Feeding 101 question

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by hatrabbit, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. hatrabbit

    hatrabbit Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 2, 2013
    After having been given 2 full-size Buff Orpington hens, I think I've managed to get most of their needs taken care of. Little things keep coming up, though, such as: they have a PVC feeder full of food available in their house at all times, but when I go outside in the afternoons they run over to me and obviously expect something. What could it be? Is there some other food I need to be giving them late in the day? Sometimes they act like this in the morning too, I wonder if the people who raised them had them used to some kind of treats. By the way, the feed in their cage is a laying mix from a feed store. People have told me they'll love food scraps, veggie leftovers, etc. These girls really aren't interested... I can throw a bunch of lettuce out for them and they check it out & walk away.

    Any advice? Thanks.

  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    [​IMG] The hens pictured are in great shape and are wanting for nothing on a dietary level - they may want some goodies like a handful of scratch or BOSS or they may simply want to say hello.

    Doubt that they are BO - color and type is wrong for BO - perhaps production reds?
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2013
  3. hatrabbit

    hatrabbit Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 2, 2013
    Wow, thanks for that input. I've been calling them BOs since they were given to me a month ago.
  4. sushicat2000

    sushicat2000 Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 11, 2012
    Have you tried giving them dried mealworms? My girls go crazy for them!
  5. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

    May 25, 2007
    SW Wisconsin
    They aren't begging or expecting anything, they're just being friendly. We have thousands of hens that are fed by automatic feeders and the hens don't really connect feeding with us, yet hundreds of them will come running and follow us around whenever we walk into the barn or out on the pasture.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2013
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    If you even occasionally give them treats they'll come to you even more often.

    About the lettuce. Have patience. Chickens often are scared if anything new. Eventually one will try it and they'll then like it. I gotta go but I may tell you a story about that later.

    Finished my chore so I’ll tell my story.

    A few summers ago I harvested corn from my garden. In the process of cleaning it, I filled a small yogurt cup with corn ear worms.

    I had a bunch of 10 week old chicks out free ranging. They’d been free ranging for a few weeks so you’d think some of them had seen a few caterpillars. I dumped that cup of corn ear worms in a pile in a cleared out dusty place so they would not get lost in the grass right in front of the chicks. They gathered around and watched really closely. A few brave ones started to creep forward. A caterpillar wiggled! Run away! Run away!!! A few minutes later, a couple started creeping forward. They got a bit closer this time, them a caterpillar wiggled! Run away! Run away!!! This went on a few more times, until finally a truly brave young cockerel grabbed a caterpillar. That’s all it took. The whole pile was gone in just a few seconds.

    Don’t be discouraged by them not immediately eating that lettuce. I’ve had that happen before with various treats fresh from the garden. They will eventually figure out its food.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2013
  7. nok13

    nok13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 8, 2012
    yep. our baby thais met a straw berry yesterday. they are in my son's old bedroom, so i put a straw berry on the floor for them. they all rushed in to a pile at the end of the room, and then walked big circles around it to get to their rice...

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