, when I saw them not eating feed, I cut all scraps, treats, free range out except a handful of scratch to help them into run at night. Since I see them losing weight and still not eating feed, I have started scramble egg a in evening. Crops were full at bedtime when they free range 7 til 7. Not full at bed when in run (semi full I guess you could say).
 

Matejka

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You can chose to try the grain feed. Chickens that won't touch the crumble or pellets usually love it. You can even mix in some of the crumble with it. I have also found my favorite feeder to be the duncan's poultry 30lb wall feeder. You can place these outside on some bricks or equivalent and build a small lean to over them to keep any rainwater from getting in.

How many chickens total do you have? I like to have multiple feeders out, and this helps keep them all well fed.
6 total chicks now.
I did have a cornish cross. Got her last Sept and she rooster on floor of run. Gave 4-5 eggs a week. She passed away on her roost about 2 weeks ago at the ripe old age of 1 year. She in a few of the pics I posted.
As for feeder. Right now a metal pan and a divided ceramic bowl. In run.
 

Matejka

Crowing
Mar 12, 2020
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1) ok I have been feeding scrambled egg in evening the past week
2) no. Different stores different towns, different brand feed.
3)no I don't, but the kitten loves the chicken feed
4)yes
5)chick starter was crumble. Grower feeds were pellets. Now gone back to chick starter.
20210713_072554.jpg
 

Matejka

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Is it possible, they are just naturally skinnier? They are active alert laying. No abnormal sick acting. Just run play lay and act happy.
?? I am at wits end. If going back to the crumble chick starter doesn't work, then what?
 

NatJ

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Mar 20, 2017
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I can feel keel bones

Is it possible, they are just naturally skinnier? They are active alert laying. No abnormal sick acting. Just run play lay and act happy.
?? I am at wits end. If going back to the crumble chick starter doesn't work, then what?
All normal chickens are "skinny" compared to a Cornish Cross.
Here's a link to one body condition chart:
http://www.poultrydvm.com/featured-infographic/chicken-body-condition-score-chart

If the keel bones are sticking out way beyond the flesh of their breasts, that could indicate skinny. But if you just mean you can feel that there is a keel bone, that's normal for healthy layers. I think it's a bit like feeling the ribs on a dog or person-- they are there, and you should be able to feel them, but they shouldn't be sticking way out.

Chickens that are active and seem healthy often are healthy.

Chickens that are laying eggs often are healthy.

They might really have been getting enough food when free-ranging and eating scraps, so they didn't "need" to eat what you were providing. Summer is the time when chickens can most easily find food while free ranging. I would expect them to need more purchased feed in the winter than the summer, but I would also expect that need to gradually increase during the fall months, not appear all at once. So they might (maybe) gradually increase their consumption of purchased feed as the food available from ranging goes down.

The only way I know to check if a chicken is getting the right balance of nutrients to be healthy is to look at her appearance, behavior, and whether she's laying, along with feeling for body condition. (If the chicken dies for some reason, you can check the level of fat inside her abdomen to get some idea of whether she's been getting enough total calories. But that still doesn't tell if the balance of nutrients was correct or not, so not terribly useful.)
 

Matejka

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Mar 12, 2020
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All normal chickens are "skinny" compared to a Cornish Cross.
Here's a link to one body condition chart:
http://www.poultrydvm.com/featured-infographic/chicken-body-condition-score-chart

If the keel bones are sticking out way beyond the flesh of their breasts, that could indicate skinny. But if you just mean you can feel that there is a keel bone, that's normal for healthy layers. I think it's a bit like feeling the ribs on a dog or person-- they are there, and you should be able to feel them, but they shouldn't be sticking way out.

Chickens that are active and seem healthy often are healthy.

Chickens that are laying eggs often are healthy.

They might really have been getting enough food when free-ranging and eating scraps, so they didn't "need" to eat what you were providing. Summer is the time when chickens can most easily find food while free ranging. I would expect them to need more purchased feed in the winter than the summer, but I would also expect that need to gradually increase during the fall months, not appear all at once. So they might (maybe) gradually increase their consumption of purchased feed as the food available from ranging goes down.

The only way I know to check if a chicken is getting the right balance of nutrients to be healthy is to look at her appearance, behavior, and whether she's laying, along with feeling for body condition. (If the chicken dies for some reason, you can check the level of fat inside her abdomen to get some idea of whether she's been getting enough total calories. But that still doesn't tell if the balance of nutrients was correct or not, so not terribly useful.)
Thank you!
I was thinking along the same lines.
I will go back to original.
Provide starter crumble,scraps, scratch, free range.
And monitor closely.
I am still open to all thoughts, opinions, ideas and comments.
Chickens along with life is a learning experience. Everyday is new and different.
 

Wyorp Rock

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How do you know they are losing weight - have you weighed them?
They are going on 6 months old, so are going to still be fairly "slim" looking.
I honestly don't see anything wrong with-their feathers looks to be in good condition, you have a couple that have come into lay. They are just still young pullets.

I would put out the chick starter/grower free choice, give a bit of scratch and see how it goes.

My birds that free roam don't eat a LOT of feed during this time of year, but I do put it out free choice for them. I take up feed cups and trays nightly to help deter rodents and ensure it doesn't get moldy.
 
Aug 10, 2020
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6 total chicks now.
I did have a cornish cross. Got her last Sept and she rooster on floor of run. Gave 4-5 eggs a week. She passed away on her roost about 2 weeks ago at the ripe old age of 1 year. She in a few of the pics I posted.
As for feeder. Right now a metal pan and a divided ceramic bowl. In run.
Ok, so 6 isn't bad. I would place another feeder like the one I mentioned somewhere outside in the vicinity of the coop, maybe within 15 feet, under a lean-to. You can make the lean-to large enough so that they feel safe to eat under there and are protected from predators.

Do the same with water, except use twice as many waterers as you have food bins. I use stainless steam table pans that are easy to clean. Right now, since they are feeling lightweight, I would add a poultry vitamin mix to at least one of their waters each day. Once they are back to adequate weight, you can do this once a week or once every two weeks for a few days.

The grain food might be the trick though. If you can find it locally, it will be much cheaper than buying online.

Good luck and best wishes! : )
 

Matejka

Crowing
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There are plenty of places for extra feeders I would just have to remove nightly-those areas are free range and not predator proof. Same with waterers, I have 2 in run 1 in barn and 2 near house. We've caught/disposed of 11 coons in 5 weeks, 1 timber rattler (so far, I hear there are usually 2 around) It's been 4 days since last coon and live trap untouched, so we MAY have them under control.
In pic on cornish cross you can see 2 waterers behind her against wall.
 

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Matejka

Crowing
Mar 12, 2020
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Lyons Texas
How do you know they are losing weight - have you weighed them?
They are going on 6 months old, so are going to still be fairly "slim" looking.
I honestly don't see anything wrong with-their feathers looks to be in good condition, you have a couple that have come into lay. They are just still young pullets.

I would put out the chick starter/grower free choice, give a bit of scratch and see how it goes.

My birds that free roam don't eat a LOT of feed during this time of year, but I do put it out free choice for them. I take up feed cups and trays nightly to help deter rodents and ensure it doesn't get moldy.
No I haven't weighed them. When I pick them up, they're light and keel bone is prominent. They look healthy, good feathers active just .....skinny
 

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