Feed consumption down.

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by scooter147, Jan 4, 2010.

  1. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It has been really cold (like most of the country) in the single digits at night and teens during the day here for about a week now. Normally feed consumption increases in cold weather but my hens have cut way back on what they are consuming. This is the coldest it has been here in about 5 years or so. Is the cold weather affecting consumption?
    I offer laying pellets and now with the cold offer scratch and a little dry cat food. They normally devour the scratch and cat food but really are not eating what I think they should. Normally the scratch feeder would be empty and the cat food I throw around the coop would be gone.
    Any thoughts or suggestions from the experts out there?
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2010
  2. Princess Amri

    Princess Amri Is Mostly Harmless

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    Are they hunched up and shivering? Maybe you should do something to warm them up a bit.
     
  3. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They are all fluffed up, which how they trap body heat within their feathers. The coop is as air tight as possible (there are two vents at the top to vent out moisture which is a must).
     
  4. Princess Amri

    Princess Amri Is Mostly Harmless

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    Quote:Fluffed up is also a sign of them being cold.
     
  5. Suburban chick farmer 09

    Suburban chick farmer 09 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've noticed my chickens eating a lot less pellets too. They go after the scratch though. Still getting good egg production so I'm not sure what the deal is.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2010
  6. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Ours seem to go into a low activity rate/conserve heat mode. They'll eat grapes and peaches (along with some leftover minced fatty beef/corn/mealworms) if they get it in the morning or at least two hours before sunset, but they are not enthusiastic and are consuming about half of the usual crumble ration.

    Cold stress, decreased activity level and shorter days? Not sure.

    We are trying to fatten them up further and battening down the hatches (will be putting up the heat lamps for the second time in five years) as it looks like wind chills along the KC-STL axis this thurs-sat. could run from -20°-35°F (hope the models are screwy as usual).
     
  7. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ivan3, I hear ya, I pulled my heat lamp out of the cabinet yesterday for the first time in at least 5 years. I was actually surprised it still works.
    I live in the STL area and have seen the forecast for later in the week. Not pleasant at all.
    I guess I'm just like my Italian grandmother I just like to see my "children" eat.
     
  8. CloggingChicken

    CloggingChicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Ours are consuming way less since the temp fell to the single digits and wind chills in the negatives. We were going through two feeders twice daily and they are lucky to go through one in a day now. I have no idea what is going on and worry about them since this is the first winter with them. I have had a heater in the coop since last weekend and the water has not frozen, however, they still are not eating. I'd love to see if anyone has an idea of what might be going on as scratch seems to be the only thing they go after.

    Bill
     
  9. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Bill,
    I hear ya, mine just are not consuming much. It's been about 10 or 11 years since it's been this cold here for this long and no real end in sight. I did give them some bread last night and they did go after it as usual.
    Since it's been so cold I did go ahead and close my vents but I am worried about the moisture build up now!!!! I also put a 250 watt light in there and that seems to help keep the temp up somewhat. The water only has a thin layer of ice on it in the morning better then the solid block I found before the light. UGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What to do what to do.
    Wake me when spring gets here.
     
  10. Joyryder

    Joyryder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My feed consumption is up, I do add cracked corn in the winter for extra heat. They still eat all their veggies and table scraps.
     

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