Chickens won't eat grower crumbles- Please Help.

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by bmbi328, Aug 1, 2013.

  1. bmbi328

    bmbi328 In the Brooder

    Apr 30, 2013
    Claremore Oklahoma
    I have 6 chickens and they range from 11 weeks to 15 weeks. I have been giving them grower crumbles, but it does not look like they are eating eat. I give them scratch in the morning and at night before they go to bed. They also free range just about all day. I got a 50lb bag of grower over a month ago and they haven't even made a dent in it. Should I stop feeding them grower?[​IMG]
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I would stop feeding them scratch for now, and inspect the feed for mold.

    It sounds like the feed may be bad (if after stopping the scratch they still won't eat it). Moldy feed can kill chickens, so if you catch a whiff of mold when you sniff it, I'd toss it and buy new.

    You might consider putting it in ziplock bags (gallon size) and storing it in the freezer for the summer , taking out only a few days' worth at a time (it forms condensation as it thaws so you don't want the whole 50 lb bag thawing at once).

    They need to be on grower until the point of lay, as the layer feed has too much calcium for their kidneys if they aren't near laying.

    You can keep them on grower feed indefinitely, as long as you provide oyster shells (from the feed store) on the side or mixed in (but find the correct amount so they don't overingest- it's on flemingoutdoors' website under oyster shell) when they start laying.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2013
    Kay Rouse and AnnabelsAviary like this.
  3. bmbi328

    bmbi328 In the Brooder

    Apr 30, 2013
    Claremore Oklahoma
    If I put the grower in the freezer, would it mold when I take it out as needed? Should I still give them a grain before bed? Thanks for you help.[​IMG]
  4. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Crowing

    When you take it out of the freezer let it sit at room temp in an open container or bag for a while before sealing it up. It should be fine.

    I would nix the morning scratch feed for now and maybe just toss them a very small amount in the evening if you want to. It sounds like they are filling up on scratch and foraging.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2013
  5. olgreenie

    olgreenie In the Brooder

    Feb 20, 2013
    My chickens would not eat the crumbles either. I noticed them always pecking around for the bigger pieces. So I just started feeding the pellets and they gobbled it right up. So my recommendation is to just switch to the pellets. My birds also free range and they are never shy about gathering around the feeder and eating!
  6. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    x2 well said
  7. LoneOak

    LoneOak Chirping

    May 19, 2013
    West of Atlanta
    If you don't give them anything but the starter grower crumbles then they will eat it and that is what they should be eating at this age. You are giving them way to much scratch and then they are filling up on bugs and foraged stuff so they aren't hungry when it comes time to eat what they need. At between 11 and 15 weeks they aren't very big and won't need a lot, they still have tiny tummies. Nix the treats and make sure they eat what they need. Its just like taking care of children if you fill them up on sugar they won't eat their veggies, take away the suggery treats and the veggies will start to fill them up slowly.

    A 50 lb bag of starter grower for only six chicks should last a couple months anyway. Personally I doubt seriously that your feed has molded as long as you have been keeping it in a dry environment. I use a plastic storage tote and just leave the feed in the bag, put the whole thing in the plastic tote and close the lid after you've filled the feeder.

    The only difference in crumbles and pellets is that pellets are pressed formed crumbles. The ingredients are the same, crumbles are designed for large poultry operations with screw type feed delivery systems, Pellets are generally for the small scale farmer. EXCEPT, my local feed store only offers the starter grower in crumbles because the mill they use doesn't make starter grower pellets, they do offer layer feed in both crumbles and pellets. I wish they offered starter grower in pellets because it feeds better in the small feeders but most baby birds like the smaller crumbles as its hard for them to eat the larger pellets.
  8. AnnabelsAviary

    AnnabelsAviary Hatching

    Jul 30, 2013
    My flock is only 8-9 weeks old. When I last visited my local feed store the staff recommended that I buy layer feed. I was looking for grower feed (at the recommendations of BYC members) to begin mixing that into my starter, but the feed store staff stated that my flock was ready for layer because of the hot temps here in Florida!?!? I went ahead and bought it...but it's concerned me ever since. I just don't think they are old enough for the layer and I don't want to harm my flock.

    Any suggestions?[​IMG]
  9. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Songster

    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    Feeding layer to pre layers because its HOT IN FLORIDA? That's a new one to me. Wonder if they were out of grower. Chickens develop at the rate they develop at, the temperature has little to do with it. If it did there would be many around advising to keep chicks in a hot Florida like environment till they start to lay. Being Florida, holding it till they reach POL in around 10 weeks may be a problem. You can feed it till you do get a starter/grower feed, short term there shouldn't be a problem.
  10. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    They need grower feed or starter/grower until around the point of lay. In order to get rid of the layer you can mix it in very very slowly is what I would do personally to the grower feed when you find it- but be ever so cautious since it is too high in calcium. Technically they should not have it at all so some might disagree with me on that.
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2013

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: