chickens throwing out all but smallest pellets

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by shiningeyes, Jan 18, 2017.

  1. shiningeyes

    shiningeyes Chillin' With My Peeps

    127
    19
    64
    Mar 22, 2016
    I have four chickens getting close to a year old now. They had previously been eating pellets just fine though one i had noticed was scraping out pellets with her beak but would normally eat them. Now at least two if not more are scraping out all of the normal sized pellets and picking out the smaller bits. I figured out what was going on by hand feeding. They'd throw all but the crumbs and small pellet pieces on the floor. Now I'm finding feed all over the ground all day! Are they just being picky or could this be an indication of something wrong? They have access to the outdoors (free-ish range) on average for anywhere between 6-11 hours usually though some rainy days its less. I have a hanging feeder set at back height with the fingers (not one continuous trough like the waterers). Any ideas?
     
  2. MasterOfClucker

    MasterOfClucker Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,353
    401
    191
    Jul 19, 2016
    Iowa
    I think they are just being picky.When mine throw all there feed on the ground i take the feeder away for a bit and they will eat what they have.
     
  3. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

    9,949
    2,934
    421
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Pellets are a grade of feed that chicken keepers find to be convenient but chickens don't.

    If you are a chicken, you will prefer smaller bits of food such as crumbles. Sure, pellets and crumbles are the exact same food, but if you were to put each in separate containers side by side, your chickens would eat the crumbles because they're smaller in texture. Part of the eating for a chicken is in the fun of tackling a lot of small bits. I would equate it to the way humans eat some foods. It's why snack food is so appealing to humans over a plate of food.

    Crumbles are slightly more costly than pellets, but if you have a finicky flock, it's probably worth the extra cost. You could also look into fermenting the pellets. It makes the feed more palatable and decreases waste to practically zero.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by